Ezekiel 10:1
Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
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(1) As it were a sapphire stone.—Comp. Ezekiel 1:26. No mention is here made of a being upon the throne, but it is implied by the “he spake” of the following verse. The word cherubim corresponds throughout this chapter to the living creatures of Ezekiel 1.

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.10:1-7 The fire being taken from between the wheels, under the cherubim, ch. 1:13, seems to have signified the wrath of God to be executed upon Jerusalem. It intimated that the fire of Divine wrath, which kindles judgment upon a people, is just and holy; and in the great day, the earth, and all the works that are therein, will be burnt up.As in Ezekiel 1, the vision of the glory of the Lord, the particulars given identifying the two visions. CHAPTER 10

Eze 10:1-22. Vision of Coals of Fire Scattered over the City: Repetition of the Vision of the Cherubim.

1. The throne of Jehovah appearing in the midst of the judgments implies that whatever intermediate agencies be employed, He controls them, and that the whole flows as a necessary consequence from His essential holiness (Eze 1:22, 26).

cherubim—in Eze 1:5, called "living creatures." The repetition of the vision implies that the judgments are approaching nearer and nearer. These two visions of Deity were granted in the beginning of Ezekiel's career, to qualify him for witnessing to God's glory amidst his God-forgetting people and to stamp truth on his announcements; also to signify the removal of God's manifestation from the visible temple (Eze 10:18) for a long period (Eze 43:2). The feature (Eze 10:12) mentioned as to the cherubim that they were "full of eyes," though omitted in the former vision, is not a difference, but a more specific detail observed by Ezekiel now on closer inspection. Also, here, there is no rainbow (the symbol of mercy after the flood of wrath) as in the former; for here judgment is the prominent thought, though the marking of the remnant in Eze 9:4, 6 shows that there was mercy in the background. The cherubim, perhaps, represent redeemed humanity combining in and with itself the highest forms of subordinate creaturely life (compare Ro 8:20). Therefore they are associated with the twenty-four elders and are distinguished from the angels (Re 5:1-14). They stand on the mercy seat of the ark, and on that ground become the habitation of God from which His glory is to shine upon the world. The different forms symbolize the different phases of the Church. So the quadriform Gospel, in which the incarnate Saviour has lodged the revelation of Himself in a fourfold aspect, and from which His glory shines on the Christian world, answers to the emblematic throne from which He shone on the Jewish Church.The vision, of the coals of fire, which are ordered to be taken from between the cherubims, and scattered over the city, Ezekiel 10:1-7. The vision of the cherubims and the glory of God removing from the temple, Ezekiel 10:8-22.

Then, or And, which connecting this with the ninth chapter, will connote the time wherein he thus saw.

I looked, in spirit or vision; and this vision is the same of Ezekiel 1., repeated, or very little differing from it, and with some particular design, which that of Ezekiel 1 did not express, viz. a design of leaving the temple and city desolate. In the firmament: see Ezekiel 1:22,26.

The cherubims; called living creatures Ezekiel 1:5, which see.

A sapphire stone: see Ezekiel 1:26,27, where these things are spoken to.

Then I looked, and, behold,.... After the vision of the destruction of the greater part of the inhabitants of Jerusalem by the six men with slaughter weapons, and of the preservation of a few by the man clothed with linen; another vision is seen by the prophet, in some things like to that he saw, of which there is an account in the first chapter; though in some circumstances different, and exhibited with a different view; partly to represent the destruction of Jerusalem by fire, and partly the Lord's removal from it, before or at that time:

in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim; the same with the living creatures, Ezekiel 1:22; where the firmament or expanse of heaven is said to be over their heads, as here; See Gill on Ezekiel 1:22,

there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne; See Gill on Ezekiel 1:26.

Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the {a} cherubim there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.

(a) Which in Eze 1:5 he called the four beasts.

1. in the firmament] upon or above. Ezekiel 10:4 assumes that the glory of the Lord had returned from the threshold of the house, where it stood (ch. Ezekiel 9:3), and again appeared above the cherubim. The fact was either unremarked by the prophet or at least has not been mentioned by him. On the firmament and throne, cf. ch. Ezekiel 1:26 seq.Verses 1, 2. - Then I looked, etc. There follows on the work of judgment another theophany, like that of Ezekiel 1:15-28. In the "expanse," or firmament, like the "terrible crystal," there is seen as before the likeness of a sapphire throne (see Ezekiel 1:26, note). The form of the man who is the manifestation of Jehovah is implied, though not named. It is he who speaks to the captain of the six ministers of vengeance, himself the seventh, and bids him go in beneath the "whirling wheels" that are beneath the cherub (collective singular, as in Ezekiel 9:9), and fill his hands with coals of fire (Ezekiel 1:13), and scatter them over the city, as the symbol of its doom. We are reminded of Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 6:6); but there the work of the fire was to purify, here simply to destroy. Vers 3, 4. - Now the cherubim stood, etc. The position of the cherubim is defined, with a vivid distinctness of detail, which once more reminds us of Dante. They had been standing on the right, i.e. the southern side of the sanctuary. What follows is probably a reproduction of the change of positions described in Ezekiel 9:3, and the verbs should be taken, therefore, as pluperfects. The cloud of glory, as in 1 Kings 8:10, 11 and Isaiah 6:1, 2, the Shechinah, that was the taken of the Divine presence, filled the court, but the glory itself had moved to the threshold at the first stage of its departure. Fourth Abomination: Worship of the Sun by the Priests

