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Ezekiel 2:1-8 . We see Ezekiel prostrate upon his face. Then a voice spoke, not the voice of a cherubim; while in Revelation the cherubim speak, in Ezekiel they are silent, Jehovah addressed Ezekiel as son of man; the title which is found exactly one hundred times in this book. Daniel only besides Ezekiel is called by this name. Our Lord called Himself by that name and used it in connection with His suffering, exaltation, glory, and coming again. Ezekiel, too, passed through much suffering, passing symbolically through sufferings which the nation at large was to undergo. He is, therefore, in a measure a type of the Messiah, who took Israel’s sin and shame upon Himself.
The Word which spoke was followed by the Spirit--”and the Spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me.” Thus the Word and the Spirit are always connected. Then Ezekiel received his commission. He is sent to an impudent and hard-hearted people. His message is to begin with: “Thus saith Jehovah-God.” The sender is the Lord; the message is from Him. Then the sender gives also assurance and encouragement.
Analysis and Annotations
I. PREDICTIONS BEFORE THE FALL OF JERUSALEM
A. judgment Predictions Concerning Jerusalem (1-24)
CHAPTERS 1:1-3:14 The Vision of Glory and the Call of the Prophet
1. The introduction (Ezekiel 1:1-3 )
2. The vision of glory (Ezekiel 1:4-28 )
3. Ezekiel’s call and commission (Ezekiel 2:1-8 )
4. The roll eaten and the repeated commission (Ezekiel 2:9-10 ; Ezekiel 3:1-14 )
Ezekiel 1:1-3 . The introductory words give us the time when Ezekiel was among the captives by the river Chebar. Four things are mentioned by Ezekiel, who is evidently the author of this book, for he uses the personal pronoun--the heavens were opened--he saw visions of God--the word of the Lord came unto him--the hand of the Lord was upon him. Ezekiel is the only prophet in the Old Testament of whom it is said that he saw the heavens opened. Four times the New Testament mentions opened heavens Matthew 3:16 ; John 1:51 ; Revelation 4:1 ; Revelation 19:11 . He then saw the visions of God concerning His governmental dealings with His people Israel. Then the hand of the Lord was also upon him when the word of the Lord had come unto him. Notice the order: An opened heaven, a vision, the call, and enablement by the power of God. Such is still the order for the servants of the Lord. The phrase, “The hand of the LORD was upon him,” or came upon me, is found seven times in Ezekiel, in Ezekiel 1:3 ; Ezekiel 3:14 and Ezekiel 3:22 ; Ezekiel 8:1 ; Ezekiel 23:22 ; Ezekiel 37:1 ; Ezekiel 40:1 .
Ezekiel 1:4-28 . Then he had his great and wonderful vision, which is repeatedly mentioned in his book. We find it mentioned again in chapters 10 and 11, where it is seen departing from Jerusalem. Its return is promised in connection with the great millennial temple after the Lord’s return (chapter 43). The vision is the vision of the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28 ), The vision comes from the north, for a storm cloud of divine indignation from the north (Babylon) was to burst over the house of Judah. The whirlwind, the cloud, and the fire Ezekiel beheld are symbols of glory, the divine presence and judgment. (See Psalms 18:8-13 ; Habakkuk 3:1-19 ; Jeremiah 4:12-31 ). The vision then indicated the presence of the God of Israel and His glory, ready to deal in judgment with His apostate people. The living creatures are the same as mentioned and seen in Revelation 4:6-9 . They are the cherubim, not fictitious creatures or symbols, but real beings. Their position is in connection with the throne. But upon the throne there was one who had the likeness as the appearance of a man. And this man was enshrouded in glory, with the rainbow about him. All this shows forth the glory of Him who is God’ vision, glory and presence, the Son of God. It anticipates the Lord Jesus Christ, His exaltation upon the throne, government and judgment resting in His hands, who is now the Man in the glory. While the cherubim with their fourfold faces also symbolize the Lord Jesus, here in this vision they are seen in connection with judgment. It is the same in Revelation Revelation 6:1-17 ; Revelation 15:7 . And then the wheels and their work. In them was the spirit of these great creatures; the rims of the wheels (not rings) were full of eyes. There was an orderly movement of these wheels. The wheels are on the chariot upon which rested the throne of God. They show forth and symbolize the purposes of God in the execution of His inerrant governmental dealings on earth. God controls it all, and His Spirit directs every movement. Much that is ridiculous has been written on this, and some would-be expositors claim that Ezekiel beheld an acroplane.
“Intelligence, strength, stability and swiftness in judgment, and, withal, the movement of the whole course of earthly events, depended on the throne. This living energy animated the whole. The cherubic supporters of the throne, full of eyes themselves, moved by it; the wheels of God’s government moved by the same spirit, and went straight forward. All was subservient to the will and purpose of Him who sat on the throne judging right. Majesty, government and providence united to form the throne of His glory. But all the instruments of His glory were below the firmament; He whom they glorified was above” (Synopsis of the Bible).
Ezekiel 2:9-10 ; Ezekiel 3:1-14 . Compare the roll here with Zechariah 5:1-4 ; with the one of Revelation 5:1-14 , which the Lamb receives and opens, and the little roll in Revelation 10:9-10 . These rolls have the same meaning, namely, the Word itself, the message of tribulation and judgment, which is written therein.
The Word must be received and eaten, that is the spiritual lesson. Ezekiel obeyed. It was self surrender and though the message was a hard message, yet it was sweet unto him. Compare with Jeremiah 15:16 . Ezekiel was to speak the words of the Lord unto them; and the sender predicts failure. “The house of Israel will not hearken unto thee, for they will not hearken unto Me.” It was to make no difference to the prophet. His commission was to speak Jehovah’s words. Then cherubim and wheels are in motion. He is lifted up and Jehovah’s hand is strong upon him.
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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Ezekiel 2". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/