Ezekiel 1:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces.

New Living Translation
As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each.

English Standard Version
Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.

New American Standard Bible
Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them.

King James Bible
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When I looked at the living creatures, there was one wheel on the ground beside each creature that had four faces.

International Standard Version
As I observed the living beings, I noticed one wheel on the earth beside each being—that is, for the four of them.

NET Bible
Then I looked, and I saw one wheel on the ground beside each of the four beings.

New Heart English Bible
Now as I saw the living creatures, look, there was a wheel on the ground beside each living creature with it's four faces.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each of them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel at the bottom hard by the living creatures, at the four faces thereof.

New American Standard 1977
Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold a wheel upon the earth with its four rims by the living creatures.

King James 2000 Bible
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, with its four faces.

American King James Version
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel on the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

American Standard Version
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces thereof.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now as I beheld the living creatures, there appeared upon the earth by the living creatures one wheel with four faces.

Darby Bible Translation
And I looked at the living creatures, and behold, one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, toward their four faces.

English Revised Version
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces thereof.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

World English Bible
Now as I saw the living creatures, behold, one wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces of it.

Young's Literal Translation
And I see the living creatures, and lo, one wheel is in the earth, near the living creatures, at its four faces.
Study Bible
Vision of the Four Wheels
14And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning. 15Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them. 16The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another.…
Cross References
Ezekiel 1:19
Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also.

Ezekiel 3:13
And I heard the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another and the sound of the wheels beside them, even a great rumbling sound.

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.

Ezekiel 10:9
Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone.
Treasury of Scripture

Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel on the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

one

Ezekiel 1:19-21 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and …

Ezekiel 10:9,13-17 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel …

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days …

with

Ezekiel 1:6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

Revelation 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a …

(15) Behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures.--The prophet sees this while still looking intently upon the cherubim--" as I beheld the living creatures "--showing that it was still a part of one and the same vision. The wheel was one in the same sense in which the living creatures were one, yet actually four, as appears from the following verse and the whole subsequent description. In the corresponding vision (Ezekiel 10:9), they are at once described as four. The cherubim had been seen in the cloud (Ezekiel 1:4-5); now they need to be connected below with the earth, and presently (Ezekiel 1:26) above, with the throne of God. Therefore the wheel is "upon the earth," but of a great height (Ezekiel 1:18). There was a wheel in front of each of the cherubim, again forming a square, yet so that, as already said, they might in a sense be all considered as one wheel. Reference has been made for the origin of this imagery to the wheels under the ten bases of Solomon's Temple (1Kings 7:32-33); but there seems to be nothing either in size or form to correspond, and, so far as we know, the imagery here is purely original.

Verse 15. - Behold one wheel, etc. As the prophet gazed, yet another marvel presented itself - a "wheel" was seen. It is "by" or "beside" (Revised Version) the living creatures, and "for each of the four faces thereof" (Revised Version); i.e. as the next verse states definitely, there were four wheels. We may compare the analogues of the "wheels" of fire in the theophany of Daniel 7:9, and the chariot of the cherubim in 1 Chronicles 28:18. Now as I beheld the living creatures,.... While he had the vision of them, and when he was considering their form and likeness, and what should be the meaning of them:

