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.