Ezekiel 10:4
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.
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(4) The glory of the Lord went up from the cherub.—As in Ezekiel 10:2, the singular, cherub, instead of the usual plural. Here it is thought to designate, not the four living creatures of the vision, but the cherubim overshadowing the mercy-seat, and to indicate that the manifestation of the Divine presence now left the Holy of Holies, and went to the threshold of the door of the house, preparatory to leaving it altogether. The expression is obscure, since the place of the manifestation of the Divine presence in the most holy place is usually described as “between the cherubim” (Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1, &c.). Of the main point, however, there can be no doubt—that the Divine presence is represented as in the act of leaving the Temple. “The house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory” as He departed, in striking contrast with the similar manifestations (Exodus 40:34-35; 1Kings 8:10-11), when God accepted the tabernacle and the Temple as the peculiar place of His abode.

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.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.A repetition of Ezekiel 9:3. Now the glory of the Lord had gone up from the cherub to the threshold of the house. Ezekiel 10:4-6 describe what had occurred before the "man went in" Ezekiel 10:3. 4. The court outside was full of the Lord's brightness, while it was only the cloud that filled the house inside, the scene of idolatries, and therefore of God's displeasure. God's throne was on the threshold. The temple, once filled with brightness, is now darkened with cloud. The glory of the Lord; either the visible token of the presence of the God of glory; as Ezekiel 1:28 3:23 8:4; or Christ, who is the glory of the temple, and of his people, nay, is the brightness of his Father’s glory. Went up, in displeasure, and in token of his departure from the temple.

Stood over the threshold of the house; showing both his unwillingness to leave, and giving them time to bethink themselves, and return by repentance; and he stands where he might be seen both by priests and people, that both might be moved to repentance.

The house; the temple, the most venerable and privileged place.

Was filled; there had been a fulness of sin, there is now a fulness of sufferings.

With the cloud; a very great darkness followed upon Christ’s departure from the house.

The court was full of the brightness; not to reside there, but when Christ did turn his back upon the temple, and was coming through the court, a light of majesty shines before him, Psalm 18:12,13. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub,.... Or, "cherubim"; those that were upon the mercy seat, between which the Shechinah or glorious majesty of God dwelt, in the most holy place: this is a token and intimation of the Lord's leaving of the temple; and a little before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, to which this vision chiefly, if not together, refers, a voice was heard in the temple,

"let us go hence (b):''

and stood over the threshold of the house; either of the holy of holies, from whence he was removing; or rather of the holy place, the court of the priests, the inward court, and so open to the outward court, and view of the people in it:

and the house was filled with the cloud; the temple, being forsaken of God, was filled with darkness; as an emblem of that blindness which is come upon the Jews, and will continue on them till the fulness of the Gentiles brought in:

and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory; either the inward court, as the glory of the Lord passed through it, from the holy of holies; or rather the outward court, of which mention is made in Ezekiel 10:4; the glory of the Lord being on the threshold Of the house, which looked towards that, and so enlightened it. This outward court signifies the Gentiles; who, when the Lord removed from the Jewish nation and people, were favoured with the glorious light of the Gospel, and ordinances of Christ; whereby they were enlightened, and filled with the knowledge of the Lord; with the knowledge of him, who is the brightness of his father's glory, and the express image of his person; so through the fall of the Jews salvation came to the Gentiles, Romans 11:11.

(b) Josephus de Bello Judaeorum, l. 6. c. 5, sect. 3.

Then the glory of the LORD {c} 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.

(c) Meaning that the glory of God would depart from the temple.

4. Then the glory went up] This can hardly be rendered, and … had gone up; consequently the implication in Ezekiel 10:1 that the glory had returned to the cherubim from the threshold is confirmed.The Angels which Smite Jerusalem

At the call of Jehovah, His servants appear to execute the judgment. - Ezekiel 9:1. And He called in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Come hither, ye watchmen of the city, and every one his instrument of destruction in his hand. Ezekiel 9:2. And behold six men came by the way of the upper gage, which is directed toward the north, every one with his smashing-tool in his hand; and a man in the midst of them, clothed in white linen, and writing materials by his hip; and they came and stood near the brazen altar. Ezekiel 9:3. And the glory of the God of Israel rose up from the cherub, upon which it was, to the threshold of the house, and called to the man clothed in white linen, by whose hip the writing materials were. - פּקדּות העיר does not mean the punishments of the city. This rendering does not suit the context, since it is not the punishments that are introduced, but the men who execute them; and it is not established by the usage of the language. פּקדּה is frequently used, no doubt, in the sense of visitation or chastisement (e.g., Isaiah 10:3; Hosea 9:7); but it is not met with in the plural in this sense. In the plural it only occurs in the sense of supervision or protectorate, in which sense it occurs not only in Jeremiah 52:11 and Ezekiel 44:11, but also (in the singular) in Isaiah 60:17, and as early as Numbers 3:38, where it relates to the presidency of the priests, and very frequently in the Chronicles. Consequently פּקדּות are those whom God has appointed to watch over the city, the city-guard (2 Kings 11:18), - not earthly, but heavenly watchmen, - who are now to inflict punishment upon the ungodly, as the authorities appointed by God. קרבוּ is an imperative Piel, as in Isaiah 41:21, and must not be altered into קרבוּ (Kal), as Hitzig proposes. The Piel is used in an intransitive sense, festinanter appropinquavit, as in Ezekiel 36:8. The persons called come by the way of the upper northern gate of the temple, to take their stand before Jehovah, whose glory had appeared in the inner court. The upper gate is the gate leading from the outer court to the inner, or upper court, which stood on higher ground, - the gate mentioned in Ezekiel 8:3 and Ezekiel 8:5. In the midst of the six men furnished with smashing-tools there was one clothed in white byssus, with writing materials at his side. The dress and equipment, as well as the instructions which he afterwards receives and executes, show him to be the prince or leader of the others.

