Ezekiel 10 Commentary

God’s glory departs from the temple (10:1-22)

In the present series of visions the fiery chariot-throne of God was in the court of the temple (see 8:3- 4). The glory of God (that is, the symbolic form of God over the throne) had risen from the throne and


come to rest on the threshold of the temple. From there God had directed his agents in the execution of the citizens of Jerusalem (see 9:3). From this same position on the temple threshold, God now gave further commands to the man who had previously sealed the faithful for preservation. God told him to go and take some coals from the vacant chariot-throne and scatter them over the city of Jerusalem, to symbolize that the coming fiery destruction of Jerusalem was directed by God himself (10:1-5).

The man then went to the chariot-throne to carry out God’s commands. As Ezekiel describes how one of the cherubim helped the man collect the coals, he adds a note to explain that the cherubim had hands


Ezekiel must have been so interested in the details of the chariot-throne that he repeated much of the description given in the opening chapter. He apparently wanted to impress upon his readers that the chariot-throne he saw at the temple was the same as that which he had seen earlier (9-17). He then saw God return to his chariot-throne and begin to leave the temple. But, as if unwilling to leave, he moved only as far as the temple gate, then stopped (18-19).

An additional note explains that the ‘living creatures’ Ezekiel described earlier were cherubim.

Cherubim were the winged creatures who guarded the covenant box in the Most Holy Place (cf. Exod 25:20-22). In other words, the God whom Ezekiel saw enthroned above the cherubim was the same God who was enthroned above the mercy seat (the lid of the covenant box) in the Most Holy Place. This God, Israel’s covenant God Yahweh, was the one now about to leave his temple, slaughter his people and destroy his city (20-22).

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