THE GLORY LEAVES THE TEMPLE
A Throne, Cherubim, And Glory
Ezekiel sees the sapphire throne above the cherubim as he had before. A voice instructed a man in white linen to collect some of the burning coals the were between the wheels underneath the cherubim. He was to fill his hands with burning coals and scatter them all over the city of Jerusalem. The man walked into the midst of the wheels and the cherubim, and he did as he was told. Ezekiel gives some details concerning the cherubim at this point. They were standing on the south side of the Temple, and when the man in white went in between the cherubim, a cloud filled the inner court just outside the temple doors. The glory of the Lord went up from the cherub and came to the threshold of the house and then filled the Temple itself. The cloud was the representation of God's presence for it was his cloud and his fire that had rested on the tabernacle and the temple to show his people that he was in their midst. Ezekiel watched as the court began to glow due to the brightness of God's glory. The sound that filled the air from the wings of the cherubim was like the voice of the Almighty. It was like the rushing of many waters and thunder. The man in white came to the place where the fire was between the cherubim and stood beside one of the wheels. A cherub stretched out his hand from below his wing and took some of the fire and placed it into the hands of the man clothed in white linen. The glory cloud and fiery coals were also used when Isaiah received his vision in the temple as well. The man in white received the fire and then went out. Once again, Ezekiel describes in detail the cherubim, and it is almost identical to the description in chapter one. This vision made an incredible impression on Ezekiel, and a few details are added. The bodies, wings, and hands of the cherubim were full of eyes as well as the wheels. One detail about the face also differs where the face of an ox is described as the face of a cherub which may only mean that the face of a cherub resembles that of an ox.
The Glory Went Out
Ezekiel watches as the cherubim mount up and the wheels stayed with them. The one who sits on the throne must have returned, and now his chariot begins to ascend. The glory of the Lord came out of the temple and stood over the cherubim and then departed pausing briefly at the eastern gate. This would have been the entrance in front of the temple that led to the Kidron Valley. This valley separated the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. This path would be the way that Jesus went in and out of Jerusalem during his final days. Ezekiel concludes by explaining that he had seen these cherubim before in Babylon by the river Chebar.
Things To Consider:
- Why do you think fire is associated with the presence of God?
- Why do you think God shows Ezekiel the manifestation of his presence again?
- What do you think the significance of seeing God's presence during exile meant for Ezekiel?
- Why would the coals be spread across the city?
- What other places in scripture speak of the glory cloud?
- Do you think the differences between chapter one and chapter ten are significant? Why or why not?
- Why would God remove his presence from his people?
- Why do you think there was a pause at the eastern gate?
- Why do you think Ezekiel clarifies again that these are the cherubim he saw by the Chebar canal?