What does “a wheel in the middle of a wheel” mean?

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By BibleAsk Team


Passage in Ezekiel

In Ezekiel’s vision, he saw:

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Ezekiel 1:15-21

“A Wheel in the Middle of a Wheel”

The description, in Ezekiel 1:16, itself is difficult to understand since there is nothing similar to it in the Bible nor are we told what to compare these descriptions to so that we may understand them. Ezekiel the prophet described in the Hebrew language what he saw, which was so foreign to his experiences as a human being.

Some commentators see the wheels as God’s providence which produces changes in the lives of people. The believers should not fear adversity; the wheels are turning round and will raise them in due time. Whereas the proud who brag about their prosperity will be cast down by God. The angels are employed as ministers of God’s providence. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels; the same wisdom, power, and holiness of God, that guide and govern the angels, by them order all events in this lower world.

Each creature had four faces, denoting that the providence of God exerts itself in all directions. The disposals of Providence seem to us dark, perplexed, and unaccountable, yet all are wisely ordered for our best. The wheels went as the Spirit directed. The rings, or rims of the wheels were so vast, that when put in motion the prophet was afraid to look upon them. The consideration of the height and depth of God’s counsel should awe the believers. The motions of Providence are all directed by God’s infinite Wisdom.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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