Ezekiel 1:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome.

New Living Translation
Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal.

English Standard Version
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads.

New American Standard Bible
Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The shape of an expanse, with a gleam like awe-inspiring crystal, was spread out over the heads of the living creatures.

International Standard Version
There was spread out over the heads of the living beings what looked like a canopy, in outward appearance resembling ice,

NET Bible
Over the heads of the living beings was something like a platform, glittering awesomely like ice, stretched out over their heads.

New Heart English Bible
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, like glittering ice, it was awesome to look upon, stretched out over their heads above.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Something like a dome was spread over the heads of the living creatures. It looked like dazzling crystal.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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.

New American Standard 1977
Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, extended over their heads.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And over the heads of each living creature there appeared a heaven like a marvellous crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

King James 2000 Bible
And the likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creature was as the color of awesome crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

American King James Version
And the likeness of the firmament on the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

American Standard Version
And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the terrible crystal to look upon, stretched forth over their heads above.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And over the heads of the living creatures was the likeness of the firmament, as the appearance of crystal terrible to behold, and stretched out over their heads above.

Darby Bible Translation
And there was the likeness of an expanse over the heads of the living creature, as the look of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

English Revised Version
And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

World English Bible
Over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the awesome crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above.

Young's Literal Translation
And a likeness is over the heads of the living creatures of an expanse, as the colour of the fearful ice, stretched out over their heads from above.
Study Bible
Vision of the Divine Glory
21Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. 22Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads. 23Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other.…
Cross References
Revelation 4:6
And before the throne was something like a sea of glass, as clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, covered with eyes in front and back.

Ezekiel 1:25
And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.

Ezekiel 1:26
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.

Ezekiel 10:1
Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.

Ezekiel 10:20
These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim.
Treasury of Scripture

And the likeness of the firmament on the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

the likeness

Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness …

Ezekiel 10:1 Then I looked, and, behold…

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it …

Job 37:22 Fair weather comes out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

Revelation 4:3,6 And he that sat was to look on like a jasper and a sardine stone: …

Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, …

crystal
The Hebrew {kerach}, which generally denotes {ice}, doubtless here signifies crystal, [], from [], cold, ice, and [], to concrete,) as it is rendered by the LXX and Vulgate. It is a very large class of silicious minerals, hard, pellucid, naturally colourless, of regularly angular figures, and of simple plates; not flexible, not elastic, but giving fire with steel; not fermenting by acid menstura, but calcinable in a strong fire. There are three orders of pure crystal: the first is perfect columnar crystals, with double pyramids, of eighteen planes, in an hexangular pyramid at each end; the second is that of perfect crystals, with single pyramids, of ten or twelve planes, in an hexangular or pentangular column. [Terrible crystal] seems to denote that which was well cut and polished, vividly refracting the rays of light.

(22) The likeness of the firmament.--The word rendered "firmament" has undoubtedly originated, etymologically, from a verb originally signifying to beat out, as in the case of metals; but the derivative word, in its use in connection with the heavens, had wholly lost this reference, and had come to mean simply an expanse. The Hebrews do not appear to have ever entertained the classical idea of the sky as a metallic vault, the only passage seeming to indicate such a notion (Job 37:18) being capable of quite a different explanation. We are here to conceive, therefore, of that which was "stretched forth over their heads above" as a simple expanse, like the sky, as if he had said, "And above their heads was stretched forth the sky." This expanse is not represented as supported by the cherubim, or resting upon them, and it remained undisturbed when they let down their wings (Ezekiel 1:25). It was simply "stretched forth over their heads," at once separating them from, and yet uniting them with, the throne above. It fulfils, therefore, the complementary part to the wheels. They connected the vision with the earth; this connects it with God.

The colour of the terrible crystal--The expression "crystal" is doubtless derived from Exodus 24:10, as in turn it became the foundation for Revelation 4:6. Yet it is not here any particular crystal; the word is Merely used to convey some idea of the appearance of the expanse beneath the throne, clear as crystal, terrible in its dazzling brightness.

Verse 22. - And the likeness of the firmament, etc. The word is the same as that in Genesis 1, passim; Psalm 19:1; cf. 1; Daniel 12:3. It meets us again in vers. 23, 25, 26, and in 10:1, but does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament. What met the prophet's eye was the expanse, the "body of heaven in its clearness" (Exodus 24:10), the deep intense blue of an Eastern sky. Like the colour of the terrible crystal, etc. The Hebrew noun is not found elsewhere. Its primary meaning, like that of the Greek κρύσταλλος, is that of "cold," and I incline therefore to the margin of the Revised Version, "ice." Rock crystal, seen, as it is, in small masses, and in its pure colourless transparency, hardly suggests the idea of terror; but the intense brightness of masses of ice, as shining in the morning sun, might well make that impression. Had Ezekiel seen the glories of a mountain throne of ice as he looked up, on his nay from Palestine to Chaldea, at the heights of Lebanon, or Hermon, and thought of them as the fitting symbol of the throne of God? We note, in this connection, the use of "terrible" in Job 37:22 (see note on ver. 4). And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature,.... This was not a real firmament, but the likeness of one; it was like the firmament which God created on the second day, which divided between the waters above and below, and which he called Heaven; and is no other than the airy and starry heavens. Its name is in Hebrew "an expanse"; from its being stretched out as a curtain, and a tent to dwell in; and a "firmament" from its firmness and continuance; and therefore called the firmament of his power, Genesis 1:8, Psalm 150:1; and this visionary one was "over the heads of the living creatures"; which shows that they could not be angels, for those have their habitation in the third heaven, above the firmament; much less in hieroglyphic of the trinity of Persons, who are the three that bear record in heaven, and are not under the firmament; but ministers of the Gospel, who are on earth, and are subject to Christ, whose throne is above the firmament, Ezekiel 1:26; and who receive their commission and gifts from him, and are accountable to him. This firmament

was as the colony of the tenable crystal; crystal is a very white, transparent, precious stone, resembling ice, from whence it has its name; hence Pliny (t) thought it was no other than ice vehemently frozen; and here it is called "terrible", because exceeding clear and bright, so that there was no looking upon it, without the eyes being dazzled with the glory of it. The sky is called a molten looking glass, in which the glory of God, and his handiwork, may be seen, Job 37:18; and as the throne of Christ was over this crystal firmament, it shows that, though he is in heaven, he sees all that is done on earth, and in his churches, and by his ministers; and the saints also see him by faith, and through the glass of the Gospel: it is only a crystal firmament that is between them,

stretched forth over their heads above; that is, over the heads of the living creatures, as before; said to be stretched out, in allusion to its name, an expanse, as before observed.

(t) Nat. Hit. l. 37. c. 2.22. upon the heads—rather, "above the heads" [Fairbairn].

colour—glitter.

terrible crystal—dazzling the spectator by its brightness.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 1:22 Over the head of the living creature (Ezek. Eze Ezk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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