Ezekiel (Ch 1-2)

This book Ezekiel is placed after Jeremiah; since Ezekiel was among the captives in Chaldea when his visions occurred; whereas Jeremiah began to prophesy long before that captivity. The name of this prophet signifies, as it is commonly interpreted, “the strength of God”, or “strengthened by God.”

And since Ezekiel was regarded as a major prophets, the events recorded have significant meanings, that although those events were historical, they have implications for our time.

And Ezekiel’s message wasn’t for the house of Judah but to the house of Israel, whose captivity occurred some 135 years before Judah’s captivity. Hence we must try to read the prophetic meaning behind all those historical setting.

Yet nobody seems to understand the various symbols and riddles in this book of Ezekiel to put all the puzzles into a cohesive and coherent picture. The Jews couldn’t understand what or how the house of Israel could have any relevance since the days they went into exile; Christians taught themselves that they have already replaced the Israelites and God’s graceful promises of eternity are now theirs!

The secret is out when God revealed it to Ezekiel: “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off’ (Ezekiel 12:27). Or as the RSV has it: “The vision that he sees is for many days hence, and he prophesies of times far off.” That’s right, its timing was a great distance into the future into our time and the message is primarily and principally for the United States of America, and secondarily its European allies.

Ezekiel 1

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River of Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

— the Targum, whose origin in the Aramaic language could be traced to Ezra, paraphrases the words thus, “and it was in the thirtieth year after Hilkiah the high priest found the book of the law, in the house of the sanctuary, in the court under the porch, in the middle of the night, after the moon was down, in the days of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah.”

Ezekiel was among the captives by the river Chebar in Chaldea; some thought it was the river Euphrates, others a distributary. Ezekiel was among the captives and this was around the year 587/586 BC, resulting in the exile of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to Babylon. The northern Kingdom Israel was taken earlier around 721 BC, hence the significance is that Ezekiel’s visions are prophetic.

“and I saw visions of God.” And so at the end: “And I saw, and behold, a storm wind, etc.” — a similar case like John in Revelation.

On the fifth day of the month (which was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity),

the word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel was a priest; in the Jerusalem Targum, the Prophet Ezekiel is called the son of Jeremiah the prophet.

And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself; and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. — “A whirlwind came out of the north;” Nebuchadnezzar, whose land, Babylonia, lay north of Judea. Chaldea was denominated by Jeremiah prophecy.

Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.

And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

Ezekiel 10:21; each cherub has four wings, or two elsewhere. But in Isaiah 6:2 — each seraphim has six wings.

— the Targum, whose origin in the Aramaic language of understanding the Scriptures could be traced to Ezra; multiplies the faces in a strange monstrous manner, paraphrasing the words thus, “each had four faces, and there were four faces to everyone “of them”, and every creature had sixteen faces; the number of the faces of the four creatures was sixty and four.”

— Rabbi Rashi (1040-1105 France): and each one had four faces: “Each one” means that the human countenance had four faces, as did that of the lion, the eagle, and the ox, totaling sixteen [faces] to one living being. It was thus for each living being, and four wings for each of the faces, totaling sixty-four wings for each living being. This is [why] Jonathan paraphrased: two hundred fifty-six wings.

A likeness of four living creatures!

And their feet were straight feet, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.

And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and all four had their faces and their wings.

Their wings were joined one to another. They turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, all four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side, and all four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Around the camp: NORTH: DAN (Asher, Naphtali); EAST: JUDAH (Issachar, Zebulon); SOUTH: REUBEN (Gad, Simon): EAST: EPHRAIM (Benjamin, Manasseh). Numbers 2:2

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11 Thus were their faces. And their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.

12 And they went every one straight forward; whither the spirit was to go, they went, and they turned not when they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lamps; it went up and down among the living creatures, and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14 And the living creatures ran and returned, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, a wheel was upon the earth by each of the living creatures with his four faces.

16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness; and their appearance and their work was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

Bible Truth & Prophecy | 'The Cherubim' by H. Madeley

17 When they went, they went upon their four sides; and they turned not when they went.

18 As for their rims, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rims were full of eyes round about the four.

19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.

20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went; thither was their spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up opposite them, for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up opposite them, for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Aliens, Angels & Outer Space - DID YOU KNOW that angels and cherubim are  not the same? Much confusion exists today surrounding this subject, but the  Scriptures clearly delineate the difference. To

22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creatures was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other; every one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side of their bodies.

24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech as the noise of a host. When they stood, they let down their wings; — “as the voice of the Almighty;” like distant thunder, with hailstones and coals of fire, sometimes lightning flashes; for this is termed the voice of God, Psalms 18:13Exodus 9:23Exodus 9:28-29Exodus 20:18.

25 and there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads when they stood and had let down their wings.

26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, with the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness in appearance of a man above upon it.

Living creatures (Bible) - Wikipedia

27 And I saw as the color of amber, with the appearance of fire round about within it. From the appearance of His loins even upward and from the appearance of His loins even downward, I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

28 As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of One who spoke. — this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God: of the divine Shechinah; His omnipotence and omniscience; the same BEING that dwelled in the Temple in Jerusalem, now manifested Himself to Prophet Ezekiel showing him events that are set to come far into the future.

Ezekiel 2

And He said unto me, “Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.”

And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me, and set me upon my feet, so that I heard Him who spoke unto me. — this is the Spirit of God that spoke to Ezekiel. 

Who Was Ezekiel? | Tabletalk

And He said unto me, “Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me. They and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day;

“I send thee to the children of Israel;” this targeted nation couldn’t be Judah, which was already in captivity, and not Israel, the northern Kingdom either, since it was exiled by the Assyrians some 135 years earlier. So the message has to be meant for the endtime, to an endtime rebellious house of Israel.

for they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God.’ — “for they are impudent children and stiffhearted: hard-hearted; elsewhere stiffnecked: “And the Lord said to Moses, “And the Lord said unto Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people,” Exodus 32:9; showing no respect; obstinate, stubborn, with hearts that were like an adamant stone, and harder than the nether millstone; impenitent, obdurate, and inflexible.

And they, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

John Gill: “yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them”; so that they were left without excuse, which was the purpose of the prophet being sent unto them; although there was little or no hope of reclaiming them; but, however, by such a step taken, they could not say that they had no prophet sent to reprove them for their sins, and warn them of their danger; had they, they would have listened to him, and so have escaped the evils that would come upon them.

“And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee and thou dost dwell among scorpions. Be not afraid of their words nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Ezekiel: Prophecy as Performance Art | My Jewish Learning
The message was to rebellious Ephraim, the head of the house of Israel

And thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious.

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee. Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house. Open thy mouth, and eat what I give thee.” — this means Ezekiel was to hear it and internalize the message, then the people to whom such messages of God may come should also hear it read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it, and be warned of this message.

And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me; and lo, a scroll of a book was therein.

10 And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without, and there were written therein lamentations and mourning and woe. — “it was written within and without;” contrary to the state of rolls in general, which are written on the inside only, but this was written on the outside also, perhaps indicating a message or great urgency.

— the Targum says, “it was written before and behind, what was from the beginning, and what shall be in the end.”

Gill: it was usual only to write on the inside; but when they had a great deal to write, then they wrote on the back also; so that this roll being written denotes the largeness and abundance of the prophecies contained in this book; some in respect to the Jews and the house of Israel, and others the nations of the world.

~ by Joel Huan on September 2, 2021.

One Response to “Ezekiel (Ch 1-2)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 1 and 2 HERE ~ —— […]

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