On July 31 a of my thirtieth year, b while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened to me, and I saw visions of God.
This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity.
The LORD gave a message to me, Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, there beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, c and I felt the hand of the LORD take hold of me.
As I looked, I saw a great storm coming toward me from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. The fire inside the cloud glowed like gleaming amber.
From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human,
except that each had four faces and two pairs of wings.
Their legs were straight like human legs, but their feet were split like calves' feet and shone like burnished bronze.
Beneath each of their wings I could see human hands.
The wings of each living being touched the wings of the two beings beside it. The living beings were able to fly in any direction without turning around.
Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back.
Each had two pairs of outstretched wings -- one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body.
They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in all directions without having to turn around.
The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and it looked as though lightning was flashing back and forth among them.
And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning.
As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels on the ground beneath them, one wheel belonging to each.
The wheels sparkled as if made of chrysolite. All four wheels looked the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it.
The beings could move forward in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved.
The rims of the four wheels were awesomely tall, and they were covered with eyes all around the edges.
When the four living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too.
The spirit of the four living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings went, too.
When the living beings moved, the wheels moved. When the living beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the living beings flew into the air, the wheels rose up. For the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
There was a surface spread out above them like the sky. It sparkled like crystal.
Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others' wings, and each had two wings covering its body.
As they flew their wings roared like waves crashing against the shore, or like the voice of the Almighty, d or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings.
As they stood with their wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.
Above the surface over their heads was what looked like a throne made of blue sapphire. And high above this throne was a figure whose appearance was like that of a man.
From his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor.
All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining through the clouds. This was the way the glory of the LORD appeared to me. When I saw it, I fell face down in the dust, and I heard someone's voice speaking to me.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)