Ezekiel 10:2
And he spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill your hand with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
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(2) Unto the man clothed with linen.—Hitherto, in Ezekiel 9, he has been employed only in a work of mercy and protection. It is not without significance that now the same person is made the agent of judgment. As God’s love is turned to wrath by man’s impenitence, and as His blessings given to man become curses by their abuse, so those employed by Him as the instruments of His loving-kindness become the very executioners of his “fury.” The “coals of fire,” the symbols of Divine wrath, are represented as “between the cherubim.” In every possible way it is signified that the impending doom is not from man’s will, however men may be used as its instruments, or from any accident, but from God Himself.

Scatter them over the city.—For its destruction. Perhaps the imagery does not signify anything more than destruction, without especial reference to the means employed; but 2Kings 25:9 and 2Chronicles 36:19 show that the Temple and city were actually burned by the Chaldæans, as was often done with conquered cities that had resisted obstinately.

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.He spake - The person enthroned.

The cherub - The particular cherub who was to hand the coals to destroy Psalm 120:4; Isaiah 10:16; Revelation 15:8.

2. he—Jehovah; He who sat on the "throne."

the man—the Messenger of mercy becoming the Messenger of judgment (see on [1024]Eze 9:2). Human agents of destruction shall fulfil the will of "the Man," who is Lord of men.

wheels—Hebrew, galgal, implying quick revolution; so the impetuous onset of the foe (compare Eze 23:24; 26:10); whereas "ophan," in Eze 1:15, 16 implies mere revolution.

coals of fire—the wrath of God about to burn the city, as His sword had previously slain its guilty inhabitants. This "fire," how different from the fire on the altar never going out (Le 6:12, 13), whereby, in type, peace was made with God! Compare Isa 33:12, 14. It is therefore not taken from the altar of reconciliation, but from between the wheels of the cherubim, representing the providence of God, whereby, and not by chance, judgment is to fall.

He spake that sat on the throne, i.e. God, who rules the world and church.

Unto the man; to Christ, as before, Ezekiel 9:2.

Go in: it is said, Ezekiel 1:18, that the rings of the wheels were dreadful, but here is a Divine command which encourageth, and insureth, and lessens the dread and terror.

Between the wheels; whether between the four, or between the two foremost, or hindermost, or either, between the wheels that made up one wheel, is not material to inquire.

Fill thine hand: this expresseth the fainess of vengeance which would overtake them, and the certainty and speediness of judgments; for such a quantity of coals in the hand ready to be scattered abroad will very soon set all in a flame.

From between the cherubims; either to intimate to us that this fire was the vengeance of God upon them; for he sits between the cherubims, and is consuming fire to sin; or to intimate that the vengeance was for sins against the grace of God, who sat between the cherubims, and thence gave out his grace toward Israel, Exodus 25:20-22 Hebrews 9:5. But abused grace will kindle into fire.

Scatter them over the city, that it may take fire in all parts, and none may escape; so cast the fire, that the coals may fall on every part.

He went in in my sight; which assured the prophet of the certainty, and intimated too the speed of the effect, which will be within five years’ space. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen,.... That is, the God of Israel, or the glory of the Lord, that sat upon the throne before described; he gave orders to the man clothed in linen, who appears in another character, and represents the Chaldean or Roman army:

and said, go in between the wheels, even under the cherub; the singular for the plural, the "cherubim"; the wheels were under these; the churches are under their ministers, their pastors, guides, and governors; or rather, since the wheels were by the cherubim, it should be rendered, as by some, "unto the cherub", or "cherubim" (a):

and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city; these "coals of fire" were an emblem of the wrath of God against Jerusalem, and of the destruction of it by fire; and these being fetched from between the cherubim, show that the cause of this wrath and ruin was the ill treatment of the prophets of the Lord; see 2 Chronicles 36:15; as the destruction of the same city afterwards by the Romans was owing, as to the rejection and killing of the Messiah, so to the prosecution of his apostles, 1 Thessalonians 2:15;

and he went in my sight; in the sight of the prophet, as it appeared to him in vision he saw him go in, as he was ordered, between the wheels, and under the cherubim; but as yet he did not see him take the coals of fire, and much less scatter them; these were afterwards done, as related in the other part of the vision.

(a) "in locum cerubinorum, vel cheruborum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ad cherubim", Tigurine version; which is approved by Noldius, p. 84. No. 398.

And he spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thy hand with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over {b} the city. And he entered in my sight.

(b) This signified that the city would be burnt.

2. between the wheels] The word is singular and occurs again Ezekiel 10:13, being used as a collective to describe the whole wheel-work. There were four wheels (a different word) which are called here collectively wheelwork, lit. whirling. The word is used of the whirlwind or tempest (Psalm 77:18), but also of chariot wheels (Isaiah 5:28; Ezekiel 23:24; Ezekiel 26:10).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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