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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 10

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 10:1 Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.

Ver. 1. Then I looked, and behold in the firmament.] Heb, In that expanse or firmament mentioned, Ezekiel 1:22.

That was above the head of the cherubims.] Called before "living creatures." [Ezekiel 1:5; Ezekiel 1:13-15; Ezekiel 1:19] Now God is represented as in his temple, where things are more clearly descried and described. [Psalms 29:9] In his temple doth every one speak of his glory. Cherubims the angels are called, from the greatness of their knowledge, saith Jerome, as God’s Rabbis; or rather, because the Lord rideth upon them [Psalms 80:1; Psalms 99:1] as upon his chariot. [1 Chronicles 28:18] Here they are said to be under the firmament and near the throne to execute God’s commands with expedition. It is not therefore as those miscreants said, [Ezekiel 9:9] The Lord hath forsaken the earth.

There appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone,] i.e., Jehovah in his glory.

As the appearance.] It was but as, and as the appearance: we cannot see God as he is. Some have seen Mercabah velo harocheb, say the Hebrews, the chariot, but not the rider therein.


Verse 2

Ezekiel 10:2 And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, [even] under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter [them] over the city. And he went in in my sight.

Ver. 2. And he spake unto the man.] See Ezekiel 9:2. Christ, who had marked the mourners, scattereth coals upon the rebellious city: "kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish."

And scatter them over the city.] To show that Jerusalem was to be burnt by the Chaldees, as must likewise Rome by the kings of the earth; for strong is the Lord who judgeth her. [Revelation 18:8]

And he went in my sight.] Saints see and foresee that which is often hid from others.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 10:3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.

Ver. 3. Now the cherubims stood on the right side., ] i.e., On the south side; being now removed from the north door, [Ezekiel 8:3-4; Ezekiel 9:3] as loathing that place of so great idolatry.

And the cloud filled the inner court.] (a) To signify that now upon God’s departure, there should be darkness in the temple, yea, in the priests’ courts. See Psalms 18:11, Revelation 15:8.


Verse 4

Ezekiel 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, [and stood] over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.

Ver. 4. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub,] i.e., From the cherubims; so it had done once before, [Ezekiel 9:3] and returned again, to show that he was even driven out by the people’s impenitence.

And stood over the threshold of the house.] As taking his last leave of it.

And the house was filled with a cloud.] Sublatenter abit a suo loco Dominus. (a) So Isaiah 6:4; "The house was filled with smoke." Josephus saith, that when God departed, a voice was heard out of the temple, saying, Let us leave these seats; like as, a little before the last desolation of it, there was heard Migremus hinc, Let us go hence. And a heathen writer saith, that a voice greater than man’s was heard, that the gods were thence departing. (b)


Verse 5

Ezekiel 10:5 And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard [even] to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.

Ver. 5. And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard.] As applauding Christ’s act, and rejoicing thereat.

As the voice of the Almighty God,] i.e., As thunder. [Psalms 29:3] Hereby might also be signified insignis et insolita mutatio in urbe, a notable noise that should be made in the city by clattering of arms, neighing of horses, roaring of enemies, &c. The Hebrew word here used is Shaddai, which signifieth vastatorem et victorem, saith Aben Ezra, a waster and a victor.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 10:6 And it came to pass, [that] when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.

Ver. 6. When he had commanded the man.] Christ as mediator was at his Father’s command. [Matthew 12:18 John 14:31; John 15:10]

Then he went in and stood beside the wheels.] As considering, saith one, the mutability and uncertainty of all things, and observing the equity of the divine proceedings.


Verse 7

Ezekiel 10:7 And [one] cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that [was] between the cherubims, and took [thereof], and put [it] into the hands of [him that was] clothed with linen: who took [it], and went out.

Ver. 7. And one cherub stretched forth his hand.] The holy angels, whom the Jews looked upon as ministers of God’s grace unto them (Josephus calleth them the keepers of the Jewish people), are here brought in as ministers of those weapons wherewith they were to be destroyed.

Who took it, and went out.] Nevertheless the city was not burned till four or five years after this vision.

Tam piger ad poenas Deus est, ad praemia velox.

- Ovid.

Meanwhile, how jovial were the Jews! as if no such judgment were likely to befall them.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 10:8 And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

Ver. 8. And there appeared the form of a man’s hand under their wings.] Quasi gladius intra vaginam, as a sword within the scabbard, ready to be drawn out for execution. The hand, saith Aristotle, is the instrument of instruments. Nature hath given us hands, saith Cicero, multarum artium ministras, &c., to act and do business. Angels have neither hands nor wings, to speak properly, yet are said here to have both, to show their activity and celerity in God’s service. Hands of a man they are said to have, to show that they do all prudently and with reason; and these hands are under their wings, saith one, to signify their hidden nature and operation. A good man, like a good angel, saith another, (a) hath the wings of contemplation, the hands of action, the wings of faith, the hands of charity, wings whereon he raiseth his understanding, and hands wherewith he exciteth his will, &c.


