Christian Churches of God
The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Vision
(Edition 3.0 19950421-19990703-20071114-20080310)
Ezekiel’s Vision has been explained as being spacecraft with wheels and wings and other fanciful objects. The Bible clearly identifies them as Cherubim. What does the vision mean? What lessons are there to be drawn from the vision? Here we see the significance.
The Meaning of Ezekiel's Vision
Ezekiel 1:1-28 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2 On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoi'achin), 3 the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chalde'ans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there. 4 As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming bronze. 5 And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the form of men, 6 but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: 9 their wings touched one another; they went every one straight forward, without turning as they went. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man in front; the four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle at the back. 11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. 12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13 In the midst of the living creatures there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning. 15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. 16 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of a chrysolite; and the four had the same likeness, their construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17 When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. 18 The four wheels had rims and they had spokes; and their rims were full of eyes round about. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, shining like crystal, spread out above their heads. 23 And under the firmament their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another; and each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the thunder of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of a host; when they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings. 26 And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness as it were of a human form. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. (RSV)
On the Fifth day of the Fourth month called Tammuz (approx. July) of 594 BCE, the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity in the Thirtieth year of the Sacred Calendar, the prophet Ezekiel was given a vision on the banks of the river Chebar (Ezek. 1:1ff.). He was with the other captives of the tribe of Judah who had been brought there in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
He was given the vision by the river Chebar and sent to another river of similar name, which was a tributary of the Euphrates system.
The prophets Ezekiel and Daniel were of the same period. Nevertheless, God dealt with and through them separately.
Ezekiel was to be given a vision of the four Cherubim who cover the Throne of God, and by symbols he was shown the entire Plan of Salvation and the role of the nation of Israel (which includes the Gentile elect) in that plan as the priesthood of the world.
However, the first important fact that can be deduced from this vision is that of the fixing of the Jubilee years and the Sabbath years. This makes possible the restoration of the land Sabbaths at the time of the end; for restoration is essential to the continued prosperity of our people. The restoration of the entire system of God's government is only possible from a restoration of the Jubilees. The calculation of the Jubilee is simply established by this statement of Ezekiel: it gives us a verifiable historical date together with the statement of which year of the Sacred Calendar this was, i.e. the Thirtieth.
The fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity is established in the following manner. We know that Jerusalem fell and that Jehoiachin was taken prisoner on the second day of Adar, or 15/16 March, in the year 597 BCE (according to Encyclopedia Judaica). As Adar is the last month of the year (and this year was WeAdar or Adar 2: see note at end of paper), his second year began one month later in Nisan or April 597 BCE, at the beginning of the Sacred Year. The fifth year was therefore 594 BCE, which establishes the Thirtieth year of the Sacred Calendar at 594 BCE. The Jubilee years therefore fell on the years 574 BCE and 524 BCE in that century and so on to 1 CE, and the conversion to the current eras placed the first Jubilee year of the current era at 27.
Christ began his ministry at the Passover of 28 CE at the end of the Jubilee year. He was baptised 50 days prior to that date and performed his first miracle of the water into wine before time (Jn. 2:4) at the end of the Jubilee year, some days before the Passover, while he was still in Galilee after the 40-day fast (Mat. 4:2). This was before he went down to Capernaeum for the few days before the Passover (Jn. 2:12) (cf. the paper Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)).
The next Jubilee year was 77 CE. The dates of the years prior to this Jubilee are of great significance. The three Sabbaths prior to the 77 CE Jubilee were 62 CE, 69 CE and 76 CE.
The year 62 CE marked the end of the 62 weeks of years of Daniel 9:25, the elimination of the tithes to the physical Temple, and the death of the second anointed one. From the period 62 CE to 70 CE the physical Temple was destroyed and the tithe system was transferred to the spiritual Temple of the Church in the wilderness (cf. the papers Tithing (No. 161); The Law of God (No. L1) and the Law series (Nos. 252-263)). The first anointed one at the end of the first seven weeks of years was Nehemiah. This year was the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes II (Arsakes) in 372 BCE, when Nehemiah returned (Neh. 13:10-18) and cleansed the Temple and the Sabbaths.
