He said to me, "Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually provoke me to anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose!
Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them."
Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, "Bring the guards of the city here, each with a weapon in his hand."
And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side
and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."
As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion.
Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.
Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city.
While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown, crying out, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?"
He answered me, "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.'
So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done."
Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded."
I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of sapphire above the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim.
The LORD said to the man clothed in linen, "Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And as I watched, he went in.
Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.
Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD.
The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.
When the LORD commanded the man in linen, "Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim," the man went in and stood beside a wheel.
Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out.
(Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like the hands of a man.)
I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite.
As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel.
As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went.
Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels.
I heard the wheels being called "the whirling wheels."
Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River.
When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not leave their side.
When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them.
Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim.
While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim.
Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like the hands of a man.