God’s Glory Leaves the Temple1 As I watched, I saw ▼
▼ The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.on the platform ▼ above the top of the cherubim something like a sapphire, resembling the shape of a throne, appearing above them. 2 The Lord ▼
▼ Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.said to the man dressed in linen, “Go between the wheelwork ▼ underneath the cherubim. ▼
▼ The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, and Targum mss read plural “cherubim” while the MT is singular here, “cherub.” The plural ending was probably omitted in copying the MT due to the similar beginning of the next word.Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” He went as I watched.
3 (The cherubim were standing on the south side ▼
▼ Heb “right side.”of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.) 4 Then the glory of the Lord arose from the cherub and moved to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud while the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory. 5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard from the outer court, like the sound of the sovereign God ▼
▼ The name (“El Shaddai”) has often been translated “God Almighty,” primarily because Jerome translated it omnipotens (“all powerful”) in the Latin Vulgate. There has been much debate over the meaning of the name. For discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names Shaddai and Abram,” JBL 54 (1935): 173-210; R. Gordis, “The Biblical Root sdy-sd,” JTS 41 (1940): 34-43; and especially T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 69–72.when he speaks.
6 When the Lord ▼
▼ Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.commanded the man dressed in linen, “Take fire from within the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” the man ▼
▼ Heb “he”; the referent (the man dressed in linen) has been specified in the translation for clarity.went in and stood by one of the wheels. ▼
▼ Heb “the wheel.”7 Then one of the cherubim ▼
▼ Heb “the cherub.”stretched out his hand ▼
▼ The Hebrew text adds, “from among the cherubim.”toward the fire which was among the cherubim. He took some and put it into the hands of the man dressed in linen, who took it and left. 8 (The cherubim appeared to have the form ▼ of human hands under their wings.)
9 As I watched, I noticed ▼
▼ The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; ▼
▼ The MT repeats this phrase, a clear case of dittography.the wheels gleamed like jasper. ▼
▼ Heb “Tarshish stone.” The meaning is uncertain. The term has also been translated “topaz” (NEB), “beryl” (KJV, NASB, NRSV), and “chrysolite” (RSV, NIV).10 As for their appearance, all four of them looked the same, something like a wheel within a wheel. ▼ 11 When they ▼
▼ That is, the cherubim.moved, they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved; in the direction the head would turn they would follow ▼
▼ Many interpreters assume that the human face of each cherub was the one that looked forward.without turning as they moved, 12 along with their entire bodies, ▼
▼ The phrase “along with their entire bodies” is absent from the LXX and may be a gloss explaining the following words.their backs, their hands, and their wings. The wheels of the four of them were full of eyes all around. 13 As for their wheels, they were called “the wheelwork” ▼
▼ Or “the whirling wheels.”as I listened. 14 Each of the cherubim ▼
▼ Heb “each one”; the referent (the cherubim) has been specified in the translation for clarity.had four faces: The first was the face of a cherub, ▼
▼ The living creature described here is thus slightly different from the one described in Ezek 1:10, where a bull’s face appeared instead of a cherub’s. Note that some English versions harmonize the two descriptions and read the same here as in 1:10 (cf. NAB, NLT “an ox”; TEV, CEV “a bull”). This may be justified based on v. 22, which states the creatures’ appearance was the same.the second that of a man, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.
15 The cherubim rose up; these were the living beings ▼
▼ Heb “it was the living creature.”I saw at the Kebar River. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them; when the cherubim spread ▼
▼ Heb “lifted.”their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not move from their side. 17 When the cherubim ▼
▼ Heb “they”; the referent (the cherubim) has been specified in the translation for clarity.stood still, the wheels ▼
▼ Heb “they”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.stood still, and when they rose up, the wheels ▼
▼ Heb “they”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.rose up with them, for the spirit ▼
▼ Or “wind.”of the living beings ▼
▼ Heb “living creature.”was in the wheels. ▼
▼ Heb “them”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
18 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 The cherubim spread ▼
▼ Heb “lifted.”their wings, and they rose up from the earth ▼
▼ Or “the ground” (NIV, NCV).while I watched (when they went the wheels went alongside them). They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s temple as the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them.
20 These were the living creatures ▼
▼ Heb “That was the living creature.”which I saw at the Kebar River underneath the God of Israel; I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Each had four faces; each had four wings and the form of human hands under the wings. 22 As for the form of their faces, they were the faces whose appearance I had seen at the Kebar River. Each one moved straight ahead.
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