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Ezekiel 1 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Ezekiel’s First Vision

In the thirtieth year,[a] in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, when I was among the exiles by the Kebar Canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth of that month, in the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin, the word of the Lord came in a dramatic way[b] upon Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, the priest, in the land of the Chaldeans,[c] by the Kebar Canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

The Glory of the Lord Appears

As I watched, I noticed a windstorm coming from the north. There was a large cloud, with fire flashing through it, and there was a bright light all around it. In the middle of it, there was something that looked like glowing metal[d] in the middle of the fire.

In the middle of it I saw what looked like four living creatures. This was what they looked like. Each of them had a human appearance, but each one had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Each of their legs was straight,[e] and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like polished bronze. They had human hands under their wings on all four of their sides. All four of them had faces and wings.

Their wings were touching one another. The creatures did not turn from side to side as they moved, but each one faced straight ahead.[f]

10 This is what their faces looked like. Each one had a face like a man’s face. On the right side of their heads, all four of them had a face like a lion. On the left side, all four of them had a face like an ox. All four of them also had a face like an eagle. 11 Those were their faces.

Their wings were stretched upward. Each of them had one pair of wings which touched the wings of each of the cherubs next to it and another pair of wings which covered their bodies.

12 Each one faced straight ahead as it moved. They went in whatever direction the spirit[g] wanted to go. They did not turn as they moved ahead.

13 The appearance of the living creatures was like red-hot coals, like the appearance of blazing torches. Fire was moving back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and lightning was coming out of the fire. 14 The creatures darted back and forth. They looked like jagged bolts of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I noticed one wheel on the ground beside each one of the living creatures that had four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their design were like the sparkle of topaz,[h] and the four of them looked alike. Their appearance and their design were like a wheel within a wheel.[i] 17 They could go in any of the four directions when they moved, but the wheels did not turn from side to side when they moved.[j] 18 As for their rims, they were high and intimidating, and their rims were full of eyes all the way around—all four of them. 19 Whenever the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them, and whenever the living creatures would rise from the ground, the wheels rose too.

20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they would go. Wherever the spirit wanted to go,[k] the wheels would rise together with them, because the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 21 Whenever the living creatures moved, the wheels would move. Whenever the living creatures stood still, the wheels would stand still. Whenever the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels would rise together with them, because the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

22 There was something above the heads of the living creatures like the dome of a vaulted ceiling.[l] It looked like ice. It was spectacular. It stretched out above their heads. 23 Under the dome, two of their wings were stretched out to touch the wing of another one of the creatures. Each of the creatures also had two wings covering themselves, each had two wings covering themselves—covering their bodies.[m] 24 I heard the sound of their wings, like the sound of rushing water. It was like the voice of the Almighty when they moved—a sound of commotion, like the noise in an army camp. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. 25 A voice came from above the dome that was over their heads. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

26 Above the dome that was over their heads, there was something that appeared to be a sapphire that was shaped like a throne. Seated on that throne-like form there was a figure that looked like a man. 27 I saw something like the gleam of glowing metal[n] with fire in it and all around it. It extended upward from what appeared to be the man’s waist. Below what appeared to be his waist, I saw what appeared to be fire, and a bright light surrounded him. 28 The bright light that surrounded him looked like the rainbow that is in the clouds on a rainy day.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the Glory of the Lord. When I saw this, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice speaking.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 1:1 Apparently the thirtieth year of Ezekiel’s life, when he would have become eligible to serve as a priest in the Temple, if he had not been in exile in Babylon
  2. Ezekiel 1:3 Or in a powerful way. The Hebrew uses an intensive verb form.
  3. Ezekiel 1:3 The Chaldeans were the ethnic group ruling Babylon.
  4. Ezekiel 1:4 Perhaps electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver, or perhaps amber
  5. Ezekiel 1:7 Or stretched out straight. It is not clear what this phrase means. Perhaps it means they did not bend at the knee. It is also uncertain whether each creature had two legs like a man or four legs like an ox, as many cherubim pictured in Near Eastern art have.
  6. Ezekiel 1:9 This apparently means that each one of the living creatures that Ezekiel was seeing always remained facing in one of the four directions of the compass. When the platform moved in any direction, the living creature facing that direction served as the driver. The other living creatures did not turn when the platform serving as a chariot headed in a different direction, but they remained facing in their assigned direction.
  7. Ezekiel 1:12 Or Spirit
  8. Ezekiel 1:16 Hebrew tarshish, a gemstone of uncertain identity
  9. Ezekiel 1:16 This seems to mean one wheel was at a right angle inside the other.
  10. Ezekiel 1:17 The wheels revolved when the platform was moving in the direction they faced, but the wheels did not turn to the right or left as automobile wheels do.
  11. Ezekiel 1:20 Repetitious speech is common in Ezekiel. Such repetition often marks excited, emotional speech.
  12. Ezekiel 1:22 This is the same word that describes the dome or expanse of the heavens in Genesis 1. Here this structure serves as a platform for God’s throne.
  13. Ezekiel 1:23 The repetition may be due to excited speech, due to seeing such an amazing vision.
  14. Ezekiel 1:27 Or electrum, a natural alloy of silver and gold, or amber
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 1 New International Version (NIV)

Ezekiel’s Inaugural Vision

In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians.[a] There the hand of the Lord was on him.

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty,[b] like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 1:3 Or Chaldeans
  2. Ezekiel 1:24 Hebrew Shaddai
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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