Ezekiel 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Douay-Rheims         

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1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, when I was in the midst of the captives by the river Chobar, the heavens were opened, and I saw the visions of God.

2 On the fifth day of the month, the same was the fifth year of the captivity of king Joachin,

3 The word of the Lord came to Ezechiel the priest the son of Bud in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chobar: and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.

4 And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north: and a great cloud, and a fire infolding it, and brightness was about it: and out of the midst thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the resemblance of amber:

5 And in the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures: and this was their appearance: there was the likeness of a man in them.

6 Every one had four faces, and every one four wings.

7 Their feet were straight feet, and the sole of their foot was like the sole of a calf's foot, and they sparkled like the appearance of glowing brass.

8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides: and they bad faces, and wings on the four sides,

9 And the wings of one were joined to the wings of another. They turned not when they went: but every one went straight forward.

10 And as for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four.

11 And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies:

12 And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went.

13 And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire.

14 And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, there appeared upon the earth by the living creatures one wheel with four faces.

16 And the appearance of the wheels, and the work of them was like the appearance of the sea: and the four had all one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the midst of a wheel.

17 When they went, they went by their four parts: and they turned not when they went.

18 The wheels had also a size, and a height, and a dreadful appearance: and the whole body was full of eyes round about all the four.

19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels also went together by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels also were lifted up with them.

20 Whithersoever the spirit went, thither as the spirit went the wheels also were lifted up withal, and followed it: for the spirit of life was in the wheels.

21 When those went these went, and when those stood these stood, and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels also were lifted up together, and followed them: for the spirit of life was in the wheels.

22 And over the heads of the living creatures was the likeness of the firmament, as the appearance of crystal terrible to behold, and stretched out over their heads above.

23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other, every one with two wings covered his body, and the other was covered in like manner.

24 And I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, as it were the voice of the most high God: when they walked, it was like the voice of a multitude, like the noise of an army, and when they stood, their wings were let down.

25 For when a voice came from above the firmament, that was over their heads, they stood, and let down their wings.

26 And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of the sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne, was a likeness as of the appearance of a man above upon it.

27 And I saw as it were the resemblance of amber as the appearance of fire within it round about: from his loins and upward, and from his loins downward, I saw as it were the resemblance of fire shining round about.

28 As the appearance of the rainbow when it is in a cloud on a rainy day: this was the appearance of the brightness round about.

← Lamentations 5   Ezekiel 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 9457, 9509

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 322, 945

Conjugial Love 26

The Lord 52

Sacred Scripture 97

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 124


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 49, 425, 908, 934, 1042, 1992, 2162, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 14, 49, 239, 245, 466, 614, 629, ...

Divine Providence 134

Doctrine of the Lord 48

True Christian Religion 157, 260


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 69, 70, 77, 239, 253, 277, 279, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 60

Spiritual Experiences 255

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 52

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 9:13

Exodus 24, 24:10, 17

Judges 13:20

1 Kings 18:46, 19:11

2 Kings 2:11, 24:12

1 Chronicles 16:27

2 Chronicles 3:11

Job 38:1

Psalms 50:3, 97:3, 104:4, 137:1

Isaiah 6:2

Ezekiel 3:13, 15, 22, 23, 8:1, 2, 3, 4, 10:1, 10, 33:21, 22, 40:1, 41:19, 43:2

Daniel 7:9, 8:17, 10:6

Habakkuk 3:4

Matthew 16

Acts of the Apostles 7:56, 9:4, 10:11

2 Corinthians 12:1

Revelation 1:13, 15, 4:1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10:1

Word/Phrase Explanations

thirtieth
'Thirty' has a twofold significance because it is is the product of five and six, and also three and ten. From five multiplied by six,...

fourth
'The fourth watch' signifies the first state of the church at break of day, when good begins to act by truth.

Month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

river
'Rivers' signify truths in abundance serving the rational self, and so, the understanding, for the purpose of doctrine and life. 'Rivers' or 'floods' signify temptations....

Heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

chaldeans
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

north
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

living creatures
Animals in general represent our spiritual activity, the things we do on a spiritual level. This can mean forming thoughts, ideas, intellectual concepts; it can...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

faces
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

four wings
By the four wings, as of a fowl, on the back of the third beast, signifies confirmations of falsity.

Wings
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

foot
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

calf
Calves of the lips (Hos 14:2) are confessions from the affection of truth.

brass
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

sides
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

lion
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

Eagle
Eagle wings, referred to in Daniel 7:3, signify rational principles grounded in man's proprium.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Coals
Coals of fire being scattered over the cities (Ezek. 10:1, 7), signify that men were to be left to their wild lusts, rather than they...

lightning
'Lightning' is the radiance and brilliance of God's truth.

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

wheel
'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

Firmament
The firmament, as in Genesis 1, signifies the internal man. The firmament of heaven is mutual love.

stretched
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

noise
'A voice crying,' and 'the voice of a cry,' are common expressions in the Word, and are applied whenever there is a noise or disturbance,...

noise of their wings
'The voice of wings,' as in Revelation 9:9, signifies rationalizations, because 'to fly' signifies perceiving and instructing.

Waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

multitude
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

Sapphire stone
A sapphire stone is the quality of the literal sense of the Word, when the internal sense is perceived in it.

sapphire
'Precious stones,' in application to the Word, symbolizes the Divine truth of the Word in its literal sense which the Divine truth in its spiritual...

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

loins
'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Ezekiel's Vision
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Ezekiel’s Vision (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Ezekiel’s Vision (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Ezekiel’s Vision (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel
Project | Ages 7 - 17


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