Ezekiel Chapter 10
Ezekiel 10:1 “Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.“
This is Ezekiel speaking. This chapter is a continuation of the vision that Ezekiel had in the last chapter. It is as if one stage is coming into his view at a time. God shows him one setting, and then another. The sapphire, here, is a blue stone, speaking of the heavenlies. Then, this is a vision of the throne in heaven.
The throne is like a sapphire shining forth representing God’s Glory and Holiness.
Ezekiel 10:2 “And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, [even] under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter [them] over the city. And he went in in my sight.“
“Fill with coals”: John MacArthur calls this vision with the cherubim and wheels God’s war machine.
God specifies that the marking angel reach into the war machine and fill his hands with fiery coals in the presence of the angels (of chapter 1). These coals picture the fires of judgment which God’s angels are to “scatter” on Jerusalem. (In Isaiah 6), coals were used for the purification of the prophet; here they were for the destruction of the wicked. Fire did destroy Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.).
Ezekiel 10:3 “Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.“
“The cloud filled the inner court” is speaking of the Shekinah glory of God which filled the court. The cherubims in this position indicate the presence of God is prepared to leave this place. This right hand would be the south and would make the cherubim face east.
These were different from the cherubim (of chapter one and here in verse 4).
Ezekiel 10:4 “Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, [and stood] over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.“
The cherubs or cherubims have to do with the holiness of God. They are in total worship to God over the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. The cherubim had been on either side of the glory of God. Now, the glory of God has moved to the exit of the house. This verse explains how the “cloud” (of verse 3), “filled the inner court”. It repeats what is first described (in chapter 9:3).
The brightness of the LORD’s glory is speaking of a presence of the Light of God. This Light does away with all darkness.
Ezekiel 10:5 “And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard [even] to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.“
The wings of the cherubim were very wide. The ones in the holy place were 7 and one-half feet across, on each wing. The movement of these wings would make a very loud sound. The voice of Almighty God had been likened to thunder. This is a very loud sound then.
Ezekiel 10:6 “And it came to pass, [that] when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.“
When the man clothed with linen was commanded of God to go and get the fire, He obeyed. He first stood beside the wheels.
Ezekiel 10:7 “And [one] cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that [was] between the cherubims, and took [thereof], and put [it] into the hands of [him that was] clothed with linen: who took [it], and went out.”
One of the four cherubim puts the fiery coals into the marking angel’s hand.
This is similar to the seraphim that took the fire and put it on the mouth of Isaiah.
Isaiah 6:6-7 “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:” “And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
Ezekiel 10:8 “And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.“
We dealt with this in an earlier lesson.
Ezekiel 1:8 “And [they had] the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings”.
Verses 9 to 17: This section is similar to (1:4-21). Four wheels on God’s chariot mingled with the 4 angels coordinated with each other in precision, and each with a different one of the cherubim.
Ezekiel 10:9 “And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels [was] as the color of a beryl stone.“
All looked so much alike that it was as if one wheel blended entirely with another (verse 10). As their appearance was so unified, their action was in unison and instant (verse 11). The cherubim had bodies like men and their chariot wheels were full of eyes denoting full perception both to see the sinners and their fitting judgment.
Beryl is speaking of deep green like an emerald. Green symbolizes the earth. The presence of God reaches to the earth.
Ezekiel 10:10 “And [as for] their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.“
The hub of the wheel was a wheel itself (as we studied in chapter 1).
Ezekiel 10:11 “When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.“
This was explained by scripture.
Ezekiel 1:12 “And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; [and] they turned not when they went”.
This refers to the divine impulse by which God moved them to do His Will.
Ezekiel 10:12 “And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, [were] full of eyes round about, [even] the wheels that they four had.“
The “eyes” symbolize wisdom. The many eyes coming from the wheel represent the wisdom that is throughout all the books of the Bible. These eyes may picture God’s omniscience, i.e. perfect knowledge, given to these angelic servants so that they can act in judgment unerringly.
Ezekiel 10:13 “As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.”
