Ezekiel 1

Visions of God 1
Whirlwind 4
Four living ones 5
Wheels, living ones, and the Spirit 15
Firmament above the living ones 22
Above it all, a throne 26
Text Comments
At the beginning of the book, Ezekiel is shown the purpose of what he will explain to us. A storm would come from the north. This is the direction from which the invading armies of Babylon would come. The lesson was for the people of "the captives." God Himself would come in the storm or whirlwind. In the next chapter Ezekiel receives his commission. - An investigation from the court of heaven is seen in this chapter.
.1 ¶ Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
.2  In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
.3  The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
1 - Thirtieth year Likely Ezekiel's age. It was the age at which priesthood began.
1 - Visions Ezekiel also received the direct gift of prophecy. He would be shown something about God.
2 - Fifth Jehoiachin was the young king of Juda who resisted Nebuchadnezzar's attack (against God's warning) and was taken captive 2ki24. It would have been July, 592 BC.
.4 ¶ And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.   Whirlwind From two Hebrew words in this verse. Ruach means "spirit" or "spirit of God, ge0102, or "wind." She-aw-raw' means "storm."
  North Invading armies came from the north. Was God, too, coming as an invading army? The "North" may be better understood in relation to the place of God's throne. See the note on the psalm 48 page.
  Fire Compare the fire of God's throne in Daniel 7:9, 10. It may also represent the coals from the altar of incense that represented the righteousness of Christ which made the prayers of those who are preparing to stand, judged righteous, during the time of trouble after the end of the preadvent judgment. Also v26. Compare to ez1003 where we see the wrath of God of the time of trouble.
  Amber A fiery color. We see it again in v27.
.5  Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
 6  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
 7  And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
.8  And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
 9  Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
  5 - Living creatures Literally, "living ones" as it is also in the throne scene in Revelation re0406a, ez1020. The human form of the living ones agrees with their being representatives of those who will be living at the coming of Christ, (a concept which I have elsewhere rejected.) 
   Compare the scene beginning in ps01807.
  7 - Calf's foot It has been noted that art from ancient Mesopotamia shows creatures with wings and with feet like those of calves. Perhaps this symbolism helped the Babylonians better understand the Creator God. (Babylon was in the area of Mesopotamia.) This scene also reminds us of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings and those like calves who were freed. mal0402.
  8 - Hands of a man Consider divine Son of Man who would stand before the Ancient of  Days See on ez0201. In our present scene He provided the strength for the living creatures. Later in Ezekiel's book we find that the Lord promised to deliver His people by a mighty hand ez2033,34. Also v3, ez1008.
  9 - Wings ... joined See on v11.
  9 - Turned not They apparently could see or know in all directions without turning.
 10  As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
.11  Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
.12  And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
 13  As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
 14  And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
  11 - Two wings ... joined Or "two wings touching." The wings of the golden angels at the ark may be represented here ex2518.
  12 - Whether the spirit Heavenly beings directed by the Holy Spirit. Compare ge0102.
.15 ¶ Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
 16  The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
 17  When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
   15 - Living creatures See v5 and re0406a.
   16 - Wheels We see them again in chapter 10 moving the throne out of the place of judgment ez1009. They represent the perfect harmony and cooperation of heaven. In considering the wall foundations of the New Jerusalem, we consider the society of heaven re2118wh12. What a joy to be there!
   18 - Rings Or "rims" of the wheels.
 18  As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
 19  And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
 20  Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
 21  When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
   18 - Eyes They were fully able to see. In the parallel vision of Daniel 7, thousands were witnesses in the judgment. We may the creatures with eyes to confirm or participate in judgment in the same role. By the time we come to chapters 8 and 9, it will be clear that Ezekiel is describing the same preadvent judgment.
The picture In this chapter God v1 coming down to earth v15 in the whirlwind. The moving of His throne is seen in the wheels of the living ones. We will see in coming chapters that he comes to investigate. Compare ge1821. This is not because He doesn't know but because we and the angels need to understand that His judgment is fair. It is a pattern of what is happening as Christ investigates before coming in Glory to destroy the end-time wicked.
.22  And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
.23  And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
 24  And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
 25  And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
  22 - Firmament Or "an expanse." See on ge0106, ps01901. We see it above the heads of the living ones.
  22 - Crystal Elsewhere translated "ice" or "frost." Instead of "terrible," the NKJV reads "awesome."
  23 - Wings straight Two wings were stretched out apparently upward. The term, "toward the other," is from achowth. usually meaning "sister" but also "another" or "together." See ex2606 where it is translated "together with." It is also at the end of the preceding verse. Over the ark in the tabernacle the cherubim were there first with wings to cover the ark. Also see the next verse in Exodus, the parallel verses in 2 Ch. 5 and 1 Ch. 28:18.
.26 ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
.27  And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
   26 - Throne Again reflected in Revelation re0402.
   26 - Man above Jesus took human nature he1005. In the scene in Revelation 5, He is the Lamb in the midst of the throne re0505. A diagram shows relationships between those at and around the throne as described in Revelation 5.
   We see the three persons of divinity: God v1, the Spirit v5, and the human presence in the throne here.
   27 - Colors ... fire Compare, fiery stream da0710.
.28  As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
 2:1 ¶ And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
  28 - Appearance ... bow The rainbow of promise ge0912,3 turned hearts to the beautiful love and concern He has for all of us. The rainbow circles the throne of God.
Next chapter
Ezekiel home
Commentary home