God gives Ezekiel a dream
1 It was the 30th year. God spoke to me on the fifth day of the fourth month. I was among the prisoners from Judah by the side of the river Kebar. Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there from Jerusalem. God opened heaven (God's home) and I saw pictures of him in the sky.
1:1‘It was the 30th year’ probably means Ezekiel was 30 years old.
1:1The 4th month would be, for us, June or July.
1:1The river Kebar moved south and east from the river Euphrates at Babylon. It was deep and wide enough for large boats.
2 Nebuchadnezzar had kept King Jehoiachin in Babylon for five years. On the fifth day of the month, 3 God spoke to Ezekiel the priest. He was the son of Buzi. He was standing by the River Kebar in the country called Babylon. This was the place where the Lord spoke to Ezekiel. He told him what he wanted him to do.
1:3When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.
4 I, Ezekiel, looked. And I saw great clouds that were coming from the north. They came with a strong wind and bright lights. Light shone all round the clouds. It was like a fire that had burning metal in the centre. 5 I could see something like four living things in the fire. Each of them had the shape of a man. 6 But each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like the feet of a young cow. They shone like bright metal. 8 They had hands under their wings on the four sides. They were like the hands of a man. Each of these four living things had faces and wings. 9 And their wings touched each other. Each living thing went straight towards the front. They did not turn from their straight path.
10 I saw their faces. The face at the front was the face of a man. On the right side each had an ox's face. And on the left side each had a lion's face. Each also had the face of a great bird. 11 That is how I saw their faces. Each of them held two wings up from their sides. The wings of each living thing touched the wings next to them. 12 Each living thing covered its body with two wings. Each living thing moved straight towards the front. They did not turn when they moved. So they went where the spirit wanted. 13 They looked like hot fires or burning sticks of wood. Fire moved between the living things. It shone brightly, and it sent out light like sharp knives. 14 The living things moved very quickly. They went one way and then they went another way.
15 I continued to look at them. And I saw four wheels on the ground. Each was by the side of a living thing. 16 The wheels were all the same. They shone like bright glass. Each was like a wheel across another wheel. 17 They moved any way that the living things moved. 18 The wheels had high edges. Eyes covered their edges. 19 When the living things moved, the wheels moved with them. If they rose from the earth, the wheels rose with them. 20 They went where the spirit wanted, and the wheels went with them. The wheels also had the spirit of the living things. 21 The wheels moved when the living things moved. The wheels stood in the same place when the things stopped. When the living things rose from the ground the wheels also rose. The same spirit moved the living things and the wheels.
22 A roof that looked like shining ice was over the heads of the living things. 23 The living things stood under the roof. Each stood with their wings held towards the things next to them. They covered their bodies with their other two wings. 24 I heard a noise like water that pours along a river very fast. It was like the voice of the Almighty God. It also had the sound of a great army that is marching along. They put their wings down when they stood still. 25 A voice spoke while they stood still with their wings down. It came from above their heads.
26 Over the roof like ice I saw a kind of throne. Someone had made it out of blue stone. And high above the throne I saw something like a man. 27 He shone like bright metal in the centre of a fire. The light of many colours was all round him. 28 It was like the ring of light over the earth on a wet day. This light showed that the Lord was there, in his glory. When I saw it, I fell down on my face. Then a voice spoke to me.