Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 10

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-22

The Destruction of Jerusalem by Eire

In this chapter the living chariot accompanying the vision of God’s glory is the most prominent object. The living creatures are now recognised by Ezekiel as cherubim, and called so. Otherwise the description is largely a repetition of Ezekiel 1. The man with the inkhorn is directed to take coals of fire from the glowing interior of the chariot and to scatter them over the city. This part of the vision points forward to the burning of Jerusalem as the final stage of her punishment.

1. As the ’cherub’ was mentioned without any introduction in Ezekiel 9:3, the living chariot with all its parts now appears in the same way. It is not directly stated that the glorious Figure is on the throne. The ’glory’ had left the chariot for the threshold of the Temple in Ezekiel 9:3, and is in the same position in Ezekiel 10:4. It may or may not have returned to the chariot in the interval.

2. Wheels] RV ’whirling wheels,’ and so in Ezekiel 10:6, Ezekiel 10:13. The word is not the ordinary one for ’wheels.’ Cherub] the singular denoting the group, as in Ezekiel 9:3.

3. The right side] the S. side. The Hebrews described the points of the compass as for a spectator facing E. The S. side of the Temple building was the part of the precincts nearest to the city.

4. The house was filled with the cloud] a comparison with 1 Kings 8:10-11 shows that the ’glory’ which Ezekiel saw in his visions was the same as that by which God’s presence had been hitherto manifested in the Holy of Holies.

5. As the voice, etc] like thunder.

6. Beside the wheels] RV ’beside a wheel.’

7. One cherub] RV ’the cherub,’ the cherub next the particular wheel just mentioned. The scribe-angel did not actually go between the wheels himself, but stood beside the chariot and received the fire from one of the cherubim.

12. The cherubim, as well as the wheels, are now said to be full of eyes.

13. It was cried unto them. O wheel] RV ’they were called.. the whirling wheels.’

14. The face of a (RV ’the’) cherub here takes the place of the ox-face of Ezekiel 1:10. This seems at first sight to indicate that the cherubim already known to Ezekiel were oxfaced. But the cherubim in the decoration of Ezekiel’s visionary temple (Ezekiel 44:18-19) had only the faces of a man and a lion. The substitution of ’cherub’ for ’ox,’ and the change in the order of the faces, may be explained by supposing that Ezekiel, still standing near the N. gate of the inner court, looked S. towards the chariot, which was about to move E. (Ezekiel 10:19). The cherub on the E. side of the chariot would be the leading one, and so might be called ’the cherub.’ Ezekiel would see the left, or ox-, face of this cherub, the front, or human, face of the cherub on the N. side of the chariot, the right, or lion–, face of the cherub on the W. side, and the back, or eagle-, face of the cherub on the S. side, thus:

18. The ’glory’ now returns to its place above the chariot.

19. Every one] RV ’they.’ The east gate] the eastern gate of the outer court. The presence of God moves to the very verge of the Temple precincts, which it is about to leave altogether.

20. I knew that they were the cherubims] RV ’I knew that they were cherubim.’ Ezekiel now recognised for the first time that the ’living creatures’were identical with the ’cherubim’ of Hebrew poetry and sacred Symbolism. He thus gives a clue to the source of the ideas which had unconsciously moulded his visionary conceptions from the beginning.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 10". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.