The second anointed one was James, brother of Jesus Christ and elder and bishop of Jerusalem, who was stoned in 62 CE. From 63 CE, the last week of years began with Nero's persecutions and the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, and the beginning of the troubles which became the Jewish War. 69 CE was the Sabbath year prior to the end of the 40 years given to Judah as the sign of Jonah from Christ's ministry. Judah was given a year-for-a-day on the basis of the period allowed to Nineveh for repentance following Jonah's ministry.
Christ prophesied to Judah for three years (Jonah prophesied for three days) and Judah was allowed 40 years to Nineveh’s 40 days. Nineveh repented; Judah did not. The last seven-year period of the Jubilee cycle from Christ's ministry saw the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, which ended the 70 weeks of years from the Decree of Darius in 421 BCE, and the removal of spiritual authority from Jerusalem to the Church of the seven eras.
By 73 CE the Masada had fallen and Judah was taken captive, so that by the Sabbath of 76 CE and the Jubilee of 77 CE the process was complete to the extent that the treble-harvest year of 75 CE was not impaired and thereby allowed the keeping of the 76 CE and 77 CE Sabbaths. In other words, the Eternal accomplished the destruction of Judah within the system He had laid down so that the faithful could still keep His ordinances and prepare from 74 CE to keep the Sabbath and Jubilee periods, which are an integral part of the Sabbaths and are kept continuously. Judah was sent into captivity because the spirit of the Law was profaned. Land Sabbaths were being profaned and the Jubilee system became lost to the extent that Jews were selling land on the Seventh year of individual ownership to third parties and reclaiming the land the following year; and so on with business sold or leased during the Feasts etc. This practice mocks God.
The keeping of the land Sabbaths is critical to the nation’s continued prosperity. The punishment for not keeping the Law and land Sabbaths and the Jubilee period is national captivity (Lev. 26:33-35).
From 2Chronicles 36:20-21, we know that the purpose of the prophecy spoken of by Jeremiah, where Judah was taken into captivity and Jerusalem and the land of Judah lay desolate for 70 years, was for the land to reclaim or enjoy its Sabbaths – because Judah had not kept the Sabbaths and the Law properly for some 70 weeks of years previously: i.e. from the construction of Solomon’s Temple, which was the period of Israel's history signified by the second Cherub of Ezekiel's vision. It should also be noted that the nation that was used to destroy Judah was itself destroyed after the period and Judah was re-established.
However, after the next period, i.e. after the construction of the second Temple, the 70 weeks of years and after the Law had been re-established by Nehemiah, the third Cherub of Ezekiel's vision was to proceed for the allotted period and, after Judah’s pollution of the Law and rejection of Christ, the nation was sent into captivity; and it was not to be restored until the latter days. The fruits of it were given to another people, i.e. the fourth Cherub or the period of the seven Churches which from Ecclesiastes 6:6 appears to be stated to last 2,000 years, and to be dispersed and persecuted. This Church was protected by dispersal (Rev. 12:15-16).
Revelation 12:15-16 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. (RSV)
In other words, there was safety only in dispersion and flight. This period of flight will continue until, as Christ said:
Matthew 10:23 When they persecute you in one town flee to the next for truly I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of man comes.
Conditions are building up for another persecution with the conduct and suppression of sects. Israel is, however, dealt with also as a nation.
The land Sabbaths are still mandatory on the nation. After the restoration of the nation Israel from the 1800s, as the British Commonwealth and the United States of America, these years became an accumulating debt, as is the period of Judah's re-establishment in Israel from the Sabbath of 1948. The period of the covenant re-establishment was 200 years over four Jubilee periods from the Jubilee of 1777/8 to the Jubilee of 1977/8, and on to 2027/8. The last Jubilee was 1977, and 1976 was the preceding Sabbath. The years of 1975 and 1978 were noted as excellent years, 1978 actually being a year of a 100-year flood. The following Sabbath in 1984 was preceded by a very good year, and succeeded by an excellent year. It is worth noting that the Sacred Year beginning at the end of March 1983 ended a prolonged drought of some years in Australia. Rainfall records of the author showed beyond doubt that the Sabbaths and the optimum harvest years are living facts.
