The Chariot of the Lord—God’s Throne
4 I was watching a big storm come in from the north. It was a big cloud with a strong wind, and there was fire flashing from it. Light was shining out all around it. It looked like hot metal[b] glowing in a fire. 5 Inside the cloud, there were four living beings that looked like people. 6 But each one of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight. Their feet looked like calves’ feet, and they sparkled like polished brass. 8 Under their wings were human arms. There were four living beings. Each living being had four faces and four wings. 9 The wings touched each other. The living beings did not turn when they moved. They went in the direction they were looking.
10 Each living being had four faces. In the front they each had a man’s face. There was a lion’s face on the right side and a bull’s face on the left side. There was an eagle’s face on the back. 11 Their wings were spread out over them. With two of the wings each living being reached out to touch the one near it, and with the other two wings it covered its body. 12 Each living being went in the direction it was looking. They went wherever the spirit[c] caused them to go, but they did not turn when they moved. 13 That is what the living beings looked like.
Inside the area between the living beings, there was something that looked like burning coals of fire. This fire was like small torches that kept moving around among the living beings. The fire glowed brightly and lightning flashed from it. 14 The living beings ran back and forth—as fast as lightning.[d]
15-16 I was looking at the living beings when I noticed four wheels that touched the ground. There was one wheel by each living being. All the wheels looked the same. The wheels looked as if they were made from a clear, yellow jewel. They looked like there was a wheel inside a wheel. 17 They could turn to move in any direction. But the living beings did not turn when they moved.[e]
18 The rims of the wheels were tall and frightening. There were eyes all over the rims of all four wheels.
19 The wheels always moved with the living beings. If the living beings went up into the air, the wheels went with them. 20 They went wherever the spirit wanted them to go, and the wheels went with them, because the power that moved the living being was in the wheels. 21 So if the living beings moved, the wheels moved. If the living beings stopped, the wheels stopped. If the wheels went into the air, the living beings went with them, because the spirit was in the wheels.
22 There was an amazing thing over the heads of the living beings. It was like a bowl[f] turned upside down, and the bowl was clear like crystal. 23 Under this bowl, each living being had wings reaching out to the one next to it. Two wings spread out one way and two wings spread out the other way, covering its body.
24 Then I heard the wings. Every time the living beings moved, their wings made a very loud noise like a lot of water rushing by. They were loud like the Lord All-Powerful. They were as loud as an army or a crowd of people. When the living beings stopped moving, they put their wings down by their side.
25 The living beings stopped moving and lowered their wings. Then there was another loud sound that came from above the bowl over their heads. 26 There was something that looked like a throne on top of the bowl. It was blue like sapphire. There was also something that looked like a man sitting on the throne. 27 I looked at him from his waist up. He looked like hot metal with fire all around him. I looked at him from his waist down. It looked like fire with a glow that was shining all around him. 28 The light shining around him was like a rainbow in a cloud. It was the Glory of the Lord. As soon as I saw that, I fell to the ground. I bowed with my face to the ground, and then I heard a voice speaking to me.
- Ezekiel 1:1 fifth day … year If the year refers to Ezekiel’s age, this is the same as the fifth year of exile, that is, July 31, 593 B.C.
- Ezekiel 1:4 hot metal The Hebrew word might mean “melted copper,” “an alloy of gold and silver,” or “amber.” Also in verse 27.
- Ezekiel 1:12 spirit Or “wind.” Also in verse 20.
- Ezekiel 1:14 Or “And there was something like lighting shooting back and forth among the living beings.”
- Ezekiel 1:17 The wheels … moved Or “The wheels could move in any four directions, but they did not turn when they moved.”
- Ezekiel 1:22 bowl This Hebrew word is the same word used in Gen. 1:6-7 to describe the dome of the sky.