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Author: Ron Graham


Ezekiel Chapters 9, 10, and 11
—Outline and Notes

1 Context Overview

Captives have been taken from Jerusalem to Chaldea. The siege of Jerusalem is underway. Nebuchadnezzar’s final assault on the city is at hand.

Ezekiel has been taken in vision to the temple in Jerusalem. He has seen the abominations committed within. Next he is shown how God will shortly deal with the wicked inhabitants.

Whilst the vision in chaper 11 is mostly about the slaughter soon to happen, the vision also looks to a future return to Jerusalem of a remnant who will restore and rebuild. It looks also to the more distant future when the Messiah, the Saviour, will come into the world.

❖ The vision of chapter 11 features the same cherubim and their wheels that Ezekiel saw in chapter 1. Their faces are discussed in section 3 of this lesson.

2 Outline of Ezekiel 9, 10, and 11

The Man with the Inkhorn

Gathering and Scattering of Fiery Coals

The Cherubim and their Wheels

The Corrupt Leaders

A Promise that a Remnant will be Preserved

The Vision Ends

3 Faces of the Cherubim (Ezekiel 1:10, 10:14)

There is something of a mystery about the four faces of the cherubim in the vision at Chebar in chapter 1, and in the vision at the temple in chapter 10

In chapter 1:10 the faces were seen as those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. In chapter 10:14 the faces were seen as those of a cherub, a man, a lion, and an eagle. Notwithstanding the difference, Ezekiel insists that "as for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the Chebar" (Ezekiel 10:22).

This means that each face could change shape into whatever sign it should portray. In both visions, the three faces of each cherub displayed the faces of a man, a lion, and an eagle respectively. In the first vision, the other face looked like the face of an ox. But in the second vision that same face was now seen as the face of a cherub, no longer presenting as the face of an ox. What is the significance of that omission?

The Meaning of the Faces

The faces and their shapes signify divine attributes of the LORD —the Messiah who is the fiery figure of the first vision and the voice of the second vision. He is entitled to the saphire throne. He is Israel’s one and only hope, a great hope, distant though it be.

Here is the significance of the shapes of the faces...

The Meaning of the Missing Face

In the second vision, why is one face of each cherub no longer transformed into the face of an ox? The answer is very serious indeed.

Oxen were among the animals sacrificed in the temple. Those sacrifices foreshadowed the sacrifice that the Messiah would make by his own death. In the vision that Ezekiel saw, the face of an ox signifies the Messiah’s sacrifice. Yet that face is missing in the second vision seen at the temple (chapter 10). This signifies that God is going to destroy without mercy or sacrifice.

In the second vision, the LORD commands the temple to be thoroughly defiled by filling it with the bodies of the slain. No sacrifice could be made in it then. This signifies that God will deny a sacrifice for sins to the reprobate of Israel.

God has divided the people of Israel in two. Those who have the mark from the inkhorn will be spared. The others will all be destroyed. For them the words to be written in the future are true...

"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27 NKJV).

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