Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.  As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.  When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.  And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.  And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.  Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.  When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
 Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads.  And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body.  And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings.  And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.  And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.  Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
(Ezekiel 1:4-28 ESV)
Ezekiel, standing with the exiles, sees this vision:
A huge storm comes up from the north, a storm with fire flash forth continually... makes me think of a severe electrical storm.
In the middle of a cloud, come four living creatures, like humans, but with four faces, and four wings. Cloven feet, sparkling like burnished bronze, human hands under their wings and the faces: human, lion, ox, eagle.
They flew where the spirit went. They didn't turn they just moved in a straight line wherever the spirit went.
Their appearance like burning coals, and they darted about like lightning.
Now, beside each creature was a wheel on the search, those wheels gleamed like beryl. NOTE: beryl is: a transparent pale green, blue, or yellow mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum, sometimes used as a gemstone.
The creatures and the wheels moved as one, rising, falling, darting.
Above the creatures and their wheels was an expanse shining like a crystal. And above that expanse, a figure, like a human sat, gleaming like metal, with fire all about, and so very very bright.
When Ezekiel saw it, he fell down on his face, and he heard someone speaking.
So ends this reading.
I can totally understand Ezekiel falling on his face. It was so fantastical.
And I sit here, knowing that this is the word of the Lord, and that I should be able to glean knowledge from it, but all I can see is how odd that must have been for Ezekiel to see all this and be aware of how hard it must have been for him to take it all in.
I don't know what to do with this passage other than to say WOW.
Do you have any insights reader?