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Ezekiel 1:15-20

Context

1:15 Then I looked, 1  and I saw one wheel 2  on the ground 3  beside each of the four beings. 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their construction 4  was like gleaming jasper, 5  and all four wheels looked alike. Their structure was like a wheel within a wheel. 6  1:17 When they moved they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved. 1:18 Their rims were high and awesome, 7  and the rims of all four wheels were full of eyes all around.

1:19 When the living beings moved, the wheels beside them moved; when the living beings rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up too. 1:20 Wherever the spirit 8  would go, they would go, 9  and the wheels would rise up beside them because the spirit 10  of the living being was in the wheel.

1 tc The MT adds “at the living beings” which is absent from the LXX.

2 sn Another vision which includes wheels on thrones occurs in Dan 7:9. Ezek 10 contains a vision similar to this one.

3 tn The Hebrew word may be translated either “earth” or “ground” in this context.

4 tc This word is omitted from the LXX.

5 tn Heb “Tarshish stone.” The meaning of this term is uncertain. The term has also been translated “topaz” (NEB); “beryl” (KJV, NASB, NRSV); or “chrysolite” (RSV, NIV).

6 tn Or “like a wheel at right angles to another wheel.” Some envision concentric wheels here, while others propose “a globe-like structure in which two wheels stand at right angles” (L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:33-34). The description given in v. 17 favors the latter idea.

7 tc The MT reads וְיִרְאָה לָהֶם (vÿyirah lahem, “and fear belonged to them”). In a similar vision in 10:12 the wheels are described as having spokes (יִדֵיהֶם, yideyhem). That parallel would suggest יָדוֹת (yadot) here (written יָדֹת without the mater). By positing both a ד/ר (dalet/resh) confusion and a ת/ה (hey/khet) confusion the form was read as וְיָרֵה (vÿyareh) and was then misunderstood and subsequently written as וְיִרְאָה (vÿyirah) in the MT. The reading וְיִרְאָה does not seem to fit the context well, though in English it can be made to sound as if it does. See W. H. Brownlee, Ezekiel 1-19 (WBC), 8-9. The LXX reads καὶ εἶδον αὐτά (kai eidon auta, “and I saw”), which assumes וָאֵרֶא (vaere’). The existing consonants of the MT may also be read as “it was visible to them.”

8 tn Or “wind”; the same Hebrew word can be translated as either “wind” or “spirit” depending on the context.

9 tc The MT adds the additional phrase “the spirit would go,” which seems unduly redundant here and may be dittographic.

10 tn Or “wind.” The Hebrew is difficult since the text presents four creatures and then talks about “the spirit” (singular) of “the living being” (singular). According to M. Greenberg (Ezekiel [AB], 1:45) the Targum interprets this as “will.” Greenberg views this as the spirit of the one enthroned above the creatures, but one would not expect the article when the one enthroned has not yet been introduced.



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