What should I learn from this chapter?
- The historical background of the captivity of the Hebrews
- A look into the heavenly realm
- There is more to God and the machinations of creation than man can comprehend
Ezekiel’s Vision of God
Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
Ezekiel 1:2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity,
Jehoiachin was king of Judah and taken into captivity in the second group by Nebuchadnezzar.
Ezekiel is called to prophetic ministry at 30 yrs of age. Ezekiel would have been eligible for priesthood (see Number 4:3). He had been taken into captivity in 597 BC at the same time as King Jehoiachin and Queen Esther’s progenitor Kish. It is the 13th year of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule.
Jesus, also, was called to His ministry at 30 yrs of age.
As Ezekiel is called to be a prophet, the current king of Judah, King Zedekiah is receiving ambassadors from neighboring lands to plot a rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar’s rule under which they are vassals. Zedekiah was installed by Nebuchadnezzar (five years earlier by Jewish reckoning) and swore an oath to serve him. Zedekiah is Nebuchadnezzar’s puppet king.
This is also the same year that Pharaoh Necco II dies and his son Psammtik takes the Egyptian throne, uninterested in the affairs of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans (Or Babylonians, and so elsewhere in the book) by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.
Ezekiel 1:4 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
Ezekiel 1:5-6 Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings.
Revelation 4:6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
Ezekiel 1:7 Their legs (Lit. feet) were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.
Ezekiel 1:8 The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings.
Ezekiel 1:9 Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward.
Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle.
Note: Four is the number of stability.
Note: These are the same four faces in Revelation 4:7
Revelation 4:6-7 Around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
Ezekiel 1:11 Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies.
Ezekiel 1:12 And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.
Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning.
Ezekiel 1:14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.
Ezekiel 1:15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces.
Ezekiel 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
Ezekiel 1:17 When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went.
Ezekiel 1:18 As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them.
Ezekiel 1:19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
Ezekiel 1:20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures (Lit. living creature; spirit of life; Creatures) was in the wheels.
Ezekiel 1:21 When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
Ezekiel 1:22 The likeness of the firmament (Or expanse) above the heads of the living creatures (living creature) was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads.
Awesome Crystal: See verse 26
Rev4:6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.
Ezekiel 1:23 And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body.
Ezekiel 1:24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings.
Ezekiel 1:25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.
Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.
- Awesome Crystal: like a sapphire stone Science has created a true time crystal which moves continuously without using any energy.
Ezekiel 1:27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.
Ezekiel 1:28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
Revelation 4:3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
Genesis 9:13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Genesis 9:14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
Genesis 9:16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
How would you draw a picture of Ezekiel’s vision?
Did God’s throne room descend to earth?
Ezekiel Sent to Rebellious Israel