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Thursday, November 30th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 10

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Ezekiel 10:1 . Behold, in the firmament there appeared as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of a throne. This is the vision that was seen by the river Chebar, but now the vision opens in the temple. Messiah on his throne passing the final sentence on the polluted sanctuary, in which his holiness disdained to dwell. The throne seated on the dense blue of the sapphire gem, named last in Ezekiel 1:26, is here put the first, the hour of judgment being at hand: his characters are sombrous and dark.

Ezekiel 10:2 . He spake to the man, the cherub clothed with linen, the spotless minister of justice. Though the hallowed emblems in the sanctuary were but figures on earth, they are all realities in heaven. This celestial minister went in between the wheels and brought a handful of burning coals and scattered them over the city, which designated the burning of Jerusalem, whose gods were numerous as its streets. These coals, if we may follow the language of the psalms, like the coals of juniper-wood, hard and hot, were portentous of the fiery indignation of the Lord. Psalms 120:4; Psalms 140:10. And who could penetrate the centre of the glory but the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that lived in all this living vision?

Ezekiel 10:4 . Then the glory of the Lord went up and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory. Like Ezekiel, these things Isaiah spake when he saw his glory. John 12:41. Allow me on this head to translate literally the words of Cocceius. “The cloud which is the glory of the Lord descending on the throne, signifies the dwelling of God with his people in humble figure. “But what is understood by the splendour of the glory of Jehovah filling the court? It is the WORD dwelling with men, who saw his glory [when made flesh] as the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, shining in all Israel. For though all the Israelites did not know the glory of Jehovah, or the glory of the Lord, yet they heard his words, they attested his works, they saw his sufferings, which were radiances of the glory of God; for by these the faithful who dwell in the Word of God, (the name of promise) abide in him, and know him to be the Son of the living God.”

Ezekiel 10:8 . The form of a man’s hand under their wings. To this hand all power is given both in heaven and earth; it is the arm by which he rules the nations, and chastises his enemies with a rod of iron.

Ezekiel 10:13 . Oh wheel. So Montanus reads, whom our bible mostly follows. But others read, gelgel, oh orb, oh world, oh chariot, or oh sphere. The cherub is here called gelgel, and he commands I know not what, as roll on, act, do this or that; bids every creature hearken to the voice of God. Poole’s Synopsis. The cry, oh wheel, obviously signifies, to proceed in the execution of God’s pleasure, and accomplish the designations of providence.

Ezekiel 10:14 . Every one had four faces. Some of the christian fathers trifle here, by a reference to the four evangelists. They give the man to Matthew, the lion to Mark, the ox to Luke, and the eagle to John. Let us say rather with David, the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels. The calf is placed first of the four. See on Exodus 32:4.

Ezekiel 10:20 . This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel, by the river of Chebar. Here is a distinction between the golden cherubim of the temple, which neither lived nor moved, and the vision which the prophet now saw. The Lord dwells in the midst of the living creatures, or armies of heaven, and delights also to dwell with men on the earth. The same Divinity which appeared once, appears the second time to console the prophet, and to assure the church of the living presence of his Glory. The Triune God is everywhere at hand.


What a vision! The everliving, the terrific vision of Jehovah’s presence in the church. This is the glorious high throne, which has been the place of our sanctuary from the beginning. Isaiah saw the atoning altar there, that sinners might approach: Isaiah 6:5. This is the throne whence are issued all the commissions of prophets, and all the commands to chastise or to destroy incorrigible sinners. Before this throne the angels raise their songs, and make the temple shake by the strake of their wings.

The grandeur of his throne is distinguished by his guards. He who fixed his throne in the chariot of glory and flame, had all the angels of heaven at his command. He bids those who had charge over Jerusalem draw near, and they all approach to await his pleasure. Let us therefore implicitly submit to providence, as the counsel of God must be for the best and wisest end. An enemy can do nothing against a nation till his commission is first signed in heaven. The Lord commanded the man clothed in linen, chap. 9., to take coals of fire from the altar of his presence, and scatter them over the city, as an omen of his vengeance about to fall upon them by the enemy. Let us regard all the flashes of conscience, and all the terrors of a broken law, as indicative of the punishment about to follow, and let us with a penitent heart take refuge in him who is a hiding place, and who repents of slumbering evils, and turns away from his fierce wrath.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 10". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/ezekiel-10.html. 1835.
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