11. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.
11. Cum profisiscerentur, ad quatuor latera pergebant, non revertebantur in eundo1 quia ad locum ad quem respiciebat caput post illud ambulabant, non revertebantur eundo.
12. And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.
12. Et tota caro ipsorum, et dorsa ipsorum, et manus ipsorum, et alae ipsorum, denique rotae ipsae plenae erant oculis in circuitu ipsis quatuor rotis.
Now, as I have remarked, after the Prophet has granted that there are certain events of things as it were twisted and bending, and that God acts through windings, he then shows that God does nothing rashly: and that the events which we think tumultuous and confused have a certain direction, and that too the best. For this reason he says, first that the wheels had set out, they did not return, since each followed its own head. Interpreters do not agree on these words. For as to the turning of the head, some translate it "the first," and thus mean that in whatever way the first cherub goes, the others follow him. But I rather think that the wheels are compared with the cherubs themselves, and the singular noun head is here put for heads: for we before saw that wheels were annexed to each cherub, Therefore each wheel has its own head, that is, has a living creature by which it is ruled. Hence the sense of the Prophet is, that the 'wheels turned on this side or on that, by any outward or sudden impulse, but were governed by the cherubim themselves, which will explain this portion more clearly.
He adds, that the wheels were full of eyes. Hence we gather, that although by the events of things God may seem to sport and to have various erratic circuits, yet all things are governed by his inestimable wisdom: for this reason the wheels are said to be full of eyes. The Prophet uses the word flesh inappropriately for the very body of the wheels. But we know that the language which he used in exile was not very elegant, and hence it is by no means wonderful if it is rather rough and savors of asperity. Yet the sense is not doubtful, since the whole body of the wheels in their back and their hands was all full of eyes: he next adds, the wheels themselves, not to mark anything different, but afterwards when he speaks of the flesh, the back and the hands, he names the wheels simply: as if he had said that they were full of eyes in every part. Now we see how things contrary in appearance may be best reconciled. For the events of things are as unstable as if any one kept turning' a wheel: then they become complicated, as if wheel was within wheel: but in the meantime God so tempers all things among themselves which seem to us confused, that it may appear that he perceives best what is necessary to be done, and that the events of things are full of eyes. But whence does this arise? This clearness depends on the angelic inspiration, for the wheels are not turned in different directions of their own accord, but each follows its own leader and head. It is also said, in appearance like the stone Tharsis, (beryl.) Jerome thought the Cilician sea was intended, and so translated it sky-colored: but because we know that this name beryl occurs among the precious stones, I therefore retain the simple sense. Now it follows --
1 "Going forward." -- Calvin
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