The Book opens with the account of the prophet's preparation, and falls into two sections, the first describing the visions he saw, and the second the voice he heard.
Verses Eze 1:2-3 in this chapter, which are really parenthetical, may be treated as a title page. This gives the date, states that the word came expressly to him, and indicates the place in which he saw the visions and heard the voice.
The visions were inclusively visions of God. They proceeded in four manifestations. The first was of a cloud swept into sight by a stormy wind, surrounded by brightness, and continually flashing forth in glory. The second was of four living ones out of the midst of this fire, who moved in rhythmic unity. The third was of wheels rotating in harmony with each other, and in co-operation with the movements of the living ones. The fourth was, first, of a firmament, overarching the ceaseless activity of the living ones. Above the firmament a voice was heard, and then the likeness of a throne was seen, and, finally, a Person was manifested of the nature of fire, surrounded by a glory like that of the rainbow, In the presence of the manifested glory Ezekiel fell on his face. The very mystery of the visions spoke of the awfulness of the God with whom he had to deal, and their forms suggested majesty, order, activity, and personality.