Failure to obey the Law and, in particular, the Sabbaths and Jubilees brought Judah (and Israel) into condemnation. The sign of Jonah was given to Judah on a year-for-a-day in relation to Nineveh. For Nineveh's 40 days, Judah was given 40 years but, as Judah was given 40 years, the world had been given 40 Jubilees to repent and to establish the Sabbath system. This has not been done and so, in this 40th Jubilee, the world system will be torn down.
It should be obvious to a farm economist that the cost/benefits of farming in Jubilee or Sabbath years in dry land conditions produces a marginal utility. The dormant Sabbath seasons reduce yields, making the relative returns to overheads much less. The depletion of the soil requires increased fertiliser costs not only for that year but also for the subsequent six years. The crops remove nutrients that the fertilisers do not replace, reducing the long-term productivity and life-sustaining qualities of the crop. Soil erosion and other costs increase the farm and public sector overheads and so on. The short-term gains have long-term costs, which the nation and ecology cannot afford. The Lord's Sabbaths have to be kept by the nations. God's people are an example. The punishment for not doing so is captivity.
Australia is losing its capacity to produce its own food. 70% is produced overseas and that rate is increasing. Food that is produced here is also taken overseas with no direct benefit to the nation. The system is wrong and has to be stopped. We are an example and should give direction on this matter.
Land has been continually degraded. In ancient times one could ride a horse along the coast of North Africa and not see clear sunlight because of the ability to travel though continuous forests there.
In these Last Days the captivity is millennial, under Jesus Christ. The Messiah "takes captivity captive" to restore the systematic damage incurred over 6,000 years. By 2027 all lands will be restored to their national groups. This reorganisation will have to be in place for the pre-Sabbath and Jubilee harvest requirements of 2025 (cf. The Law of God (No. L1) and the papers on the Law series (Nos. 252-263)).
Significance of the form of the Cherubim
To understand the sequence of events in this last Jubilee, it is necessary first to explain the meaning of the four Cherubim or Cherubs of Ezekiel. Ezekiel's vision came out of the north and this orientation is important to the relevance of the form. The Temple of God is on the sides of the north (Ps. 48:2 KJV).
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (KJV)
Traditionally, the sides of the north was the direction of the Throne of God (Isa. 14:13).
Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (KJV)
Lucifer chose to ascend and be like the Most High.
The cloud and fire is similar to that of the Exodus where the Spirit of the Lord led and established Israel to be a separate and holy people. The fire was the colour of amber or bronze, which was derived from the body of the Spirit. Fire enfolding itself symbolised the containment of the Spirit within bounds and order. The enfolding symbolised the Law of God from which the Cherubim were regulated, even as the Spirit itself was regulated and enfolded because the Law emanated from the very nature of God of which we partake (2Pet. 1:4).
The enfolding of the fire also signified that the time sequence of the four Cherubim was enfolded to enable their appearance together. The throne above the Cherubim symbolised the Throne of God from which their judge, The Elohim and El, reigns. He hovers above the Cheribum in protection of them, and as the centre of the Tabernacle. The Throne is the “mercy seat” and was placed within the physical Tabernacle itself, symbolising the ultimate spiritual creation of the eternal spiritual Temple. Yahovah speaks for Yahovah of Hosts in this structure. They stand at the east gate and the glory of the Lord is above them (Ezek. 10:18-19).
