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Ezekiel and the other exiles had to be feeling alone and abandoned there in Babylon. What a hard fall from their nationalistic pride in God’s covenant promises related to possession of the Promised Land and His presence among His people in the temple in Jerusalem and His protection of His people against pagan enemies. But sin has consequences and spiritual apostasy requires God’s judgment. As the scene opens along the river Chebar, God prepares His prophet for his difficult commissioning by revealing a vision of His awesome glory. God was still active and sovereign in the affairs of Israel and of the nations. Therefore judgment was coming – both upon Jerusalem and upon her surrounding enemies. Yet the tremendous promises of national restoration and millennial blessing would still be fulfilled. Our sin never negates God’s faithfulness.

Leslie Allen: God’s transcendence. The book begins and ends with visions. These visions are of a great God and what He can and will do. He is not limited to Israel’s tiny boundaries or narrow interests. He is a universal God who will judge all the nations, untie the bonds that keep His people oppressed and downtrodden, free them from their slavery to sins of all sorts, and rule the nations.

Lamar Cooper: The vision of the glory of Yahweh was comforting because it confirmed God’s continued concern for his people. But it was also the foundation for the call of Ezekiel as the prophet of judgment. This vision has five elements:

(1) the windstorm (v. 4),

(2) the four living creatures (vv. 5–14),

(3) the wheels (vv. 15–21),

(4) the platform (vv. 22–27), and

(5) the prophet’s response (v. 28).

Constable: Ezekiel saw God, in all His glory, at work in the world, not inactive, as the Israelites might have thought that He was because He had allowed them to go into captivity. And he saw God in the act of judging His people, not forsaking them.

Anton Pearson: From his vision Ezekiel learned that God was not limited to Palestine, but was present in Babylon among the exiles, descending to the earth on cherubim and storm (Ps 18:10; 104:3). The chariot could move swiftly in all directions, symbolized by the number four. The figures facing four directions (vv. 9, 10, 17) suggest the thought that all parts of the universe are open to the gaze of God. The wings connected the vision with heaven and the wheels with earth. Thus no spot is inaccessible to the divine presence and energy. The omnipresence of God is hereby forcefully conveyed. The figure seated on the throne speaks of the omnipotence and sovereign rule of God (v. 26).

Ralph Alexander: Throughout the OT God’s prophets were confronted with a revelation of his glory that made an indelible imprint on their ministry. When they became discouraged, they would recall the revelation of God’s glory at their commission, which spurred them on in the Lord’s service steadfastly.

Likewise, today if one is to minster for the Lord, that person must first have a divine confrontation and come to an understanding of God’s great glory; for only in light of the knowledge of God will one have strength and perseverance to serve God humbly – no matter what the situation may be. This divine confrontation adds seriousness and purpose to the call of God’s servant. He may not necessarily see a vision or have an emotional experience in this confrontation, but the Holy Spirit will impress God’s character on the servant’s heart as he seeks to live and minister in light of God’s person revealed in God’s Word. When one genuinely comes to see God’s glory, he cannot help but fall prostrate in worship before the almighty God, even as Ezekiel did (v. 28).

This manifestation of the Lord’s glory formed a backdrop for the announcements of judgment that Ezekiel would make. Since the glorious, holy God who gave the Mosaic covenant (Exod 19) could not tolerate disobedience to that covenant because of his righteous character, he had to execute judgment on the iniquity that his holy nature could not tolerate. Therefore, when God brought judgment on Jerusalem, his glory had to leave its residence in the temple (10:1-20; 11:22-23). However, the Lord’s glory would return (cf. ch. 43) after the cleansing of God’s people would be completed. Thus the revelation of God’s glory became a significant theme throughout the prophecy, showing a unity of purpose within the book.


