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Ezekiel 10:6-7

6. And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.

6. Et factum est cum praecepisset viro qui indutus erat lineis, dicendo, Sume ignem e medio rotae, e medio cherubim; profectus est, et stetit e regione rotae.

7. And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.

7. Et extendit cherub manure suam e medio cherubim ad ignem qui erat in medio cherubim: et recepit, et dedit in volas 217217     “Into his hands.” — Calvin. ejus qui indutus erat lineis: et accepit, et egressus est.


Here the Prophet teaches the end of the vision. The Jews thought that they should always be safe and secure under God’s presence; they thought that the sacred fire on the altar availed for the expiation of all wickedness. But God showed that he so resided in the temple that he clothed himself with wrath against them, and that the cherubim were keepers of his arms by which they were at length to be destroyed. We see, therefore, that this false and perverse glowing by which the Jews were intoxicated was cut from under them, since they thought that God was in some way bound to themselves exclusively. Hence the angel is ordered to take fire and to sprinkle it about the city, that it may be destroyed by the burning. But this was necessary, because the Jews, while they for a long time obstinately abused the forbearance of God, could not be induced to repent by any fear of his wrath. For this reason this vision was shown to the Prophet. Then he says that fire was given, but whence was it taken? it was, says he, in the midst of the cherubim. When David prays to God, he makes mention of the cherubim, (Psalm 80:1,) by which a more familiar access is laid open, and deservedly so; because God, when inviting the faithful to himself, as if he stretched forth his hands to them, had angels at hand who brought him in contact with men. Now the Prophet teaches, that God’s presence was of no use to the Jews, because he was in arms for their destruction; and the cherubim, who were formerly ministers of his grace, were now at hand to execute his vengeance, since they extend fire from hand to hand for the conflagration of the whole city. For he says, that he was come who was clad in linen garments, and stood near the wheels, by which words he signifies, that angels were thoroughly prepared to obey God’s commands in every particular. In men there is great delay and even languor; but the Prophet assures us, that angels were ready for the performance of their duty. As soon as God shows them what he wishes to be done, they have their hands extended, and thus they are prepared to execute his will. For this reason he says, that they stood near the wheels It follows —

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