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.

New International Reader's Version

Ezekiel 1

The Lord Gives Ezekiel Visions of His Glory

1I was 30 years old. I was with my people. We had been taken away from our country. We were by the Kebar River in the land of Babylon. On the fifth day of the fourth month, the heavens were opened. I saw visions of God.

It was the fifth day of the month. Jehoiachin had been king of Judah. It was the fifth year since he had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner. A message from the Lord came to me. I was by the Kebar River in Babylon. The power of the Lord came on me there. I am Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi.

I looked up and saw a windstorm coming from the north. I saw a huge cloud. The fire of lightning was flashing out of it. Bright light surrounded it. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal. I saw in the fire something that looked like four living creatures. They appeared to have the shape of a human being. But each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight. Their feet looked like the feet of a calf. They were as bright as polished bronze. The creatures had human hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings. The wings of one touched the wings of another. Each of the creatures went straight ahead. They didn’t change their direction as they moved.

10 Here’s what their faces looked like. Each of the four creatures had the face of a human being. On the right side each had the face of a lion. On the left each had the face of an ox. Each one also had an eagle’s face. 11 That’s what their faces looked like. They each had two wings that spread out and lifted up. Each wing touched the wing of another creature on either side. They each had two other wings that covered their bodies. 12 All the creatures went straight ahead. Anywhere their spirits would lead them to go, they would go. They didn’t change their direction as they went. 13 The living creatures looked like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures. It was bright. Lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures raced back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw wheels on the ground beside them. Each creature had four faces. 16 Here’s how the wheels looked and worked. They gleamed like topaz. All four of them looked alike. Each one seemed to be made like a wheel inside another wheel at right angles. 17 The wheels could go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced. The wheels didn’t change their direction as the creatures moved. 18 Their rims were high and terrifying. All four rims were full of eyes all the way around them.

19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved. When the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Anywhere their spirits would lead them to go, they would go. And the wheels would rise along with them. That’s because the spirits of the living creatures were in the wheels. 21 When the living creatures moved, the wheels also moved. When the creatures stood still, they also stood still. When the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them. That’s because the spirits of the living creatures were in the wheels.

22 Something that looked like a huge space was spread out above the heads of the living creatures. It gleamed like crystal. It was terrifying. 23 The wings of the creatures were spread out under the space. They reached out toward one another. Each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 When the living creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings. It was like the roar of rushing waters. It sounded like the thundering voice of the Mighty God. It was like the loud noise an army makes. When the creatures stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 Then a voice came from above the huge space over their heads. They stood with their wings lowered. 26 Above the space over their heads was something that looked like a throne made out of lapis lazuli. On the throne high above was a figure that appeared to be a man. 27 From his waist up he looked like glowing metal that was full of fire. From his waist down he looked like fire. Bright light surrounded him. 28 The glow around him looked like a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day.

That’s what the glory of the Lord looked like. When I saw it, I fell with my face toward the ground. Then I heard the voice of someone speaking.