Ezekiel 10:11
When they went, they went on their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:8-22 Ezekiel sees the working of Divine providence in the government of the lower world, and the affairs of it. When God is leaving a people in displeasure, angels above, and all events below, further his departure. The Spirit of life, the Spirit of God, directs all creatures, in heaven and on earth, so as to make them serve the Divine purpose. God removes by degrees from a provoking people; and, when ready to depart, would return to them, if they were a repenting, praying people. Let this warn sinners to seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call on him while he is near, and cause us all to walk humbly and watchfully with our God.The head - Either "the leading wheel which the others followed," or more probably, the head of a cherub (one for all), the description passing from the wheels to the cherubim Ezekiel 10:12. 11. (See on [1028]Eze 1:17).

turned not—without accomplishing their course (Isa 55:11) [Grotius]. Rather, "they moved straight on without turning" (so Eze 1:9). Having a face towards each of the four quarters, they needed not to turn around when changing their direction.

whither … head looked—that is, "whither the head" of the animal cherub-form, belonging to and directing each wheel, "looked," thither the wheel "followed." The wheels were not guided by some external adventitious impetus, but by some secret divine impulse of the cherubim themselves.

When they went; whensoever they did go, what occasion soever they had to go.

They went; the wheels, moved by the cherubims, or that spirit of life which moved the living creatures. These wheels were so framed, that they could move on all four sides without the difficulty and delay of turning. See Ezekiel 1:17. The head of the living creatures; the Spirit, as Ezekiel 1:12,20: an admirable wisdom did guide and manage all.

They followed it; the wheels do certainly and orderly follow.

They turned not; divert not from the designed course and work till finished. When they went, they went upon their four sides,.... Which four sides they had, by being made in the transverse way before mentioned; just as the New Jerusalem church state is said to be foursquare, Revelation 21:16; and this may denote the uniformity of Gospel churches in every state and condition, prosperous and adverse; and the constancy of their walk, conduct, and conversation:

they turned not as they went: neither to the right hand or the left, but went on in the path of faith and duty, keeping close to the word of God, and keeping up a conversation, discipline, and worship, according to it:

but to the place where the head looked they, followed it; meaning either the rulers, guides, and governors of churches, pastors and elders; whose faith and conversation are followed by the members: or rather Christ himself, the head of the church, who is to be followed whithersoever he goes or directs: unless by the head is meant the same as the spirit, Ezekiel 1:20; the Spirit of God, by whom the true members of Gospel churches are led, and after whom they walk. The Targum is,

"the place to which the first turned (or looked), after it they went;''

that is, the first of the wheels; and so may signify that the primitive churches are the pattern after which all the churches in after ages are to go;

they turned not as they went; this is repeated partly for the confirmation of it; and partly to excite attention to it, as being worthy of observation; See Gill on Ezekiel 1:17.

When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they {f} turned not as they went.

(f) Until they had executed God's judgments.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. Ch. Ezekiel 1:17.

the head looked] i.e. the front of the chariot. The word is hardly to be rendered the principal, or foremost, referring to the wheels. Cf. ch. Ezekiel 1:12; Ezekiel 1:17.Verse 11. - Whither the head, etc. The word has been taken, as in Job 29:25, for the "chief" or "principal" wheel, that which for the time determined the course of the others. With all the complex structure of the cherubic chariot, all was simple in its action. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels, and that gave unity (Ezekiel 1:20). Intercession of the Prophet, and the Answer of the Lord

Ezekiel 9:8. And it came to pass when they smote and I remained, I fell upon my face, and carried, and said: Alas! Lord Jehovah, wilt Thou destroy all the remnant of Israel, by pouring out Thy wrath upon Jerusalem? Ezekiel 9:9. And He said to me: The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is immeasurably great, and the land is full of blood-guiltiness, and the city full of perversion; for they say Jehovah hath forsaken the land, and Jehovah seeth not. Ezekiel 9:10. So also shall my eye not look with pity, and I will not spare; I will give their way upon their head. Ezekiel 9:11. And, behold, the man clothed in white linen, who had the writing materials on his hip, brought answer, and said: I have done as thou hast commanded me. - The Chetib נאשׁאר is an incongruous form, composed of participle and imperfect fused into one, and is evidently a copyist's error. It is not to be altered into אשּׁאר, however (the 1st pers. imperf. Niph.), but to be read as a participle נשׁאר, and taken with כּהכּותם as a continuation of the circumstantial clause. For the words do not mean that Ezekiel alone was left, but that when the angels smote and he was left, i.e., was spared, was not smitten with the rest, he fell on his face, to entreat the Lord for mercy. These words and the prophet's intercession both apparently presuppose that among the inhabitants of Jerusalem there was no one found who was marked with the sign of the cross, and therefore could be spared. But this is by no means to be regarded as established. For, in the first place, it is not stated that all had been smitten by the angels; and, secondly, the intercession of the prophet simply assumes that, in comparison with the multitude of the slain, the number of those who were marked with the sign of the cross and spared was so small that it escaped the prophet's eye, and he was afraid that they might all be slain without exception, and the whole of the remnant of the covenant nation be destroyed. The שׁארית of Israel and Judah is the covenant nation in its existing state, when it had been so reduced by the previous judgments of God, that out of the whole of what was once so numerous a people, only a small portion remained in the land. Although God has previously promised that a remnant shall be preserved (Ezekiel 5:3-4), He does not renew this promise to the prophet, but begins by holding up the greatness of the iniquity of Israel, which admits of no sparing, but calls for the most merciless punishment, to show him that, according to the strict demand of justice, the whole nation has deserved destruction. מטּה (Ezekiel 9:9) is not equivalent to מוהט, oppression (Isaiah 58:9), but signifies perversion of justice; although משׁפּט is not mentioned, since this is also omitted in Exodus 23:2, where הטּה occurs in the same sense. For Ezekiel 9:9, vid., Ezekiel 8:12. For נתתּי 'דּרכּם בר (Ezekiel 9:10 and Ezekiel 11:21-22, 31), vid., 1 Kings 8:32. While God is conversing with the prophet, the seven angels have performed their work; and in Ezekiel 9:11 their leader returns to Jehovah with the announcement that His orders have been executed. He does this, not in his own name only, but in that of all the rest. The first act of the judgment is thus shown to the prophet in a figurative representation. The second act follows in the next chapter.

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