This cry, “O wheel”, is in awe of the Word of God which the wheel symbolizes.
Ezekiel 10:14 “And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.“
This cherub symbolizes the same as the work of the calf.
Faces as described in chapter one. These symbols identify the angels as intelligent (man), powerful (lion), servile (ox or calf), and swift (eagle).
Ezekiel 10:15 “And the cherubims were lifted up. This [is] the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.“
This is just explaining that the vision here, and the vision in chapter one of the presence of God in the wheels are the same.
They were ready to move in unison as the Shekinah glory of God got ready to depart.
Ezekiel 10:16 “And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.“
You cannot separate the Spirit of God and His Word. The spoken and the written Word of God is the manifestation of His power. The 4 Gospels are the focal point of the Bible. The entire Bible focuses on these 4 books. More accurately, the entire Bible focuses on Jesus in these 4 books. These cherubims show the importance of keeping God’s Word holy. Holiness and the Bible teachings go together.
Ezekiel 10:17 “When they stood, [these] stood; and when they were lifted up, [these] lifted up themselves [also]: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in them.”
The Spirit of the Gospels is in the Word of God throughout the Bible.
Ezekiel 10:18 “Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.“
This is the beginning of the departure of the presence of God from the temple. The presence of God is in His Word.
The progressive departure of the glory of the Lord continues with a move from above the threshold to a position above the four cherubim, no longer in contact with the temple structure.
Ezekiel 10:19 “And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also [were] beside them, and [every one] stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above.“
This vision is showing Ezekiel, that no longer will these people be the only ones with the Word of God. God has left the temple. They left Him and His teachings in the Word first. Now, He has totally removed His presence from the temple.
There was thus written over the entire structure, as well as Israel’s spiritual life, “Ichabod” (the glory has departed).
He goes out the east gate but He is coming back the same way He went out. Jesus will enter this eastern gate, when He enters Jerusalem as King of kings and Lord of lords.
It is interesting that, that particular gate is blocked up today with stones. When the Lord comes back to the earth and puts His feet on mount Olives, the mountain will cleave in two.
Ezekiel 10:20 “This [is] the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they [were] the cherubims.“
Somehow the cherubims and the Word of God in the Scriptures are intertwined. The cherubims symbolize the holiness of the Word of God.
Ezekiel 10:21 “Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man [was] under their wings.“
Being “under their wings” denotes secrecy and privacy: and the whole being applied to the ministers of the word is expressive of their activity and diligence in the work of the Lord, both in private and in public. And that they make no boast nor show of their works and labors, and ascribe nothing to themselves, but all to the grace of God that is with them (1 Cor. 15:10).
10:22 “And the likeness of their faces [was] the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.”
This is the same as what Ezekiel saw (in chapter 1).
Ezekiel Chapter 10 Questions
1. The sapphire is blue, which symbolizes the __________.
2. Verse 1 is a vision of what?
3. The ______ ______ ______ is in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
4. They are the ________ of the wheel.
5. What was the man in linen to do with the coals of fire?
6. Who was the only one who could go into the near presence of God in the temple?
7. _________ is the High Priest.
8. What does John chapter 1 tell us about Jesus?
9. What does the “scattering of the fire over the city” symbolize?
10. What is “the cloud filled the inner court”?
11. What do the cherubim have to do with?
12. The brightness of the glory is speaking of what?
13. How large was each wing of the cherubim in the temple?
14. The voice of Almighty God sounds like _________.
15. Judgment is in the hands of the ________ ________ ________.
16. The appearance of the wheels was the color of _________.
17. What was the hub of the wheel?
18. The outer wheel is controlled by the _____.
19. What do the “eyes” symbolize?
20. How did the four faces in verse 14 differ from the four faces in chapter 1 of Ezekiel?
21. What is verse 15 explaining?
22. What is the focal point of the Bible?
23. The spirit of the living creatures was in what?
24. What is verse 19 showing?
25. What gate will Jesus enter, when He comes to the earth as King of kings?
26. If it is blocked today, what will happen to open it?
27. The cherubim symbolize what?