|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 7. - Their feet were straight feet, etc. The noun is probably used as including the lower part of the leg, and what is meant is that the legs were not bent, or kneeling. What we may call the bovine symbolism appears at the extremity, and the actual foot is round like a calf's. The LXX. curiously enough gives "their feet were winged (πτερωτοὶ)." Burnished brass. Probably a shade less brilliant, or more ruddy, than the electrum of ver. 4 (see note there).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And their feet were straight feet,.... And they went straight forward, as in Ezekiel 1:12; they made straight paths for their feet, and walked uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel; did not go into crooked paths, or turn to the right hand, or the left; and having put their hand to the plough of the Gospel neither looked back, nor turned back.
And or "for"
the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; round, and the hoof divided, and fit for treading out the corn, in which oxen were employed; denoting the firmness and constancy of ministers in their work, treading out the corn of the word for the nourishment of souls, to whom they minister. The Septuagint render it, "their feet were winged"; or "flying", as the Arabic version; in like manner as Mercury, the Heathen god, is painted: this may denote the readiness and swiftness of Gospel ministers to do their master's work; their feet being shod with the preparation of the Gospel, and so very beautiful, Ephesians 6:15. The Targum is,
"the sole of their feet as the sole of feet that are round (l), and they moved the world where they went;''
and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass; that is, their feet; being burning and shining lights in their conversation, as well as in their doctrine; see Revelation 1:15.
(l) So R. Sol. Urbin, Ohel Moed, fol. 60. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. straight feet—that is, straight legs. Not protruding in any part as the legs of an ox, but straight like a man's [Grotius]. Or, like solid pillars; not bending, as man's, at the knee. They glided along, rather than walked. Their movements were all sure, right, and without effort [Kitto, Cyclopedia].
sole … calf's foot—Henderson hence supposes that "straight feet" implies that they did not project horizontally like men's feet, but vertically as calves' feet. The solid firmness of the round foot of a calf seems to be the point of comparison.
colour—the glittering appearance, indicating God's purity.
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