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Ezekiel 1:17-21

Context
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, 1  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 2  would go, they would go, 3  and the wheels would rise up beside them because the spirit 4  of the living being was in the wheel. 1:21 When the living beings moved, the wheels moved, and when they stopped moving, the wheels stopped. 5  When they rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up from the ground; the wheels rose up beside them because the spirit of the living being was in the wheel.

1 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.”

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

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

4 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.

5 tc The LXX reads “when it went, they went; when it stood, they stood.”

tn Heb “when they went, they went; when they stood, they stood.”



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