In Ezekiel chapter 1, Ezekiel described the vision that he saw by the river Chebar, “in the land of the Chaldeans,” Ezek 1:3, which is a branch or canal off of the Euphrates River. He gave enough detail so that you could identify this vision if you ever saw it. There are many different artists’ renditions of Ezekiel’s description. However, his description was not so detailed that you could reconstruct it, yet detailed enough so that you could recognize it.
Ezekiel gave the exact date that he saw this vision. These “visions of God” were seen in 593 BC, which was the fifth year after Jehoiachin’s captivity, Ezek 1:2.
Here’s how Ezekiel described what he saw:
A whirlwind – Ezek 1:4 – this is what Job saw in Job 38:1.
A great cloud – Ezek 1:4 – typical of appearances of the Lord, Rev 1:7, Acts 1:9-11, Matt 24:30, Ex 19:16, etc.
A fire infolding itself – Ezek 1:4 – typical of appearances of the Lord, Heb 12:29, Ex 3:2, Ex 19:18, etc.
Brightness – Ezek 1:4 – typical of appearances of the Lord, Acts 26:13, Matt 17:2. The color was the color of amber, which is midway between yellow and orange on the color wheel. All of these will be seen at Jesus’s return.
Four living creatures – Ezek 1:5-21:
- They each looked like a man – Ezek 1:5
- Every one had four faces – Ezek 1:6. Ezek 1:10, the face of a man, and a lion on the right side; the face of an ox on the left side; and the face of an eagle.
- Every one had four wings – Ezek 1:6. Ezek 1:8 the hands of a man were under their wings. Two of their wings joined one another, Ezek 1:9, 11, 23 and two covered their bodies. The noise of their wings was like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, Ezek 1:24, Ps 29.
- The soles of their feet were like a calf’s foot – Ezek 1:7
- They sparkled like burnished brass – Ezek 1:7, burnished is lustrous from rubbing.
- They went straight forward without turning – Ezek 1:9, 12, 17. They went where the spirit went, Ezek 1:12, 20. They ran and returned like a flash of lightning, Ezek 1:14.
- They looked like bright burning coals of fire shooting out lightning – Ezek 1:13.
- They had a wheel between each creature – Ezek 1:15. They were the color of a beryl, Ezek 1:16. Pure beryl is colorless. Their “appearance” was like a wheel within a wheel. Perhaps, Ezekiel saw the appearance of the wheel on the opposite side through the wheel on the facing side. Who knows? Ezek 1:19, 21, the wheels went with the creatures, when the creatures went. Ezek 1:20-21, the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
- They had high, dreadful rings, full of eyes – Ezek 1:18. No comment.
A firmament upon their heads – Ezek 1:22-28 – it was the color of the terrible crystal. There was a voice from the firmament, Ezek 1:25. Above the firmament was the likeness of a throne, Ezek 1:26, like a sapphire stone, blue. And upon the throne, the appearance of a man, Ezek 1:26, which is the angel of the Lord, Ezek 10:20; see Acts 27:23. In Ezek 1:27, his appearance was like fire, the color of amber, and it was bright. Ezek 1:28, there was also the appearance of a rainbow, as in Rev 4:3.
Conclusion: when Ezekiel saw this appearance, he fell on his face and heard a voice of one that spake, Ezek 1:28.