Ezekiel 1:11

11 [That is what] their faces [were like]. Their wings were spread upward; each had two [wings] touching that of another and two wings covering its body.

Ezekiel 1:11 Meaning and Commentary

Ezekiel 1:11

Thus [were] their faces: and their wings [were] stretched
The former clause, "thus [were] their faces", either belongs to ( Ezekiel 1:10 ) ; and the meaning is, this, as now represented, was the likeness of their faces, and this the position of them: or it may be read in connection with the following clause, and be rendered, "and their faces and their wings were stretched upwards"; as they are in the Chaldee paraphrase, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions: "their faces were stretched upwards", showing that the ministers of the Gospel look up to Christ for fresh supplies of gifts and grace, of light, knowledge, wisdom, and strength, to enable them to perform their work: "and their wings were stretched upwards", that is, two of them; not four, as the Arabic version has it; for two covered their bodies, as is after said. Those that were stretched upwards answer to the two with which Isaiah's seraphim flew; for these were, as in the original text, "parted upwards" F16; though they were joined together at the bottom of them, as in ( Ezekiel 1:9 ) ; yet being spread in flying, they opened wider and wider, and were at a greater distance from each other in their extreme points. This may design the agility, swiftness, and readiness of ministers in the performance of their work; two [wings] of everyone [were] joined one to another:
with which they, covered their heads and faces, as did Isaiah's seraphim, as conscious of their unworthiness and infirmities; looking upon themselves to be less than the least of all saints, unfit to be ministers of the Gospel; acknowledging they have nothing but what they have received and therefore would not glory as though they had not received, and as ashamed of their poor performances and ministrations; and two covered their bodies;
their lower and secret parts called their feet in Isaiah; which however to others beautiful upon the mountains, running and bringing the good news of peace, righteousness, and salvation by Christ; yet sensible of their deficiencies, they cover them, and confess, when they have done all they can, they are but unprofitable servants; from hence it appears that these living creatures had six wings, as the seraphim in Isaiah, and the four beasts in John's vision.


F16 (twdwrp) "disjunctae", Montanus; "divisae", Calvin, Starckius. So Ben Melech.

Ezekiel 1:11 In-Context

9 Their wings were touching. The creatures did not turn as they moved; each one went straight ahead.
10 The form of [each of] their faces was that of a man, and each of the four had the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and the face of an eagle.
11 [That is what] their faces [were like]. Their wings were spread upward; each had two [wings] touching that of another and two wings covering its body.
12 Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the Spirit wanted to go, they went without turning as they moved.
13 The form of the living creatures was like the appearance of burning coals of fire and torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living creatures; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it.