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Go to Bible: Ezekiel 10
“platform.” See commentary on Ezekiel 1:22.
“over the heads of the cherubim was something like a sapphire stone.” This is similar to Ezekiel 1:26.
“in appearance resembling a throne.” In this verse the throne is empty. God had come down from the throne in Ezekiel 9:3, and stops above the cherubim, and thus remounts His chariot-throne, in Ezekiel 10:18. C. F. Keil (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament) punctuates the last Hebrew phrase as “He [God] appeared above them,” as if God was seated on the throne, however the English translations almost universally describe the scene with the throne being empty, which according to the chronology in Ezekiel, is correct.(top)
“And he spoke.” This is Yahweh, who is commanding His angels and cherubim.
“whirling wheels.” Here in Ezekiel 10:2, 6, and 10:13, the Bible uses a different word for “wheels” than it had used earlier in Ezekiel. Ezekiel now uses galgal (#01534 גַּלְגַּל), which can mean a wheel, whirlwind, or even whirl. Some English versions translate it as “whirling wheels,” while others translate it as “wheelworks.” The Word Biblical Commentary has “rotary system,” while the New International Commentary on the Old Testament: Ezekiel, has “castors.” The word focuses on the whirling motion of the wheels.
“even under the cherubim.” The cherubim were no doubt quite large, and had one set of wings stretched up and out, so the angel would have to go “under” the cherubim to get to the fire between them. Some scholars have understood this to mean that the cherubim were suspended below the platform and above the wheels, but the Bible describes the wheels as beside the cherubim. When the wheels were on the ground, so were the feet of the cherubim.
“from between the cherubim.” The four cherubim formed a hollow square, with the fire between them, and the wheels are on the outside of the cherubim.(top)
“the south side.” The Hebrew is literally, “the right side,” but the biblical culture was oriented to the east and thus “ahead” was east, not north. The Temple faced east, so “the right side” is the south side. Leaving “the right side” in the text could be confusing to the Western reader. Thus in Ezekiel’s vision God parked His chariot-throne in the courtyard on the south side of the Temple. This may well have been due to the fact that there was an idol, “the image of jealousy,” in the north gate of the Temple (Ezek. 8:5).
“the house.” The “house” is the house of God, the Temple.
“the cloud filled the inner court.” The cloud indicated the presence of God, and it filled the inner courtyard.(top)
“And the glory of Yahweh rose up from the cherub to the threshold of the house.” This is a repetition of Ezekiel 9:3, as many scholars point out. God does not twice get off His chariot-throne and go to the threshold of the Temple; Ezekiel 10:4 would better read that “the glory of Yahweh had risen up” because it had in Ezekiel. 9:3. John Taylor (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Ezekiel) seems to correctly suggest that “it is best to understand that [verse] as a pluperfect, harkening back to what was described in Ezekiel 9:3.” However, whereas Ezekiel 9:3ff describes the impending destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 10:4 focuses on the glory of Yahweh. Most scholars agree that the threshold of the house is in the front portico of the Temple at the entryway to the Holy Place. [For more on Ezekiel 8-11 and what happened, see commentary on Ezek. 8:4].
“the cherub.” This is apparently a collective singular, like the Hebrew text in Ezekiel 10:2 uses the singular “wheel” for the four wheels collectively.
“the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of Yahweh.” Yahweh was personally in the threshold of the Temple (cp. Ezek. 9:3), and the cloud of glory around Him filled both the Temple and the court of the Temple.(top)
“as far as the outer court.” The Temple had an inner (western) court and an “outer” (eastern) court, separated by a wall with a gate. The sound of the wings of the cherubim were loud enough to be heard in the outer court.(top)
|Eze 10:6||- (top)|
“stretched out a hand from between the cherubim to the fire.” The cherubim had hands and arms like a human (Ezek. 1:8; 10:8) and they could wield a sword (Gen. 3:24).(top)
“form of a man’s hand under their wings.” See commentary on Ezek. 1:8.(top)
“beryl.” See commentary on Ezek. 1:16.(top)
|Eze 10:10||- (top)|
“the head.” In this context, the front wheel.
“without turning as they went.” The chariot-throne traveled straight forward, it did not veer from side to side (cp. Ezek. 1:12).(top)
|Eze 10:12||- (top)|
|Eze 10:13||- (top)|
“the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.” This is an apparent discrepancy with the description given in Ezekiel 1:10, and it has been explained in a few different ways, some of them more plausible than others. The easy way out for some scholars is to simply suggest that the Hebrew text had been corrupted, and “bull” (or “ox”) changed to “cherub.” However, that is generally rejected due to the lack of similarity between the Hebrew for “ox” and “cherub.”
The wording of the text here in Ezekiel 10:14 is different that in 1:10, and here just one face of each cherub is described, rather than the four faces of each cherub, and thus, as the scholars point out, there is no need for a complete redescription of the cherubim (that each one did have four faces is repeated in Ezekiel 10:21). So it seems that what Ezekiel is describing in Ezekiel 10:14 seems to be the face of each cherub that he is looking most directly at. In the case of “the cherub” face, it is the face of a cherub, so that is correct even if it is uninformative, but we would know from Ezekiel 1:10 that it is the face of an ox. On the other hand, C. F. Keil proposes that since the text reads “the face of the cherub” instead of what we would expect, “the face of a cherub,” it is intending to point out and emphasize that “the” cherub is “the” cherub who took the coals from the fire in Ezekiel 10:7, and thus emphasize that individual cherub rather than its ox face, and that seems certainly plausible also.(top)
|Eze 10:15||- (top)|
“did not turn from beside them.” The wheels stayed with the cherubim when they moved.(top)
“for the spirit of the living creature was in them.” This phrase in Ezekiel 10:17 is like the one in Ezekiel 1:21, but what the phrase means is unclear. Scholars do mostly agree that the phrase serves to show that the whole chariot-throne system works together and moves together in concert.(top)
“the house.” This is the Temple in Jerusalem.
“and stopped over the cherubim.” This is a very brief and clipped description, but clear enough in the context of Ezekiel’s visions. God had parked His cherubim chariot-throne in the courtyard of the Temple, south of the Temple itself (Ezek. 10:3). Above the cherubim was the sapphire-colored platform, and on the platform was God’s throne. So this short phrase is describing Yahweh moving from the threshold of the Temple where He had been (Ezek. 9:3; 10:4), and getting on His throne, which is on the platform over the cherubim, and in the next verse Yahweh, on his chariot-throne, moves on to the next location, which we learn in the next verse, Ezekiel 10:19, is the entrance of the east gate of the Temple. This “east gate” is the far east gate on the eastern wall of the Temple complex. So the sin of the leaders and people of Judah drove Yahweh from His place between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies to the threshold of the entrance of the Temple, and then to the east gate of the Temple. God is steadily leaving His Temple. God’s next stop as He leaves Jerusalem, and the last one recorded in Ezekiel, is over the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem (Ezek. 11:23). There is no record of the glory of God returning to the Temple built by the people who returned from the Babylonian Captivity as recorded in Ezra, the “second temple” that was embellished by Herod the Great and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The glory of God will return to the Millennial Temple built by Jesus Christ as per the prophecy of Ezekiel 43:1-4. [For more on Ezekiel 8-11 and what happened, see commentary on Ezek. 8:4].(top)
“they stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the house of Yahweh.” See commentary on Ezekiel 10:18.(top)
|Eze 10:20||- (top)|
“what looked like human hands.” The Hebrew is more literally, “the likeness of the hands of a man,” but the meaning seems to be “what looked like human hands” or perhaps, “something like human hands.”(top)
|Eze 10:22||- (top)|