Blessed is God in heaven (Dan 3:32-3:34)

“Blessed are you!

You look

Into the depths

From your throne

On the cherubim!

You are to be praised!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

On the throne

Of your kingdom.

You are to be extolled!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

In the firmament

Of heaven!

You are to be sung to!

You are to be glorified forever.”

Next, the 3 young men bless God in heaven, who looks down on them from his throne on the cherubim in heaven. God is to be praised and exalted forever, because he sees his kingdom from the firmament of heaven. Thus, everyone should sing to him and glorify him forever.

The glory of Yahweh leaves Jerusalem (Ezek 11:22-11:23)

“Then the cherubim

Lifted up

Their wings,

With the wheels

Beside them.

The glory

Of the God of Israel

Was above them.

The glory of Yahweh

Ascended

From the middle of the city.

The glory of Yahweh

Stopped on the mountain

East of the city.”

Now we return to Ezekiel, the cherubim, and the glory of Yahweh. The cherubim have their wings and wheels as before. However, the glory of God or his presence left Jerusalem. The glory of the God of Israel stopped on a mountain east of the city, probably the Mount of Olives. Yahweh was no longer in his beloved city of Jerusalem.

The glory of Yahweh exits his house (Ezek 10:18-10:19)

“Then the glory

Of Yahweh

Went out

From the threshold

Of the house.

He stopped

Over the cherubim.

The cherubim

Lifted up

Their wings.

They rose up

From the earth.

In my sight.

They went out

With the wheels

Beside them.

They stood

At the entrance

Of the east gate

Of the house

Of Yahweh.

The glory

Of the God of Israel

Was over them.”

The glory of Yahweh or his presence was leaving the Temple, his house. The glory of Yahweh stopped at the threshold of the house over the cherubim. The cherubim then lifted up their wings and rose up from the earth. Ezekiel saw them with their wheels beside them. They left via the east gate of the Temple. The glory of the God of Israel went with the cherubim.

The movement of the cherubim (Ezek 10:16-10:17)

“When the cherubim moved,

The wheels moved

Beside them.

When the cherubim

Lifted up their wings

To rise up from the earth,

The wheels

At their sides

Did not veer.

When they stopped,

The others stopped.

When they rose up,

The others rose up with them.

The Spirit

Of the living creatures

Was in them.”

Ezekiel said the same thing here about the cherubim that he said about the living creatures in chapter 1. When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved with them. When the cherubim rose from the earth, the wheels also rose. Wherever the cherubim would go, the wheels went with them. However, the Spirit of the living creatures was in the cherubim here.

The four wheels (Ezek 10:9-10:13)

“I looked.

There were four wheels

Beside the cherubim.

One beside each cherub.

The appearance of the wheels

Was like gleaming beryl.

As for their appearance,

The four looked alike.

They were something

Like a wheel

Within a wheel.

When they moved,

They moved

In any

Of the four directions

Without veering

As they moved.

But in whatever direction,

The front wheel faced,

The others followed

Without veering

As they moved.

Their entire body,

Their rims,

Their spokes,

Their wings,

The wheels

Were full

Of eyes all around.

The wheels

Of the four of them

Were called,

In my hearing.

‘The wheelwork.’”

This seems to be a description just like in chapter 1 of this work. Ezekiel explained that he saw four wheels beside the cherubim, but they were not lying on the earth as in chapter 1. These wheels appeared like gleaming beryl, some kind of emerald or aquamarine crystals. All the four wheels looked the same, as they seemed to be like wheels within wheels. They could move in any direction without veering away as they moved. They had awesome rims with eyes or spokes, as if they were an all seeing God. However, here they are given a specific name the ‘wheelwork.’

The man clothed in linen and the fire (Ezek 10:6-10:8)

“Yahweh commanded

The man clothed in linen.

‘Take fire

From within the wheelworks,

From among the cherubim!’

The man clothed in linen

Went in.

He stood beside a wheel.

A cherub

Stretched out his hand,

From among the cherubim,

To the fire

That was among the cherubim.

The cherub took some of it.

He put it into the hands

Of the man clothed in linen,

Who took it.

He went out.

The cherubim appeared

To have the form

Of a human hand

Under their wings.”

Yahweh told the man clothed in linen with the writing case by his side to take fire from within the wheelworks among the cherubim. Thus this guy went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one of the cherubim stretched out his hand into the fire among the other cherubim. This cherub took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen. He then took the fire and went outside. These cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings, as in chapter 1 of this work.

The cherubim in the Temple (Ezek 10:3-10:5)

“Now the cherubim

Were standing

On the south side

Of the house.

When the man went in,

A cloud filled

The inner court.

Then the glory of Yahweh

Rose up from the cherubim

To the threshold

Of the house.

The house was filled

With the cloud.

The court

Was full

Of the brightness

Of the glory

Of Yahweh.

The sound

Of the wings

Of the cherubim

Was heard

As far as the outer court,

Like the voice

Of God Almighty     

When he speaks.”

Once again, this is reminiscent of the vision in chapter 1. The cherubim in the Temple were surrounding the Holy of Holies on the south side of the Temple. The man in linen cloth with the writing case at his side went into the sanctuary as a cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of Yahweh rose up from the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the Temple as in the last chapter. This glory of Yahweh was the real presence of God. The whole Temple was filled with a cloud, while the court was full of the brightness and glory of Yahweh. The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, as in chapter 1. They sounded like the voice of God Almighty when he spoke.

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.

The man with the writing case at his side (Ezek 9:2-9:4)

“Among the executors

Was a man

Clothed in linen,

With a writing case

At his side.

They went in.

They stood beside

The bronze altar.

Now the glory

Of the God of Israel

Had gone up

From the cherubim

On which it rested

To the threshold

Of the house.

Yahweh called

To the man

Clothed in linen,

With the writing case

At his side.

Yahweh said to him.

‘Go through the city,

Through Jerusalem,

Put a mark

On the foreheads

Of those who sigh,

Of those who groan

Over all the abominations

That are committed in it.’”

Now a new character enters the scene. This man dressed in white linen with a writing case at his side was among the 6 executioners from the north. They were all standing at the bronze altar when the glory of the God of Israel left the cherubim where it was resting and went to the threshold of the house. Then Yahweh called to the man, who was clothed in linen, with the writing case at his side. Yahweh told him to go into Jerusalem. He was to find all the people who were sighing and groaning about all the abominations in town. He was to put a taw mark on their forehead, like a mini cross, since taw was the last consonant of the Hebrew alphabet. Thus he acted like the angel of death in the Passover story. He marked those who cared about the situation there, who might be spared.

The cherubim (1 Kings 6:23-6:30)

“In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the length of one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the length of the other wing of the cherub. It was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. The other cherub also measured ten cubits. Both cherubim had the same measure and the same form. The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub. He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house. The wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. Their other wings toward the center of the house were touching wing to wing. He also overlaid the cherubim with gold. He carved the walls of the house all around about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms. The floor of the house he overlaid with gold in the inner and outer rooms.”

These cherubim are holy winged figures who represented a messenger from God just like the guardians of Eden as in Genesis, chapter 3. Thus these cherubim will guard the holy of holies. They are extremely large, 10 cubits high or 15 feet high with wings that were 5 cubits or 7 ½ feet wide or a wing span of 10 cubits or 15 feet. These giant cherubim touched both sides of the walls. They touched each other in the middle with each 10 cubits high and 20 cubits spread out. They overlaid these cherubim with gold.  On the walls there were carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and flowers. Gold was overlaid all over the place. These cherubim were the center of this ornamentation.