Who was the “LORD” of the Old Testament?

Part 6


John Plunkett


Last time in part 5, we started looking at the various mentions of the phrase “angel of God” in the book of Exodus, in whichapter the English word “angel” is often shown, in the KJV and NKJV, with an upper-case-capital “A” – thus implying that the translators believed that the “angel” mentioned in these verses may have been a member of the God family.


But we also examined the strong alternate possibility that this angel might have been a personification of the cloud and fire from which the LORD/YHVH visited and dealt with His people.


We looked at the first mention of this angel at the time that the LORD spoke to Moses from inside the burning bush (Exodus 3) and the second mention (Exodus 13 and 14) at the Red Sea, shortly after the LORD led the Israelites out of Egypt when He went before them within the pillar of cloud and fire.


Angelic leader


Let’s begin today’s Bible study by moving on to the next “angel verse” – this one in Exodus 23.  But before we go to chapter 23, let’s take a quick look at chapters 19 and 20, just to determine the time-frame of chapter 23 and where Israelites were at that time; and to pick up some other relevant details about the cloud and fire:


Exodus 19:
1:  In the third month, when
{after} the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai…


This was likely the fifteenth day of the third month.

2:  For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount…

Verse 9:  And the LORD said unto Moses, “Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud {the Hebrew “ab-anan” implies that the cloud’s purpose was to prevent the Israelites from seeing Him}, that the people may hear when I speak with you and believe you forever.”  And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD…
Verse 11:  “And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai” …

Verse 16:  And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud {the Hebrew “kabed-anan” is a very thick, heavy cloud} upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

17:  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether {lower} part of the mount.

18:  And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke {the Hebrew “ashan” indicates a furious, angry smoke!} because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.


In the first part of the next chapter (20), the LORD gave His Ten Commandments.  Then, in verse 18:


Exodus 20:
18:  And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off…

Verse 21:  And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness {the Hebrew “araphel” indicates a very thick, gross, dark cloud!} where God was.


Then, in the rest of chapter 20, and in chapters 21 and 22, and in the beginning of chapter 23, the LORD begins to give His laws on various subjects – e.g. His altar, servants, violence, animal control, property, moral principles, ceremonial principles, justice , Sabbaths and the annual feasts.


Then, in verse 20 of chapter 23, we find a mention of the LORD promising to send “an Angel” (elsewhere “my Angel” – please notice the capital-upper-case “A” in all three cases) – to go before the Israelites – once again in a leading role:


Exodus 23:

20a:  “Behold, I {the LORD/YHVH is speaking here} send an Angel {the Hebrew “Malakh” means Messenger, Representative, Ambassador, Agent} before you…


Why?  For what purpose?


20b: … To keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

21:  Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not {Hebrew “lo”} pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him…


I’ve heard it reasoned that this “Angel” must have been the LORD/YHVH because the verse kind of reads as though this “Angel” had authority to pardon transgressions.


But the Hebrew word “lo” – translated here as “will not” – can also mean “can not”.


This specially assigned “Angel” would not – or perhps, could not – pardon the Israelites’ transgressions.

Why not?  “For (i.e. because) the LORD’s “name” was in him” – in this special “Angel.”


What does this mean?


The Hebrew word for “name” here is “shem” which can also mean honour, character and authority.


We saw last time – in Part 5 – that, at the burning bush, the LORD was in the fire.  And at the Red Sea, the LORD was in the fire and in the cloud.


If angel really was a personification of the fire and the cloud – and conversely, if the cloud and the fire really were a physical, visible representation of the angel of God – then, for His own good reasons, the LORD was in His angel!


Here in Exodus 23, the LORD/YHVH is referring to this “Angel” as “he”, “him” and “his.”  So obviously, grammatically, the “Angel” could not be the LORD Himself!  Rather, the “Angel” must be another being. Yes, an angelic being.  Once again, a “malakh” is a messenger, a representative, an ambassador, an agent.  And this one was probably a high-ranking one.


What was the LORD saying here, then?  Was He saying that this special angel did have authority to pardon the Israelites’ transgressions; but will not?  Or that this angel can not pardon their transgressions – even though he carries the rest of the LORD’s authority within himself?


