Wheel (2)


The vision of the wheels demands some remark (Eze 1:15-16,19-21): — "Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels." This vision of Ezekiel has always been regarded both by Jews and Christians as very abstruse and difficult of interpretation, so much so, indeed, that the former anciently forbade it to be read by persons under thirty years of age. Bush observes, "From all that we can gather of the form of these wheels, they appear to have been spherical, or each composed of two of equal size, and inserted the rim of the one into that of the other at right angles, and so consisting of four equal parts or half-circles. They were accordingly adapted to run either forward or backward, to the right hand or to the left, without any lateral turning, and by this means their motion corresponded with that of the four faces of the living creatures to which they were attached. 'When they went upon their four sides, they turned not as they went,' Heb. 'When they went, they went upon the quarter-part of their fourfoldness,' i.e., upon or in the direction of one of the four vertical semicircles into which they were divided, and which looked towards the four points of the compass. When it is said 'they turned not,' it is not to be understood that they had not a revolving or rotary motion. but that they, like the faces, never forsook a straightforward course." A similar cruciform position of the wheels is adopted by most commentators. Of verses 19 and 20 the same author observes, "These circumstances are doubtless dwelt upon with peculiar emphasis in order to show the intimacy of relation and harmony of action subsisting between the living creatures and the wheels, or, more properly, between the things symbolically represented by them." Layard observes that the "wheel within wheel" mentioned in connection with the emblematical figures may refer to the winged circle or wheel representing at Nimrud the supreme deity (Nineveh, 3:352). SEE CHERUBIM.

Bible concordance for WHEEL.

Definition of wheel

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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