Ezekiel 1:4-28 – Vision of the Glory of the Lord


Ezekiel 1:4-28


These verses present a stunning vision of the majesty of God, with a chariot of living creatures and a glorious throne. According to Ezekiel, the chapter is a detailed description of “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”


This vision opens the book and probably was an early event in Ezekiel’s prophetic call. It is difficult to visualize, and the general sense of awesome glory is probably what is intended. The chariot is made up of four living, winged creatures (cherubim), each with a wheel that can move in any direction. The sense of quick movement is clear from the description. God’s majesty and glory is not confined to Judah! Above them is a crystal plane (firmament) on which is the throne of God. The prophet draws upon the ark of the covenant from Exodus and other visions of God’s throne in glory (1 Kings 22:19; Isaiah 6).

This first vision portrays God as mobile, knowledgeable, kingly, radiant, noisy, and overwhelming. The vision is less than clear about God’s appearance. Any attempts to capture with absolute accuracy the fullness of these visuals have already failed to appreciate the prophet’s perspective here. The glory of God can only be hinted at with various images. What the prophet sees is not God, not God’s glory, but the “appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”