Ezekiel’s inaugural vision
1In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the River Kebar, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
2On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin – 3the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the River Kebar in the land of the Babylonians.1:3 Or Chaldeans There the hand of the Lord was on him.
4I looked, and I saw a violent storm coming out of the north – an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The centre of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.
10Their faces looked like this: each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upwards, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.
15As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: they sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.
19When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
22Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23Under the vault their wings were stretched out one towards the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty,1:24 Hebrew Shaddai like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
25Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking.