[Ezekiel 1:1] 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.
Eisemann points out that Prophetic books start out with the time
of the prophecy given since events of the time determined the nature of the
prophecy. This holds even though the full import of the message was for the
distant future. Ezekiel was with those captives of Judah who had been
taken into exile with Jehoiakin. According to tradition Ezekiel had
received the gift of prophecy while still in the Land of Israel even though
his book begins with his being in the land of Babylon.
“THE RIVER OF CHEBAR”: Some say “Chebar” is another name for the
River Euphrates. Others say that it was actually a large irrigation channel
or a branch of the Euphrates that had been converted into an irrigation
channel. At that time the irrigation works of Mesopotamia (Iraq) were very
sophisticated and superior to those now in use in modern Iraq.
[Ezekiel 1:2] IN THE FIFTH DAY OF THE MONTH, WHICH WAS THE FIFTH YEAR OF
KING JEHOIACHIN'S CAPTIVITY,
[Ezekiel 1:3] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:4] 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
[Ezekiel 1:5] 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.
This whole section has been given philosophical and mystical interpretations
all of which we can learn from. In the meantime for our part we must recognize
that at our present level the deeper meaning behind this passage is beyond
our ken. For the time being do not dwell on the deeper meaning of this vision
just take it in as a general impression and move onward to simpler passages."THEY
HAD THE LIKENESS OF A MAN" i.e. they had the physical form of a man but only
one of the four faces was that of a man.
[Ezekiel 1:6] AND EVERY ONE HAD FOUR FACES, AND EVERY ONE HAD FOUR WINGS.
[Ezekiel 1:7] 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
[Ezekiel 1:8] AND THEY HAD THE HANDS OF A MAN UNDER THEIR WINGS ON THEIR
FOUR SIDES; AND THEY FOUR HAD THEIR FACES AND THEIR WINGS.
[Ezekiel 1:9] THEIR WINGS WERE JOINED ONE TO ANOTHER; THEY TURNED NOT WHEN THEY WENT; THEY WENT EVERY ONE STRAIGHT FORWARD.
[Ezekiel 1:10] 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.
There were four angels and each angel had four faces.
[Ezekiel 1:11] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:12] AND THEY WENT EVERY ONE STRAIGHT FORWARD: WHITHER THE SPIRIT
WAS TO GO, THEY WENT; AND THEY TURNED NOT WHEN THEY WENT.
[Ezekiel 1:13] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:14] AND THE LIVING CREATURES RAN AND RETURNED AS THE APPEARANCE OF A FLASH OF LIGHTNING.
[Ezekiel 1:15] NOW AS I BEHELD THE LIVING CREATURES, BEHOLD ONE WHEEL UPON
THE EARTH BY THE LIVING CREATURES, WITH HIS FOUR FACES.
[Ezekiel 1:16] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:17] WHEN THEY WENT, THEY WENT UPON THEIR FOUR SIDES: AND THEY TURNED NOT WHEN THEY WENT.
[Ezekiel 1:18] AS FOR THEIR RINGS, THEY WERE SO HIGH THAT THEY WERE DREADFUL;
AND THEIR RINGS WERE FULL OF EYES ROUND ABOUT THEM FOUR."RINGS"
The word translated as "rings" more properly should be rendered as "backs".
[Ezekiel 1:19] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:20] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:21] 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.
"LIVING CREATURE" is "Chayah"; "Wheel" is "Ofen". "Chayah" and "Ofen"
are considered to be the names of different grades of angels. When loked
at in this light the passage receives a different aspect, i.e. there were
two grades of angels and the higher grade transmitted power to the lower.
[Ezekiel 1:22] 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.
"CRYSTAL" in Hebrew "Korach" also translated as "Ice"
[Ezekiel 1:23] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:24] 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
[Ezekiel 1:25] AND THERE WAS A VOICE FROM THE FIRMAMENT THAT WAS OVER THEIR
HEADS, WHEN THEY STOOD, AND HAD LET DOWN THEIR WINGS.
[Ezekiel 1:26] 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
"LIKENESS AS THE APPEARANCE OF A MAN": God has no form and it is forbidden to ascribe form to God.
<<I AM THE LORD THY GOD, WHICH HAVE BROUGHT THEE OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, OUT OF THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE.<THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.<<THOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE, OR ANY LIKENESS OF
ANY THING THAT IS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, OR THAT IS IN THE EARTH BENEATH, OR THAT
IS IN THE WATER UNDER THE EARTH [Exodus 20:-2-4].
Nevertheless this "Likeness" in the vision of Ezekiel somehow or other represented
the Divine Presence of God that was departing from Jerusalem when the Temple
was being destroyed.
[Ezekiel 1:27] 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.
[Ezekiel 1:28] 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.
Below is the translation of the Jewish Publication Society. This translation
actually follows the King James and repeats what could be considered the
"innacuracies" of the KJ. Nevertheless on a few points it is
1,1 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 Chebar
that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 1,2 In the fifth
day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
1,3 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. 1,4 And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came
out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire flashing up, so that a
brightness was round about it; and out of the midst thereof as the colour
of electrum, out of the midst of the fire. 1,5 And out of the midst thereof
came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance:
they had the likeness of a man. 1,6 And every one had four faces, and every
one of them had four wings. 1,7 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. 1,8 And they had the hands of a man
under their wings on their four sides; and as for the faces and wings of
them four, 1,9 their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when
they went; they went every one straight forward. 1,10 As for the likeness
of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a
lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left
side; they four had also the face of an eagle. 1,11 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. 1,12 And they went every one
straight forward; whither the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not
when they went. 1,13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their
appearance was like coals of fire, burning like the appearance of torches;
it flashed up and down among the living creatures; and there was brightness
to the fire, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 1,14 And the living
creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. 1,15
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel at the bottom hard
by the living creatures, at the four faces thereof. 1,16 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 within a wheel. 1,17 When they went, they went toward their four
sides; they turned not when they went. 1,18 As for their rings, they were
high and they were dreadful; and they four had their rings full of eyes
round about. 1,19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went hard
by them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the bottom, the
wheels were lifted up. 1,20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, as the
spirit was to go thither, so they went; and the wheels were lifted up
beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 1,21
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 beside them;
for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 1,22 And over the
heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like
the colour of the terrible ice, stretched forth over their heads above.
1,23 And under the firmament were their wings conformable the one to the
other; this one of them had two which covered, and that one of them had two
which covered, their bodies. 1,24 And when they went, I heard the noise of
their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty,
a noise of tumult like the noise of a host; when they stood, they let down
their wings. 1,25 For, when there was a voice above the firmament that was
over their heads, as they stood, they let down their wings. 1,26 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
a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above. 1,27 And I saw as the
colour of electrum, as the appearance of fire round about enclosing it,
from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his
loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was
brightness round about him. 1,28 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
Ezekiel Index Page
Chapter Two of Ezekiel