18 Dec. Ezekiel 10:1-19,11:22-24

18 Dec. Ezekiel sees the glory of the LORD leaving the Temple

“Then I looked and saw in the dome above the heads of the living creatures something like a sapphire gem which looked like a throne. The LORD said to the man dressed in linen, ‘Go in between the wheels under the living creatures, fill your hands with coals of fire from between the living creatures, and scatter the coals over the city.’”

“As I watched, the man with linen clothes went in. Now the living creatures were standing on the south side of the Temple when the man went in. And a cloud filled the inner courtyard. Then the glory of the LORD went up from the living creatures and stood over the door of the Temple.”

“The Temple was filled with the cloud, and the courtyard was full of the brightness from the glory of the LORD. The sound of the wings of the living creatures was heard all the way to the outer courtyard. It was like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks…”

“Something that looked like a human hand could be seen under the wings of the living creatures. I saw the four wheels by the living creatures… each looked like a wheel crossways inside another wheel. When the wheels moved, they went in any of the directions that the four living creatures faced… I heard the wheels being called ‘whirling wheels’...”

“Then the living creatures flew up… When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them… When the creatures went up, the wheels went up also, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”

“Then the glory of the LORD left the door of the Temple and stood over the living creatures. As I watched, the living creatures spread their wings and flew up from the ground, with the wheels beside them. They stood where the east gate of the Temple of the LORD opened, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them…”

“Then the living creatures lifted their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. The glory of the LORD went up from inside Jerusalem and stopped on the mountain on the east side of the city… This happened in a vision given by the Spirit of God, and then the vision I had seen ended.”

          (Ezekiel 10:1-5,10-13,15-19,11:22-24)

 

 

In Chapter 8, Ezekiel had a second vision where he was taken by God ‘in the Spirit’ to Jerusalemand was shown the idolatry being practised in the LORD’s Temple: “The Spirit lifted me up... He took me... to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple.  In the courtyard was the idol that caused God to be jealous." (Ezekiel 8:3)

"Then he brought me to the entry of the courtyard. When I looked I saw a hole in the wall... Then he said to me, 'Go in and see the hateful, evil things they are doing here.' So I entered... and I saw every kind of crawling thing and hateful beast and all the idols of the people of Israel, carved on the wall all around." (Ezekiel 8:7-10)

"Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Temple. There I saw about 25 men… between the porch and the altar. With their backs turned to the Temple of the LORD, they faced east and were worshipping the sun in the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16)

As a result of all this idolatry, God’s glory – the ‘Shekinah’ or dazzling radiance of the LORD’s presence (see Exodus 24:16 and 25:22) – left the Temple in Jerusalem and moved to "the mountain on the east side of the city” (Ezekiel 11:23) (a reference, perhaps, to Mount Nebo – the mountain from which Moses looked out over the ‘promised land’ shortly before his death (see also 2 Maccabees 2:4-8).

In the New Testament, Luke records that the ‘glory of the LORD’ only returned to earth some 600 years later when Jesus was born at Bethlehem in Judah: “That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid… Today your Saviour was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11)

The photo shows the ‘glory of the LORD’ appearing to the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem where Jesus, the ‘Christ’ or ‘anointed one’, was born.

You can read more from the Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 12-15 @ The Bible Journey | Ezekiel speaks through prophesies and parables


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