Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 10

And then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament [the heaven] 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 ( Ezekiel 10:1 ).

Again, the vision of the throne of God, similar to that which he had by the river Chebar in chapter 1.

And as he spake unto the man that was clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill your hand with the coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 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 ( Ezekiel 10:2-4 ).

You say, "Oh, how beautiful." No, it's tragic, because the glory of God is leaving.

And the sound of the cherubim's wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaks. 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. And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took from it, and put into it the hands of him that was clothed with linen; who took it, and went out. And there appeared in the cherubim's form of a man's hand under their wings. And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by the cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the color of a beryl stone [or green]. And as for their appearances, they had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they did not turn as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; and turned not as they went ( Ezekiel 10:5-11 ).

So, they are the four cherubs. Their wings are each touching each other and they are faced inwardly. So their movements are in straight type of movements, not turning their heads as they move, but each head just following in a straight type of movement.

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. As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel. And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub ( Ezekiel 10:12-14 ),

Now, in chapter 1 he said the face was like an ox. Here he's getting a look at it from a different perspective. He is standing down and looking up, as it has now ascended upward, and in looking up at it from this angle, it looks more like a cherub, whatever a cherub looks like.

and the second face was like the face of a man, and the third face was like a lion, and the fourth was the face of an eagle ( Ezekiel 10:14 ).

So the four faces, again, one in each direction.

And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river Chebar. 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. When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these were lifted up also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them. Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: and 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 ( Ezekiel 10:15-19 ).

And so, now it has moved to the door of the east gate.

This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubims. Every one had four faces, every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: and they went every one straight forward ( Ezekiel 10:20-22 ).

Now, you have the difficulty of trying to describe in human language an indescribable kind of a thing like you've never seen before, as you observe these cherubim, these angelic beings. Cherubim is plural for cherub. The im is the plural in Hebrew. So, a cherub would be singular, a cherubim is plural, because there are four cherubim involved in this vision that Ezekiel saw, he uses the term cherubim, because it is plural.

There are these colors, there are these eyes, there are these faces, there are all of these aspects that he describes in human language as best he can. To us, it comes out as some kind of a monstrosity as far as the appearance is concerned, because we have never seen anything with four faces that in any wise would resemble what he's talking about here. The lights that are flashing, the colors, when they move, the lightening, look at their movements.

And so Ezekiel is bound to language that he has, trying to describe these heavenly beings. Now, there is always that difficulty in trying in human language to describe that which is divine or heavenly.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Hey, if I've told you earthly things and you didn't believe them, how are you going to believe if I tell you heavenly things?" Now, if we have difficulty describing earthly things, how in the world can you describe heavenly things? How would you describe to an aborigine in Australia a computer and how it operates? You'd have trouble, wouldn't you? Because he has such a limited vocabulary, no understanding of modern technical instruments, how that you can punch out on this keyboard, but he doesn't understand what a keyboard is.

Paul the apostle was caught up into heaven, but he was pretty smart, he said, "There is no language that can describe what I heard," so he just left it there. He said, "It would be a crime for me to try to describe it in human language. There's no way to do it," so he didn't even try. You know, when I get to heaven I'm going to talk to him about that. I think he should have at least tried. But he said it would be a crime to try and do it, because nothing that you could...there are no words that can describe that which Paul heard. So far beyond that any attempt would be less than what it was. It would be a crime, it would be so much less than what it actually was, that there's just no way you can do it.

So, I'm certain that with everything else we get in heaven will be a new vocabulary. In order that we might again describe to each other those things that are of the heavens, those things that are heavenly.

So, Ezekiel is taking human language and trying to describe spiritual creatures, spiritual events. Doing the best that he can, but limited by his age and the technology and all that they had at that time, in his use of words, in describing these things.

Now, when you see the cherubim, it would be interesting if in this modern, more technical age, we would see them, if our descriptions would vary much from Ezekiel's. Now, I really don't know. He talked about their having the wings and touching each other. We think of Ezekiel and wings, you think of bird type wings. Maybe they're not. Maybe we'd say, "They had wings like an F-04. And the noise sounds like a jet taking off." And it could be that in using terms today we would use different terminology to describe these angelic heavenly creatures that are there about the throne of God, that are described here in Ezekiel 1-10.

But, for parallel passages read Revelation, chapter 4, as John also describes these same creatures in the heavenly scene. Familiarize yourself with them because when John gets to heaven, the first thing that attracts his attention is the throne of God and these cherubim around the throne of God and their activity there. So, you might as well familiarize yourself with them, because that's probably the first thing that you'll be seeing when you get to heaven. And if you aren't a little familiar with it, you're going to be going around with your mouth wide open looking like someone who didn't do their homework.

So, interesting what we have to look forward to as we one day will leave this three-dimensional plane or three-dimensional living and enter into that spiritual dimension where we too will see the real world, not this temporal world of fantasy that is about us, but the eternal world, God's kingdom.

In the news reports this evening, there are reports of Libya attacking Sudan. I think it was on Thursday that a couple of their planes bombed an area of Sudan, killing some of the civilians. The Middle East is in turmoil. One week can bring so many new events; one week could bring us to the end, as far as that goes. Kaddafi is a real problem upon the world today. It is thought by the FBI and the CIA that he has paid huge sums of money for the assassination of President Reagan. That is why Reagan did not go to the funeral of Sadat.

The United States feels that they have a score to settle with Kaddafi, and we could easily become involved in a move against Libya. We are, in a sense, sort of looking for the excuse to do something about that situation there. So, the whole Middle East bears watching.

I'm so glad that I know the Lord and I know the score, because God has given it to us a long time ago. Libya will not be taken by the United States. Libya will be an ally of Russia when Russia invades Israel. Libya is already an ally of Russia. They have publicly announced the defense pact made in 1975, a mutual defense agreement and should the United States attack Libya it will definitely bring retaliation from Russia. And yet, we feel that we cannot allow Kaddafi to continue his madman policies. So, be glad you're not Haag or any of these other men that have to make the decisions in this chaotic world in which we live.

But as Christians be alert, keep your eyes on the Lord, keep them looking up, because our redemption is so very, very close. God be with you and bless and keep you through the week. May the Lord strengthen you as the evil days are waxing worse and worse. As perilous times have come because of the pleasure madness of man. May the Lord establish your life in Christ and may your faith increase and your love and devotion for the things of God, for the things of the Spirit. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.