Ezekiel 8:16. And He took me into the inner court of the house of Jehovah, and behold, at the entrance into the temple of Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, as it were five and twenty men,with their backs towards the temple of Jehovah and their faces towards the east; they were worshipping the sun towards the east. Ezekiel 8:17. And He said to me, Seest thou this, son of Man? Is it too little for the house of Judah to perform the abominations which they are performing here, that they also fill the land with violence, and provoke me to anger again and again? For behold they stretch out the vine-branch to their nose. Ezekiel 8:18. But I also will act in fury; my eye shall not look compassionately, and I will not spare; and if they cry with a loud voice in my ears, I will not hear them. - After Ezekiel has seen the idolatrous abominations in the outer court, or place for the people, he is taken back into the inner court, or court of the priests, to see still greater abominations there. Between the porch of the temple and the altar of burnt-offering, the most sacred spot therefore in the inner court, which the priests alone were permitted to tread (Joel 2:17), he sees as if twenty-five men, with their backs toward the temple, were worshipping the sun in the east. כּ before עשׂרים is not a preposition, circa, about, but a particle of comparison (an appearance): as if twenty-five men; after the analogy of כּ before an accusative (vid., Ewald, 282d). For the number here is not an approximative one; but twenty-five is the exact number, namely, the twenty-four leaders of the classes of priests (1 Chronicles 24:5.; 2 Chronicles 36:14; Ezra 10:5), with the high priest at the head (see Lightfoot's Chronol. of O.T., Opp. I. 124). As the whole nation was seen in the seventy elders, so is the entire priesthood represented here in the twenty-five leaders as deeply sunk in disgraceful idolatry. Their apostasy from the Lord is shown in the fact that they turn their back upon the temple, and therefore upon Jehovah, who was enthroned in the temple, and worship the sun, with their faces turned towards the east. The worship of the sun does not refer to the worship of Adonis, as Hvernick supposes, although Adonis was a sun-god; but generally to the worship of the heavenly bodies, against which Moses had warned the people (Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3), and which found its way in the time of Manasseh into the courts of the temple, whence it was afterwards expelled by Josiah (2 Kings 23:5, 2 Kings 23:11). The form משׁתתּויתם must be a copyist's error for משׁתּחוים; as the supposition that it is an unusual form, with a play upon השׁחית,

(Note: "An extraordinary form, invented for the purpose of more effectually expressing their extraordinary abomination." - Lightfoot.)

is precluded by the fact that it would in that case be a 2nd per. plur. perf., and such a construction is rendered impossible by the המּה which immediately precedes it (cf. Ewald, 118a).

To these idolatrous abominations Judah has added other sins, as if these abominations were not bad enough in themselves. This is the meaning of the question in Ezekiel 8:17, 'הנּקל וגו: is it too little for the house of Judah, etc.? נקל with מן, as in Isaiah 49:6. To indicate the fulness of the measure of guilt, reference is again briefly made to the moral corruption of Judah. חמס embraces all the injuries inflicted upon men; תּועבות, impiety towards God, i.e., idolatry. By violent deeds they provoke God repeatedly to anger (שׁוּב, followed by an infinitive, expresses the repetition of an action). The last clause of Ezekiel 8:17 ('והנּם שׁלחים וגו) is very obscure. The usual explanation, which has been adopted by J. D. Michaelis and Gesenius: "they hold the twig to their nose," namely, the sacred twig Barsom, which the Parsees held in their hands when praying (vid., Hyde, de relig. vet. Pars. p. 350, ed. 2; and Kleuker, Zend-Avesta, III. p. 204), suits neither the context nor the words. According to the position of the clause in the context, we do not expect an allusion to a new idolatrous rite, but an explanation of the way in which Judah had excited the wrath of God by its violent deeds. Moreover, זמורה is not a suitable word to apply to the Barsom - Zemōrâh is a shoot or tendril of the vine (cf. Ezekiel 15:2; Isaiah 17:10; Numbers 13:23). The Barsom, on the other hand, consisted of bunches of twigs of the tree Gez or Hom, or of branches of the pomegranate, the tamarisk, or the date (cf. Kleuker l.c., and Strabo, XV. 733), and was not held to the nose, but kept in front of the mouth as a magical mode of driving demons away (vid., Hyde, l.c.). Lastly, שׁלח אל does not mean to hold anything, but to stretch out towards, to prepare to strike, to use violence. Of the other explanations given, only two deserve any consideration - namely, first, the supposition that it is a proverbial expression, "to apply the twig to anger," in the sense of adding fuel to the fire, which Doederlein (ad Grotii adnott.) applies in this way, "by these things they supply food, as it were, to my wrath, which burns against themselves," i.e., they bring fuel to the fire of my wrath. Lightfoot gives a similar explanation in his Hor. hebr. ad John 15:6. The second is that of Hitzig: "they apply the sickle to their nose," i.e., by seeking to injure me, they injure themselves. In this case זמורה must be taken in the sense of מזמּרה, a sickle or pruning-knife, and pointed זמורה. The saying does appear to be a proverbial one, but the origin and meaning of the proverb have not yet been satisfactorily explained. - Ezekiel 8:18. Therefore will the Lord punish unsparingly (cf. Ezekiel 7:4, Ezekiel 7:9; Ezekiel 5:11). This judgment he shows to the prophet in the two following chapters.

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