La Bible du Semeur

Ézéchiel 1

Le jugement de Jérusalem

La vocation d’Ezéchiel

1Le cinquième jour du quatrième mois de la trentième année[a], je me trouvais parmi les déportés, près du canal du Kebar[b]. Le ciel s’ouvrit et Dieu m’envoya des visions.

Le cinquième jour du mois de cette année-là, c’est-à-dire la cinquième année de la captivité du roi Yehoyakîn[c], l’Eternel adressa la parole à Ezéchiel, fils du prêtre Bouzi, au pays des Chaldéens, près du canal du Kebar. Là, la main de l’Eternel reposa sur lui.

Ezéchiel contemple la gloire de Dieu

Je vis soudain un vent de tempête venant du nord qui poussait devant lui un énorme nuage sillonné d’éclairs. Ce nuage était entouré d’une clarté éblouissante. En son centre, il y avait l’éclat d’un métal au milieu du feu[d]. En son milieu, je distinguais quelque chose qui ressemblait à quatre êtres vivants; par leur aspect, ils ressemblaient à des hommes[e]. Chacun d’eux avait quatre faces et quatre ailes. Leurs jambes étaient droites; leurs pieds étaient comme ceux d’un taureau et brillaient comme du bronze poli. Sous leurs ailes, et à leurs quatre côtés, apparaissaient des mains humaines, et chacun des quatre avait ses faces et ses ailes. Leurs ailes se touchaient l’une l’autre par leurs extrémités. Quand ils se déplaçaient, ils ne se tournaient pas, mais chacun avançait droit devant soi. 10 Leurs faces ressemblaient à celle d’un homme, et ils avaient tous les quatre une face de lion à droite, une face de taureau à gauche, et une face d’aigle. 11 Chacun d’eux avait deux paires d’ailes: deux de ces ailes se déployaient vers le haut et chacune touchait une aile d’un autre être vivant de son côté, les deux autres couvraient leurs corps. 12 Chacun d’eux avançait droit devant soi, ils allaient là où l’Esprit[f] les poussait à aller sans qu’aucun d’eux ne se tourne pour se déplacer.

13 Ces êtres vivants avaient l’aspect de braises[g] incandescentes, et de torches brillantes: ils paraissaient embrasés comme des torches brillantes. Le feu courait entre ces êtres vivants; ils avaient l’éclat du feu et des éclairs jaillissaient de ce feu. 14 Ces êtres couraient, allant et venant en tous sens, comme des éclairs.

15 En contemplant ces êtres vivants, j’aperçus à côté de chacun d’eux une roue qui touchait terre, vers leurs quatre faces. 16 Les quatre roues étaient pareilles: elles semblaient faites en chrysolithe[h] et paraissaient encastrées l’une au milieu de l’autre. 17 Elles pouvaient donc se déplacer dans les quatre directions sans pivoter. 18 Les jantes des quatre roues étaient d’une dimension énorme et terrifiante. Elles étaient couvertes d’yeux sur toute leur circonférence. 19 Quand les êtres vivants se déplaçaient, les roues se déplaçaient à côté d’eux, et quand ils s’élevaient de terre, elles s’élevaient aussi. 20 Ils allaient là où l’Esprit[i] les poussait à aller. Les roues s’élevaient en même temps qu’eux, car l’Esprit qui animait les êtres vivants animait aussi les roues. 21 Quand les êtres vivants s’avançaient, se tenaient arrêtés ou s’élevaient de terre, les roues s’avançaient, se tenaient arrêtées ou s’élevaient de terre en même temps qu’eux, car l’Esprit qui animait les êtres vivants animait aussi les roues.

22 Au-dessus de la tête de ces êtres vivants s’étendait quelque chose qui ressemblait à une étendue céleste et qui avait l’éclat éblouissant du cristal. 23 Sous cette étendue, ils tendaient leurs ailes jusqu’à toucher celles de leurs voisins, et chacun en avait deux qui lui couvraient le corps. 24 Quand ils se déplaçaient, j’entendais le bruit de leurs ailes, un bruit semblable au grondement de grosses eaux ou à la voix du Tout-Puissant, c’était un bruit de grand tumulte comme celui d’un campement guerrier. Quand ils s’arrêtaient, ils abaissaient leurs ailes. 25 Alors une voix retentit au-dessus de l’étendue céleste qui surplombait leur tête. 26 Par-dessus cette étendue apparaissait comme une pierre de saphir qui avait la forme d’un trône, et au-dessus de ce qui ressemblait à un trône, au point le plus élevé, se tenait un être ayant l’aspect d’un homme. 27 Je vis que la partie supérieure de son corps, au-dessus de ce qui ressemblait à sa taille, avait un éclat étincelant et l’aspect du feu tout autour, et la partie inférieure semblait comme baignée de feu et répandait autour d’elle une vive clarté. 28 La clarté qui l’environnait avait l’aspect de l’arc-en-ciel qui resplendit dans les nuées en un jour de pluie. C’est ainsi que m’apparut ce qui ressemblait à la gloire de l’Eternel. A cette vue, je tombai la face contre terre, et j’entendis quelqu’un me parler.

Notas al pie

  1. 1.1 Probablement le quatrième mois de la trentième année de la vie d’Ezéchiel, l’âge auquel il aurait dû commencer à exercer ses fonctions sacerdotales (Nb 4.3).
  2. 1.1 Le Kebar : grand canal relié à l’Euphrate, au sud de Babylone.
  3. 1.2 C’est-à-dire juillet 593 av. J.-C. Sur la captivité de Yehoyakîn, voir 2 R 24.8-17; 2 Ch 36.9-10.
  4. 1.4 Pour les v. 4-28, voir 10.1-22; cf. Ap 4.
  5. 1.5 Selon 10.15, ces êtres vivants sont des chérubins (voir Ex 25.17 et note).
  6. 1.12 En hébreu, il y a un jeu sur les deux sens possibles du terme: vent et Esprit.
  7. 1.13 Selon le texte hébreu traditionnel. L’ancienne version grecque a: au milieu de ces êtres vivants, il y avait des braises …
  8. 1.16 Pierre précieuse importée d’Espagne.
  9. 1.20 Voir 1.12 et note.

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.