A. (:1a) Timing of the Revelation (with respect to Ezekiel’s age)

“Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month,”

MacArthur: Most likely this was Ezekiel’s age, since he ate relative to the king’s reign is given in 1:2. Thirty was the age when a priest (cf. v. 3 with Nu 4) began his priestly duties.

David Thompson: This was exactly the age of Jesus Christ when He saw heaven opened at His baptism (Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:21).

Leslie Allen: vv.1-3 — These verses are like the title page of a book, or the information on its dust jacket or front cover. They are not intended to be exciting or dramatic, but to orient us in as simple and direct a fashion as is possible to the subject matter of what follows. While it is quite true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, a good descriptive title and mention of the author’s name still provide a great deal of important information.

B. (:1b) Physical Setting for the Revelation (defined by community)

“while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles,”

MacArthur: A major canal off of the Euphrates River, S of Babylon.

Allen: It was part of a complex network of canals that came into being in the Mesopotamian heartland to provide artificial irrigation from the Euphrates and, to a lesser extent, the Tigris for the grain crops and date orchards, and also, in the case of larger watercourses, transportation of these and other goods.

David Thompson: When a servant of God finds himself in some place or situation that he never thought he would be, he needs to know that God is still sovereign and He has a sovereign plan to use him right where he is.

Derek Thomas: two features now emerge about the times in which Ezekiel preached.

1. A time of great change

2. A time of near despair

C. (:1c) Nature of the Revelation (defined by method of communication)

“the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.”

MacArthur: This scene has similarities to the visions of God’s throne in Rev 4, 5, where the emphasis is also on a glimpse of that throne just before judgment is released in Rev 6-19.

Leslie Allen: In the OT the “windows” or floodgates of heaven were opened to permit the sending down of either blessing (2 Kgs 7:2; Mal 3:10) or judgment (Gen 7:11; Isa 24:18) (see F. Lentzen-Deis, Bib50 [1969] 303). The subsequent content of the vision will make clear that here a revelation of judgment is in view.

D. (:2) Timing of the Revelation (with respect to the king’s exile)

“(On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile,”

MacArthur: This is 593 B.C. The king, Ezekiel, and 10,000 others (2Ki 24:14) had been deported to Babylon in 597 B.C., Ezekiel at the age of 25.

E. (:3a) Recipient of the Revelation = Priest Ezekiel

“the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi,”

Wiersbe: It would have been much easier for Ezekiel to remain a priest, for priests were highly esteemed by the Jews, and a priest could read the Law and learn everything he needed to know to do his work. Prophets were usually despised and persecuted. They received their messages and orders from the Lord as the occasion demanded and could never be sure what would happen next. It was dangerous to be a prophet. Most people resent being told about their sins and prefer to hear messages of cheer, not declarations of judgment.

Lamar Cooper: Although he was taken captive in 597 b.c., Ezekiel’s prophetic call and ministry did not begin until 593 b.c. His name means “God Strengthens,” an appropriate title for one called to serve his people in a time of crisis. His ministry continued until at least 573 b.c. (see 40:1), but we know nothing of how it ended or of his final fate. His entire ministry was conducted in Babylon. Because of his return to Jerusalem in a vision as stated in 40:1–2, some have held that he actually visited the city. Yet there is no indication he ever physically returned to the city after his capture.

David Thompson: [Ezekiel was anticipating entering upon his priestly ministry] — This is probably why Ezekiel is so focused on the future Temple in Jerusalem that will be eventually built (Ezek. 40- 43). He was very familiar with the Temple and the Furniture and the ceremonies.

Charles Dyer: The word of the Lord points to the source of Ezekiel’s message. Ezekiel was to receive the message God wanted him to deliver.

F. (:3b) Physical Setting of the Revelation (defined by political affiliation)

“in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar;”

G. (:3c) Nature of the Revelation (defined by divine inspiration and intervention)

“and there the hand of the LORD came upon him.)”

