11-2 Angels In Ezekiel
The primary fulfilment of Ezekiel too is in the restoration from Babylon.
The great emphasis on the Angel-cherubim shows the importance of the Angels
in it. The Cherubim of chapter 1 "came out of the north" (v. 4). "The
North" in the prophets often refers to "the north country" of Babylon.
Is the whole vision primarily describing the Angels coming from Babylon,
with the wheels "upon the earth" (v. 15) representing natural Israel under
Angelic control? Thus "when the living creatures (Angels) went, the wheels
went by them "(v. 19), due to the Angelic inspiration of the Jews and
their touching the hearts of men like Cyrus, Ezra and Nehemiah "according
to the good hand (Angel) of. . God upon" them; "the spirit of the living
creatures was in the wheels" (v. 20). Remember that the Angels are the
vehicles of God's Spirit. The visions of the glory progressively removing
from the temple show the Angel departing from Jerusalem, and then in chapters
40-48 the glory Angel returns to a re-built Jerusalem. Recall how the
Angel in Ex. 33 and 34 is also described as the "glory". What other primary
application can chapters 1 and 40-48 have? The exact dimensions of the
temple given in Ezekiel recall Zech. 1:16 and 2:11, where the Angel accurately
measures Jerusalem in preparation for the rebuilding of the temple. In
the same way as it is possible to argue that Christ's second coming in
AD70 was described in detail but was postponed to the last days because
of Israel's lack of spiritual response, it may be that Ezekiel's visions
of the temple were what should have been achieved during the restoration,
but because of the feeble spiritual response of the Jews during
and after the restoration, as lamented by Malachi, Zechariah and Nehemiah,
the full glory of the temple which God intended was postponed until Christ's
return in our last days.
Ezekiel's familiar prophecies of Israel's regathering thus have their
primary fulfilment in the restoration. Ez. 36:36 is obviously relevant:
"The heathen that are left round about you (the other nations that the
Babylonians had placed in Israel) shall know that I the Lord build the
ruined places" (by the miraculous rebuilding of the temple amidst great
opposition). 37:14 alludes directly back to the vision of the Angel-cherubim's
spirit being placed in the "wheels" of natural Israel: "I (the Angel)
shall put My spiirt in you, and ye shall live". There are many links discernible
between Ezekiel and Zechariah, as they both prophesy concerning the same
scattering and restoration of Israel. Just two examples:
36:29 "I will also save you
from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn,
and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you".
9:17 "Corn shall make the young
men cheerful, and new wine the maids. . . how great is His
goodness" (in forgiveness).
37:16 "Judah. . . the children
of Israel. . Joseph, the stick of Ephraim. .
all the house of Israel"
10:6 "The house of Judah. .
the house of Joseph. . they of Ephraim"