Ezekiel 10


Burning of Jerusalem, and withdrawal of the glory of Yahweh from the sanctuary

1. Jerusalem to be burned with fire, the angel scatters coals of fire over Jerusalem. Ezekiel 10:1-8.

2. The glory of Jehovah forsakes the Temple. Ezekiel 10:9-22.


1. The man in linen scatters burning coals over the city.

2. We get another description of the war chariot.

3. The glory of the Lord leaves the sanctuary.

‘I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of lapis lazuli above the vault that was over the heads of the cherubim. The LORD said to the man clothed in linen, ‘Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.’ And as I watched, he went in. Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD. The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. When the LORD commanded the man in linen, ‘Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,’ the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out. (Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like human hands.)’ Ezekiel 10:1-8

The Burning coals scattered

The vision continues, as God addresses the man clothed in linen once again. This time his work is different. In Ezekiel 9 he is the one element of mercy amongst the 7 men working for God. Now we see that mercy and justice are intermingled. This is why the man in linen is chosen to pour the coals over the city. Mercy doesn’t despise justice. It’s easy to do the good jobs, but this man is equally ready to carry out any job for the Lord.

In Ezekiel 9 this man marked the innocent, but now he is instructed to throw burning coals over the city, a sign, Isaiah 6:6, of cleansing and destruction. Notice where he gets the coals from. One of the cherubim uses their hand to get some burning coals from within the chariot and gives them to the man who then proceeds with the job.

Ezekiel will like the nice easy work of the priest, looking after the ‘innocent’, but he doesn’t care for the work of the prophet handing out messages of judgement to those who appear innocent but are rotten. He is being told to do as the man in linen is doing, to carry out tasks of justice as well as mercy.

‘I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like topaz. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called ‘the whirling wheels.’ Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River. When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not leave their side. When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them. Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim. Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like human hands. Their faces had the same appearance as those I had seen by the Kebar River. Each one went straight ahead. Ezekiel 10:9-22

The chariot Here is another picture of the chariot we saw in Ezekiel.

1. Why is it here?

To remind Ezekiel of the terrible judgement coming on Jerusalem and her inhabitants.

It gives us a couple of extra explanations:

Ezekiel 10:12, the living creatures are said to have eyes all over them. Look at the footnote in R.S.V. Ezekiel 10:20, which identifies the living creatures as cherubim.

Ezekiel 10:14 and Ezekiel 10:22, we see that he substitutes the face of the ox or bull for a cherub. Why this is done is uncertain. Perhaps this was the predominant face. Having destroyed the people, Ezekiel 9, and the city, Ezekiel 10, the chariot leaves the sanctuary.

The main role of the cherubim was protection, Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:24. Tablets of the law, Exodus 25:18ff, symbolic. Solomon’s Temple, at the gate and door of the sanctuary, 2 Chronicles 3:17 / Exodus 41:18.

Go To Ezekiel 11



"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."