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Eze 10:1-22. VISION OF COALS OF FIRE SCATTERED OVER THE CITY: REPETITION OF THE VISION OF THE CHERUBIM.
1. The throne of Jehovah appearing in the midst of the judgments
implies that whatever intermediate agencies be employed, He controls
them, and that the whole flows as a necessary consequence from His
(Eze 1:22, 26).
2. he--Jehovah; He who sat on the "throne."
3. right . . . of . . . house--The scene of the locality whence
judgment emanates is the temple, to mark God's vindication of His
holiness injured there. The cherubim here are not those in the holy of
holies, for the latter had not "wheels." They stood on "the right of the
house," that is, the south, for the Chaldean power, guided by them, had
already advanced from the north (the direction of Babylon), and had
destroyed the men in the temple, and was now proceeding to destroy
the city, which lay south and west.
4. The court outside was full of the Lord's brightness, while it was only the cloud that filled the house inside, the scene of idolatries, and therefore of God's displeasure. God's throne was on the threshold. The temple, once filled with brightness, is now darkened with cloud.
6. went in--not into the temple, but between the cherubim. Ezekiel sets aside the Jews' boast of the presence of God with them. The cherubim, once the ministers of grace, are now the ministers of vengeance. When "commanded," He without delay obeys (Ps 40:8; Heb 10:7).
8. The "wings" denote alacrity, the "hands" efficacy and aptness, in executing the functions assigned to them.
9. wheels--(See on Eze 1:15, 16). The things which, from Eze 10:8 to the end of the chapter, are repeated from the first chapter are expressed more decidedly, now that he gets a nearer view: the words "as it were," and "as if," so often occurring in the first chapter, are therefore mostly omitted. The "wheels" express the manifold changes and revolutions in the world; also that in the chariot of His providence God transports the Church from one place to another and everywhere can preserve it; a truth calculated to alarm the people in Jerusalem and to console the exiles [POLANUS].
10. four had one likeness--In the wonderful variety of God's works there is the greatest harmony:--
11. (See on
12. body--literally, "flesh," because a body consists of flesh.
13. O wheel--rather, "they were called, whirling," that is, they were most rapid in their revolutions [MAURER]; or, better, "It was cried unto them, The whirling" [FAIRBAIRN]. Galgal here used for "wheel," is different from ophan, the simple word for "wheel." Galgal is the whole wheelwork machinery with its whirlwind-like rotation. Their being so addressed is in order to call them immediately to put themselves in rapid motion.
14. cherub--but in Eze 1:10 it is an ox. The chief of the four cherubic forms was not the ox, but man. Therefore "cherub" cannot be synonymous with "ox." Probably Ezekiel, standing in front of one of the cherubim (namely, that which handed the coals to the man in linen), saw of him, not merely the ox-form, but the whole fourfold form, and therefore calls him simply "cherub"; whereas of the other three, having only a side view, he specifies the form of each which met his eye [FAIRBAIRN]. As to the likelihood of the lower animals sharing in "the restoration of all things," see Isa 11:6; 65:25; Ro 8:20, 21; this accords with the animal forms combined with the human to typify redeemed man.
18. The departure of the symbol of God's presence from the temple preparatory to the destruction of the city. Foretold in De 31:17. Woe be to those from whom God departs (Ho 9:12)! Compare 1Sa 28:15, 16; 4:21: "I-chabod, Thy glory is departed." Successive steps are marked in His departure; so slowly and reluctantly does the merciful God leave His house. First He leaves the sanctuary (Eze 9:3); He elevates His throne above the threshold of the house (Eze 10:1); leaving the cherubim He sits on the throne (Eze 10:4); He and the cherubim, after standing for a time at the door of the east gate (where was the exit to the lower court of the people), leave the house altogether (Eze 10:18, 19), not to return till Eze 43:2.
20. I knew . . . cherubim--By the second sight of the cherubim, he learned to identify them with the angelic forms situated above the ark of the covenant in the temple, which as a priest, he "knew" about from the high priest.
21. The repetition is in order that the people about to live without the temple might have, instead, the knowledge of the temple mysteries, thus preparing them for a future restoration of the covenant. So perverse were they that they would say, "Ezekiel fancies he saw what has no existence." He, therefore, repeats it over and over again.
22. straight forward--intent upon the object they aimed at, not deviating from the way nor losing sight of the end (Lu 9:52).