Scofield Reference Notes
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.
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
Margin fourth month
The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel
Ezekiel was carried away to Babylon between the first and final deportation of Judah (2Ki 24.11-16). Like Daniel and the Apostle John, he prophesied out of the land, and his prophecy, like theirs, follows the method of symbol and vision. Unlike the pre-exilic prophets, whose ministry was primarily to either Judah or the ten-tribe kingdom, Ezekiel is the voice of Jehovah to "the whole house of Israel."
Speaking broadly, the purpose of his ministry is to keep before the generation born in exile the national sins which had brought Israel so low (e.g. Ezek 14.23); to sustain the faith of the exiles by predictions of national restoration, of the execution of justice upon their oppressors, and of national glory under the Davidic monarchy.
Ezekiel is in seven great prophetic strains indicated by the expression, "The hand of the Lord was upon me." Ezek 1:3 3:14,22 8:1 33:22 37:1 Ezek 40:1.
The minor divisions are indicated in the text.
The events recorded in Ezekiel cover a period of 21 years (Ussher).
Margin fourth month
i.e. July "of the thirtieth year of Ezekiel's age."
In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great 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.
Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
 living creatures
The "living creatures" are identical with the Cherubim. The subject is somewhat obscure, but from the position of the Cherubim at the gate of Eden, upon the cover of the ark of the covenant, and in Rev. 4., it is clearly gathered that they have to do with vindication of the holiness of God as against the presumptuous pride of sinful man who, despite his sin, would "put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life" Gen 3:22-24. Upon the ark of the covenant, of one substance with the mercy-seat, they saw the sprinkled blood which, in type, spake of the perfect maintenance of the divine righteousness by the sacrifice of Christ Ex 25:17-20. See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:24". See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:25". See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:26". The living creatures (or Cherubim) appear to be actual beings of the angelic order. Cf. See Scofield Note: "Isa 6:2". The Cherubim or living creatures are not identical with the Seraphim. Isa 6:2-7. They appear to have to do with the holiness of God as outraged by sin; the Seraphim with uncleanness in the people of God. The passage in Ezekiel is highly figurative, but the effect was the revelation to the prophet of the Shekinah glory of the Lord. Such revelations are connected invariably with new blessing and service. Cf. Ex 3:2-10 Isa 6:1-10 Dan 10:5-14 Rev 1:12-19.
And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
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.
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.
And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
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.
And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
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.
When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
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.
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.
When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
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 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 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 an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
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 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.
As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.