Feinberg: The hand of the Lord upon the prophet was actually a gripping which speaks of the special influence and power the Spirit of God had on the prophets; thus they became channels for the communication of divine truth. So important and prominent is the thought expressed here that the phrase occurs in six other verses of Ezekiel: 3:14, 22; 8:1; 33:22; 37:1 and 40:1.

Charles Dyer: The hand of the Lord described Ezekiel’s mandate for his ministry. He was not acting on his own initiative but was constrained by God to minister, a fact detailed later (3:12-27).

Wiersbe: The word of the Lord brings enlightenment and the hand of the Lord enablement (see Eph. 1:15-23).

Merrill: These three elements—vision [v. 1], word [v. 3], and power (or hand) [v. 3]—appear pervasively in Ezekiel’s descriptions of his call and of Yahweh’s self-revelation. The vision is the abstract message itself, the word is its interpretation, and the power is the means by which the message is effectually communicated. For the hand of the Lord to come on the prophet is to assure him of the Lord’s affirmation and enablement.

Daniel Bock: The superscription ends with the divine coercion formula, an announcement of the hand of Yahweh coming upon the prophet. This idiom highlights the physical aspect of Ezekiel’s call, referring metaphorically to the overwhelming pressure that God exerts on the prophet. In this prophet’s ministry Yahweh’s “hand” exercises complete control over his movements, even transporting him back and forth to distant places. More than any other prophet, Ezekiel is a man possessed.

Christopher Wright: A single word, however, captures the amazement of the moment more than any other. It is the simple expression There (3). Emphatic in its position, it focuses on the contrast between what is being described (or about to be), and where it is all happening. Yahweh, the God of Israel, is appearing, is speaking, is putting forth his mighty hand, there, in the land of exile, uncleanness and despair. Ezekiel, with his fellow exiles, most probably believed that God was far away, or to be more precise, that they were far away from God’s presence in the Jerusalem temple. The exiles felt despised and rejected by those who had been left behind in Jerusalem (11:15). Yet even there, in remarkable similarity to Psalm 139:7–12, the powerful presence of Yahweh in all his glory was about to be revealed. God is there in Babylon! What comfort! And yet, as the storm clouds rush in over the plain towards Ezekiel, he knows that God is coming in judgment, terrifying judgment as it will turn out. No wonder he was scared witless for a week (3:15).

God is there. There are times when our doctrinal conviction of God’s omnipresence needs to become an experienced reality again. Whether through geographical distance, like Ezekiel’s, or through more spiritual or emotional alienation, the experience of exile from the presence of God can be dark and terrible. We may not be privileged with an overwhelming vision like Ezekiel’s, and most of us will be grateful to be excused the privilege, but we can certainly pray for the reassurance of the touch of his hand reminding us that God is there, even there.


A. (:4) Arrival of the Vision of God’s Glory

“And as I looked, behold,”

1. Images of Power

a. Storm Wind

“a storm wind was coming from the north,”

b. Great Cloud

“a great cloud”

2. Images of Light

a. Flashing light

“with fire flashing forth continually”

b. Bright Light

“and a bright light around it,”

c. Glowing Light

“and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.”

Feinberg: The wind, cloud and fire (v. 4) are all symbols of God’s glory (see Ps. 18:8-13; Hab. 3; Jer. 4:11-13).

Daniel Bock: But the cloud that was blown in by the wind was no ordinary cloud. It was lit up with a brilliance whose superlative intensity is reflected in a triad of modifying phrases.

(1) It was accompanied by fire or lightning bolts darting back and forth.

(2) It was surrounded by a glorious radiance (nōgah).

(3) Its heart was lit up like molten metal in a smelter. The term ḥašmal is a hapax, related perhaps to Akk. elmešu, a brilliant precious stone used in the fabrication of divine statues to enhance its shine. LXX translates it ἤλεκτρον, “electrum,” which identifies both amber and a gold-silver alloy. The former is probably intended here. While its meaning remains somewhat uncertain, the employment of the rare term reflects the brilliance of the image but also enhances its mystery.

