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The Cherubim And The Restoration

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CHAPTER 10 Sep. 14 
The Glory of God in the Living Creatures Departs
Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the head of the cherubim there appeared above them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. 2He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, Go in between the whirling wheels, even under the cherub, and fill both your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. He went in as I watched. 3Now the cherubim stood on the right side of the house when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 4Then the glory of Yahweh was lifted up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Yahweh’s glory. 5The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of God Almighty when He speaks. 6It came to pass, when He commanded the man clothed in linen saying, Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim, that he went in and stood beside a wheel. 7The cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim and took of it, and put it into the hands of him who was clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8There appeared in the cherubim the form of a man’s hand under their wings. 9I looked and behold, four wheels were beside the cherubim, one wheel beside one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like a beryl stone. 10As for their appearance, the four of them had one likeness, like a wheel within a wheel. 11When they went, they went in their four directions. They didn’t turn as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they didn’t turn as they went. 12Their whole body and their backs and their hands and their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, even the wheels that the four of them had. 13As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, ‘the whirling wheels’. 14Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third face the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15The cherubim mounted up: this is the living creature that I saw by the river Chebar. 16When the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels also didn’t turn from beside them. 17When they stood, these stood; and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them; for the spirit of the living creature was in them. 18The glory of Yahweh went forth from over the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19The cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels beside them. They stood at the door of the east gate of Yahweh’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 20This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. 21Every one had four faces, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 22As for the likeness of their faces, they were the faces which I saw by the river Chebar, their appearances and themselves; they went each one straight forward.


10:8 Ezekiel had to put his hand under the wings of the cherubim; and then there appeared permanently in the Cherubim visions “the form of a man’s hand [i.e. Ezekiel’s] under their wings” (:2,8). I take this to be indicative of how humanity can be so deeply a part of God's work; we are identified with Him and His Angels. The visions involved the whole system held up as it were upon a human hand; and God in the image of a man crowning it all in the Heavens. Truly God isn't far from any of us; and in a sense, "God is in need of man".
10:14 The four faces are likely to be connected with the four standards of the tribes of Israel (Lion = Judah, Man = Reuben, Ox = Ephraim, Eagle = Dan). Each of those tribes had two other tribes assigned to them in the encampment procedures of Num. 2. There is extra-Biblical tradition that the cherubim in Solomon's temple had the same four faces which Ezekiel saw on the cherubim- lion, ox, man and eagle. Those to whom Ezekiel related his vision would have immediately understood the point- that the earthly sanctuary was a reflection of the Heavenly, and that above that was a huge Angelic system operating, which also represented God's people- them. But that huge system was to remove to Babylon, and then the final visions of Ezekiel show that glory returning. Ezekiel, as the representative "son of man" was caught up within that system and transported at ease between Babylon and Jerusalem- and those who wanted to opt in with God and His Angels could likewise be taken to Babylon and returned. Those who chose to remain in Babylon were therefore resisting being part of an awesome system of God manifestation and Angelic operation. We have that same choice in things great and small today.