The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleEzekiel 1:4
And I looked…
Being under the influence of the Spirit and
power of God:
and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north;
which some understand
of Nebuchadnezzar and his army coming from Babylon, which lay north of
Judea: see (Jeremiah 1:14) ; but it seems to me to be, with what follows,
only an apparatus to the following vision: and is designed to awaken
the mind of the prophet, and to fix his attention to what should
proceed from hence, and be seen by him; just as the Lord speared in and
answered Job out of, the whirlwind, (Job 38:1) ;
a great cloud;
as is usual when there is much thunder and lightning;
though some understand this also of Nebuchadnezzar's army, which came
in great human, swiftly and powerfully, as a cloud:
and a fire infolding itself:
in the cloud; rolling within it, when it
burst out in thunder and lightning. The Targum renders it, "fire
inflamed", the same phrase is used of the storm of thunder, lightning,
and hail, in (Exodus 9:24) . Some understand this of the wrath of the
Babylonian monarch; or of the wrath of God by him; or of the sins of
men, the cause thereof:
and a brightness [was] about it;
that is, the cloud. This brightness
was an emblem of the glory of the divine Being; who was now present, an
enlightened the mind of the prophet to see the following things, and
which all proceeded from him:
and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber out of the midst of
that is, out of the midst of the fire, and out of the midst
of the brightness about it, there was something which was as "the
colour of amber"; or, "like the chasmal" F6; which, the Jews F7 say,
is the name of an angel. It is asked F8, what is "chasmal?" R. Judah
says, (twhmm va twyx) , "fiery animals speaking": who, when God speaks,
are silent; and when he does not speak, they speak; but Christ is
meant; for the appearance of the man upon the throne is said to be as
the colour of "chasmal", (Ezekiel 1:27) . The word, read the contrary way, is
the Messiah, or the anointed, or to be anointed. Jarchi thinks it is
the name of a colour, nearest to the colour of fire, Junius and
Tremellius render it, "a most lively colour"; and perhaps may mean the
colour of a burning coal; and Buxtorf translates it, "a coal
exceedingly fired"; a clear, burning, red-hot coal; which may denote
the pure light of Christ, who is the brightness of his Father's glory;
his flaming love for his people; his burning zeal for the glory of God,
and the good of his church; and his fiery indignation against his
enemies. We render the word amber, as do others; by which must be
meant, not that which is the juice of certain trees, which is hardened
by the air, and is of a yellowish colour; nor that liquid substance
which comes from sea shores and rocks, and, being hardened in the same
way, is of the colour of wax; but a sort of mixed metal, compounded of
gold and silver; the fifth part of it is silver, as Pliny F9 says, and
four parts gold; though Bochart is of opinion that the "qurichalcum", a
metal made of gold and brass, is meant; which is the most fine brass;
to which the feet of Christ are compared in (Revelation 1:15) ; and so this
"chasmal" may denote the two natures in Christ; the preciousness of his
person; his brightness and glory; and his great strength and power. R.
Abendana F11 conjectures, that the colour of "chasmal" means the colour
of some precious stone, as the colour of "tarshish", or "beryl",
(Ezekiel 1:16) ; and so he that sat upon the throne, in (Revelation 4:3) ; was to
look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone.
F6 (lmvxh Nyek) "tanquam species hasmal, [vel] chasmal", Calvin,
Tigerius version, Starckius; "angeli", Munster; "flammae
crepitantis", Montanus; "prunarum ardentissimarum", Polanus;
"purissimi aeris", Piscator; (hlektrou) , Sept. "electri", V. L.
F7 Baal Aruch, Philip. Aquinas. Vid. Jarchi & Kimchi ib loc.
F8 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 13. 1. 2.
F9 Nat. Hist. l. 33. c. 4.
F11 Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 1:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=eze&chapter=001&verse=004>. 1999.