Ezekiel 10:18-19 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. (KJV)
In Numbers 9 we see that the keeping of the Passover is the statute that identifies the holy people and the sojourners in their midst. From Exodus 13:6-9, we find that the Passover (and the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the seal of God as a sign on our hand and as a memorial or sign between our eyes (i.e. on our forehead). This is the sign or mark of the Lord, which identifies the holy people "so that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth" (Ex. 13:9 RSV). In other words, the seal of God is in our minds and hearts signified by the mark or frontlet between our eyes, and the mark on our hands signifies that our actions are in accordance with our words. The keeping of the Passover and Unleavened Bread, with the weekly Sabbath, is the specific identification of the congregation of the Lord. The keeping of the other Sabbaths of Leviticus 23 follows on automatically from the Passover seal. Atonement itself also becomes a sign of the Lord’s people (cf. the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170)).
The Mark of the Beast is derived also from this concept with its own law and feasts. These were extant from the time of the Exodus as Easter and Sunday worship, and the festivals of 25 December follow from this satanic feast and seal or mark (cf. the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); God’s Calendar (No. 156); The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277); and Mark of the Beast (No. 25)).
The pillar of cloud and fire encompasses the Host of the holy people, firstly from Exodus 14:19, and in Numbers 9:15 we find that the cloud covered the Tabernacle on the day that it was set up. The Tabernacle of the Lord was covered continually as cloud by day and fire by night, as a sign that the Spirit of the Lord dwelt over the Tent of Testimony and was with the Host of the holy people because they had been chosen as the priesthood. When the cloud and fire were taken up then the Tabernacle was taken up and moved (Num. 9:21-23).
The Living Creatures represent the four stages of the history of the priesthood and Israel. The first stage was the Tabernacle of the wilderness and the Judges. The second stage or Cherub was as the first Temple from Solomon to the captivity. The third stage was from the re-establishment after the return from captivity to the destruction in 70 CE, and the fourth stage was as the era of the seven Churches until the return of the Messiah (cf. the papers The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196); and Pentecost at Sinai (No. 115)).
Each stage is as a Covering Cherub that protects the Throne of God, and by human hands (under the wings) accomplishes His purpose on Earth. The Living Creatures have been described elsewhere in the Bible, but the symbolism of the form has a much deeper meaning than that of a created oddity with four different faces. In Revelation 4:6-8 we see the same faces, but separate as four Living Creatures, each with one of the faces but with six wings.
Revelation 4:6-8 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 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. 8 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. (KJV)
The significance of the four faces can be deduced from the placement and battle standards of Israel from its original system of encampment. The ‘order of march’ of Israel first took effect from the 20th of the Second month of Ziv, in the second year of the Exodus, and as derived from Numbers 10 and other sections was as follows.
The advance guard was comprised of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, who marched under the battle standard of Judah, which was a lion. The Tabernacle under its guard followed the advance guard. The third group was comprised of Reuben and the supporting tribes of Simeon and Gad who marched under the battle standard of Reuben, which was a man.
The fourth group and last segment of the main body was preceded by the Holy Artefacts of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was always set up before their arrival at the new encampment. This fourth group was comprised of Ephraim together with the half-tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Benjamin. These marched under the standard of Ephraim, which was a bull, but it was also later sometimes depicted as a unicorn.
The rear guard was comprised of Dan followed by Asher and then Napthali. This marched behind the battle standard of Dan, which was an eagle (although the serpent or a poisonous reptile is also symbolic of this tribe – they were the ‘sting in the tail’). The party of the Ark of the Covenant preceded the Host as a clearing party.
When the Host made camp the Levites encamped around the Tabernacle and the tribes encamped outside them, according to their divisions. From Numbers 2 we establish that: in the east was Judah and then Issachar and Zebulun; in the south was Reuben and next to him Simeon and then Gad; in the west was Ephraim, next Manasseh and then Benjamin; in the north was Dan and then Asher and then Napthali.
This encampment organisation never varied, and it is for this reason that Ezekiel saw the vision coming from the north with the face of a man in front (Ezek. 1:10), i.e. Reuben in the south. The face of a lion on the right side was Judah in the east. The face of an ox on the left was Ephraim in the west, and the face of an eagle at the back was Dan in the north looking forward to the direction from which they had come.
