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The hill of Zion, where the temple stood, which was so honoured, so frequented, is now so desolate, that the very foxes walk upon it.
I. 1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. It came to pass, in the thirtieth year after the jubilee, and the'finding of the original copy of the law, in the month of July, and the fifth day of that month, when I was among the Hebrew captives in, Chaldea, by the river Chebar, that God revealed himself to me, and put into me the spirit of prophecy, and represented divers cisions to the eyes of my mind.
1. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity.. In the fifth day of July, which was in the fifth year of the first deportation into Babylon, and captivity there.
I. 3 And the hand of the Lord was there upon him. And the efficacy of God's Spirit did shew itself in and upon me, in his holy revelations.
1. 4° And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a greut cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. And, behold, I looked; and God shewed me a representation of those fearful tempests of calamity, which yet were to come upon his people, by a whirlwind, arising from the north, (whence their further persecution and captivity was to come,) by a dark cloud ; and fire infolded within it, to signify the trial which they are to undergo : but there was a pleasing brightness about that cloud; and out of the midst of that fery splendour, there was, as it were a shining colour of amber, to signify the presence of God's powerful grace and mercy, in the midst of all the fiery trials of his Church.
I. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four lit, ing creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. . And out of the midst of that fiery brightness, came four Angels, in the likeness of four living creatures, whose number was proportioned to the four corners of the world. And this was their appearance; they had the shape and likeness of a man..
I. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And every one of them had four faces; to signify their ready ad. dress to receive whatsoever command from God, which way soever it should be delivered : and every one of them had four wings; to signify their swiftness in execution of all the charges of God.
1. 7 And their feet were straight feet : the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot : and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. The legs of these Angels were straight up, like the legs of a man; and their feet were round, as the circumference of a calf's foot, for the greater fitness of that turning motion, which they should be put unto; and they had a sparkling kind of brightness in their moving, like to that of burnished brass.
I. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides ; and they four had their faces and their wings. And they had the likeness of hands; to signify their aptness to execute the will of God: and those hands were under their wings; to imply that their motion is not of themselves, but such as is re. gulated and directed by the secret instinct of God: all the four Angels had both faces and wings.
I. 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went ; they went every one straight forward.
Their wings were joined together, at their tops; to signify their full concord and agreement in fulfilling God's command; and they went unanimously together, and all moved right forward, without turning to the right hand or to the left.
I. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side : and they four had the face of an ox on the left side ; they four also had the face of an eagle. And for the likeness of their faces, it was according to the several qualities, which are eminent in four noted creatures; a Man, a Lion, an Ox, an Eagle : 'such were these Angels; to signify that they were understanding as a man, strong as a lion, serviceable as the ox, as the eagle swift.
I. 11 Thus were their faces : and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. Such were their faces: as for their wings, two of them were stretched upward; to signify their relation unto and dependance upon God's charge: and were joined together; in a signification of the perfect concord and joint agreement in all their services: and two of them covered their bodies; to signify the hidden nature of these celestical spirits, beyond the reach of all human comprehension,
I. 12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went ; and they turned not when they went. And they went in this posture all together, straight forward, which way soever the Spirit of God moved them to go; not tuning at all to either hand..
I. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps : it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning., As for the colour wherein these Angels appeared, they seemed to be like unto burning coals of fire, or like to burning lamps; to
represent both the glory and the terror of those spiritual creatures : and this fiery glittering seemed to be diffused over all these Angels; and did cast out a bright lustre from it, and did, as it were, dart out lightning upon the eyes of the beholder.
I. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. And the Angels made so speedy dispatch, as that their motion was as the sudden flash of the lightning.
I. 15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. Now, as I beheld these four Angels, behold, I might see four wheels appearing upon the earth, by those four Angels ; to signify the perpetual mutability of all these inferior things. * I. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness : and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. The appearance of every one of the wheels and their work, was of a sea-colour ; to shew the vanity and instability of these earthly things: and they four had one likeness; to shew the constant uniformity of God's proceedings with men: and their work was, as it were of a Sphere, wherein one wheel seemeth to be set cross to the other; to shew, that, however God -hath most wisely and ordinately disposed all things, yet they seein to us intricate and perplexed.