Derek Thomas: ‘Fire’ (1:4) is a frequent symbol of God’s holiness, purity and awesomeness in Scripture (Exod 3:2, 3; 13:21; 19:18; 1 Kings 18:24, 38; 2 Thess. 1:7; Heb. 10:27; 12:29; Rev. 1:14; 2:18). And storm clouds are frequently used in Scripture to depict the Lord’s coming in wrath (Ps. 29:3–9; 104:3; Isa. 29:6). The Second Coming of Christ is depicted using the same imagery of storm and fire (Matt. 24:30; 26:64; 1Thess. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:7).

B. (:5-11) Appearance of the Four Living Beings Described

1. (:5-6) General Appearance = Human Form

“And within it there were figures resembling four living beings.

And this was their appearance: they had human form.”

MacArthur: Four angels, most likely the cherubs in 10:1-22, appearing in the erect position and figure of man emerge to serve God who judges. The number 4 may have respect to the 4 corners of the earth, implying that God’s angels execute His commands everywhere.

Feinberg: The church Fathers connected the living creatures with the Gospels: the lion, Matthew; the ox, Mark; the man, Luke; the eagle, John. However, other combinations were also suggested.

The hands of a man speak of the power of manipulation and a certain deftness of touch. The joining of the wings emphasizes the perfect unity of action on the part of the living creatures. Their faces are that of a man, speaking of intelligence; of a lion, standing for majesty and power; of an ox, displaying patient service; of an eagle, depicting swiftness in meting out judgment, and discernment form afar. The rabbis said of the living creatures:

“Man is exalted among creatures; the eagle is exalted among birds; the ox is

exalted among domestic animals; the lion is exalted among wild beasts; and all

of them have received dominion, and greatness has been given them, yet they

are stationed below the chariot of the Holy One.” (Midrash R. Shemoth)

Wiersbe: There is also a connection here with the covenant God made with Noah after the Flood (Gen. 9:8-17). God promised not to destroy the world again with a flood, and He gave this promise to Noah (a man) and his descendants, the birds (the eagle), the livestock (the ox), and the wild animals (the lion). The presence of the cherubim before the throne of God is assurance that God remembers His promise and cares for His creatures. But it also reminds us that all of creation is used by the Lord to bless or to chasten His people. In this vision, they are a part of God’s judgment on His sinful people.

2. (:6) Four Faces and Four Wings

“Each of them had four faces and four wings.”

3. (:7) Legs and Feet

“And their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.”

Lamar Cooper: The term “straight” refers to their unjointed structure. The foot was like the hoof of a calf, rounded for ease in turning. This characteristic suggested the stability of these creatures in performing assigned tasks.

4. (:8a) Human Hands

“Under their wings on their four sides were human hands.”

5. (:8b-11) Adding Some Details Regarding Faces and Wings

a. (:8b-9) Regarding Faces and Wings

“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.”

b. (:10-11a) Regarding Faces

“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.”

c. (:11b) Regarding Wings

“Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.”

C. (:12-14) Articulation of the Four Living Beings Described

1. (:12) Impression of Their Movement = Straight Line Only

“And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.”

Lamar Cooper: This suggests a sense of purpose, commitment, and availability for assignments.

2. (:13-14) Images Picturing Their Movement

a. (:13a) Like Torches

“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”.

MacArthur: Their appearance conveyed God’s glory and pure, burning justice (cf. Is 6) which they assisted in carrying out even on Israel, who had for so long hardened themselves against His patience.

b. (:13b-14) Like Bolts of Lightning

“The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.”

Leslie Allen: So here we have special creatures, supernatural and unusual, coming out of a cloud lined with fire. So far, Ezekiel hasn’t told us everything about his vision, but from what we already know, two things are evident.

(1) Something that is supernatural and that involves God on the move is about to happen.