The orientation of the nation around the Tabernacle did not vary, and for this reason Ezekiel states that they each went straight forward without turning. "As each went straight forward wherever the Spirit would go they went without turning as they went" (Ezek. 1:12).
This orientation also reflects the celestial system around the Throne of God, which we see in Revelation 4:1 to 5:14. There are twenty-four Elders or priests allocated to twelve systems, represented by the tribes within four administrative divisions.
In the midst of the Host were the Tabernacle and the Spirit of God "like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures". The burning coals are as purification of the Host in the way that Isaiah was cleansed by the burning coal, and this was also symbolic of the sacrifice and later Spirit from Pentecost.
Each of these had four wings and two of these wings touched one another, performing the role of defensive perimeter of the encampment and symbolising unity and physical protection of the nation and the Tabernacle. The two wings covering the bodies symbolised the spiritual protection of the individual perfected as a servant of God.
The four Cherubim are depicted as having a wheel upon the Earth, one for each, and the construction was as it were a wheel within a wheel. The rims and spokes and the eyes of the wheels are the functions of the holy people essential to the continued Plan of Salvation, progressing with each wheel closer to the presence of the Lord. The spokes symbolise the unity of the Spirit to the centre Tabernacle or Throne of God, and the rim symbolises unity of the Hosts. It should be remembered that the seven Churches, represented by the fourth Cherub, are in fact the spiritual building blocks of the Temple of God. It is for this reason that Ezekiel states twice that the Spirit of the Living Creatures is in the wheels. The Holy Spirit was the means by which the Host has to accomplish this state.
This spiritual redemption of the Host was symbolised by the loaves at Pentecost. After the Passover had expiated sin and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had served as a symbol of a sinless purification (as a body guarded by the wings of the Cherub), then a new leaven was placed into the two loaves at Pentecost, symbolising the new leaven of sincerity and truth – leaven of the Holy Spirit. The two loaves symbolised the duality of salvation to Israel and Judah, to Israelite and Gentile, under the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel.
This salvation was depicted by Zechariah as the two olive trees standing on the right and left of the lamp stand (of the seven eras of the last Cherub) – the Messiah of Aaron at the beginning, and the Messiah of Israel at the end pouring out the Spirit of the Eternal onto the Earth through the two golden pipes. The duality of this symbol is also in the repetition of the accompanying prophets.
The four Cherubim or stages of the holy people have twenty-four facets symbolised by the twenty-four Elders at Revelation 4:9. These twenty-four are the symbols of the twenty-four divisions of the ministering priesthood detailed at 1Chronicles 24:1-6, and in the order as detailed from verses 7-18.
The allocation or order of the priesthood is on a basis of two per tribe. There are also two elohim allotted per tribe or division. We can deduce that this is reflected also by the numbering of the Judges and the Apostles on the basis of one per tribe, being twelve in each type.
In addition to the twenty-four divisions of the Temple, i.e. of the second and third Cherubim, there were also twenty-four Judges; twelve Judges holding office under the first Tabernacle or Cherub as the period of Judges and twelve Apostles appointed as judges for the restoration of the Millennium, thus providing the symbolic twenty-four Elders of the twenty-four divisions who cast their crowns before the Lord of Hosts, as their periods of office were combined under the Lord. At this time the four Cherubim or Creatures obtain six wings, gaining the last two wings of spiritual immortality with the Lord of Hosts. This status is equated with that of the Seraphim or the higher ranks of the angels. Thus, the elect have elohim or theoi status conferred upon them.
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (KJV)
Thus, the feeble shall be as David and the house of David shall be as Elohim as the Angel of Yahovah before them. This text establishes a phased sequence. The Angel of Yahovah was the Elohim of Israel, from Psalm 45:6-7. This Elohim was Christ from Hebrews 1:8-9. The House of David or the elect will become elohim as Christ himself was and is. They will strengthen the feeble of the restoration of the Messiah at the end of days (cf. the papers The Elect as Elohim (No. 1); The Angel of YHVH (No. 24); and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)).
