Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.Ezekiel 10:1-3. Then I looked, &c. — Most of this chapter has been explained in the notes on chap. 1. In the firmament, &c. — See Ezekiel 1:26. The repetition of the vision here signified that the heavy and terrible judgments of God were drawing nearer and nearer. He — That sat on the throne; spake unto the man clothed in linen — To the angel, as before, Ezekiel 9:2; and said, Go in between the wheels, under the cherub — Or, between the cherubim, according to the explication given Ezekiel 10:7. And fill thy hand with coals of fire — Which sparkled and ran up and down between the living creatures: see Ezekiel 1:13. This part of the vision signified that the city would shortly be consumed by fire. Coals of fire do elsewhere denote the divine vengeance. Now the cherubim — Which were part of the vision shown to the prophet; stood on the right side of the house — In the inner court, on the north side of the temple, Ezekiel 10:18; namely, the court of the priests. And the cloud filled the court — A splendour, or brightness, went before, and a cloud followed it. The splendour signified the clearness of the judgment; and the clouds, the storms of calamity which would follow it.
And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.
Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory.Ezekiel 10:4-7. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub — In token of his departure from the temple. The words may be better rendered, For the glory of the Lord had gone up, &c. For the prophet repeats here what he had related before, Ezekiel 9:3. And the house was filled with the cloud — The account here given must strike every reader as to its similarity with the description given of the Shechinah in the books of Moses and the first book of Kings. A bright cloud was the sign of God’s presence, which first filled the tabernacle, Exodus 40:35, (afterward the temple, 1 Kings 8:10,) where it fixed itself upon the mercy-seat, Leviticus 16:2. From whence God is said, so often in Scripture, to dwell between the cherubim. This glory now removed from the place where it used to appear in the inner sanctuary, and came down toward the porch of the temple, and stood, or fixed itself, partly in the temple and partly in the inner court adjoining to it: see note on Ezekiel 9:3. The glory stood, to show God’s unwillingness to leave his people, and give them time to return to him, and placed itself where it might be seen, both by priests and people, that both might be moved to repentance. And the sound of the cherubims’ wings, as the voice of the Almighty — As the sound of loud thunder. The cherubim, in the prophet’s vision, seem to have moved to attend upon the Shechinah, which now had taken its station at the threshold of the house. He went and stood beside, rather, between, the wheels.
And the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.
And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.
And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.
And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings.Ezekiel 10:8-13. There appeared in the cherubim the form of a man’s hand — See Ezekiel 1:8. The following verses to the 12th are the same, in substance, with Ezekiel 1:16-18, where see the notes. To the place where the head looked they followed, Ezekiel 10:11. Each wheel consisted of four semicircles in correspondence to the heads of each animal. It was cried unto them, O wheel — Or, move round, as some render the word. They were put in mind of continually attending upon their duty; for the wheels and living creatures were animated with the same principle of understanding and motion.
And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.
And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.
When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.
And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.
As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.
And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.Ezekiel 10:14. And every one had four faces — See notes on Ezekiel 1:6-10. The first had the face of a cherub — That is, of an ox, as appears by comparing this verse with Ezekiel 1:10. The word cherub, indeed, originally signifies an ox. The several faces are here represented in a different order from the description given of them Ezekiel 1:10, of which difference this reason may be assigned. In the first chapter the prophet saw this vision coming out of the north, and advancing southward, (Ezekiel 10:4,) where the face of a man, being placed on the south side, was first in view. The lion, being on the east part, was toward his right hand; the ox, being placed toward the west, was on his left; and the eagle was toward the north. This interpretation is justified from the situation of the standards of the several tribes of Israel in the wilderness, (Numbers 2:2; Numbers 2:10; Numbers 2:18; Numbers 2:25,) where Judah, whose standard was a lion, was placed on the east side; Reuben, whose standard was a man, was placed on the south; Ephraim, whose standard was an ox, was placed on the west; and Dan, whose standard was an eagle, was placed on the north side. Here the prophet is supposed to stand westward of the Shechinah, as that was moving eastward: so the ox was first in his view.
And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.Ezekiel 10:15-17. And the cherubims were lifted up — To attend upon the divine glory wherever it went, and particularly at its removal from the temple. This is the living creature, &c. — Here it is spoken of as only one living creature, though before it is called the living creatures; because it was, as it were, but one creature, of the likeness of four different animals. For the spirit of the living creature was in them — There is a perfect harmony between second causes in their dependance on, and subjection to, the one infinite, wise, good, holy, and just God. The Spirit of God directs all the creatures, upper and lower, so that they all serve the divine purpose. Events are not determined by the wheel of fortune, which is blind, but by the wheels of providence, which are full of eyes.
And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.
When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.Ezekiel 10:18-19. Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold, &c. — The cloud of glory, emblematical of the divine presence, now makes a further remove from the temple: it now quite left the house itself, and settled upon the cherubim, which stood in the court adjoining to it, Ezekiel 10:3. And the cherubims lifted up their wings: the wheels also — See Ezekiel 1:19; Ezekiel 1:26. And stood at the door of the east gate — This was a still further remove from the temple, (for the east gate was just at the entrance into the inner court before the temple,) to signify that the divine protection would entirely leave the house; and, God departing, the angels depart also, and withdraw that benefit and service which they gave before. Here, however, the glory of God, the cherubim, and the wheels, all stood, respiting execution, and giving opportunity of preventing the approaching misery.
And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.Ezekiel 10:20. This is the living creature, &c. — See Ezekiel 1:22-26. And I knew that they were the cherubims — Either by special assurance as a prophet, or from reading and hearing about those that were represented in the holy of holies.
Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.
And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.