(2) It is happening in Mesopotamia, to exiles who thought themselves hopelessly removed from God’s presence and out of the picture religiously, as well as economically and politically.

This visual display, and those that follow in the book, were by no means ends in themselves. The purpose was not simply to dazzle Ezekiel, but to point to a message. God is on the move, He is allowing Himself to be seen, He is appearing even in what people thought was a godforsaken place. What an enduring message of hope! How important it is for us to remember that God is never confined, never limited, never distracted, never disinterested in His people.


A. (:15-18) Description of Their Wheels

1. (:15) Alignment of the Wheels

“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.”

2. (:16) Appearance of the Wheels

“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.”

3. (:17) Articulation of the Wheels

“Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four

directions, without turning as they moved.”

4. (:18) Appearance of Their Rims

“As for their rims they were lofty and awesome,

and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.”

Constable: Most expositors view these cherubim as forming, supporting, or pulling a throne-chariot on which Ezekiel saw God riding (cf. Exod. 25:10-22; 2 Sam. 22:11; 1 Chron. 28:18; Ps. 18:11; Dan. 7:9; Heb. 8:5; Rev. 4). I think this makes sense. Perhaps the mobility of the wheels suggests God’s omnipresence, the eyes His omniscience, and the elevated position His omnipotence.

Derek Thomas: God has shown his people that they are not forgotten; he has called from among them a prophet to speak his Word. The visions of Ezekiel have reminded us of some of God’s great attributes: his holiness and power in particular. But these’ coloured pictures’ have also depicted God’s coming. If along the banks of the River Kebar nothing seemed to be happening; if, as some imagined, God seemed far away; if the prayers of his faithful people seemed unheard—the truth was otherwise: God was on the move. The councils of heaven were fully active. The rims of the wheels, which ‘were full of eyes all around’ (1:18), were meant to convey that God sees everything that goes on. Nothing is hidden from him. God has a plan which every day unfolds before us. It involves the coming of his Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue his people and destroy his enemies. Here is our Deliverer: Jesus on a fiery chariot.

B. (:19-21) Description of the Movement of the Four Living Beings

“And whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. 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. 21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these 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.”

Lamar Cooper: the cherubim were divinely appointed and empowered to do the will and work of God. . . These spiritual beings who were part angel, part human, and part animal were fitting representatives of the whole created order. Their activity affirmed the relationship of God to his creation as Lord of all things. This idea was vital in helping Ezekiel and the captives in exile and the people in Judah understand that in the midst of the storms of life, God was still on his throne. He was not oblivious to their circumstances.

Leslie Allen: In fact, the explanation is not complicated, and it relates to the omnidirectional emphasis already made in the preceding passage in connection with the cherubim. The two sets of wheels were within each other in the sense of being interconnected on different axes. One wheel intersected the other at right angles so that no turning was necessary to go in any of the four main directions, as verse 17 says. (Each wheel could, of course, go in two directions since a wheel can go forward or backward equally easily.) Moreover, the wheels were so closely linked to the cherubim (v. 22), which they were right beside (v. 15), that there was no lack of response to the cherubim’s leading (v. 19). Together, the cherubim all flying in concert and the wheels always ready to go without needing to turn provided a means of conveyance that could go anywhere, in any direction, immediately (v. 21).

That was the point: the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels so that this chariot could move fast. God was moving—and fast! Ezekiel and his compatriots needed to be encouraged and challenged. Ezekiel’s vision provided him with a vivid symbol of the fact that nothing was keeping God from going wherever He wanted to. Just as He had protected these people and controlled their fortunes in Palestine, He was now prepared to protect and direct their lives in exile in Babylon. God had wheels! He was not limited. He could go anywhere anytime.