behold, one wheel upon the earth; the Jews (r) understand this of an angel, who stood upon the earth, and his head reached to the living creatures, and his name is Sandalphon; and so many expositors interpret the wheels of angels: but the more common interpretation of them is, that they design the visible world, and all things in it, which are movable and uncertain; though the true interpretation of them, as of the living creatures, is to be fetched from the vision in the fourth chapter of Revelation and as the four living creatures here are the same with the four beasts there; so the wheels are the same with the four and twenty elders, the representatives of Gospel churches, as appears by both being in the same situation; as there is a throne, and next to that the four beasts, and next to them the four and twenty elders, Revelation 4:3; here also is a throne, and next to the throne the four living creatures or cherubim, and next the living creatures, and by the side of them the wheels, Ezekiel 10:1; and this is further manifest by their being both under the same influence and motion; as the four beasts were the first agents and movers, and the four and twenty elders were directed by them, who went before them in their devotion, Revelation 4:9; so the wheels moved as the living creatures did; when the living creatures went, they went; when they stood, the wheels stood; and when the creatures were lifted up, the wheels were also, Ezekiel 1:19; and the wheels are a very proper emblem of churches under the Gospel dispensation; partly for their round form, a symbol of perfection; the churches of Christ being more perfect under the gospel dispensation than the church was under the legal one: and partly for their movableness from place to place; churches are not always in the same place; they have been removed from Judea into the Gentile world; and they have wheeled about there, sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another: as also for their changeable state and situation; being sometimes in prosperity, and sometimes in adversity: likewise for the work done by them; many things are done by the help and with the use of wheels; much work is done in and by the churches of Christ; here the Gospel is preached, ordinances administered, divine worship in all its parts performed, sinners are converted, and saints are edified and comforted; and as, when wheels are in motion, they make a great noise and rattling; so when there is any great work going on in the churches of Christ, it makes a great noise in the world; as at the first preaching and spread of the Gospel, both in Judea, and among the Gentiles; and at the time of the Reformation; and as there will be when antichrist shall be destroyed, and the Gospel shall be spread all the world over, Revelation 19:1; to which may be added, that these wheels, together with the cherubim or living creatures, make a chariot; and as the cherubim in the temple are called the chariot of the cherubim, 1 Chronicles 28:18; so the author of Ecclesiasticus in the Apocrypha,

"It was Ezekiel who saw the glorious vision, which was shewed him upon the chariot of the cherubims.'' (Sirach 49:8)

says, that Ezekiel was shown the glorious vision upon the chariot of the cherubim; and nothing is more common with the Jews than to call this vision of Ezekiel "mercavah", or "chariot". So in the Targum on 1 Kings 7:33; it is said,

"the work of the wheels was as the work of the wheels of the glorious chariot;''

meaning this in Ezekiel; and a chariot is a fit emblem of the churches of Christ, in which he rides about the world, and does his work; see Sol 3:9; and though but one wheel is here mentioned, yet it appears that there were "four", as in Ezekiel 1:16; a wheel by every living creature; so though there is but one general assembly and church of the firstborn written in heaven, of which Christ is the head, and for which he gave himself; yet there are many particular congregated churches, which may be signified by the number "four"; partly with respect to the four parts of the world, where Christ has an interest, and which will more manifestly appear in the latter day; and partly with respect to the four living creatures, a wheel to every cherub, a church to every minister and pastor; for though sometimes there have been more pastors than one to a church, when large, yet never more than one church under the care of one pastor: moreover, this wheel or wheels were seen "upon the earth"; which is observed, to distinguish the church militant from the church triumphant in heaven; and to point out the place where the churches are; which though they consist of men that are not of the world, yet they are in the world: as also to denote the firmness of them; they are on the earth, not in the air or sea, where wheels cannot move and rolls; but upon "terra firma", and that to the churches, is Christ Jesus; and may also signify, that the mutability and movableness of churches are only while they are on earth, in, the present state of things: it follows,

by the living creatures: that is, the wheel or wheels were seen by the side of the living creatures; which is more fully expressed in Ezekiel 10:9; churches are placed by the ministers of the Gospel, to direct them in matters of faith and worship; to put them in motion; to stir them up to the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty; to watch over them in the Lord; and to feed them with spiritual knowledge and understanding:

