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

The Lord 48

True Christianity 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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Word/Phrase Explanations

'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,...

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

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Five also signifies all things of one part.

'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 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...

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

Stormy wind
'A stormy wind' and 'an overflowing shower,' as in Ezekiel 13:11-13, signify the desolation of falsity.

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

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'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

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living creatures
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four wings
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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...

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

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

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noise of their wings
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Sapphire stone
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day of
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Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

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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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Divine Providence # 134

Divine Providence (Dole translation)      

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134a. 2. No one is reformed by visions or by conversations with the dead, because they compel. There are two kinds of visions, divine and demonic. Divine visions are given by means of portrayals in heaven, while demonic visions are effected though magical events in hell. There are imaginary visions as well, visions that are the illusions of a mind that has lost its bearings.

Divine visions (which as just noted are given by means of portrayals in heaven) are the kind that happened to the prophets. When they were having these visions they were not in the body but in the spirit, because visions cannot happen to us while we are physically awake. So when the prophets saw visions, it says that they were in the spirit, as the following passages show.

Ezekiel said, "The spirit lifted me up and took me back to Chaldea to the captivity in a vision of God, in the spirit of God; so the vision that I saw came over me" (Ezekiel 11:1, 24). Then too, spirits held him up between earth and heaven and brought him to Jerusalem in visions of God (Ezekiel 8:3 and following). The same thing happened in a vision of God or in the spirit when he saw the four animals that were cherubim (Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10) and when he saw the new temple, the new earth, and the angel measuring them (Ezekiel chapters 40-48). It says in chapter Ezekiel 40:2, 26 that he was in visions of God at the time, and in chapter Ezekiel 43:5 that he was in the spirit.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 1:1, 8:3-4, 10:1, 40:1, 40:40-48, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48:1; Revelation 4:1, Revelation 8:1, Revelation 9:1, 12:1, Revelation 13:1, Revelation 17:1, Revelation 18:1, 19, Revelation 21:1, Revelation 22:1)

[2] Zechariah was in the same kind of state when he saw the man on horseback among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:8 and following), when he saw the four horns and the man with a measuring line in his hand (Zechariah 1:18, 20, 21; Zechariah 2:1 and following), when he saw the lampstand and the two olive trees (Zechariah 4:1 and following), when he saw the flying scroll and the ephah (Zechariah 5:1, 6), and when he saw the four chariots coming out from the four mountains, and the horses (Zechariah 6:1 and following).

Daniel was in the same kind of state when he saw the four beasts rising from the sea (Daniel 6:1 [Daniel 7:1] and following), and when he saw the battles of the ram and the goat (Daniel 8:1 and following). It says in Daniel 7:1-2, 7, and 13; in Daniel 8:2; and in Daniel 10:1, 7, and 8 that he saw these things in the vision of his spirit, and it says in Daniel 9:21 that he saw the angel Gabriel in a vision.

(Odkazy: Daniel 7:13, 10:7-8; Ezekiel 48:1; Zechariah 2:1-3, 5:1-6)

[3] John was in the vision of the spirit when he saw the things he describes in the Book of Revelation--for example, when he saw the seven lampstands with the Human-born One in their midst (Revelation 1:12-16), when he saw the throne in heaven with someone sitting on it, surrounded by the four animals that were cherubim (Revelation 4), when he saw the book of life taken by the Lamb (Revelation 5), when he saw the horses come out of the book (Revelation 6), when he saw the seven angels with their trumpets (Revelation 8), when he saw the pit of the abyss opened with the locusts coming out of it (Revelation 9), when he saw the dragon and its battle with Michael (Revelation 12), when he saw the two beasts rise up, one from the sea and one from the land (Revelation 13), when he saw the woman sitting on the scarlet beast (Revelation 17) and the destruction of Babylon (Revelation 18), when he saw the white horse with someone riding it (Revelation 18 [19]), when he saw the new heaven and the new earth and the holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven (Revelation 21), and when he saw the river of water of life (Revelation 22). It says that he saw these things in the vision of his spirit in Revelation 1:11 [Revelation 1:10]; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 5:1; Revelation 6:1; and Revelation 21:12 [Revelation 21:10].

These were the kinds of visions that were visible from heaven to the sight of their spirits and not to their physical sight.

Things like this do not happen nowadays, because if they did they would not be understood, since they happen by means of images whose details are pointing to inner features of the church and secrets of heaven. It was foretold in Daniel 9:24 that they would stop when the Lord came into the world.

However, demonic visions have sometimes occurred. They are brought about by spirits who inspire deceptive passions and visions and who call themselves the Holy Spirit because of a mental confusion that engulfs them. Now, however, these spirits have been gathered in by the Lord and consigned to a hell separate from the other hells.

We can see from all this that no one can be reformed by any visions except the ones that are in the Word. There are imaginary visions as well, but these are nothing but the illusions of a mind that has lost its bearings.

134b. The story that the Lord told about the rich man in hell and Lazarus in Abraham's lap shows that no one is reformed by conversations with the dead. The rich man said, "Father Abraham, I beg you to send Lazarus to my father's house where I have five brothers, to bear witness to them so that they do not come to this place of torment." Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets: let them heed them." But he said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone came to them from the dead, they would repent." He answered him, "If they do not heed Moses and the prophets, they would not be convinced if someone rose from the dead" (Luke 16:27-31).

Conversations with the dead may lead to the same results as miracles that I have just described. That is, we may be convinced and be constrained to worship for a short while. However, since this deprives us of rational functioning at the same time that it hems in our evils, as already noted [130-131, 133], this spell or inner restraint is released and the pent-up evils erupt in blasphemy and profanation. Still, this happens only when spirits have imposed some religious dogma. No good spirit--let alone any angel of heaven--would ever do this.

(Odkazy: Revelation 4:1, Revelation 8:1, Revelation 9:1, Revelation 12:1, 13:1, Revelation 17:1, Revelation 18:1, Revelation 19:1, Revelation 21:1-2, 21:1, Revelation 22:1)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Divine Providence 244, 249

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