11. Thus were their faces; and their wings were stretched upwards; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
He says, that the faces as well as the wings were extended, because the four faces proceeded from one body. Here then the Prophet says, that they are not united together, so that a fourfold form could be seen on one head: there was the form of a man, and then that of a lion, as in one glass various forms sometimes appear, but each answers to its own original. So also the reader might mistake here, as if different faces belonged to the same head: hence the Prophet says, they were stretched forth or divided from above. Here he points out a diversity of heads, and as to the wings, he says they were extended, and, at the same time, shows the manner, viz., two joined or bound together, so that each animal was bound to its neighbor. The four living creatures were united by their wings: this the Prophet means; and as to the other wings, he says that they covered their bodies, and so we see some likeness between this vision and that vouchsafed to Isaiah, which he relates in his chap. 6. The reason why the rings were joined together upwards is sufficiently clear; because God has such different motions, and so agitates the earth, that the things which seem to be conflicting are most in unison. The joining, then, was upwards, that is, with respect to God himself, because on earth there often appears dreadful confusion, and the works of God, as far as we can understand them, appear mutually discordant: but whoever raises his eyes to heaven will see the greatest harmony between those things which have the appearance of opposition below -- that is, as long as we remain upon earth, and in the present state of the world.
1 Some stop here, and take the words, "but their wings were extended," disjunctively: but because the copula is used in each place, perhaps we had better unite the clauses in the same context, thus, "Their faces therefore and their wings were extended." -- Calvin.
2 Now he speaks of the wings themselves. -- Calvin
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