I. 17 When they went, they went upon their four sides : and they returned not when they went. When they moved, they moved all four together; and went right on to the period appointed.
1. 18 As for the rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four..! As for the outmost roundels of those wheels, they were of a vast and dreadful height: and they were on all sides thereof full of eyes; to shew, that there is not the least motion in any of these earthly things, which is not directed by an eye of Divine Providence.
I. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them : and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. · And, to shew that all these worldly alterations and changes bave a dependance upon the powerful preordination and instinct of God, and are overruled by those ministering spirits to whom he commit. teth the managing thereof, when the Angels moved on, the wheels moved by them, and when the Angels were lifted up, the wheels were lifted up also.
I. 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them : for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. Wbich way soever the Spirit of God directed them to go, thither they went: and if by the power of that Almighty Spirit the Angels
Angels Ty said, beeting of bodies. heard the
were raised upward, the wheels were accordingly raised; for the same Spirit, that moved the Angels, did also move those wheels to concur" with them; God, by his Angels, transfusing into these earthly creatures the power of their governance and motion. So also verse 21.
I. 22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.. . And the colour of the firmament, which was spread over the heads of these four Angels, was as the colour of a glorious crystal, which had in it a kind of majestical brightness.
I. 23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And under this shining firmament were the wings of these four Angels reached straight forth, one toward another; which, as was formerly said, being four to each, two of them served to be stretched forth for the meeting of the wings of their fellows, and the other two covered their own bodies.
I. 24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host. And when they moved, I heard the noise of their wings, in their motion, very loud and strong, as of gushing waters or of thunder; and the noise of that voice, which was heard over them, was as the shouting of a host. So also verse 25.
1. 26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone : and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And, to shew that all these motions, both of the Angels and the inferior creatures, proceed from the infinite wisdom and power of God, above the firmament, that was over their heads, there was the likeness of the glorious throne of the Almighty, bright and shining of a celestial colour ; and upon that thrane was there the likeness of a man sitting, even that God, who would afterwards take upon him the shape of man, for man's redemption.
I. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. And I saw the resemblance of a glorious amber-coloured brightness, and as of a perfectly inflamed and ardently red fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins upward ; and for the other part, which was from the appearance of the loins down. ward, the resemblance of a bright fire, but less digested; to shew, that the Son of God, though all glorious, yet, in that part, which concerns his creatures, and wherein he reveals himself to men, he remits of that fiery and incomprehensible Majesty, and descends graciously to our capacity and apprehension.
II. 2 And the spirit entered into me when he 'spake unto me; and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And the Spirit of God entered into me, and put courage into my heart, together with the outward sound of his word; and raised me up from my grovelling, and set me on my feet.
II. 5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will for. bear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And they, whether they will hear, or will not hear (as they are more like; for they are a stubborn people,) shall yet be convinced of their rebellion by thy prophecy, and shall, by the event; feel and find, that they have had a prophet amongst them, whereby their sins are either reformed, or shall be more deeply punished.
II. 6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions : be not afraid of their words, &c. Though this people shall be to thee as briers and thorns, which shall prick and wound thy soul; and thou must dwell among scorpions, which shall sting thee unto death; yet be not afraid, &c.
II. 8. Open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. Open thy mouth, and, in signification and assurance that thou dost obediently receive these messages which I deliver unto thee, and wilt be ready to utter them to my people, eat that which I shall give unto thee..
III. 1, 2 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that !hou findest ; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. Moreover he said unto me, in this vision of inine, Son of man, eat that which I now offer thee. See chap. ii. verse 8.
III. 3 Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. Then, methought, I did eat up that roll; and, though it were written within and without with lamentations, yet, in my mouth, as I was chewing it, it seemed to be siveet as honey; so pleasing a contentment there is, in a holy obedience to the cominands of God.
III. 8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. Behold, I have given thee boldness, and courage, to bear up against their strong oppositions; so as thou shalt not be daunted with their outfacings.
III. 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy fore head. Yea, I have put an invincible courage into thee, so as no force of theirs shall be able to prerail against thee.
III. 12 Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place. Blessed be the name, and praised be the glory of the Son of God, who sits upon this throne of Majesty.
III. 13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing,