Ezekiel 3:13
It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against one another and the sound of the wheels beside them, a great rumbling sound.
AmbassadorshipJ.D. Davies Ezekiel 3:4-14
Celestial VoicesJ.R. Thomson Ezekiel 3:12, 13
The Light of God Reconciles the Disorders of LifeA. W. Welch.Ezekiel 3:12-13

As a true prophet, Ezekiel was specially susceptible to spiritual influences. Again and again he speaks of the Spirit as taking possession of him, pleasing him in new circumstances, enlarging his experiences, qualifying him for special ministries. Divesting ourselves of the notion that such interpositions are to be interpreted as mechanical and local, we must seek to enter into their spiritual significance. The interest of this passage largely lies in its bearing upon the prophet's own personal history and ministerial service.


1. Ezekiel had been reminded of the unbelief and rebelliousness of his countrymen, to whom it was his vocation to minister. Their character had been described to him in language of the truth of which he was too well aware. To preach to the hardened and unsympathetic is no pleasant task. Yet it is a task to which every retreater of religion is often called. His is frequently the voice of one crying in the wilderness. And again and again has he been cast down and distressed in spirit when thus encountered by prejudice, worldliness, and unbelief.

2. Ezekiel had been made to feel the difficulties arising from the feebleness and insufficiency of the spiritual labourer. It is hard to face a powerful foe; but to do so becomes harder when the warrior is conscious of his own weakness. And this has been the experience of every faithful servant of God. Often has the minister of Christ, overpowered by a sense of his impotence, cried aloud, "Who is sufficient for these things?"

II. CELESTIAL VOICES COME TO REANIMATE, TO COMFORT, AND TO STRENGTHEN THE SERVANT OF GOD. When the prophet was depressed by his experiences and apprehensions, the Spirit lifted him up, and he heard voices from above. Whilst we listen only to the voices of earth, we shall endure distress and discouragement. But if filled with the Spirit, we may hear voices which shall ravish our hearts with joy and inspire them with courage.

1. Celestial voices summon our attention away from man to God. There is a Divine side to our humanity, to our life, our work, and even our sorrows. The spirit of man is capable of apprehending the Divine, and, indeed, only in doing so does it realize the purpose of its existence. God is not far from every one of us; and he is near to all who call upon him in truth.

2. Celestial voices summon us to contemplate the majesty of the Eternal. This is their burden: "Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place." How poor do earth's pleasures, and how paltry do earth's interests seem, when brought into comparison with the heavenly and eternal! The Hebrew prophets certainly enjoyed a wonderful insight into the majestic attributes of Jehovah. If we will be led by them, they will lead us into the presence, and reveal to us something of the glory, of the Lord of all. Thus may we be freed from bondage to earth's littleness; thus may we learn the true, full lessons of being.

3. Thus earthly trouble may be lost and absorbed in heavenly grandeur. The voice of the rushing, the noise of the wheels, the rustling of the wings, - these appealed to the imagination and touched the spirit of the prophet; and his trials and difficulties shrank into their proper insignificance, when he was conscious of the nearness and of the infinite superiority of the Divine. We may not always be able to reason down our difficulties, to repress our anxieties, to vanquish our temptations. But we may bring all into the presence of Divine visions and Divine voices; and they will assume their just proportions, and God will he the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, of all. - T.

