Ezekiel 1

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1 Now it happened in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

2 In the fifth [day] of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,

3 the word of Yahweh came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was there on him.

4 I looked, and behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with flashing lightning, and a brightness around it, and out of its midst as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.

5 Out of its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. This was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.

6 Everyone had four faces, and each one of them had four wings.

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

8 They had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and the four of them had their faces and their wings [thus]:

9 their wings were joined one to another; they didn't turn when they went; each one went straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side; and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side; the four of them also had the face of an eagle.

11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above. Two wings of each one touched another, and two covered their bodies.

12 Each one went straight forward: where the spirit was to go, they went; they didn't turn when they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: [the fire] went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14 The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 Now as I saw the living creatures, behold, one wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces of it.

16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like a beryl: and the four of them had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.

17 When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn't turn when they went.

18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and the four of them had their rims full of eyes all around.

19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.

20 Wherever the spirit was to go, they went; there was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature 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 were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

22 Over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the awesome crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above.

23 Under the expanse were their wings straight, the one toward the other: each one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.

24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of an army: when they stood, they let down their wings.

25 There was a voice above the expanse that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings.

26 Above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and on the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man on it above.

27 I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it all around, from the appearance of his waist and upward; and from the appearance of his waist and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.

28 As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

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

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

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

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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 by following this link.

 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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Arcana Coelestia # 6367

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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6367. 'A lion's cub is Judah' means innocence with innate strength. This is clear from the meaning of 'a lion' as the good of love and the truth from that good in their power, dealt with below, so that 'a lion's cub' is innocence with strength. The reason why with innate strength is meant is that here 'Judah' represents the celestial element of love, and the celestial element of love resides in the will part of the mind, 895, 917, 4493, 5117, and thus possesses innate strength. For a person is born into things that belong to the will part. That being so, members of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, were born into the good of love, in the measure that good was present in their will. This then is why the strength is said to be innate. The reason 'a lion's cub' means innocence is that 'a lion' is the good of celestial love, and 'a cub', being so to speak its young child, accordingly means innocence.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 927, 5113)

[2] 'A lion' means the good of celestial love and the truth from that love in their power, and also in the contrary sense the evil of self-love in its power, as is clear from places in the Word where 'a lion' is mentioned. The good of celestial love is meant in John,

Behold, the Lion which is from the Tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose its seven seals. Revelation 5:5.

Here the Lord is called 'the Lion' by virtue of the almighty power which His Divine Love and Divine Truth from that Love possess. There are also other places in the Word where Jehovah or the Lord is compared to a lion, as in Hosea,

They will go after Jehovah; He will roar like a lion, for He will roar, and respectfully [His] sons from the west 1 will draw near. Hosea 11:10.

[3] Also in Isaiah,

Thus said Jehovah to me, As a lion roars, and a young lion over its prey, when there come up against him a full number of shepherds, by whose voice he is not dismayed, and by whose tumult he is not distressed, so Jehovah Zebaoth will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. Isaiah 31:4.

Here the almighty power of Divine Good is compared to 'a lion', and the almighty power of Divine Truth from that Good is compared to 'a young lion'. For it says that 'Jehovah Zebaoth will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill', and 'Mount Zion' means the Good of Divine Love and 'its hill' the Divine Truth from that Good, 795, 796, 1430, 4210.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 795-796)

[4] For the same reason the four living creatures in Ezekiel and in John, meaning cherubs, had the faces of a human being, lion, ox, and eagle: In Ezekiel,

The likeness of the faces of the four living creatures - [each of] the four had the face of a human being, and the face of a lion on the right side, and [each of] the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and [each of] the four had the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 1:10; 10:14.

And in John,

Around 2 the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a human being; the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:6-7.

The fact that the living creatures were cherubs is stated in Ezekiel to, which fact is also evident from the description of them in John, in which he says that they had 'eyes in front and behind'. The Lord's foresight and providence are meant by 'the cherubs', 308; and they had the face of a lion by virtue of the almighty power belonging to providence that Divine Truth from Divine Good possesses. So also with the cherubs around the new temple in Ezekiel 41:19.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 10:1)

[5] Celestial people in possession of the power supplied by the good and the truth from good which come from the Lord are meant by 'lions', as is evident in David,

There is no want to those fearing Jehovah. The young lions will lack and suffer hunger, but those seeking Jehovah will not lack any good thing. Psalms 34:9-10.

