The sapphire throne and burning coals (Ezek 10:1-10:2)

“Then I looked.

Above the dome,

Over the heads

Of the cherubim,

There appeared above them

Something like a sapphire,

In form

Resembling a throne.

Yahweh said to the man

Clothed in linen.

‘Go within the whirling wheels

Underneath the cherubim.

Fill your hands

With burning coals

From among the cherubim.

Scatter them

Over the city.’

He went in

As I looked on.”

Much like in chapter 1, Ezekiel saw something like a sapphire throne above the dome over the cherubim. Apparently, Ezekiel was still in the Temple sanctuary. Then Yahweh told the man with the linen cloth and the writing case at his side to go underneath the cherubim. He was to fill his hands with burning coals from among the cherubim. Then he was to go into the city and scatter them all over the place. Ezekiel looked on, as this man did what Yahweh wanted him to do.

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The activity of the living creatures (Ezek 1:12-1:14)

“Each creature moved

Straight ahead.

Wherever the Spirit

Would go,

They went

Without turning,

As they went.

In the middle

Of the living creatures

There was something

That looked

Like burning coals

Of fire.

Like torches

They moved to and fro

Among the living creatures.

The fire was bright.

Lightning

Issued from the fire.

The living creatures

Darted to and fro,

Like a flash of lightning.”

Ezekiel explained that these living creatures moved straight ahead. They went wherever the Spirit would go, but without turning. In the middle of these living creatures, there was something that looked like burning coals of fire or torches that moved back and forth. These bright lights were in the living creatures, so that they almost seemed like lightning. Thus when these creatures moved about, it was like a flash of traveling lightning.

 

The prayer against slanderers (Ps 140:9-140:11)

“Those who surround me lift up their heads.

Let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!

Let burning coals fall upon them!

Let them be flung into the pits!

Let them rise no more!

Let not the slanderer be established in the land!

Let evil speedily hunt down the violent!”

Now David outlines his requests against those attacking him. He wanted Yahweh to act against them. He wanted the mischief of their lips to overwhelm them. He wanted burning coals to fall on them. He wanted them flung into the deadly pits so that they could not rise again. He did not want any slanderers in the land at all. He wanted the violent hunted down quickly. David certainly did not like his enemies, these slanderers.