Ezekiel 1:1 In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
2 On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— 3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians.[a] There the hand of the Lord was on him.
4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.
10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.
15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty,[b] like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
a. Ezekiel 1:3 Or Chaldeans
b. Ezekiel 1:24 Hebrew Shadda
Wow.... If that were to happen to me.... I would change dispensaries. This is quite an opening after reading through Lamentations. Boy..... there are a lot of commentaries about Ezekiel. I can understand this one.... this is from the easy English site.
In the year 598 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Judah. After three months, the new king of Judah, Jehoiachin, handed over the city called Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar.
In the year 597 BC, Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin, his family and the leaders of the people to Babylon. Among these was a priest, Ezekiel. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah, who was the uncle of Jehoiachin, king in Jerusalem.
Zedekiah was not loyal to the king of Babylon. So, the Babylonians destroyed the cities in Judah. Then in the year 586 BC, they destroyed Jerusalem. The Babylonians killed most of the people in Jerusalem. But they took some people to Babylon.
All that we know about Ezekiel is in this book. His name means ‘God gives strength.’ Ezekiel was born in the year 627 BC. He was a priest, the son of Buzi the priest. He belonged to the family of Zadok, who was a famous priest. Ezekiel went into exile at the same time as King Jehoiachin in the year 597 BC. Ezekiel lived with other exiles at the river called Chebar. His home was in Tel-Abib town. His wife died in the 9th year of his *exile.
Ezekiel lived at the same time as Jeremiah the prophet. But Ezekiel does not mention Jeremiah. Jeremiah was still in Judah while Ezekiel was with the exiles.
Ezekiel’s first prophecy was in the year 593 BC and he continued to prophesy for about 20 years. Ezekiel dates his last message as in the year 571 BC. Through the book, he is careful to date each message. He spoke to the exiles from Judah who lived with him near the river Chebar.
Ezekiel was one of the exiles from Jerusalem. He was here with other exiles by the River Chebar. The Babylonians knew this river as the Grand Canal. It flowed south and east from the river Euphrates at Babylon. It was deep and wide enough for large boats. They carried goods to and from Babylon. The river also provided water for use on the farms. Ezekiel’s home was in Tel-abib, which was near this river.
‘It was the 30th year.’ The 30th year probably refers to Ezekiel’s age. He was the son of Buzi, a temple priest. Ezekiel would have become a priest at the age of 30. But he went into exile before he could begin to work as a priest in Jerusalem. So, he received his first vision at the date that he qualified to be a priest. It was the 5th year during the exile of King Jehoiachin. The exile began in 597 BC, so this was 593 BC. This means that Ezekiel was born in the year 623 BC.
Ezekiel saw these visions on the 5th day of the 4th month. The 4th month would be, for us, June or July. It seemed that ‘the skies opened’. In other words, it was as if Ezekiel could see beyond the skies. He ‘saw visions of God’. God gave Ezekiel a glimpse of his (God’s) glory.
In the vision, Ezekiel records the stormy wind that comes from the north. The glory of the Lord came from that direction. The cloud hid the complete glory of God. The bright lights showed something of that glory as it shone through the cloud. The glowing ‘metal’ was the creatures and the *hrone as they approached.
Ezekiel then saw the 4 creatures in the cloud. He describes these creatures. He records that their shape seemed like the shape of men. But each creature had 4 faces and 4 wings. And each creature had two legs like a man; but the feet were like the feet of a cow.
These 4 creatures reflect the power of God. The 4 faces of each of the creatures look in all directions. This is to show that God has power over the whole earth. They carry the throne of God.
These creatures are the cherubim. Their task is to show that God is holy. They have hands like the hands of a man. The hands show that they are strong. And, that they can work. They are the servants of God. They go where he orders. They do what he tells them.
Each of them has 4 faces. They each have the face of a man, of a lion, of an ox and of an eagle. These faces are in the same order on each cherub. The human face is to the front. The lion face is to the right. The ox face is to the left. The eagle face is at the back. Of all the animals on earth, men and women are superior. The lion is the king of the wild animals. The ox is the best of the animals that farmers keep. The eagle is the leader among the birds of the air. These faces are an expression of the power of God in all that he has made.
There was a high wheel by each of the 4 creatures. The 4 wheels were the same. Ezekiel saw this vehicle, which carried the throne of God. Above the 4 wheels were the 4 creatures. The 4 creatures carried the throne.
Each wheel seemed to have a wheel inside a wheel. In other words, each wheel had another one across its centre. The wheels shone with the colour of beryl. *Beryl was a precious stone that may have been a pale green colour.
The vehicle did not travel on the ground but through the air. So, the wheels were not there to move the vehicle. It moved in all directions but the wheels did not turn.
A wooden wheel would have heavy nails in the edge that touched the road. These were for strength so that the edge of the wheel would not wear out quickly. Ezekiel saw that, instead of nails, there were eyes all round the edge of the wheels. There were many eyes. They looked in all directions. They could see all things. We can hide nothing from God. He sees and knows everything.
So.... this description reminds me of some kind of living hovercraft. I couldn't find a good picture..... but this one does show the four heads in a pretty cool image.
The wheels were for show..... since it was a hovercraft sort of thing.....
So this book should be a lot different than Jeremiah's book.