In the same author,

The [young] lions are roaring for plunder, and to seek from God their food. The sun rises, they are gathered together, and lie down in their dwelling-places. Psalms 104:21-22.

In Balaam's prophetic utterance,

At that time it will be said to Jacob and to Israel, What has God been doing? See, a people will rise up like an old lion, and like a young lion will lift itself up. He will not rest until he has devoured the prey. Numbers 23:23-24.

(Odkazy: Numbers 13:23-24)

[6] And further on,

When Balaam saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, he said, He crouches, he lies down like a lion, and like an old lion; who will rouse him? Numbers 24:2, 9.

The celestial is what is described here because celestial order is what the tribes represented by their encampments and was what Balaam saw in the spirit when he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, 6335. That order originates in Divine Good coming through Divine Truth from the Lord; and within that order resides all power, meant here by a crouching and recumbent lion.

[7] In Micah,

The remnant of Jacob will be with the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passes through, will tread down and tear in pieces, 3 and there is no deliverer. Your hand will be lifted up over your enemies, and all your adversaries will be cut off. Micah 5:8-9.

Here 'a lion' and a young lion stand for celestial good and celestial truth, which are 'the remnant of Jacob'. They also stand for that good and truth in Isaiah 21:8; Jeremiah 25:38; Ezekiel 38:13; Zechariah 11:3. And that same good and truth were also represented by the lions at Solomon's ivory throne, two next to the armrests 4 and twelve on the six steps, 1 Kings 10:18-20, and by the lions on the panels of the ten pedestals made of bronze, 1 Kings 7:29, 36.

[8] In the contrary sense 'a lion' means the evil of self-love in its power, as is evident from the following places: In Isaiah,

There will not be any lion there, and the savage of the wild animals will not go up on it; it will not be found there. But they will go free; thus the redeemed of Jehovah will return, and will come to Zion with song. Isaiah 35:9-10.

In Jeremiah,

Why has Israel become plunder? The young lions roar at him, they sound their voice; they turn his land into a waste. Jeremiah 2:14-15.

In the same prophet,

A lion has risen up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations has set out; he has come from his place to turn the land into a waste. Jeremiah 4:7.

In the same prophet,

They did not know the way of Jehovah, the judgement of their God, therefore a lion from the forest has struck them down, and a wolf of the plains will devastate them. Jeremiah 5:4, 6.

In Nahum,

Where is the dwelling-place of lions, and the feeding-place 5 of the young lions, where the lion walked, the old lion, the lion's cub, and there is no one making them afraid? The lion tears in pieces enough for the cubs, and strangles for his old lionesses, and fills his caves with plunder, and his dwelling places with what he has pounced on. Behold, I am against you, said Jehovah Zebaoth, and I will burn her chariot in the smoke; but the sword will devour your young lions, and I will cut off your plunder from the earth. Nahum 2:11-17.

This refers to Nineveh.

In all these places 'a lion' stands for the power that the evil of self-love possesses, when it destroys and lays waste. 'A lion' has a like meaning in Jeremiah 12:8; 49:19; 50:17, 44; 51:38; Ezekiel 19:2-9; 32:2; Joel 1:6; Zephaniah 3:3; Psalms 57:4; 58:6; 91:13; Revelation 13:2.


1. literally, sons from the sea

2. The Latin means Before but the Greek means Around, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

3. Reading discerpet (will tear to pieces), which Swedenborg has in his rough draft, for disperget (will scatter)

4. literally, the hands of the throne

5. literally, pasture or grazing ground


(Odkazy: Ezekiel 19:2-11, 33:2; Genesis 49:8-12; Nahum 2:11-13; Psalms 57:5)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6369, 6441, 8945, 9052, 9348, 9391, 9818, 10236

The White Horse 9

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 139, 258

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 433, 447

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.