An Interactive Presentation of Thematic Symmetry (Chiasm / Parallelism)
1 Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month,
while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
2 (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile,
3 the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi,
in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar;
the hand of the Lord came upon him.)
a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually
and a bright light around it,
and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.
5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance:
6 Each of them had four faces and four wings.
7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.
8 Under their wings on their four sides
As for the faces and wings of the four of them,
9 their wings touched one another;
their faces did not turn when they moved,
each went straight forward.
10 As for the form of their faces,
each had the face of a man;
all four had the face of a lion on the right
and the face of a bull on the left,
and all four had the face of an eagle.
11 Such were their faces.
Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.
12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go,
they would go, without turning as they went.
13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire,
like torches darting back and forth among the living beings.
and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold,
there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings,
for each of the four of them.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl,
and all four of them had the same form,
their appearance and workmanship
being as if one wheel were within another.
17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved.
they were lofty and awesome,
and the rims of all four of them
were full of eyes round about.
19 Whenever the living beings moved,
the wheels moved with them.
And whenever the living beings rose from the earth,
20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction.
And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
and whenever those stood still,
And whenever those rose from the earth,
the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse,
like the awesome gleam of crystal,
spread out over their heads.
23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight,
each one also had two wings covering its body
on the one side and on the other.
24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp;
whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads;
whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne,
like lapis lazuli in appearance;
and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward
something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it,
and from the appearance of His loins and downward
I saw something like fire;
and there was a radiance around Him.
28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day,
so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
Generated with the Chiasmatron 2000
Attribution: Bob Schlenker
Pass your mouse cursor over the passage. Hovering over a line of text will cause it to be highlighted along with matching elements. Hovering over a bar will produce the same result.
If a line of text is underlined, click on it. Commentary will appear in a window and the highlighting will remain. If you see a bar that looks different, click on it to produce the same result.
What are you looking at? This is an exhibit of the thematic symmetry that appears throughout the Bible. The passage of scripture is straight from the Bible. Nothing has been added or removed or shifted out of sequence.
What's the point? Be inspired by the awesomeness of the Author's Word. Meditate prayerfully on what you see, seeking insight about each thematic pairing. How are the elements alike? How do they differ. Why are they paired? If questions are raised that would not otherwise be raised, ask them. May the Author Himself grant you insight.
Tip: If this presentation is too big to fit on screen, you can make your browser "full screen." Try F11. You can also adjust the zoom (ctrl-minus to zoom out). If you have a monitor that rotates into a portrait display, the vertical real estate can be very useful. You might also launch this presentation in two different browser windows, arranging them side-by-side. Scroll one down to where you can see the sections that compare so you can look back and forth to compare them in the same view. If it helps you see what you want to see, you can drag the pop-up commentary window around the screen.
For more explanation, see: About These Thematic Patterns
For more examples, see: Interactive Content