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Ezekiel 1:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Each of them had four faces and four wings.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— and, four faces each, and four wings each, had they;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— and four faces [are] to each, and four wings [are] to each of them,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Every one had four faces, and every one four wings.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And euery one had foure faces, and euery one had foure wings.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And each one [had] four faces, and each one [had] four wings.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And every one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
had four 702
{0702} Prime
אַרְבַּע
'arba`
{ar-bah'}
The second form is the masculine form; from H7251; four.
faces, 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
and every one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
had four 702
{0702} Prime
אַרְבַּע
'arba`
{ar-bah'}
The second form is the masculine form; from H7251; four.
wings. 3671
{3671} Prime
כָּנָף
kanaph
{kaw-nawf'}
From H3670; an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ezekiel 1:6

_ _ Not only were there four distinct living creatures, but each of the four had four faces, making sixteen in all. The four living creatures of the cherubim answer by contrast to the four world monarchies represented by four beasts, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:1-28). The Fathers identified them with the four Gospels: Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John the eagle. Two cherubim only stood over the ark in the temple; two more are now added, to imply that, while the law is retained as the basis, a new form is needed to be added to impart new life to it. The number four may have respect to the four quarters of the world, to imply that God’s angels execute His commands everywhere. Each head in front had the face of a man as the primary and prominent one: on the right the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, above from behind the face of an eagle. The Mosaic cherubim were similar, only that the human faces were put looking towards each other, and towards the mercy seat between, being formed out of the same mass of pure gold as the latter (Exodus 25:19, Exodus 25:20). In Isaiah 6:2 two wings are added to cover their countenances; because there they stand by the throne, here under the throne; there God deigns to consult them, and His condescension calls forth their humility, so that they veil their faces before Him; here they execute His commands. The face expresses their intelligence; the wings, their rapidity in fulfilling God’s will. The Shekinah or flame, that signified God’s presence, and the written name, Jehovah, occupied the intervening space between the cherubim Genesis 4:14, Genesis 4:16; Genesis 3:24 (“placed”; properly, “to place in a tabernacle”), imply that the cherubim were appointed at the fall as symbols of God’s presence in a consecrated place, and that man was to worship there. In the patriarchal dispensation when the flood had caused the removal of the cherubim from Eden, seraphim or teraphim (Chaldean dialect) were made as models of them for domestic use (Genesis 31:19, Margin; Genesis 31:30). The silence of the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth chapters of Exodus to their configuration, whereas everything else is minutely described, is because their form was so well-known already to Bezaleel and all Israel by tradition as to need no detailed description. Hence Ezekiel (Ezekiel 10:20) at once knows them, for he had seen them repeatedly in the carved work of the outer sanctuary of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6:23-29). He therefore consoles the exiles with the hope of having the same cherubim in the renovated temple which should be reared; and he assures them that the same God who dwelt between the cherubim of the temple would be still with His people by the Chebar. But they were not in Zerubbabel’s temple; therefore Ezekiel’s foretold temple, if literal, is yet future. The ox is selected as chief of the tame animals, the lion among the wild, the eagle among birds, and man the head of all, in his ideal, realized by the Lord Jesus, combining all the excellencies of the animal kingdom. The cherubim probably represent the ruling powers by which God acts in the natural and moral world. Hence they sometimes answer to the ministering angels; elsewhere, to the redeemed saints (the elect Church) through whom, as by the angels, God shall hereafter rule the world and proclaim the manifold wisdom of God (Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Ephesians 3:10; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:6-8). The “lions” and “oxen,” amidst “palms” and “open flowers” carved in the temple, were the four-faced cherubim which, being traced on a flat surface, presented only one aspect of the four. The human-headed winged bulls and eagle-headed gods found in Nineveh, sculptured amidst palms and tulip-shaped flowers, were borrowed by corrupted tradition from the cherubim placed in Eden near its fruits and flowers. So the Aaronic calf (Exodus 32:4, Exodus 32:5) and Jeroboam’s calves at Dan and Beth-el, a schismatic imitation of the sacred symbols in the temple at Jerusalem. So the ox figures of Apis on the sacred arks of Egypt.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ezekiel 1:4-14.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ezekiel 1:6

Wings — With two they flew, denoting the speed of their obedience; and with two they covered their body, denoting their reverence.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
And every one had four faces:
These living creatures were probably hieroglyphical representations of the holy angels, the attendants on "the King of Glory," and the ministers of his providence. They were four, apparently to denote that they were employed in the four corners of the world; and they had the likeness of a man, to signify that they were intelligent and rational creatures.
Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel 1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
Ezekiel 10:10 And [as for] their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.
Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel 10:21-22 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man [was] under their wings. ... And the likeness of their faces [was] the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.
Revelation 4:7-8 And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. ... And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

every one had four wings:

Ezekiel 1:8-11 And [they had] the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. ... Thus [were] their faces: and their wings [were] stretched upward; two [wings] of every one [were] joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth [their] wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces [shall look] one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
1 Kings 6:24-27 And five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other [were] ten cubits. ... And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.
Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
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Ex 25:20. 1K 6:24. Is 6:2. Ezk 1:8, 10, 15; 10:10, 14, 21. Rv 4:7.

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