Again, the Hebrew “lo” – translated here as “will not” – can also mean “can not.”  I’m pretty sure that the latter of these two options – i.ecan not” – was actually the case.  i.e. That the angel did not have the authority to pardon the Israelites’ sins, and that the LORD withheld that “privilege” from His special angel.


My believe on this because of a repetition of the Exodus 23 promises in the next “Exodus angel” verses – in chapters 32 and 33, where we’ll go in a minute – and where we’ll see that the LORD/YHVH reserves for Himself the authority to forgive – or not to forgive.


We’ll go there in a minute; but first, let’s finish off that last “angel” mention in chapter 23.


Throughout the Israelites’ travels – as far as Mount Nebo, Moses was their human “sub-leader.”  But even he was commanded to follow and obey the LORD’s angelic representative as his leader – Moses’ leader.  Thus, thus special angel was a kind of “supervisor”; but still under the LORD’s primary leadership, of course.


All six “Exodus angel” scriptures imply that one of this special angel’s main responsibilities was to lead the Israelites safely to the Promised Land.


Still in chapter 23, repeating verse 20:


Exodus 23:

20a:  “Behold, I {the LORD/YHVH} send an Angel {Malakh: Messenger, Representative, Ambassador} before you {in a leadership role}


Why?  For what purpose?


20b:  … To keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared…
Verse 22:  But if you shall indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto your adversaries.

23a:  For my Angel {Malakh} shall go before you {in that same leadership role}


Again, why?  For what purpose?


23b:  … And bring you in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I {the LORD – not His angel!} will cut them off.


Over to chapter 32 for the next mention of this “special angel” and where we see that the LORD Himself retained all authority to forgive sin:


Exodus 32:
33:  And the LORD said unto Moses, “Whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
34:  Therefore now go, lead the people
{as their human leader} unto the place of which I have spoken unto you: behold, my angel {malakh – the angelic leader I assign over you} shall go before you {in a leadership role}: nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”


Over to chapter 33: 


Exodus 33:
1:  And the LORD said unto Moses, “Depart, and go up hence, you {
as human leader} and the people which you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I swore unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘Unto your seed will I give it’:
2:  And I
{the LORD!} will send an angel {malakh – an angelic leader} before you {in a leadership role}; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.”


So, we see once again that the LORD sent His special angel – strongly grammatically implying that the LORD was not that special angel!


But how would that angel “go before” the Israelites?  How would he go in front of them? 


Just as we saw earlier at the Red Sea.  Exactly the same!  In the form of the pillar of cloud and fire!  The very same cloud and fire “of the LORD” with which the LORD “cloaked” Himself whenever He visited His people.  e.g. when He wrote His commandments on the second pair of stone tablets and returned them to Moses:


Exodus 34:5:
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him
{Moses} there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.


And again, when the LORD visited the newly-built tent-tabernacle:


Exodus 40:
34:  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

35:  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

36:  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:

37:  But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

38:  For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.


Many other scriptures bear this out.  In Part 5 we read through some psalms that mention this; but today let’s look at a few mentions from other books:


Clouds and Fire and Eyes!


In the book of Revelation, we read of various end-time angels.  Here’s a mention of a notable one in chapter 10 – one who seems to be very similar to the one we read about in Exodus.  He too came with cloud and fire:


Revelation 10:1:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rai
nbow was upon his head
{N.B.}, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:


Next, quoting Psalm 104.4:


Hebrews 1:7:
And of the angels He said, “Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers
{Greek: “leitourgos”: servants -- including angelic ones!} a flame of fire”…


Yes.  The LORD’s angels are ministers - ministering both to Jesus and to His spiritual brothers and sisters: 


Verse 13:  But to which of the angels said He at any time, “Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool”?

14:  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth {by the LORD Jesus}

to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


(See also Matthew 4:11 and Mark 1:13, where we read of angels ministering to Jesus after His temptation by Satan).


We’re seeing some similar attributes here between the angels and the glorified Jesus:

Revelation 1:
13:  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the chest with a golden girdle.
14:   His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;


His eyes?  Yes, His eyes!  Let’s investigate these eyes some more. 

Does their mention merely mean that the glorified Jesus has a piercing gaze?


No!  Much, much more –] as we read in other scriptures – both in the book of Revelation and elsewhere:


Revelation 2:18:
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; “These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass.”


 Please keep brass in mind too.


