Amplified Bible

Ezekiel 1

The Vision of Four Figures

1Now it came about [when I was] in my [a]thirtieth year [of life], on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles beside the River Chebar [in Babylonia], the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. (On the fifth of the month, which was in the fifth year of [b]King Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the [c]Chaldeans by the River [d]Chebar; and the hand of the Lord came upon him there.)

As I looked, I saw a stormy wind coming out of the north, a great cloud with fire flashing continually from it; and a brightness was around it, and in its core [there was] something like glowing [amber-colored] metal in the midst of the fire. Within it there were figures resembling [e]four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each one had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight and the soles of their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they sparkled and gleamed like shiny bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 10 Regarding the [f]form and appearance of their faces: they [each] had the face of a man [in front], and each had the face of a lion on the right side, and the face of an ox on the left side; all four also had the face of an eagle [at the back of their heads]. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were stretched out upward; two [wings] of each one were touching another [the wings of the beings on either side of it], and [the remaining] two [wings of each being] were covering their bodies. 12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 Among the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings moved rapidly back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 Now as I looked at the living beings, I saw one wheel on the ground beside the living beings, for each of the four of them. 16 Regarding the appearance of the wheels and their construction: they gleamed like chrysolite (beryl, olivine); and the four were made alike. Their appearance and construction were a wheel [set at a right angle] within a wheel. 17 Whenever they moved, they went in any [one] of their four directions without turning as they moved. 18 Regarding their rims: they were so high that they were awesome and dreadful, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes all around. 19 Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them; and when the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. 20 Wherever the spirit went, the beings went in that direction. And the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit or life of the living beings was in the wheels. 21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those came to a stop, these came to a stop; and whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.

Vision of Divine Glory

22 Now stretched over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, looking like the terrible and awesome shimmer of icy crystal. 23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. Every living being had two wings which covered its body on one side and on the other side. 24 As they moved, I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of great [rushing] waters, like the voice of [g]the Almighty, the sound of tumult like the noise of an army camp. Whenever they came to a stop, they lowered their wings. 25 And there was a voice above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stopped, they lowered their wings.

26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, it appeared like [it was made of] sapphire or lapis lazuli; and [seated] on that which looked like a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27 Now upward, from that which appeared to be His waist, I saw something like glowing metal that looked like it was filled with fire all around it; and downward, from that which appeared to be His waist, I saw something like fire; and there was a brightness and a remarkable radiance [like a halo] around Him. 28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory and brilliance of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell face downward and I heard a voice of One speaking.

Notas al pie

  1. Ezekiel 1:1 If he had not been in exile in Babylonia Ezekiel would have formally begun his service to God as a Levitical priest at the age of thirty. Instead God anointed him to serve as a prophet.
  2. Ezekiel 1:2 Jehoiachin the king of Judah was taken captive when Nebuchadnezzar and his army invaded Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar II of the Chaldean Dynasty, more commonly known as Nebuchadnezzar the Great, ruled Babylon from 605-562 b.c. He conquered Jerusalem in 597 b.c.
  3. Ezekiel 1:3 The Chaldeans dominated and ruled Babylonia from 625 b.c., until their empire fell in 539 b.c., but they were known as early as 1000 b.c. as an aggressive, tribal people in the southern region of Babylonia. They were highly skilled in both the science of astronomy and the pseudo-science of astrology. They kept meticulous records of celestial motion and correctly calculated the length of a year to within just a few minutes. Babylon, their capital city, was the center of trade and learning in the western part of Asia. The classical literature of the Chaldeans was written in cuneiform, but the common language, both written and spoken in Babylon, was Akkadian increasingly influenced by Aramaic.
  4. Ezekiel 1:3 A canal off the Euphrates, south of Babylon.
  5. Ezekiel 1:5 These four angelic beings are identified as cherubim in ch 10. In Scripture, the cherubim seem to be related to the affirmation of God’s perfection and holiness standing in stark contrast to the debased character of godless mankind. They are extremely intelligent, powerful, expeditious servants of God.
  6. Ezekiel 1:10 Various interpretations have been ascribed to the symbolism of the four heavenly beings. The four faces may be regarded as symbolic of “the four portraits of Jesus” as given in the four Gospels (king, servant, man, and God). Another proposes that they represent the four qualities of the angels (intelligent, strong, servile, and swift). Another interpretation identifies them with the four Gospels, and another with the four corners of the earth, implying that the angels serve God throughout the earth. In ch 10 these beings are identified as cherubim.
  7. Ezekiel 1:24 Heb Shaddai.

The Message

Ezekiel 1

Wheels Within Wheels, Like a Gyroscope

1When I was thirty years of age, I was living with the exiles on the Kebar River. On the fifth day of the fourth month, the sky opened up and I saw visions of God.

2-3 (It was the fifth day of the month in the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin that God’s Word came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, on the banks of the Kebar River in the country of Babylon. God’s hand came upon him that day.)

4-9 I looked: I saw an immense dust storm come from the north, an immense cloud with lightning flashing from it, a huge ball of fire glowing like bronze. Within the fire were what looked like four creatures vibrant with life. Each had the form of a human being, but each also had four faces and four wings. Their legs were as sturdy and straight as columns, but their feet were hoofed like those of a calf and sparkled from the fire like burnished bronze. On all four sides under their wings they had human hands. All four had both faces and wings, with the wings touching one another. They turned neither one way nor the other; they went straight forward.

10-12 Their faces looked like this: In front a human face, on the right side the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, and in back the face of an eagle. So much for the faces. The wings were spread out with the tips of one pair touching the creature on either side; the other pair of wings covered its body. Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit went, they went. They didn’t turn as they went.

13-14 The four creatures looked like a blazing fire, or like fiery torches. Tongues of fire shot back and forth between the creatures, and out of the fire, bolts of lightning. The creatures flashed back and forth like strikes of lightning.

15-16 As I watched the four creatures, I saw something that looked like a wheel on the ground beside each of the four-faced creatures. This is what the wheels looked like: They were identical wheels, sparkling like diamonds in the sun. It looked like they were wheels within wheels, like a gyroscope.

17-21 They went in any one of the four directions they faced, but straight, not veering off. The rims were immense, circled with eyes. When the living creatures went, the wheels went; when the living creatures lifted off, the wheels lifted off. Wherever the spirit went, they went, the wheels sticking right with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures went, the wheels went; when the creatures stopped, the wheels stopped; when the creatures lifted off, the wheels lifted off, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22-24 Over the heads of the living creatures was something like a dome, shimmering like a sky full of cut glass, vaulted over their heads. Under the dome one set of wings was extended toward the others, with another set of wings covering their bodies. When they moved I heard their wings—it was like the roar of a great waterfall, like the voice of The Strong God, like the noise of a battlefield. When they stopped, they folded their wings.

25-28 And then, as they stood with folded wings, there was a voice from above the dome over their heads. Above the dome there was something that looked like a throne, sky-blue like a sapphire, with a humanlike figure towering above the throne. From what I could see, from the waist up he looked like burnished bronze and from the waist down like a blazing fire. Brightness everywhere! The way a rainbow springs out of the sky on a rainy day—that’s what it was like. It turned out to be the Glory of God!

When I saw all this, I fell to my knees, my face to the ground. Then I heard a voice.