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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ezekiel

It seems to me the Book of Ezekiel has been neglected even though he is one of the Major Prophets, and I am struggling to understand why and correct my view of him. Ezekiel was taken to Babylon in the first group of exiles from Judah in 598 b.c.e. Some call him a pessimist, but he also prophesies wonderful and glorious future events for Israel. 

In Chapter 1 he describes the first vision in great detail. He cites the day and the place giving details of the men he saw.  The men were not men as we know them, but creatures with four faces. They stood at attention and moved as God directed. Each of the creatures had a human face with a lion's face on the right side and the face of an ox on the left and each also had the face of an eagle. I wondered if the eagle was on the back of the head.

Each of the living creatures had a wheel that went with him and the wheels were "full of eyes." The creatures were obedient to the Spirit and he looked like fire with burning coals and lightning. The wheels looked like a wheel intersecting a wheel. The description sounds like a gear, a wheel in a wheel. The purpose of the wheel is not explained, but it represented the Spirit of God; it contributed to the glory with the sound, the light, and the eyes.

I never thought of God's Glory in terms of sound, but the description of Glory in Ezekiel is profoundly related to sound. In the beginning of the vision, Ezekiel sees a windstorm with lightning and the center of the storm looks like glowing metal. Even though the text does not describe sound, the windstorm would be accompanied by sound and the lightning would be accompanied by thunder. The creatures had wings and they made sound. Yes, this vision is as important in the sounds as in the sights it records.