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Ezekiel 1:3-4

Context
1:3 the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel 1  the son of Buzi, 2  at the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. 3  The hand 4  of the Lord came on him there).

1:4 As I watched, I noticed 5  a windstorm 6  coming from the north – an enormous cloud, with lightning flashing, 7  such that bright light 8  rimmed it and came from 9  it like glowing amber 10  from the middle of a fire.

1 sn The prophet’s name, Ezekiel, means in Hebrew “May God strengthen.”

2 tn Or “to Ezekiel son of Buzi the priest.”

3 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” The name of the tribal group ruling Babylon, “Chaldeans” is used as metonymy for the whole empire of Babylon. The Babylonians worked with the Medes to destroy the Assyrian Empire near the end of the 7th century b.c. Then, over the next century, the Babylonians dominated the West Semitic states (such as Phoenicia, Aram, Moab, Edom, and Judah in the modern countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel) and made incursions into Egypt.

4 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s “hand” being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

5 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

6 sn Storms are often associated with appearances of God (see Nah 1:3; Ps 18:12). In some passages, the “storm” (סְעָרָה, sÿarah) may be a whirlwind (Job 38:1, 2 Kgs 2:1).

7 tn Heb “fire taking hold of itself,” perhaps repeatedly. The phrase occurs elsewhere only in Exod 9:24 in association with a hailstorm. The LXX interprets the phrase as fire flashing like lightning, but it is possibly a self-sustaining blaze of divine origin. The LXX also reverses the order of the descriptors, i.e., “light went around it and fire flashed like lightning within it.”

8 tn Or “radiance.” The term also occurs in 1:27b.

9 tc Or “was in it”; cf. LXX ἐν τῷ μέσῳ αὐτοῦ (en tw mesw autou, “in its midst”).

10 tn The LXX translates חַשְׁמַל (khashmal) with the word ἤλεκτρον (hlektron, “electrum”; so NAB), an alloy of silver and gold, perhaps envisioning a comparison to the glow of molten metal.



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