Ezekiel: Oracle by Oracle | Session 7 | Ezekiel 10:1-11:21
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Ezekiel: oracle-by-oracle | Session 7 | Ezekiel 10:1-11:21

Ezekiel 1:1-12:28 | The Desolation

Ezekiel 8:1-11:24 | Second Vision

Ezekiel 10:1-22 | Cherubim

  • Verses 1-2 -
    • Just as in chapter 1, Ezekiel once again sees the throne of God. Here, as there, it contains a firmament that was above the head of the cherubims, and this firmament was as it were a sapphire stone. This description matches Ezekiel 1:26.
    • The man clothed with linen is the same man who was the “marking angel” from Ezekiel 9:2, one of the six “men” of chapter 9, whom we estimated to be angelic. This man, who reported in 9:11 that he had done as thou hast commanded meis now given another assignment: to take a handful of coals and scatterthemover the city. The coals were found between the churubims which were under the firmament which held the throne.
  • Verses 3-5 –
    • In these verses, Ezekiel sees the shekinah glory (i.e.: visible) of God. The glory was such that the cloud filled the inner court.
    • This is the same glory seen in Exodus 19:9, 1 Kings 8:10, and many other passages.
    • Unlike in the previous Biblical passages, here Ezekiel sees the glory raise over the house (temple), so as to fill the entirety. Then, ominously, Ezekiel hears the sound of the cherubims’ wings, perhaps, we might say, as a helicopter about to depart.
  • Verses 6-7 –
    • Presumably, this is the completion of the command of verse 2, where the man was commanded to take coals and scatter them.
    • In verse 2 the man went in (to the inner space between the cherubim), but is then seen no more. Here the man is given the fire thatwasbetween the cherubims, and he goes out, but the focus of the account then changes away from this man. The departure of the man certainly looks ominous for Jerusalem.
  • Verse 8 –
    • Ezekiel sees the form of a man’s hand, but not the same man who received the coals.
    • This disembodied hand was also seen in Ezekiel 8:3, where the hand carried Ezekiel from his home to Jerusalem. We will encounter the hand again in verse 21.
  • Verses 9-14 –
    • The likeness of the cherubim matches perfectly the likeness in chapter 1. This time, Ezekiel heard a cry to the wheels, saying, O wheel(v. 13).
    • This is undoubtedly a form of a command, saying, in effect, “wheel, be a wheel!” That is: it’s time to go!
  • Verses 15-17 –
    • As suspected earlier from the sound of the wings, the cherubims were lifted up.
    • As in Ezekiel 1:20, 21, 22, Ezekiel again calls the cherubims (plural), in connection with the wheels a living creature (singular). This is likely to simply put emphasis that this is not a mechanical contraption, but a living thing.
    • Ezekiel now confirms that this is the same living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar, in chapter 1.
  • Verses 18-19 –
    • This is one of the most immensely sorrowful passages of all the Bible. Ezekiel records the glory of the Lord departing from the Temple.
    • This glory will not return until the Lord returns (see Ezekiel 43:1-7 and Matthew 24:30).
    • The glory had first been seen as the pillar of cloud in the wilderness (if not the flaming sword at the Garden of Eden), and shortly after this instance is only seen again in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14).
    • At this point, the glory has moved but not fully departed. It currently stands at the east gate of the Lord’s house.
  • Verses 20-22 –
    • These verses give a general statement of the appearance of the living creature, confirming again that this is the same as was seen by the river of Chebar. Ezekiel 11:1-21 | Sins and Punishments, part 2
  • Verses 1-3 –
    • At the eastern gate, Ezekiel sees, once again (compare Ezek. 8:16), 25 men. It is these who devise mischief, and give wicked counsel.
    • These men (unlike previously) are princes of the people(v. 1). Those in 8:16 were priestly (called princes of the sanctuary in Is. 43:28).
    • They could be the same as are referred to in Jeremiah 38:4, who desired to have Jeremiah put to death for speaking truth.
    • Specifically, Ezekiel sees Jaazaniah the son of Azur (the Jaazaniah of 8:6 was the son of Shaphan), along with Pelatiah the son of Benaiah. Nothing more is known about these two.
    • The 25 leaders mock the warnings of prophets like Jeremiah, and say, let us build houses, implying that no judgment is coming.
    • The statement thiscity isthe caldron, and webethe flesh(v. 3) seems to be a mockery of the warnings, saying, in effect, “Jerusalem is attacked on all sides, and they want to devour us, but we have nothing to worry about, we will ‘eat, drink, and be merry.’”
  • Verses 4-13 –
    • Having shown the sin (being secure when they should be frightened), the Lord now gives the prophesied punishment.
    • Because the leaders had made the city to be one in which the slain were multiplied and filled the streets (v. 6), and the city has been allowed to become the caldron, God is going to bring you forth out of the midst of it (v. 7). This promise is not the blessing of rescue, but of loss: the Jewish people will no longer be able to call Jerusalem “home.” God is going to bring about their greatest fears (v. 8) and the Jewish people will be delivered into the hands of strangers who will execute judgments among you (v. 9). But even having “escaped” Jerusalem, they will not escape, for God will judge you in the border of Israel(v. 11), on their way out.
    • At this point, Ezekiel saw that Pelatiah died, and Ezekiel cried out wondering if there would be a full end of the remnant of Israel? That is: will anyone survive?
  • Verses 14-15 –
    • It seems that the citizens of Jerusalem (or perhaps those of Judah in general) had abandoned their brethren, the house of Israel wholly, and were taking Jerusalem as their own possession.
    • Likely, Ezekiel and thy brethren are those of Israel that had already been taken captive and were in Babylon. Rather than fight for the freedom of their countrymen, they simply tried to enrich themselves in the abandoned real estate.
  • Verses 16-21 –
    • For the exiles, God gives a note of hope. Interestingly, the exiles likely thought they were in the worst shape, because they were removed from Jerusalem by the enemy early on, long before the destruction of the city. Many times, no doubt, they would have felt the sting of the situation far more than those back home, whose lives (many times) were going on as usual.
    • But now, to Ezekiel’s cry of verse 13 (wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel) God gives an answer: the exiles will finda little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Further, the Lord promises a restoration, saying that He will assemble youand give you the land of Israel (v. 17). When the people return, they will come in righteousness (v. 18) and God will give them one heart and a new spirit and will remove the stony heart and replace it with an heart of flesh (v. 19). Furthermore, they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
    • In considering these words, it is impossible, it seems to me, to see this as the restoration from Babylon. Rather, as prophecy so often does, this oracle has jumped forward in time to the ultimate restoration of the nation. Evidence is as follows:
      • At the Babylonian exile, the exiles only went to Babylon. Here they will be gathered out of the countries where ye have been scattered(v. 17).
      • After the Babylonian exile (and until 1948, and then only partially), the people of Israel never possessed the land. Here, the Lord says, I will give you the land of Israel (v. 17).
      • At no time since the Babylonian exile did the prophecies of verses 19-20 come to fruition. These are clearly new covenant prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
    • Note that the Lord did promise to recompense the way of the wicked upon their own heads. This, of course, did take place at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
KJV: Genesis 1