Ezekiel 1:27
And I saw as the color 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.
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(27) As the colour of amber.—See on the same expression Ezekiel 1:4. Literally, as an eye of bright metal. The rest of the verse is simply an attempt, by various repetitions, to convey an idea of the exceeding brightness and glory of the vision, yet also with the notions of purity and holiness, of power and activity always associated with fire. (Comp. Exodus 24:17; Daniel 7:9; Revelation 1:14-15; Revelation 4:5.)

1:26-28 The eternal Son, the second Person in the Trinity, who afterwards took the human nature, is here denoted. The first thing observed was a throne. It is a throne of glory, a throne of grace, a throne of triumph, a throne of government, a throne of judgment. It is good news to men, that the throne above the firmament is filled with One who appears, even there, in the likeness of a man. The throne is surrounded with a rainbow, the well-known emblem of the covenant, representing God's mercy and covenanted love to his people. The fire of God's wrath was breaking out against Jerusalem, but bounds should be set to it; he would look upon the bow, and remember the covenant. All the prophet saw was only to prepare him for what he was to hear. When he fell on his face, he heard the voice of One that spake. God delights to teach the humble. Let sinners, then, humble themselves before him. And let believers think upon his glory, that they may be gradually changed into his image by the Spirit of the Lord.Sapphire - Clear heavenly blue.

The appearance of a man - Deeply significant is the form of this manifestation. Here is no angel conveying God's message to man, but the glory of the Lord Himself. We recognize in this vision the prophetic annunciation of the Holy Incarnation. We are told little of the extent to which the human form was made evident to the prophet. For the vision was rather to the mind than to the bodily eye, and even inspired language was inadequate to convey to the hearer the glory which eye hath not seen or ear heard, and which only by special revelation it hath entered into the heart of man to conceive.

27. colour of amber—"the glitter of chasmal" [Fairbairn]. See on [1017]Eze 1:4; rather, "polished brass" [Henderson]. Messiah is described here as in Da 10:5, 6; Re 1:14, 15. I saw as the colour of amber: see Ezekiel 1:4, and what is said there to this phrase. In this colour does Christ now appear against the rebellious Jews; he that would have been a Saviour to them, clot, bed with the garments of salvation, now puts on the garments of vengeance, and is clad with that zeal which is best, but not fully, expressed by such metaphors.

As the appearance of fire round about within it; of most intense degree; as that fire which is shut up in oven or furnace, so this was the appearance of a fire which had a house to it round about (as the Hebrew). The just indignation of Christ, and his glorious majesty, are hereby set forth to us also, which appear within the amber.

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; as was his upward part, so the lower parts also, they appeared as fire. Provoked to wrath, and proceeding to judge, he comes in flames of fire taking vengeance, 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

And it had brightness round about: see Ezekiel 1:4, where the phrase is explained. Majesty, justice, and unstained holiness shine round about Christ, though he comes in greatest wrath against enemies. And I saw as the colour of amber,.... That is, the man upon the throne looked like the colour of amber; of which See Gill on Ezekiel 1:4;

as the appearance of fire round about within it; which may denote the deity of Christ, or Christ as God, who is a consuming fire to his enemies; a fire enlightening and warming to his people; as a wall of fire protecting them; and as a pillar of fire guiding and directing them, as he did the Israelites in the wilderness; and who has such light and glory in him, as is incomprehensible to us; and therefore this fire appeared round about within, the colour of amber, and under his human nature, through which it broke forth:

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; it reached upwards and downwards, as well as all around him:

and it had brightness round about; the fire; which shone through the human nature, and was upon it, in virtue of its union to the Son of God; and through the Gospel, in which, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord is seen; and which will be brighter and brighter in the latter day; which may be signified by the appearance of his loins downward.

And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire {n} around 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 on all sides.

(n) By which was signified a terrible judgment toward the earth.

