In the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], on the fifth [day] of the month, while I was among the exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened and I saw visions of God.
On the fifth [day] of the month-- it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's exile--
the word of the LORD came directly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar Canal. And the LORD's hand was on him there.
I looked and there was a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber.
The form of four living creatures came from it. And this was their appearance: They had human form,
but each of them had four faces and four wings.
Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the hooves of a calf, sparkling like the gleam of polished bronze.
[They had] human hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings.
Their wings were touching. The creatures did not turn as they moved; each one went straight ahead.
The form of [each of] their faces was that of a man, and each of the four had the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and the face of an eagle.
[That is what] their faces [were like]. Their wings were spread upward; each had two [wings] touching that of another and two wings covering its body.
Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the Spirit wanted to go, they went without turning as they moved.
The form of the living creatures was like the appearance of burning coals of fire and torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living creatures; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it.
The creatures were darting back and forth like flashes of lightning.
When I looked at the living creatures, there was one wheel on the ground beside each creature that had four faces.
The appearance of the wheels and their craftsmanship was like the gleam of beryl, and all four had the same form. Their appearance and craftsmanship was like a wheel within a wheel.
When they moved, they went in any of the four directions, without pivoting as they moved.
Their rims were large and frightening. Each of their four rims were full of eyes all around.
So when the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels also rose.
Wherever the Spirit wanted to go, the creatures went in the direction the Spirit was moving. The wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
When the creatures moved, the wheels moved; when the creatures stood still, the wheels stood still; and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
The shape of an expanse, with a gleam like awe-inspiring crystal, was spread out over the heads of the living creatures.
And under the expanse their wings extended one toward another. Each of them also had two wings covering their bodies.
When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings like the roar of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty, and a sound of commotion like the noise of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
A voice came from above the expanse over their heads; when they stood still, they lowered their wings.
The shape of a throne with the appearance of sapphire stone was above the expanse. There was a form with the appearance of a human on the throne high above.
From what seemed to be His waist up, I saw a gleam like amber, with what looked like fire enclosing it all around. From what seemed to be His waist down, I also saw what looked like fire. There was a brilliant light all around Him.
The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the form of the LORD's glory. When I saw [it], I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.
He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you."
As He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the One who was speaking to me.
He said to me: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites [and] to the rebellious nations who have rebelled against Me. The Israelites and their ancestors have transgressed against Me to this day.
The children are obstinate and hardhearted. I am sending you to them, and you must say to them: This is what the Lord God says.
Whether they listen or refuse [to listen]-- for they are a rebellious house-- they will know that a prophet has been among them.
"But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don't be afraid of their words or be discouraged by [the look on] their faces, for they are a rebellious house.
But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse [to listen], for they are rebellious.
"And you, son of man, listen to what I tell you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you."
So I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and there was a written scroll in it.
When He unrolled it before me, it was written on the front and back; [words of] lamentation, mourning, and woe were written on it.
He said to me: "Son of man, eat what you find [here]. Eat this scroll, then go and speak to the house of Israel."
So I opened my mouth, and He fed me the scroll.
"Son of man," he said to me, "eat and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you." So I ate [it], and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
Then He said to me: "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak My words to them.
For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language but to the house of Israel.
[You are] not [being sent] to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. No doubt, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you.
But the house of Israel will not want to listen to you because they do not want to listen to Me. For the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted.
Look, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.
I have made your forehead like a diamond, harder than flint. Don't be afraid of them or discouraged by [the look on] their faces, even though they are a rebellious house."
Next He said to me: "Son of man, listen carefully to all My words that I speak to you and take [them] to heart.
Go to your people, the exiles, and speak to them. Tell them: This is what the Lord God says, whether they listen or refuse [to listen]."
The Spirit then lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me-- praise the glory of the LORD in His place!--
with the sound of the living creatures' wings brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a great rumbling sound.
So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I left in bitterness and in an angry spirit, and the LORD's hand was on me powerfully.
I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were living by the Chebar Canal, and I sat there stunned for seven days.
Now at the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.
If I say to the wicked person: You will surely die, but you do not warn him-- you don't speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life-- that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.
But if you warn a wicked person and he does not turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.
Now if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, and I put a stumbling block in front of him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die because of his sin and the righteous acts he did will not be remembered. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.
But if you warn the righteous person that he should not sin, and he does not sin, he will indeed live because he listened to [your] warning, and you will have saved your life."
Then the hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, "Get up, go out to the plain, and I will speak with you there."
So I got up and went out to the plain. The LORD's glory was present there, like the glory I had seen by the Chebar Canal, and I fell facedown.
The Spirit entered me and set me on my feet. He spoke with me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house.
And you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so you cannot go out among them.
I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will be mute and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house.
But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them: This is what the Lord God says. Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse-- for they are a rebellious house.