Christopher Wright: The main point of the construction was that it enabled the four interlocked creatures to move in any direction without appearing to swivel or turn (17). Though the presence of wheels gives a chariot-like feel to the whole apparatus, the multidirectional potential seems to surpass any two-wheeled or four-wheeled chariot. Total and unrestricted freedom of movement seems to be the primary function of these wheels. Apart from that, they had their own share in the majestic splendour of the rest of the vision: they sparkled, they were high and awesome, and they were full of eyes.

The wheels, then, provide the answer to how the living creatures were able to move as they did. For it would seem that neither their wings nor their legs were actually the primary means of locomotion. The wings made a frighteningly powerful noise when the creatures moved—comparable to a mighty waterfall, or a battlefield, or the voice of God himself (24), but it is not explicit that they were being used to ‘fly’, since the creatures moved horizontally as well as vertically. Ezekiel’s vision seems to have something unparalleled in the paintings and statues of his surroundings. Strong legs and multiple wings seem to have indicated the capacity for support and movement. Yet here movement actually comes from an unexpected source—wheels. And even then, it is not the wheels themselves that do the moving, for they in turn are empowered or driven by the spirit (20; cf. 12). And that spirit is further described as ‘the spirit of life’ (20, 21). The whole dynamic scene, even before Ezekiel has been able to take it all in, is animated by the spirit that he recognized as the Spirit of the living God—the same Spirit that would be needed to revive and empower the prophet himself (2:2; 3:24).


A. (:22-25) Vision Supported

1. (:22) Crystal Platform Over the Heads of the Living Beings

“Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, extended over their heads.”

2. (:23) Function of the Wings Under the Gleaming Expanse

“And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering their bodies on the one side and on the other.”

3. (:24a) Sound of Their Wings

“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;”

Derek Thomas: When the psalmist describes God as ‘riding’ on a wind-driven chariot (Ps. 104:3), accompanied by a terrible sound, it is the same verb that is used in Genesis 3:8 to describe God ‘walking’ in the garden ‘in the cool of the day’, following Adam and Eve’s transgression. The point of Genesis 3 is not to tell us that God was out on some leisurely walk, but that he was coming in judgement, accompanied by all the terror that later ‘comings’ in the Bible evoke.

Sound also accompanied the visions of Isaiah and John (Isa. 6:4–8; Rev. 1:15). Of greater significance is the fact that such a ‘noise’ is said to accompany the Lord’s return at the end of the age (1 Thess.4:16; 1 Cor. 15:52; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 1:10, 15; 4:5; 10:3; 11:19). Clearly, Ezekiel is telling us that God is coming in judgement!

4. (:24a-25) Dropping of Their Wings

“whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.”

Constable: Ezekiel also heard a voice coming from above the expanse over the creatures. It was evidently the voice of God (cf. Job 37:4- 5; 40:9; Ps. 18:13; 104:7).

B. (:26-28a) Vision Enthroned

1. (:26a) The Brilliant Throne

“Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance;”

2. (:26b) The Kingly Figure

“and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.”

3. (:27a) The Fiery Appearance

“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;”

4. (:27b-28a) The Surrounding Radiance

“and there was a radiance around Him.

As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance.”

Charles Dyer: The multi-splendored colors of the rainbow were refracted from the blazing light of God’s glory. The Apostle John described the same beauty in his vision of God’s throne in heaven (Rev. 4:3).

C. (:28b) Vision Defined = The Likeness of the Glory of the Lord

“Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.”

Duguid: God’s glory is the visible manifestation of his presence among his people. . .

Two kinds of imagery dominate the opening vision of Ezekiel: images of motion and images of judgment.

Cooper: The opening vision of Ezekiel’s ministry affirmed three significant truths about God that are summarized in v. 28. First, the vision was a reaffirmation of the nature of God as holy, powerful, and majestic. Second, the rainbow was a reminder of God’s promise-making and promise-keeping character (Gen 9:16). It was a rekindler of hope that God could and would help. Third, it was an assurance that nothing, including geographic location, separated one from God (cf. Rom 8:38-39).