Verse 9

Ezekiel 10:9 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels [was] as the colour of a beryl stone.

Ver. 9. And when I looked, behold the four wheels.] This chapter compared with the first, do, like glasses set one against another, cast a mutual light.

As the colour of a beryl stone.] Lapidis berylli thalassis. See Ezekiel 1:16. Wheels are voluble, and the sea tumultuous; so are all things and places in this present life: lay hold on life eternal.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 10:10 And [as for] their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.

Ver. 10. As if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.] So intricate and perplexed often times are God’s ways and works, that the wisest men know not what to make of them. [Zechariah 14:6] In that day the light shall neither be clear nor dark, but between both, tanquam ηως κροκοπεπλος.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 10:11 When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.

Ver. 11. Upon their four sides.] That is, to their several quarters assigned them by God, who doth things methodically, and in order.

But to the place whither the head looked.] (a) That is, God, who guided the whole chariot by a universal and equal inspiration. [Ezekiel 1:12; Ezekiel 1:20-21]


Verse 12

Ezekiel 10:12 And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, [were] full of eyes round about, [even] the wheels that they four had.

Ver. 12. And the whole body,] viz., Of the cherubims. {as Ezekiel 1:19-21} The wheels are said to be full of eyes. God, who overruleth all, is ολοφθαλμος, All eye. His providence is like a well drawn picture, which vieweth all that are in the room. (a)


Verse 13

Ezekiel 10:13 As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.

Ver. 13. It was cried unto them.] By him who sat upon the throne calling for their obedience, as indeed all things here, yea, even the senseless creatures, are God’s servants. [Psalms 119:91]

O wheel.] O round world - q.d., Hear the voice of thy Maker and Master; or, Oh how unstable and changeable art thou!


Verse 14

Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a 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.

Ver. 14. The face of a cherub,] i.e., Humana quidem, sed splendidissima, saith Junius: Facies pueri alati, saith another. There are those who tell us, that in the Syriac tongue, the word cherub is taken from a word which signifieth drawing the plough, which is the bullock’s proper labour. We must believe therefore, say they, that cherub signifieth properly the figure of a bullock, under which hieroglyphically was represented an angel. The laborious preacher’s face shall once shine as an angel’s.


Verse 15

Ezekiel 10:15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This [is] the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

Ver. 15. Were lifted up.] Or, They lift up themsdves - scil., to follow and attend their departing Lord.

That I saw by the river of Chebar.] And now saw again, for further confirmation.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 10:16 And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.

Ver. 16. And when the cherubims went.] Angels have a great stroke in ordering the affairs of the world, as hath already been noted. {See Trapp on "Ezekiel 1:6"} Quod vero eandem rem saepe repeto, lectori molestum esse non debet, saith Lavater, in his preface to this prophet.


Verse 17

Ezekiel 10:17 When they stood, [these] stood; and when they were lifted up, [these] lifted up themselves [also]: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in them.

Ver. 17. When they stood.] See Ezekiel 1:21.

The spirit of the living creatures.] Or, Of life. God governeth all events; he moveth the angels, they the wheels. No clock hath so certain motions as the vicissitudes of all things are overruled by God.


Verse 18

Ezekiel 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.

Ver. 18. Then the glory of the Lord departed.] This the stubborn Jews would never be drawn to believe possible, till it befell them; hence they hear of it so often, but to little good purpose as to them.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 10:19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also [were] beside them, and [every one] stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above.

Ver. 19. Over the east gate.] The gate of the court where the people met, and prayed with their faces westward; here now stood the cherubims, and here stood the glory over them, that all the city might see that God was going from them, and seek by all good means to retain him with them.


Verse 20

Ezekiel 10:20 This [is] the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they [were] the cherubims.

Ver. 20. And I knew that they were the cherubims.] Now at last I knew. Divine light is darted into the soul by degrees, and at different times.


Verse 21

Ezekiel 10:21 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man [was] under their wings.

Ver. 21. Every one had four faces apiece.] Ad taedium usque eandem rem repetit, ut nihil excusationis haberent. These careless and cross-grained Jews are told the same things thus over and over, to leave them without all excuse, if they would not be wrought upon by all.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 10:22 And the likeness of their faces [was] the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.

Ver. 22. They went every one straightforward.] Let us, by their example, learn to advance forward to the high prize of the heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 10:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-10.html. 1865-1868.

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