Ezekiel 1

The vision of this chapter was of supreme importance in Ezekiel’s life. Note only was it the occasion of his call to be a prophet, but it was also the medium through which a new conception of God was revealed to him which was to mould his prophetic ministry.

  1. As the vision of God’s chariot-throne is outlined, follow the prophet’s description of it, part by part: first the living creatures (verses 5-14), then the wheels (verses 15-21), with the throne on top, and finally the One who sat there. How is God described, and what does this teach about the nature of God?
  2. What do you find symbolized by the other features of the vision: the living creatures, the wheels, the throne, etc.?

Notes

  1. Verse 1. ‘In the thirtieth year…’: probably of Ezekiel’s age, i.e., the year when he would have begun to function as a priest had he remained in Jerusalem.
  2. Verse 3. ‘The hand of the Lord was upon him’: a phrase used elsewhere in the book to signify a prophetic tranc or ecstasy. See 3:22; 8:1; 33:22; 37:1.
  3. Verse 5. ‘Four living creatures’: heavenly beings, yet representing the highest forms of life on the earth (among birds, domestic animals, wild animals and the whole creation, respectively), and indicating perhaps that all created things are under God’s control.
  4. Verses 19-21. Observe that there was no mechanical framework to the chariot. All was spiritual, and responsive to the Spirit.
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