Kliefoth calls in question the opinion that these seven men are angels; but without any reason. Angels appearing in human form are frequently called אנשׁים or אישׁ, according to their external habitus. But the number seven neither presupposes the dogma of the seven archangels, nor is copied from the seven Parsic amschaspands. The dress worn by the high priest, when presenting the sin-offering on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 16:4, Leviticus 16:23), was made of בּד, i.e., of white material woven from byssus thread (see the comm. on Exodus 28:42). It has been inferred from this, that the figure clothed in white linen was the angel of Jehovah, who appears as the heavenly high priest, to protect and care for his own. In support of this, the circumstance may be also adduced, that the man whom Daniel saw above the water of the Tigris, and whose appearance is described, in Daniel 10:5-6, in the same manner as that of Jehovah in Ezekiel 1:4, Ezekiel 1:26-27, and that of the risen Christ in Revelation 1:13-15, appears clothed in בּדּים (Daniel 10:5; Daniel 12:6-7).

(Note: לבוּשׁ בּדּים is rendered by the lxx, in the passage before us, ἐνδεδυκώς ποδήρῃ. It is in accordance with this that Christ is described in Revelation 1:13 as clothed with a ποδήρης, and not after Daniel 10:5, as Hengstenberg supposes. In Daniel 10:5, the Septuagint has ἐνδεδυμένος βαδδίν or τὰ βαδδίν. In other places, the Sept. rendering of בּד is λίνον (thus Leviticus 16:4, Leviticus 16:23; Leviticus 6:3; Exodus 28:42, etc.); and hence the λίνον λαμπρόν of Revelation 15:6 answers to the בּד made of שׁשׁ, βύσσος, and is really the same as the βύσσινον λαμπρόν of Revelation 19:8.)

Nevertheless, we cannot regard this view as established. The shining white talar, which is evidently meant by the plural בּדּים, occurring only here and in Daniel (ut. sup.), is not a dress peculiar to the angel of Jehovah or to Christ. The seven angels, with the vials of wrath, also appear in garments of shining white linen (ἐνδεδυμένοι λίνον καθαρὸν λαμπρόν, Revelation 15:6); and the shining white colour, as a symbolical representation of divine holiness and glory (see comm. on Leviticus 16:4 and Revelation 19:8), is the colour generally chosen for the clothing both of the heavenly spirits and of "just men made perfect" (Revelation 19:8). Moreover, the angel with the writing materials here is described in a totally different manner from the appearance of Jehovah in Ezekiel 1 and Daniel 10, or that of Christ in Revelation 1; and there is nothing whatever to indicate a being equal with God. Again, the distinction between him and the other six men leads to no other conclusion, than that he stood in the same relation to them as the high priest to the Levites, or the chancellor to the other officials. This position is indicated by the writing materials on his hips, i.e., in the girdle on his hips, in which scribes in the East are accustomed to carry their writing materials (vid., Rosenmller, A. u. N. Morgenland, IV. p. 323). He is provided with these for the execution of the commission given to him in Ezekiel 9:4. In this way the description can be very simply explained, without the slightest necessity for our resorting to Babylonian representations of the god Nebo, i.e., Mercury, as the scribe of heaven. The seven men take their station by the altar of burnt-offering, because the glory of God, whose commands they were about to receive, had taken up its position there for the moment (Kliefoth); not because the apostate priesthood was stationed there (Hvernick). The glory of Jehovah, however, rose up from the cherub to the threshold of the house. The meaning of this is not that it removed from the interior of the sanctuary to the outer threshold of the temple-building (Hvernick), for it was already stationed, according to Ezekiel 8:16, above the cherub, between the porch and the altar. It went back from thence to the threshold of the temple-porch, through which one entered the Holy Place, to give its orders there. The reason for leaving its place above the cherubim (the singular כּרוּב is used collectively) to do this, was not that "God would have had to turn round in order to address the seven from the throne, since, according to Ezekiel 8:4 and Ezekiel 8:16, He had gone from the north gate of the outer court into the inner court, and His servants had followed Him" (Hitzig); for the cherubim moved in all four directions, and therefore God, even from the throne, could turn without difficulty to every side. God left His throne, that He might issue His command for the judgment upon Israel from the threshold of the temple, and show Himself to be the judge who would forsake the throne which He had assumed in Israel. This command He issues from the temple court, because the temple was the place whence God attested Himself to His people, both by mercy and judgment.

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