Ezekiel’s Whirling Wheels

Ezekiel 1:15 When I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces.

Ezekiel 10:2 And the LORD said to the man clothed in linen, “Go inside the wheelwork beneath the cherubim.

These are Ezekiel’s whirling wheels. These creatures come from visions on the Kebar River which is in modern day eastern Syria. The Kebar eventually dumps into the Euphrates River.

Ezekiel 10:13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.”

Ezekiel has a name for these creatures and they are called “the whirling wheels”.

The Hebrew vocabulary of the term “wheels” is distinct and in some cases different.

As for the wheels… This is the Hebrew word “ophan” and it is translated as wheel. Ophan is the primary term used in Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10.

“…the whirling wheels..” This is the Hebrew word “galgal” and it can be translated as a wheel, whirl, or whirlwind per Strong’s Concordance. This term is used 11 times in the Old Testament. Within the context of Ezekiel 10, galgal is used 3 times (Ezekiel 10:2, 10:6, and 10:13). The term is translated as wheelwork or whirling wheels in these instances. It would appear these wheels are spinning and in motion, perhaps like a whirlwind or tornado.

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The construction of the wheel is described consistently in both Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10.

Ezekiel 10:10 And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel.

See also Ezekiel 1:16.

The color of the wheel is described as like beryl. This a yellow colored stone. The beryl is one of the stones identified in the high priest’s breast plate (Exodus 28:20). This stone is also associated with Satan’s appearance and covering in (Ezekiel 28:13). A human like being presents himself in Daniel 10 and his body is described like beryl. Lastly, the walls of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 has beryl as part of its construction.

Ezekiel 1:16a As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.

See also Ezekiel 10:9.

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Fire is located inside of the wheels.

Ezekiel 10:6a And when he commanded the man clothed in linen, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim…”

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The wheels are noted with eyes throughout the structure.

Ezekiel 1:18b …and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.

Ezekiel 10:12 Their entire bodies, including their backs, hands, and wings, were full of eyes all around, as were their four wheels.

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Ezekiel 1:18a And their rims were tall and awesome…

The “rims” or the back of the wheels are described as grand in height and fearful to view. The Hebrew word “yirah” is used in this context. Yirah is also the same word used in the phrase “the fear of the Lord” or “the fear of God”.

These wheels would drop one to their knees in awe.

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