The last period of the Host shows the four Living Creatures around the Throne of God, but the order of the Host for this fifth period has been changed. The placement of the tribes involving the movements of Judah, Reuben, Ephraim and Dan is a subject in its own right. The location of the tribes in Ezekiel 48:31ff. by gates also varies the positioning both by gates and lands (Ezek. 48:1-29).
The allocation of the tribes for the 144,000 is also related to these concepts. Dan is merged with Ephraim as the tribe of Joseph, and Manasseh becomes a tribe in its own right for this allocation, as does Levi. The allocation is for the purpose of the new priesthood (Rev. 7:4-8) (see also the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
Revelation 7:4-8 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Napthali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zebulun were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (KJV)
In this allocation Dan is joined to Ephraim as the composite tribe of Joseph so that Levi can take its place among the priesthood of Melchisedek in the Last Days – but Dan proceeds to take its birthright in the physical system as Judge of Israel.
The Cherubim are one with Messiah in this final phase also. This aspect of the millennial system is dealt with elsewhere.
The determination of the month of Adar and (We)Adar in 597 BCE is determined by the phases of the moon. The Encyclopaedia Judaica makes note on the captivity and places 2 Adar on 15/16 March of 597 BCE. The article ‘Ezekiel’ in Volume 6, page 1082, footnote 1 states:
The year-count in the dates starts from the exile of King Jehoiachin (1:2; 33:21; 40:1), datable by a Babylonian chronicle to 2 Adar (mid-March) 597. However, II Chron. 36:10 has the exile beginning at "the turn of the year" -- i.e., the next month, Nisan, the start of Nebuchadnezzar's 8th year (II Kings 24:12). The era of the exile thus began in Nisan (April) 597, and its years, like Babylonian regnal years, ran from Nisan to Adar.
This is incorrect. The Jews refer to Adar 1 as Adar and to Adar 2 as and Adar or WeAdar. They do not use the terms Adar 1 and 2; it is simply Adar and Adar.
The reference to the turn of the year in 2Chronicles 36:10 refers to the equinox in March. It does not refer to the month of Nisan. The Bible reference to the turn of the year for Tabernacles also means in the period of the September equinox. The vernal equinox falls within WeAdar seven times in every nineteen- year cycle. There is thus no conflict whatsoever between the Babylonian Chronicles and 2Chronicles on the issue of the captivity.
Ezekiel’s reference is to the Thirtieth year. Such reference is not to any thirtieth year of any known king or system. The simple statement is taken as understood in the Old Testament text.
There is also another restoration by Whiston, which is incorrect, being based on a faulty structure of the regnal years. Some confusion occurs from this sometimes.
Determining the New Moons for 597 shows us there was a WeAdar in that year.
The New Moon fell on 12 March at 1500 hours Jerusalem LMT. The next New Moon fell on 11 April at 0733 hours. The equinox fell on 27 March at 1333 hours Jerusalem LMT.
It is more than 14 full days from the 12 March 597 to 27 March 597 afternoon to afternoon where we have sixteen days. Thus March cannot be the New Moon nearest the equinox, and 11 April at 0733 hours is the New Moon of Nisan. We thus have a WeAdar and the 2nd of WeAdar is 14/15 March, even assuming 13 March as the beginning of the month and not 15/16 March as Judaica holds.
The captivity thus occurred at the turn of the year, i.e. at the time of the equinox, which was in WeAdar and on 2 WeAdar or 14/15 March or 15/16 March on Jewish reckoning.
The year is thus calculated from the previous year’s commencement in April 598 BCE.
April 597 BCE is thus the beginning of the second year; 596 BCE is the beginning of the third year; 595 BCE is the beginning of the fourth year; and 594 BCE is the beginning of the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity (cf. the papers Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250); and The Fall of Jerusalem to Babylon (No. 250B)).