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The New International Version

Ezekiel 1:4–3:15

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I looked, and I saw a windstormh coming out of the northi—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal,j and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures.k In appearance their form was human,l but each of them had four facesm and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze.n Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands.o All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.p

10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.q 11 Such were their faces. They each had two wingsr spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.s 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coalst of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightningu flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.v

15 As I looked at the living creatures,w I saw a wheelx on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz,y and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change directionz as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyesa all around.

19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go,b and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.c

22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault,d sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushinge waters, like the voicef of the Almighty,b like the tumult of an army.g When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throneh of lapis lazuli,i and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man.j 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.k 28 Like the appearance of a rainbowl in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.m

This was the appearance of the likeness of the gloryn of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown,o and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Ezekiel’s Call to Be a Prophet

2 He said to me, “Son of man,a p standq up on your feet and I will speak to you.rAs he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised mes to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.t The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.u Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’v And whether they listen or fail to listenw—for they are a rebellious peoplex—they will know that a prophet has been among them.y And you, son of man, do not be afraidz of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thornsa are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.b You must speakc my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.d But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebele like that rebellious people;f open your mouth and eatg what I give you.”

Then I looked, and I saw a handh stretched out to me. In it was a scroll,i 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.j

3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I atek it, and it tasted as sweet as honeyl in my mouth.

He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.m You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language,n but to the people of Israel—not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.o But the people of Israel are not willing to listenp to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.q But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are.r I will make your foreheads like the hardest stone, harder than flint.t Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.u

10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heartv all the words I speak to you. 11 Gow now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’x whether they listen or fail to listen.y

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up,z and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.a 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creaturesa brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound.b 14 The Spiritc then lifted me upd and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lorde on me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River.f And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven daysg—deeply distressed.

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Hebrew Shaddai

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The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here and throughout Ezekiel because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.

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Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text sound—may the glory of the Lord be praised from his place

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