THE COALS SCATTERED OVER THE CITY.
Jerome, explains this scattering of the coals over the city as a symbol of its punishment and cleansing by fire, and quotes Isaiah 10:17, in support of his interpretation; and in accordance with Psalm 120:3, he calls them "hot burning coals," the penalty of "the false tongue" -- remedium lingua, atque mendacii, and justifies his idea of purifying by Isaiah 6. S. Jarcin explains as follows: "Sanctus ine Benedictus dixit Gabrieli, qui petiit a cherubino, ut ine sibi daret prunes quo ini paululum refrigescerent leviusque efticerentur decretum pcena, quoad Judmos sive urbem Heirosolyroam;" and refers to the commentary of Abarbenel, fol. 170, col. 4 reed. Maldonatus supposes the coals to indicate not the cleansing but the destruction of the city; and their collection by the angel at the command of God, and "from amidst the wheels," implies that this burning did not arise by chance and by man's design, but by God's providence and commandment. At Ezekiel 10, we have already referred to OEcolampadius, but as his comments are most spiritual, and very inaccessible to the ordinary student of prophecy, we shall quote a few explanatory passages here. The sprinkling of the coal, he thinks, to be an image of the burning city," quod ex neglecto aut certo male administrando cultu." Has real he supposes to represent "those celestial tabernacles into which the Great high Priest entered once by his own blood, after procuring eternal redemption." In the whole vision he sees "Christ the head of his body, in which the law and spirit of life is included," and "how the golden consummation of the elect turns its face towards Christ. For the are of the Church contains all its parts most elegantly (elegantissime)." He sees Christ in all parts of the Scriptures, as their end, scope, and spirit; and especially the man clothed in linen he says is "Christ acting in this dispensation on the outside of the eternal tabernacles which he at length entered with his blood." The third verse refers to "that judgment which Christ as man shall exercise by God's authority." The voice of the wings signifies "horrenda vox mah ingruentis," and the motion of the wheels "summa in administratione concordia." To us these comments seem very fanciful, as it is obvious that any writer may put forth similar guesses according to his own private though fallible judgment. The cherubim on the right side Jerome considers as representing those holy and exalted beings who dwell at God's right hand, while evil spirits dwell on his left hand. Michaelis, however, with less display of fancy, takes a simpler new, not dwelling on reproaching punishment, but upon the departure of God's glory from the temple and city. See Sylog. Corn. Theol., volume 5 page 134; Eichhorn die Bibl. Proph., part 2:page 456; and Pradus in loc. especially on Ezekiel 10:20.
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