Verse 1 – And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
Verse 2 – And He spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, “Go in among the wheels, under the cherub, fill your hands with coals of fire among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.” And he went in as I watched.
Jerusalem would soon be purged by fire. This took place in 586 B.C., 2 Kings 25:9 when the Babylonians destroyed the city.
Verse 3 – Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court.
Verse 4 – Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.
The cloud, the glory of the Lord paused, showing God’s great mercy for the priests and all the people to see. Maybe, just maybe, they will repent when they see His glory about to depart from the temple.
Verse 5 – And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.
Verse 6 – Now it happened, when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,” that he went in and stood beside the wheels.
Fire in the Bible is often associated with God’s judgment against wickedness and sin. According to Ezekiel, the same fire purified the mouth of Isaiah and brought destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah and would now purge Jerusalem in judgment.
Verse 7 – And the cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed with linen, who took it and went out.
Verse 8 – The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.
Verse 9 – And when I looked, there were four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel by one cherub and another wheel by each other cherub; the wheels appeared to have the color of a beryl stone.
Verse 10 – As for their appearance, all four looked alike – as were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
Verse 11 – When they went, they went toward any of their four directions; they did not turn aside when they went, but followed in the direction the head was facing. They did not turn aside when they went.
Verse 12 – And their whole body, with their back, their hands, their wings, and the wheels that the four had, were full of eyes all around.
When Ezekiel described the wheels in chapter one, only the wheels had eyes all around, but here the four creatures had eyes all over their bodies. That is not a contradiction, it simply is more detailed. John describes the four creatures in Revelation 4:8 as having wings and full of eyes around and within and they do not rest day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
Verse 13 – As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, “Wheel.”
Verse 14 – Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Verse 15 – And the cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar.
Verse 16 – When the cherubim went the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also did not turn from beside them.
Verse 17 – When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when one was lifted up, the other lifted itself up, for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
The Spirit of God directs all creatures for His divine purpose, good, holy, and just. Events are determined by wheels of providence, which are full of eyes. Nothing is by chance.
Verse 18 – Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.
God’s glory departed from the temple and was not present again until Christ himself visited in the New Testament times. God holiness required Him to leave because His house had been defiled. The priests and the people were not worshiping Him anymore, but idols. The people didn’t want Him, they had rejected their own God, so He left. This can happen in an individual life also. If a person doesn’t want anything to do with God, He won’t force Himself on them.
Verse 19 – And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
The ultimate privilege of our faith is access to the presence of God.
Verse 20 – This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim.
Verse 21 – Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.
Verse 22 – And the likeness of their faces was the same as the faces which I had seen by the River Chebar, their appearance and their persons. They each went straight forward.
I doubt that the priests or the elders that were in the temple at the time this was taking place, even noticed. When everything that Ezekiel had warned was coming, started to happen, did they cry out to God then? Don’t wait until things are so bad before you have the only relationship that matters. You can’t ignore Him all your life and then when a crises strikes expect to be strong enough to get through it if you have never had to use your faith in Him. That won’t work.