I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
noise of a great rushing—typical of great disasters impending over the Jews.I heard, added to connect the verses and to make the reading full, hath I think somewhat perplexed the words, and occasioned inquiry after two different sounds or voices; whereas if we read them as in the Hebrew and as the Latin,
And the noise was of the wings, & c., so the 13th verse will explain the 12th, and tell you what was that great rushing which Ezekiel heard behind him.
Touched one another: see Ezekiel 1:9. Over against them: see Ezekiel 1:19,20. Ezekiel 1:24;
that touched one another; or "kissed, a woman her sister" (r); denoting their affection and agreement in the doxology or ascription of glory to God; see Ezekiel 1:9;
and the noise of the wheels over against them: the living creatures; for the wheels were by the living creatures, and went over against them, as they went, Ezekiel 1:15; ministers and churches join together in this doxology:
and a noise of a great rushing; which is repeated for the confirmation of the thing, and to express the greatness of the noise made by the living creatures and wheels, like that of thunder or an earthquake; it is said to be like the noise of great waters, Ezekiel 1:24.I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. I heard also the noise] More fairly: and the noise. The words seem to state the cause of the great rushing sound in Ezekiel 3:12, it came from the wings of the living creatures touching one another when they flew, and from the wheels. Cf. ch. Ezekiel 1:9; Ezekiel 1:11; Ezekiel 1:23.Verse 13. - And I heard, etc. There is no verb in the Hebrew, but it may be supplied from ver. 12. We lose in the English the kissing, or touching, poetry of the original, "each its sister." The attitude as of wings raised for flight, and the sound of both the wings and wheels, implied the departure of the glorious vision, presumably to the region from which it came. Ezekiel 2:8. And thou, son of man, hear what I say to thee, Be not stiff-necked like the stiff-necked race; open thy mouth, and eat what I give unto thee. Ezekiel 2:9. Then I saw, and, lo, a hand outstretched towards me; and, lo, in the same a roll of a book. Ezekiel 2:10. And He spread it out before me; the same was written upon the front and back: and there were written upon it lamentations, and sighing, and woe. Ezekiel 3:1. And He said to me: Son of man, what thou findest eat; eat the roll, and go and speak to the house of Israel. Ezekiel 3:2. Then opened I my mouth, and He gave me this roll to eat. Ezekiel 3:3. And said to me: Son of man, feed thy belly, and fill thy body with this roll which I give thee. And I ate it, and it was in my mouth as honey and sweetness. - The prophet is to announce to the people of Israel only that which the Lord inspires him to announce. This thought is embodied in symbol, in such a way that an outstretched hand reaches to him a book, which he is to swallow, and which also, at God's command, he does swallow; cf. Revelation 10:9. This roll was inscribed on both sides with lamentations, sighing, and woe (הי is either abbreviated from נהי, not equals אי, or as Ewald, 101c, thinks, is only a more distinct form of הוי or הו). The meaning is not, that upon the roll was inscribed a multitude of mournful expressions of every kind, but that there was written upon it all that the prophet was to announce, and what we now read in his book. These contents were of a mournful nature, for they related to the destruction of the kingdom, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. That Ezekiel may look over the contents, the roll is spread out before his eyes, and then handed to him to be eaten, with the words, "Go and speak to the children of Israel," i.e., announce to the children of Israel what you have received into yourself, or as it is termed in Ezekiel 3:4, דּברי, "my words." The words in Ezekiel 3:3 were spoken by God while handing to the prophet the roll to be eaten. He is not merely to eat, i.e., take it into his mouth, but he is to fill his body and belly therewith, i.e., he is to receive into his innermost being the word of God presented to him, to change it, as it were, into sap and blood. Whilst eating it, it was sweet in his mouth. The sweet taste must not, with Kliefoth, be explained away into a sweet "after-taste," and made to bear this reference, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be followed by a more glorious restoration. The roll, inscribed with lamentation, sorrow, and woe, tasted to him sweetly, because its contents was God's word, which sufficed for the joy and gladness of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16); for it is "infinitely sweet and lovely to be the organ and spokesman of the Omnipotent," and even the most painful of divine truths possess to a spiritually-minded man a joyful and quickening side (Hengstenberg on Revelation 10:9). To this it is added, that the divine penal judgments reveal not only the holiness and righteousness of God, but also prepare the way for the revelation of salvation, and minister to the saving of the soul.
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