Ezekiel 21:2
New International Version Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary.
English Standard Version Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries.

Why some versions have it as singular and some plural?

1 Answer 1


This is relatively straight forward.

The operative word here is מִקְדָּשִׁ֑ים (miq·dā·šîm) which is plural and means, "the holy places". The Jerusalem temple consisted of the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Thus, "holy places" is a simple collective term implying the Jerusalem temple.

Note what Barnes says: "the temple and its various parts"

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary reaches an almost identical conclusion: "the holy places—the three parts of the temple: the courts, the holy place, and the holiest."

There is a similar terminology in Hebrews that regularly uses τὰ ἅγια (the holy [places]) in referring to the heavenly sanctuary. See Heb 8:2, 9:12, 24, 25, 10:19.

Jerusalem was known as the "holy city" because it contained the holy places, that is, the temple.

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