Revelation 19:
11:  And I saw heaven opened and, behold, a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called “Faithful and True” and in righteousness He does judge and make war.
12a:  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns…


Revelation 5:
6a:  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts
{Greek “zoon”: angelic living beings}, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain {Jesus, obviously} having seven horns and seven eyes …


And what are these seven eyes?


6b:  … seven eyes, which are the seven spirits {Greek “pneuma”} of God sent forth into all the earth {N.B.}.


This is similar to the LORD sending His “special angel” in the Exodus scriptures that we just read.  But more specifically here, it refers back to the book of Zechariah:


Zechariah 3:9a:
“For behold the stone
{Hebrew “eben”} that I have laid before Joshua…


Perhaps symbolic of the LORD/YHVH and Jesus.  (Ref: I Corinthians 10:4: “That Rock was Christ”).


9b:  … Upon one stone {eben} shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof,” says the LORD of hosts, “And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”


These seven eyes and this “eben-stone” are mentioned again in chapter 4:


Zechariah 4:10:
For who has despised the day of small things?  For they shall rejoice and shall see the plummet
{plumb-bob: Hebrew: “eben”} in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth {N.B.}.


And these verses, in turn, refer back to another scripture – back in:


II Chronicles 16:9a:
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him…


What is all this “running throughout the whole earth” mentioned in the books of Zechariah, II Chronicles and Revelation?  (We’ll see it again later).

And what are these multiple “eyes of the LORD”?


Yes, as John told us, they are seven spirits.  But what does that mean?  Are they inanimate, non-personal spirit “essence”?  Perhaps similar to the Holy Spirit or the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8)?  Or are they spirit beings?


Yes.  Quite possibly – even probably – they are spirit beings.  Multiple eyes are frequently associated in the scriptures with certain high-ranking angels.


Jesus revealed some angelic beings – maybe the same or similar ones – to the apostle John in:


Revelation 4:
6:  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts
{angelic living beings} full of eyes before and behind.

7:  And the first beast {angelic living being} was like a lion, and the second beast {angelic living being} like a calf, and the third beast {angelic living being} had a face as a man, and the fourth beast {angelic living being} was like a flying eagle.

8:  And the four beasts {angelic living beings} had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night {Why?  Maybe because they too are rnning to and fro?}, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

9:  And when those beasts {angelic living beings} give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who lives for ever and ever…


Let’s leave John’s vision just for now; and let’s go back to the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, who was privileged to have been given even more detailed visions of the same – or similar – angelic beings:


Ezekiel 1:
1a:  Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar…


The word “Chebar” or “Kebar can mean “far off,” “long ago,” “a great while,” or “already” – perhaps indicating the distance from Judah – or perhaps indicating the fact that God, His visions and prophecies are not at all limited by time or space.


1b:  … that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God…

Verse 3:  The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

4a:  And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind {Hebrew “ruach” which can also mean spirit, wind and breath} came out of the north, a great cloud and a fire


There’s that cloud and fire again!


4b: … a great cloud and a fire infolding {NKJV: engulfing} itself {perhaps like a burning bush?}, and a brightness was about it {the fire}, and out of the midst thereof {the fire} as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.


Is this amber colour referring to the fire?  Probably, yes; but maybe also to the cloud and the whirlwind too.  And also, the way the grammar reads here, maybe also to the four living creatures/beings that are mentioned in the next verse:


5a:  Also, out of the midst thereof {out of the midst of the fire} came the likeness of four living creatures…  


Perhaps the same as – or similar to – the four that we just read about in the book of Revelation.


5b:  … and this was their appearance {N.B.}: they had the likeness {N.B.} of a man.


Yes, they had the general likeness of men; but


6:  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.


Interesting.  The living beings/creatures in the book of Revelation have six wings – not four.  But let’s not let that detail hold us up.


7:  And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they {Just their feet?  Or their whole beings?} sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.


Please note that the feet of these four living creatures are the colour of burnished brass – just like the feet of the Son of God in Revelation 1:15 and 2:18.


8:  And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.

9:  Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

10:  As for the likeness {N.B.} of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.


Similar to John’s Revelation vision, except that John’s version reads like each of the four living creatures has just one of the faces, whereas here, Ezekiel’s version reads like all four of the living creatures have all four faces.


11:  Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.


This is hard for us to visualize; but what keeps coming to my mind when I read this is something like a personification of huge, spiritual bi-plane!


