Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 1

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-28


A vision of God’s glory (1:1-28)

Ezekiel lived in a Jewish settlement that bordered the Chebar River. He had been in Babylon five years and was now thirty years of age, the age at which he normally would have begun his priestly service in the temple in Jerusalem (cf. Numbers 4:2-3). But he had no chance now of returning to Jerusalem. Instead God called him to be a prophet, who would take his message to his people in Babylon (1:1-3).

The call came as Ezekiel was watching a storm approach across the desert. He was looking with particular interest at the startling changes of colour produced across the sky by the reflection of the lightning in the dark thunderclouds. Just then he saw something that appeared to come out of the clouds (4).
Ezekiel would soon discover that the object was a fiery chariot, but his first observation was that it was in the shape of a hollow square, with a living creature standing upright at each corner. These living creatures were of an order of heavenly beings known as cherubim (see 10:20). Each had a human body but four faces, and their outstretched wings met to form the sides of the square. Other wings formed their clothing. The whole thing seemed to be alive and could move in any direction (5-12). Lightning flashed from something that looked like burning coals or a blazing torch that was contained in the middle of the square (13-14).
At each corner of the square was a wheel, which actually looked more like two wheels, one at right angles to the other. By now he could see clearly that the fiery object was a chariot, and the wheels enabled the chariot to move freely in any direction. Even the wheels were alive, for they shared the life of the living creatures (15-21).
When the chariot moved, the sound of the movement of the creatures’ outstretched wings was like a waterfall or thunder. When the chariot stopped, the creatures lowered their wings. Above the heads of the creatures was a shining platform that supported the throne of God (22-25). Seated above this throne and surrounded by a rainbow was a fiery figure, human in outline but so dazzling that Ezekiel could not describe it. Overcome by this awesome vision, he could only fall down and listen to the voice speaking to him (26-28).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/ezekiel-1.html. 2005.
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