Ezekiel - Introduction
Ezekiel was among the captives taken to Babylon with Jehoiachin in B.C. 599, when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem
and carried away the treasures of the temple. His residence was at Tell Abib, on the banks of the river Chebar, in
Mesopotamia. His propetic mission began in the 5th year of his captivity ( B.C. 594 ), and continued, so far as we have any
record, to the 27th year ( chap. 29:17). Ezekiel was a priest, and had studied deeply the ritualistic and symbolic lore of his
people. He also appears to have been minutely acquainted with the sacred rites and strange idolatry of those among whom
he dwelt. The events of his life are unknown and we have no record of the date or manner of his death.
Ezekiel's vision.....Ezek 1:1 - 28; 10: 1 - 22
Is this what he saw ?? Most probably, yes.
In the 5th year of Jehoiachin's captivity in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river of Chebar, Ezekiel saw a storm or whirl-
wind coming from the north....a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it.....
At the centre of the storm he saw what looked like four creatures in human form.Each one of them had 4 faces and 4 wings .....their legs were straight.....the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot.....These creatures had the hands of a
man under their wings on the four sides....two wings of each creature were spread out so that they formed a square with
their wing tips touching.When they moved, they moved as a group without turning their bodies.....
each creature had 4 faces:
*In the front, a human face;
*On the right side, the face of a lion;
*On the left side, the face of a bull;
*At the back, the face of an eagle.
Their wings were stretched upwards; two wings of each one were joined one to another and two covered their bodies...their appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lamps.
There were 4 wheels touching the ground, one beside each of them.....all 4 wheels were alike.
Each wheel had another wheel intersecting it at right angles.The rims of the wheels were covered with eyes.
Above the heads of the creatures there was something like a dome or firmament made of dazzling crystal......under the firmament stood the creatures, each one stretching out two wings towards the one's next to it and covering it's body with
the other two wings.
Above the firmament was something that looked like a throne made of sapphire, and sitting on the throne was a figure that looked like a man......the figure seemed to be shining like bronze in the middle of a fire......it shone all over with a bright
light that had in it all the colours of the rainbow.
This was the dazzling light that shows the presence of the Lord or in other words, ".....the appearance of the likeness of
the glory of the Lord."
A Whirlwind is the emblem of speedy judgement and total ruin. Job 11:9. The north, the seat of the invading nations. The
cloud, the fire and the brightness, are the same emblems of divine presence, energy and judgement that appeared on Sinai;
indicating that the same God was present to inflict deserved punishment upon the rebellious transgressors of His law and
the idolatrous apostates from His worship.
Four living creatures. As "seven" is the emblem of perfection originating in time and work, so "four" is the emblem of
perfection originating in place and form. Exod 27:1; I King.6:33.
Four faces. The principle organs of sense being situated in the face, and those being the chief servants of the intellect.
Four faces indicate perfection of senses and understanding
Wings. Emblems of celerity in fulfilling the divine will.
Wings joined. Perfect consent of spirit and unity of efford. God's providential purposes can not be eluded.
Straight feet. Indicating straightness in the way of obedience.
A man. Intellect with passion. A lion. Strength and readiness to assault. An ox. Labour. An eagle. soaring aloft.
Wheels. The emblems of the revolutions of times.
Firmament. Firmament of his power over the heads of all His creatures, and the wonders of His omnipresence whereby,
while here on earth, He is yet exalted far above the heavens.
Source: Self Interpreting Bible.