12:  And they went every one straight forward: where the spirit {ruach} was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.


What spirit?  What ruach?  Their own?  Or God’s Holy Spirit?  Or maybe both?


This seems to me like – just as the multiple eyes are the eyes of Jesus, maybe these four living creatures are inextricably “tied into” the LORD/YHVH – through His Holy Spirit – maybe something like the remote terminals of a mainframe computer?


13:  As for the likeness {N.B.} of the living creatures, their appearance {N.B.} was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance {N.B.} of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14:  And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance {N.B.} of a flash of lightning.


There’s that “to-ing and fro-ing” again that we read about in Zechariah and Chronicles.


To me, this reads like the effect of an electric current – going out from its generating station, doing some work, then going back to the generating station via its return path.


Next, Ezekiel sees yet more amazing spiritual “items”:


15:   Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by {beside each of} the living creatures, with his four faces.


Please note that these wheels are “upon the earth” and, because the wheels are by/beside the living creatures, the living creatures must be on earth too.

This is somewhat significant because later we read of them “taking off.”


16a:  The appearance {N.B.} of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl…


This is the third time that Ezekiel has mentioned the colour of the things that he saw in his vision.  First, the amber colour of the fire (and possibly also of the cloud and the whirlwind?).   Second, the burnished brass colour of the feet of the four living creatures (maybe all of them).  Now, third, the beryl colour of the wheels.


But there’s even more to these amazing wheels than meets the eye.  As we’ll see!


16b:  … and they four had one likeness {N.B.}: and their appearance {N.B.} and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.


Wow! Wheels within wheels!  A gyroscope comes to mind.  Or maybe the outer wheels are the rings mentioned in verse 18.


The Hebrew word for “wheels” is owphan (Strong’s 212) which stems a root verb meaning “to revolve.”  As well as these wheels in Ezekiel’s vision, owphan elsewhere refers to chariot wheels in the books of Exodus and Nahum; also to the circular bases beneath the lavers in Solomon’s temple.


But, back to the living creatures’ wheels in Ezekiel’s vision:


17:  When they went {moved}, they went {moved} upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went {moved}.


Wheels don’t turn when they move?  How does that work?  I have no idea!


18:  As for their rings {Hebrew: gab}, they were so high that they were dreadful {Hebrew: yirah}; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.


Are the living creatures’ rings the same as their wheels?


No.  The Hebrew word for “wheels” is “owphan” (Strong’s 212); but the very different Hebrew word for “rings” is “gab” {Strong’s 1354}.


Gab is a curious Hebrew word which has many, varying, seemingly unrelated meanings.  It is translated elsewhere in the KJV as: eminent or higher place, bodies, backs, bosses {embossed knobs}, eyebrows and naves {wheel rims}.


Extended Hebrew meanings include a convex surface and the convex projection of  a soldier’s shield.


Ezekiel wrote in verse 18 that the mere height of these “rings” caused them to be “dreadful,” which is a particularly strong adjective in English.  And in Hebrew too.  The verb “yirah” (Strong’s 3374) as it appears elsewhere in the KJV expresses fear and fearfulness.  Its extended Hebrew meanings include terror, an awesome or terrifying thing or object causing fear, piety, fear, respect, reverence for God.


With Ezekiel’s reference to the fearsome height of these “rings” and their association to the wheels of the living creatures and their possible references to convex surfaces, eyebrows and wheel rims, the best I can make of them is that they might be a huge equivalent of the fenders (called “mudguards” or “wings” in the UK) of cars or bicycles.  I searched the internet, looking at lots of pictures of ancient chariots; but I couldn’t find any with fenders on them.  I did, however, find some with highly decorated wheel rims!


So maybe that’s what they were – huge wheel rims – spiritual ones, of course – full of “practical decorations” – i.e. eyes!

Just maybe they were more like – or at least something like – spiritual video cameras – that keep track of everything that’s going on – as the living creatures flash back and forth at lightning speed.  Down to earth – to collect spiritual “photographic data” on all that’s going on.  Then flashing back to the LORD’s heavenly throne – to give their report – all completed in less than a split second!


19:  And when the living creatures went {moved}, the wheels went by {moved beside} them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.


Imagine them “taking off”!  Like a huge, spiritual jumbo bi-plane!


20:  Wherever the spirit {ruach} was to go, they {the wheels} went, there was their spirit {ruach} to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit {ruach} of the living creature was in the wheels.

