Ezekiel 10

Ezekiel 10 has the prophet receiving further vision from God.  The fiery chariot-throne of God was in the court of the temple.  God instructs His “man clothed in linen…fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city”.  This is likely the same being that had gone through the city and marked those who would be saved in the previous chapter.  God told him to go and take some coals from the chariot-throne and scatter them over the city of Jerusalem, to symbolize that the coming fiery destruction of Jerusalem was directed by God himself.

Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord”.  The glory of God had risen from the throne and come to rest on the threshold of the temple.  Ezekiel must have been so interested in the details of the chariot-throne that he repeated much of the description given in the opening chapter. He apparently wanted to impress upon his readers that the chariot-throne he saw at the temple was the same as that which he had seen earlier at the river Chebar.

He then saw God return to his chariot-throne and begin to leave the temple. But, as if unwilling to leave, he moved only as far as the temple gate, then stopped.  “Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them”.

The living creatures Ezekiel described were called cherubim. Cherubim were the winged creatures who guarded the covenant in the Most Holy Place. In other words, the God whom Ezekiel saw enthroned above the cherubim was the same God who was enthroned above the mercy seat (the lid of the covenant) in the Most Holy Place. This God, Israel’s covenant God Yahweh, was the one now about to leave his temple, slaughter his people and destroy his city.  It has to happen, but God pauses before putting that destruction into motion.

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