Ezekiel 1:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them.

English Standard Version
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

New American Standard Bible
In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The form of the living creatures was like the appearance of burning coals of fire and torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living creatures; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it.

International Standard Version
Now, in the midst of the living beings there was something that appeared to glow like coals kindled by a fire, like torches that moved back and forth between the living beings. The fire was dazzling, and lightning flashed from the fire.

NET Bible
In the middle of the living beings was something like burning coals of fire or like torches. It moved back and forth among the living beings. It was bright, and lightning was flashing out of the fire.

New Heart English Bible
And in the midst of the living creatures was an appearance of burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches. The fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The living creatures looked like burning coals and torches. Fire moved back and forth between the living creatures. The fire was bright, and lightning came out of the fire.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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.

New American Standard 1977
In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lit torches; the fire went up and down among the living creatures and the brightness of the fire; and out of the fire went forth lightning.

King James 2000 Bible
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: they went back and forth among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: the fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire.

Darby Bible Translation
And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, as the appearance of torches: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright; and out of the fire went forth lightning.

English Revised Version
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches; it went up and down among the living creatures: and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: [the fire] went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Young's Literal Translation
As to the likeness of the living creatures, their appearances are as coals of fire -- burning as the appearance of lamps; it is going up and down between the living creatures, and brightness is to the fire, and out of the fire is going forth lightning.
Study Bible
Vision of Four Cherubim
12And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.…
Cross References
2 Thessalonians 1:7
and to grant relief to you who are oppressed, and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels

Revelation 4:5
From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and rolls of thunder. Before the throne burned seven torches of fire. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.

Psalm 104:4
He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.

Ezekiel 10:2
And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, "Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And he entered in my sight.

Daniel 7:9
"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.
Treasury of Scripture

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 1:7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was …

Genesis 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, …

Psalm 104:4 Who makes his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Daniel 10:5,6 Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed …

Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightning and thunder and voices: …

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with …

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, …

(13) Like the appearance of lamps.--The word "and" before this phrase is not in the original, and should be omitted. The words are merely a further explanation. The cherubim were like burning coals of fire, like torches or lightnings. The word "lamps" does not refer to the material, but to the light, and whether in the Hebrew or in its Greek equivalent, is translated by torches (Nahum 2:4; John 18:3),firebrands (Judges 15:4), or lightnings (Exodus 20:18). Ezekiel could find no single word to express his meaning, and has therefore given two, that between them the idea of the fiery brilliancy may be better conveyed.

It went up and down.--" It" refers to the fire. This indescribable fiery appearance went up and down among the living creatures, "bright" in itself, and throwing out coruscations of "lightning."

Verse 13. - Like burning coals of fire, etc. It may not be amiss to note the fact that the phrase throughout the Bible denotes incandescent wood. The nearest approach to its use by Ezekiel is in 2 Samuel 22:9, 13. For "lamps," read, with the Revised Version, "torches." Here the vision of Ezekiel, in which the living creatures were thus incandescent, bathed, as it were, in the fire that played around them, yet not consumed, followed in the path of previous symbols - of the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), of the pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:22), of the fire on Sinai (Exodus 19:18), of the "fire of the Lord" (Numbers 11:1-3), and the "fire of God" (2 Kings 1:12). Speaking generally, "fire," as distinct from "light," seems to be the symbol of the power of God as manifested against evil. "Our God is a consuming Fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29). The red light of fire has in it an element of terror which is absent from the stainless white of the eternal glory, or from the sapphire of the visible firmament. Lightning (comp. Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18; Daniel 10:6; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:18). As for the likeness of the living creatures,.... That is, of their bodies; for their faces, feet, hands, and wings are described before:

their appearance was like burning coals of fire: because of their ministerial gifts; the gifts of the Spirit are compared to fire, and like coals of fire are to be stirred up, and not covered or quenched; Acts 2:3; and because of their clear shining light in the truths of the Gospel; and because of their ardent love to Christ, and the souls of men; the coals whereof give a most vehement flame, which all the waters of reproach and persecution cannot quench, Sol 8:6; and because of their burning zeal for the glory of God, and the interest of the Redeemer; hence they are called "seraphim", fiery or burning Isaiah 6:2;

and like the appearance of lamps: so the ministers of the Gospel are compared to lamps, which hold forth the light of the Gospel to the sons of men; they are the lights or lamps of the world, and some of them are bright burning and shining ones, as John was, Matthew 5:14;

it went up and down among the living creatures; that is, fire went up and down among them; so the Targum,

