and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man,
Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.
From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human,
Within the fire were what looked like four creatures vibrant with life. Each had the form of a human being,
And in the heart of it were the forms of four living beings. And this was what they were like; they had the form of a man.
In the middle of it was something like four living creatures. This was their appearance: they were of human form.
Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tc Heb “from its midst” (מִתּוֹכָהּ, mitokhah). The LXX reads ἐν τῷ μέσῳ (en tw mesw, “in the midst of it”). The LXX also reads ἐν for מִתּוֹךְ (mitokh) in v. 4. The translator of the LXX of Ezekiel either read בְּתוֹךְ (bÿtokh, “within”) in his Hebrew exemplar or could not imagine how מִתּוֹךְ could make sense and so chose to use ἐν. The Hebrew would be understood by adding “from its midst emerged the forms of four living beings.”
2 tn Heb “form, figure, appearance.”
3 tn The Hebrew term is feminine plural yet thirty-three of the forty-five pronominal suffixes and verbal references which refer to the living beings in the chapter are masculine plural. The grammatical vacillation between masculine and feminine plurals suggests the difficulty Ezekiel had in penning these words as he was overcome by the vision of God. In ancient Near Eastern sculpture very similar images of part-human, part-animal creatures serve as throne and sky bearers. For a discussion of ancient Near Eastern parallels, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:26-31. Ezekiel’s vision is an example of contextualization, where God accommodates his self-revelation to cultural expectations and norms.
4 sn They had human form may mean they stood erect.