Ezekiel sees the Lord's glory and is chosen to be his prophet
1-3I am Ezekiel—a priest and the son of Buzi.#1.1-3 a priest and the son of Buzi: Or “the son of Buzi the priest”.#Rev 19.11.#2 K 24.10-16; 2 Ch 36.9,10.
Five years after King Jehoiachin of Judah had been led away as a prisoner to Babylonia, I was living near the River Chebar among those who had been taken there with him. Then on the fifth day of the fourth month#1.1-3 Five years…prisoner…fourth month: Probably July of 593 BC. of the thirtieth year,#1.1-3 thirtieth year: The event from which this date is worked out is unknown. the heavens suddenly opened. The LORD placed his hand upon me#1.1-3 The LORD placed his hand upon me: This was a sign that the LORD had chosen Ezekiel to be his prophet. and showed me some visions.
4I saw a storm blowing in from the north. Lightning flashed from a huge cloud and lit up the whole sky with a dazzling brightness. The fiery centre of the cloud was as shiny as polished metal, 5and in that centre I saw what looked like four living creatures. They were somewhat like humans,#Rev 4.6. 6except that each one had four faces and four wings. 7Their legs were straight, but their feet looked like the hoofs of calves and sparkled like bronze. 8Under each of their wings, these creatures had a human hand. 9The four creatures were standing back-to-back with the tips of their wings touching. They moved together in every direction, without turning their bodies.
10Each creature had the face of a human in front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of a bull on the left, and the face of an eagle at the back.#Ez 10.14; Rev 4.7. 11Two wings#1.11 Two wings: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. of each creature were spread out and touched the wings of the creatures on either side. The other two wings of each creature were folded against its body.
12Wherever the four living creatures went, they moved together without turning their bodies, because each creature faced straight ahead. 13The creatures were glowing like hot coals, and I saw something like a flaming torch moving back and forth among them. Lightning flashed from the torch every time its flame blazed up.#1.13 up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.#Rev 4.5. 14The creatures themselves moved as quickly as sparks jumping from a fire.#1.14 as sparks jumping from a fire: Or “as flashes of lightning”.
15I then noticed that on the ground beside each of the four living creatures was a wheel,#1.15 wheel: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 15.#Ez 10.9-13. 16shining like chrysolite.#1.16 chrysolite: A precious stone that has an olive green colour. Each wheel was exactly the same and had a second wheel that cut through the middle of it,#1.16 a second wheel that cut through the middle of it: Or “a smaller wheel inside it”. 17so that they could move in any direction without turning. 18The rims of the wheels were large and had eyes all the way around them.#1.18 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.#Rev 4.8. 19-21The creatures controlled when and where the wheels moved—the wheels went wherever the four creatures went and stopped whenever they stopped. Even when the creatures flew in the air, the wheels were beside them.
22-23Above the living creatures, I saw something that was sparkling like ice, and it reminded me of a dome. Each creature had two of its wings stretched out towards the creatures on either side, with the other two wings folded against its body.#Rev 4.6. 24Whenever the creatures flew, their wings roared like an ocean or a large army or even the voice of God All-Powerful. And whenever the creatures stopped, they folded their wings against their bodies.#Rev 1.4-15; 19.6.
25When the creatures stopped flapping their wings, I heard a sound coming from above the dome. 26I then saw what looked like a throne made of sapphire,#1.26 sapphire: A precious stone that has a blue colour. and sitting on the throne was a figure in the shape of a human.#Ez 10.1; Rev 4.2,3. 27From the waist up, it was glowing like metal in a hot furnace, and from the waist down it looked like the flames of a fire. The figure was surrounded by a bright light,#Ez 8.2. 28as colourful as a rainbow that appears after a storm.
I realized I was seeing the brightness of the LORD's glory! So I bowed with my face to the ground, and just then I heard a voice speaking to me.