"and fire inflamed was among the creatures;''

by which may be meant the word of God, comparable to fire, Jeremiah 20:9; common to all the ministers of the Gospel, by which their minds are enlightened, and their hearts are warmed and filled with zeal, and by which they are the means of enlightening and warming others:

and the fire was bright; and clear, as the word of God is:

and out of the fire went forth lightning; by means of the ministry of the word, the kingdom and interest of Christ spread like lightning in the world, from east to west; so the coming of the son of man in his kingdom and power is compared to lightning, Matthew 24:27; it denotes the quick, penetrating, and enlightening power and efficacy of the word. 13. likeness … appearance—not tautology. "Likeness" expresses the general form; "appearance," the particular aspect.

coals of fire—denoting the intensely pure and burning justice wherewith God punishes by His angels those who, like Israel, have hardened themselves against His long-suffering. So in Isa 6:2, 6, instead of cherubim, the name "seraphim," the burning ones, is applied, indicating God's consuming righteousness; whence their cry to Him is, "Holy! holy! holy!" and the burning coal is applied to his lips, for the message through his mouth was to be one of judicial severance of the godly from the ungodly, to the ruin of the latter.

lamps—torches. The fire emitted sparks and flashes of light, as torches do.

went up and down—expressing the marvellous vigor of God's Spirit, in all His movements never resting, never wearied.

fire … bright—indicating the glory of God.

out of the fire … lightning—God's righteousness will at last cause the bolt of His wrath to fall on the guilty; as now, on Jerusalem.1:1-14 It is a mercy to have the word of God brought to us, and a duty to attend to it diligently, when we are in affliction. The voice of God came in the fulness of light and power, by the Holy Spirit. These visions seem to have been sent to possess the prophet's mind with great and high thoughts of God. To strike terror upon sinners. To speak comfort to those that feared God, and humbled themselves. In ver. 4-14, is the first part of the vision, which represents God as attended and served by a vast company of angels, who are all his messengers, his ministers, doing his commandments. This vision would impress the mind with solemn awe and fear of the Divine displeasure, yet raise expectations of blessings. The fire is surrounded with a glory. Though we cannot by searching find out God to perfection, yet we see the brightness round about it. The likeness of the living creatures came out of the midst of the fire; angels derive their being and power from God. They have the understanding of a man, and far more. A lion excels in strength and boldness. An ox excels in diligence and patience, and unwearied discharge of the work he has to do. An eagle excels in quickness and piercing sight, and in soaring high; and the angels, who excel man in all these respects, put on these appearances. The angels have wings; and whatever business God sends them upon, they lose no time. They stood straight, and firm, and steady. They had not only wings for motion, but hands for action. Many persons are quick, who are not active; they hurry about, but do nothing to purpose; they have wings, but no hands. But wherever the angels' wings carried them, they carried hands with them, to be doing what duty required. Whatever service they went about, they went every one straight forward. When we go straight, we go forward; when we serve God with one heart, we perform work. They turned not when they went. They made no mistakes; and their work needed not to be gone over again. They turned not from their business to trifle with any thing. They went whithersoever the Spirit of God would have them go. The prophet saw these living creatures by their own light, for their appearance was like burning coals of fire; they are seraphim, or burners; denoting the ardour of their love to God, and fervent zeal in his service. We may learn profitable lessons from subjects we cannot fully enter into or understand. But let us attend to the things which relate to our peace and duty, and leave secret things to the Lord, to whom alone they belong.
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Alphabetical: among and appearance back beings bright burning coals creatures darting fire flashed flashing forth from In it lightning like living looked midst moved of or out something that The there torches was

OT Prophets: Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living (Ezek. Eze Ezk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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