with his four faces; either the living creatures; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "having four faces": and the meaning is that the wheel or wheels were on, the four sides of the living creatures: or rather, as Jarchi, the wheels, four faces; for upon every wheel there were the same four faces as were in the living creatures, as, is clear from Ezekiel 10:13; there being a great likeness between Gospel churches and Gospel ministers: the "first" was the face of a "cherub" or "ox"; which may denote the patience of Gospel churches, and the members thereof, in bearing afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, for the sake of Christ; their meditation on the word of God continually, the ox being a creature that chews the cud; and their constancy and laboriousness in the work of the Lord: the "second" was the face of a "man"; which may be expressive of their knowledge and understanding of divine and spiritual things; and of their tenderheartedness, sympathy, and compassion, one towards another, in distressed circumstances: the "third" was the face of a "lion"; signifying their boldness and intrepidity in, the cause of Christ, and the profession of his name: and the "fourth" was the face of an "eagle"; showing that they mount up on the wings of faith and love, as on eagles' wings; that they soar aloft, and dwell on high, and have their affections set on things in heaven, and not on earth. Cocceius interprets the wheel or wheels of the word of God, and the course of the ministry of it, under the influence of the Spirit; and so Starckius of late.

(r) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 13. 2.15. one wheel—The "dreadful height" of the wheel (Eze 1:18) indicates the gigantic, terrible energy of the complicated revolutions of God's providence, bringing about His purposes with unerring certainty. One wheel appeared traversely within another, so that the movement might be without turning, whithersoever the living creatures might advance (Eze 1:17). Thus each wheel was composed of two circles cutting one another at right angles, "one" only of which appeared to touch the ground ("upon the earth"), according to the direction the cherubim desired to move in.

with his four faces—rather, "according to its four faces" or sides; as there was a side or direction to each of the four creatures, so there was a wheel for each of the sides [Fairbairn]. The four sides or semicircles of each composite wheel pointed, as the four faces of each of the living creatures, to the four quarters of heaven. Havernick refers "his" or "its" to the wheels. The cherubim and their wings and wheels stood in contrast to the symbolical figures, somewhat similar, then existing in Chaldea, and found in the remains of Assyria. The latter, though derived from the original revelation by tradition, came by corruption to symbolize the astronomical zodiac, or the sun and celestial sphere, by a circle with wings or irradiations. But Ezekiel's cherubim rise above natural objects, the gods of the heathen, to the representation of the one true God, who made and continually upholds them.1:15-25 Providence, represented by the wheels, produces changes. Sometimes one spoke of the wheel is uppermost, sometimes another; but the motion of the wheel on its own axletree is regular and steady. We need not despond in adversity; the wheels are turning round and will raise us in due time, while those who presume in prosperity know not how soon they may be cast down. The wheel is near the living creatures; the angels are employed as ministers of God's providence. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels; the same wisdom, power, and holiness of God, that guide and govern the angels, by them order all events in this lower world. The wheel had four faces, denoting that the providence of God exerts itself in all parts. Look every way upon the wheel of providence, it has a face toward you. Their appearance and work were as a wheel in the middle of a wheel. The disposals of Providence seem to us dark, perplexed, and unaccountable, yet are all wisely ordered for the best. The motion of these wheels was steady, regular, and constant. They went as the Spirit directed, therefore returned not. We should not have to undo that by repentance which we have done amiss, if we followed the guidance of the Spirit. The rings, or rims of the wheels were so vast, that when put in motion the prophet was afraid to look upon them. The consideration of the height and depth of God's counsel should awe us. They were full of eyes round about. The motions of Providence are all directed by infinite Wisdom. All events are determined by the eyes of the Lord, which are in every place beholding the evil and the good; for there is no such thing as chance or fortune. The firmament above was a crystal, glorious, but terribly so. That which we take to be a dark cloud, is to God clear as crystal, through which he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth. When the angels had roused a careless world, they let down their wings, that God's voice might be plainly heard. The voice of Providence is to open men's ears to the voice of the word. Sounds on earth should awaken our attention to the voice from heaven; for how shall we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from thence.
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OT Prophets: Ezekiel 1:15 Now as I saw the living creatures (Ezek. Eze Ezk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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