21a:  When those went {when the living creatures moved}, these went {the wheels and rings moved too}; and when those {the living creatures} stood {still}, these {the wheels and rings} stood {still}.


This sounds a bit like the “stopping and going” of of the pillar of cloud and fire
that led the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land.  Let’s take a quick look at that similarity:


Exodus 40:
36:  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:

37:  But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.


Back to Ezekiel 1:


21b: … and when those {the living creatures} were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit {ruach}

of the living creature was in the wheels.


Ezekiel found it necessary to repeat these details; so they must be important in some way.


22:  And the likeness of the firmament {Hebrew “raqiya”} upon {above} the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible {awesome to behold} crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.


For the fourth time, we see Ezekiel’s intriguing accent on the colours of things he saw in his vision.


What was (is?) this particular “firmament”?


Could it possibly be something like the “sea of glass like unto crystal” – as mentioned by John in Revelation 4:6?


The Hebrew raqiya (Strong’s 7549) basically means expanse – and it normally refers to the visible arch of the sky – which separates the earthly dwelling space of we human beings from the various levels of the heavens.


I get an impression of this brilliant, crystal-coloured firmament as possibly being a temporary sky – or perhaps a temporary cloud-cover – which would fit in with the commonly-mentioned cloud aspect of the LORD’s visits to earth.


23:  And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.

24a:  And when they went {moved}, I heard the noise {Hebrew “kole”} of their wings, like the noise {kole} of great waters, as the voice {kole} of the Almighty {Shadday}


There’s another reference to the voice of God – that we studied a couple of weeks ago.


24b:  … the voice {kole} of speech, as the noise {kole} of an host.  When they stood, they let down their wings.


Once again, the huge noise upon their movement and “take-off” gives the idea of  a massive aircraft!


25:  And there was a voice {kole} from {above (NKJV)} the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood {still}, and had let down their wings.


This reminds me of navy planes with folding wings like the ones that a person might see on an aircraft carrier.


26:  And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of {N.B.} a throne, as the appearance of {N.B.} a sapphire stone {cappiyr eben}; and upon the likeness of {N.B.} the throne was the likeness {N.B.} as the appearance of {N.B.} a man above upon it.


Somehow, in order to be able to see – in his vision – the likeness of the throne and the being who had the likeness of the appearance of a man, Ezekiel must have been able to see through – or over and above – the firmament.


But who was this being who had the likeness of the appearance of a man?


It’s about time we examined the two interesting words “likeness” and “appearance” that are repeated so often in Ezekiel’s descriptions of his visions


First, the word “likeness” is translated from the Hebrew adverb dᵉmuwth (Strong’s 1823) which is elsewhere translated as similitude, like, manner, fashion and in the likeness of.


The second word is “appearance” which is translated from the Hebrew noun “mareh” (Strong’s 4758) which is elsewhere translated as vision, sight and countenance.


The throne mentioned here might be a throne room rather than just the royal seat.


Still, it has the appearance of a sapphire stone – just as Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy Israelite elders had seen on Mount Sinai when they “saw the God of Israel.”


Let’s take a quick look at that account, because their experience reads somewhat similar to Ezekiel’s vision:

Exodus 24:
9:  Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

10:  And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire {cappiyr} stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness.


This is what makes me think that the “throne” mentioned by Ezekiel is a throne room and not just a royal seat.  It seems to have been a kind of “mobile version” of God’s heavenly throne room.


Back to Ezekiel 1:


27:  And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of {N.B.} fire round about within it, from the appearance of {N.B.} his loins even upward, and from the appearance of {N.B.} his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of {N.B.} fire, and it had brightness round about.


Here is a being who has the colour of super-bright, amber-coloured fire – the same as we read back in verse 4 and the “likeness as the appearance of a man.”  But, of course, it is not a mere man!  Still, it may be more like a man than the four living creatures with their four frightening faces!


28a:  As the appearance of {N.B.} the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of {N.B.} the brightness round about.  This was the appearance of {N.B.} the likeness of {N.B.} the glory {N.B.!} of the LORD.


Likely the same rainbow as we read about in:    


Revelation 1:
1:  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, “Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.”

2:  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
3:  And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.


This being doesn’t seem to be one of the living creatures or cherubim.  This seems to be LORD/YHVH Himself!