27. the colour of amber] the glance (lit. eye). See Ezekiel 1:4.

fire round about within it] This is the natural sense, but “round about” and “within it” seem to contradict one another. The rendering “fire that is enclosed round about,” and therefore brighter by contrast with what surrounds it (Hitz.), expresses a thought more ingenious than probable, and assumes an unlikely construction. The clause is wanting in LXX.

it had brightness round about] Rather: and a brightness round about him, viz. him who sat on the throne (Ezekiel 1:28).Verse 27. - As the colour of amber. The "amber" (see note on ver. 4) represents the purity and glory of the Divine nature - the truth that "God is light" in his eternal essence. The "fire" which, here as ever, represents the wrath of God against evil, is round about within it, i.e. is less absolutely identified with the Divine will, of which it is yet an almost constant manifestation. It is, in the language of the older logicians, an inseparable accident rather than part of its essential nature. The four wheels beside the cherubim. - Ezekiel 1:15. And I saw the creatures, and, lo, there was a wheel upon the earth beside the creatures, towards their four fronts. Ezekiel 1:16. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like the appearance of the chrysolite; and all four had one kind of figure: and their appearance and their work was as if one wheel were within the other. Ezekiel 1:17. Towards their four sides they went when they moved: they turned not as they went. Ezekiel 1:18. And their felloes, they were high and terrible; and their felloes were full of eyes round about in all the four. Ezekiel 1:19. And when the creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the creatures raised themselves up from the earth, the wheels also raised themselves. Ezekiel 1:20. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went in the direction in which the spirit was to go; and the wheels raised themselves beside them: for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. Ezekiel 1:21. When the former moved, the latter moved also; when the former stood, the latter stood; and when the former raised themselves from the ground, the wheels raised themselves beside them: for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. - The words, "and I saw the creatures," prepare the way for the transition to the new object which presented itself in these creatures to the eye of the seer. By the side of these creatures upon the ground he sees a wheel, and that at the four fronts, or front faces of the creatures. The singular suffix in לארבּעת פּניו can neither be referred, with Rosenmller, to the chariot, which is not mentioned at all, nor, with Hitzig, to the preposition אצל, nor, with Hvernick, Maurer, and Kliefoth, to אופן, and so be understood as if every wheel looked towards four sides, because a second wheel was inserted in it at right angles. This meaning is not to be found in the words. The suffix refers ad sensum to חיּות (Ewald), or, to express it more correctly, to the figure of the cherubim with its four faces turned to the front, conceived as a unity - as one creature (החיּה, Ezekiel 1:22). Accordingly, we have so to represent the matter, that by the side of the four cherubim, namely, beside his front face, a wheel was to be seen upon the earth. Ezekiel then saw four wheels, one on each front of a cherub, and therefore immediately speaks in Ezekiel 1:16 of wheels (in the plural). In this verse מראה is adspectus, and מעשׂה "work;" i.e., both statements employing the term "construction," although in the first hemistich only the appearance, in the second only the construction, of the wheels is described. תּרשׁישׁ is a chrysolite of the ancients, the topaz of the moderns, - a stone having the lustre of gold. The construction of the wheels was as if one wheel were within a wheel, i.e., as if in the wheel a second were inserted at right angles, so that without being turned it could go towards all the four sides. גּבּיהן, in Ezekiel 1:18, stands absolutely. "As regards their felloes," they possessed height and terribleness-the latter because they were full of eyes all round. Hitzig arbitrarily understands גּבהּ of the upper sides; and יראה, after the Arabic, of the under side, or that which lies towards the back. The movement of the wheels completely followed the movement of the creatures (Ezekiel 1:19-21), because the spirit of the creature was in the wheels. החיּה, in Ezekiel 1:20 and Ezekiel 1:21, is not the "principle of life" (Hvernick), but the cherubic creatures conceived as a unity, as in Ezekiel 1:22, where the meaning is undoubted. The sense is: the wheels were, in their motion and rest, completely bound by the movements and rest of the creatures, because the spirit which ruled in them was also in the wheels, and regulated their going, standing, and rising upwards. By the רוּח the wheels are bound in one with the cherub-figures, but not by means of a chariot, to or upon which the cherubim were attached.
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