|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 20. - Whithersoever the spirit was to go, etc. The secret of the coincidence of the movements of the "living creatures" and of the "wheels" was found in the fact, which the prophet's intuition grasped, that the phenomena of life and law had one and the same originating source. For "the spirit of the living creature" (singular, because the four are regarded as one complex whole), the LXX., Vulgate, and Revised Version margin, give "the spirit of life," a rendering tenable in itself, but the contextual meaning of the word is in favour of the Authorized Version and the Revised Version text.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whithersoever the spirit was to go they went,.... That is, the Spirit of God; wherever that leads and directs, whether in the paths of faith or duty, they follow; they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; he guides their feet in the way of peace, and into all truth; and leads them in a right way to the land of uprightness:
thither was their spirit to go; their spirits or souls being regenerated by the spirit of God, are moved and actuated by him, and readily go where that directs:
and the wheels were lifted up over against them; that is, over against the living creatures; being by their sides going where they go, and being lifted up when they are:
for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels; the same Spirit of God, which is a spirit of life, a quickening spirit, and a free spirit; which gives motion and liberty in religious exercises; that which is in the ministers of the Gospel is in the churches of God; there is but one Spirit, and ministers and members are actuated and influenced by it; see Ephesians 4:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. the spirit was to go—that is, their will was for going whithersoever the Spirit was for going.
over against them—rather, beside or in conjunction with them.
spirit of the living creature—put collectively for "the living creatures"; the cherubim. Having first viewed them separately, he next views them in the aggregate as the composite living creature in which the Spirit resided. The life intended is that connected with God, holy, spiritual life, in the plenitude of its active power.
Ezekiel 1:20 Parallel Commentaries
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