Then the Spirit took me up.
In the light of God the presence of moral disorder can be reconciled with His superintending goodness and mercy. And as we are lifted up in spirit into that light we see that there is an explanation of these terrible perplexities, a solution of these baffling problems, an unfolding of an occult and inscrutable plan. Birks, in his Four Prophetic Empires, says, "The storms which rocked the cradle of Rome, and nursed it into greatness — the wars of Carthage, the victories of Hannibal, the proud triumphs of Scipio and Paulus, of Marius and Sylla, of Pompey and Caesar — the fall of Greece, and Syria, and Egypt, of Spain, and Gaul, and Britain, with all the fierce conculsions of intestine strife, and the imperial line of Caesar — were all planned out and clearly foreseen in the counsels of the Most High. Where a worldly mind sees nothing but a wild sea of human passions, or the dark workings of subtle policy and ambition, God's Word reveals a mightier presence standing in the midst of those proud statesmen and warriors, though they know Him not. A flood of heaven's light streams down upon the darkest page of Roman ambition and crime. Amid those gloomy scenes of triumphant injustice, foul idolatry or superstitious pride, almighty power was there to control, onmiscient wisdom to foresee and ordain, and love and holiness were overruling the mighty drama of strife and violence, to accomplish their own hidden counsel of grace and redemption to a fallen world."

(A. W. Welch.)

Chebar, Tel-abib
Beings, Beside, Brushing, Creatures, Earthquake, Loud, Noise, Over-against, Rumbling, Rushing, Sounded, Touched, Touching, Wheels, Wings
1. Ezekiel eats the scroll
4. God encourages him
15. God shows him the rule of prophecy
22. God shuts and opens the prophet's mouth

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 3:13

     4690   wings

Ezekiel 3:12-13

     4627   creatures

Cæsarius of Arles.
He was born in the district of Chalons-sur-Saone, A. D. 470. He seems to have been early awakened, by a pious education, to vital Christianity. When he was between seven and eight years old, it would often happen that he would give a portion of his clothes to the poor whom he met, and would say, when he came home, that he had been, constrained to do so. When yet a youth, he entered the celebrated convent on the island of Lerins, (Lerina,) in Provence, from which a spirit of deep and practical piety
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Boniface, Apostle of the Germans.
BONIFACE, or Winfried, as they called him in Anglo-Saxon, born at Crediton in Devonshire, in 680, deserves to be honoured as the father of the German Church, although he was by no means the first who brought the seeds of the Gospel to Germany. Many had already laboured before him; but the efforts which had been made here and there did not suffice to secure the endurance of Christianity amongst the many perils to which it was exposed. Christianity needs to be linked with firm ecclesiastical institutions,
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Epistle xxxiv. To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse .
To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse [1331] . Gregory to Venantius, &c. Many foolish men have supposed that, if I were advanced to the rank of the episcopate, I should decline to address thee, or to keep up communication with thee by letter. But this is not so; since I am compelled by the very necessity of my position not to hold my peace. For it is written, Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet (Isai. lviii. 1). And again it is written, I have given thee for a watchman
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Greatness of the Soul,
AND UNSPEAKABLENESS 0F THE LOSS THEREOF; WITH THE CAUSES OF THE LOSING IT. FIRST PREACHED AT PINNER'S HALL and now ENLARGED AND PUBLISHED FOR GOOD. By JOHN BUNYAN, London: Printed for Benjamin Alsop, at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, 1682 Faithfully reprinted from the Author's First Edition. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. Our curiosity is naturally excited to discover what a poor, unlettered mechanic, whose book-learning had been limited to the contents of one volume, could by possibility know
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Servant's Inflexible Resolve
'For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face like a flint.'--ISAIAH l. 7. What a striking contrast between the tone of these words and of the preceding! There all is gentleness, docility, still communion, submission, patient endurance. Here all is energy and determination, resistance and martial vigour. It is like the contrast between a priest and a warrior. And that gentleness is the parent of this boldness. The same Will which is all submission
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Iranian Conquest
Drawn by Boudier, from the engraving in Coste and Flandin. The vignette, drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statuette in terra-cotta, found in Southern Russia, represents a young Scythian. The Iranian religions--Cyrus in Lydia and at Babylon: Cambyses in Egypt --Darius and the organisation of the empire. The Median empire is the least known of all those which held sway for a time over the destinies of a portion of Western Asia. The reason of this is not to be ascribed to the shortness of its duration:
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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