Ezekiel 1:22
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads.

King James Bible
And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

American Standard Version
And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the terrible crystal to look upon, stretched forth over their heads above.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And over the heads of the living creatures was the likeness of the firmament, as the appearance of crystal terrible to behold, and stretched out over their heads above.

English Revised Version
And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

Ezekiel 1:22 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The four wheels beside the cherubim. - Ezekiel 1:15. And I saw the creatures, and, lo, there was a wheel upon the earth beside the creatures, towards their four fronts. Ezekiel 1:16. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like the appearance of the chrysolite; and all four had one kind of figure: and their appearance and their work was as if one wheel were within the other. Ezekiel 1:17. Towards their four sides they went when they moved: they turned not as they went. Ezekiel 1:18. And their felloes, they were high and terrible; and their felloes were full of eyes round about in all the four. Ezekiel 1:19. And when the creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the creatures raised themselves up from the earth, the wheels also raised themselves. Ezekiel 1:20. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went in the direction in which the spirit was to go; and the wheels raised themselves beside them: for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. Ezekiel 1:21. When the former moved, the latter moved also; when the former stood, the latter stood; and when the former raised themselves from the ground, the wheels raised themselves beside them: for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. - The words, "and I saw the creatures," prepare the way for the transition to the new object which presented itself in these creatures to the eye of the seer. By the side of these creatures upon the ground he sees a wheel, and that at the four fronts, or front faces of the creatures. The singular suffix in לארבּעת פּניו can neither be referred, with Rosenmller, to the chariot, which is not mentioned at all, nor, with Hitzig, to the preposition אצל, nor, with Hvernick, Maurer, and Kliefoth, to אופן, and so be understood as if every wheel looked towards four sides, because a second wheel was inserted in it at right angles. This meaning is not to be found in the words. The suffix refers ad sensum to חיּות (Ewald), or, to express it more correctly, to the figure of the cherubim with its four faces turned to the front, conceived as a unity - as one creature (החיּה, Ezekiel 1:22). Accordingly, we have so to represent the matter, that by the side of the four cherubim, namely, beside his front face, a wheel was to be seen upon the earth. Ezekiel then saw four wheels, one on each front of a cherub, and therefore immediately speaks in Ezekiel 1:16 of wheels (in the plural). In this verse מראה is adspectus, and מעשׂה "work;" i.e., both statements employing the term "construction," although in the first hemistich only the appearance, in the second only the construction, of the wheels is described. תּרשׁישׁ is a chrysolite of the ancients, the topaz of the moderns, - a stone having the lustre of gold. The construction of the wheels was as if one wheel were within a wheel, i.e., as if in the wheel a second were inserted at right angles, so that without being turned it could go towards all the four sides. גּבּיהן, in Ezekiel 1:18, stands absolutely. "As regards their felloes," they possessed height and terribleness-the latter because they were full of eyes all round. Hitzig arbitrarily understands גּבהּ of the upper sides; and יראה, after the Arabic, of the under side, or that which lies towards the back. The movement of the wheels completely followed the movement of the creatures (Ezekiel 1:19-21), because the spirit of the creature was in the wheels. החיּה, in Ezekiel 1:20 and Ezekiel 1:21, is not the "principle of life" (Hvernick), but the cherubic creatures conceived as a unity, as in Ezekiel 1:22, where the meaning is undoubted. The sense is: the wheels were, in their motion and rest, completely bound by the movements and rest of the creatures, because the spirit which ruled in them was also in the wheels, and regulated their going, standing, and rising upwards. By the רוּח the wheels are bound in one with the cherub-figures, but not by means of a chariot, to or upon which the cherubim were attached.

Ezekiel 1:22 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the likeness

Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone...

Ezekiel 10:1 Then I looked, and, behold...

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone...

Job 37:22 Fair weather comes out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

Revelation 4:3,6 And he that sat was to look on like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne...

Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

crystal
The Hebrew {kerach}, which generally denotes {ice}, doubtless here signifies crystal, [], from [], cold, ice, and [], to concrete,) as it is rendered by the LXX and Vulgate. It is a very large class of silicious minerals, hard, pellucid, naturally colourless, of regularly angular figures, and of simple plates; not flexible, not elastic, but giving fire with steel; not fermenting by acid menstura, but calcinable in a strong fire. There are three orders of pure crystal: the first is perfect columnar crystals, with double pyramids, of eighteen planes, in an hexangular pyramid at each end; the second is that of perfect crystals, with single pyramids, of ten or twelve planes, in an hexangular or pentangular column. [Terrible crystal] seems to denote that which was well cut and polished, vividly refracting the rays of light.

Cross References
Revelation 4:6
and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:

Ezekiel 1:25
And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

Ezekiel 1:26
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.

Ezekiel 10:1
Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in appearance like a throne.

Ezekiel 10:20
These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the Chebar canal; and I knew that they were cherubim.

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