They had the figures of human beings. (6) However, each had four faces, and each of them had four wings; (7) the legs of each were [fused into] a single rigid leg, and the feet of each were like a single calf’s hoof; and their sparkle was like the luster of burnished bronze. (8) They had human hands below their wings. The four of them had their faces and their wings on their four sides. (9) Each one’s wings touched those of the other. They did not turn when they moved; each could move in the direction of any of its faces. (10) Each of them had a human face [at the front]; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right; each of the four had the face of an ox on the left; and each of the four had the face of an eagle [at the back]. (11) Such were their faces. As for their wings, they were separated: above, each had two touching those of the others, while the other two covered its body. (12) And each could move in the direction of any of its faces; they went wherever the spirit impelled them to go, without turning when they moved. (13) Such then was the appearance of the creatures. With them was something that looked like burning coals of fire. This fire, suggestive of torches, kept moving about among the creatures; the fire had a radiance, and lightning issued from the fire. (14) Dashing to and fro [among] the creatures was something that looked like flares.-d (15) As I gazed on the creatures, I saw one wheel on the ground next to each of the four-faced creatures. (16) As for the appearance and structure of the wheels, they gleamed like beryl. All four had the same form; the appearance and structure of each was as of two wheels cutting through each other. (17) And when they moved, each could move in the direction of any of its four quarters; they did not veer when they moved. (18) Their rims were tall and frightening, for the rims of all four were covered all over with eyes. (19) And when the creatures moved forward, the wheels moved at their sides; and when the creatures were borne above the earth, the wheels were borne too. (20) Wherever the spirit impelled them to go, they went—wherever the spirit impelled them—and the wheels were borne alongside them; for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. (21) When those moved, these moved; and when those stood still, these stood still; and when those were borne above the earth, the wheels were borne alongside them—for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. (22) Above the heads of the creatures was a form: an expanse, with an awe-inspiring gleam as of crystal, was spread out above their heads. (23) Under the expanse, each had one pair of wings extended toward those of the others; and each had another pair covering its body. (24) When they moved, I could hear the sound of their wings like the sound of mighty waters, like the sound of Shaddai, a tumult like the din of an army. When they stood still, they would let their wings droop. (25) From above the expanse over their heads came a sound.-d When they stood still, they would let their wings droop. (26) Above the expanse over their heads was the semblance of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and on top, upon this semblance of a throne, there was the semblance of a human form. (27) From what appeared as his loins up, I saw a gleam as of amber—what looked like a fire encased in a frame;-d and from what appeared as his loins down, I saw what looked like fire. There was a radiance all about him. (28) Like the appearance of the bow which shines in the clouds on a day of rain, such was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. That was the appearance of the semblance of the Presence of the LORD. When I beheld it, I flung myself down on my face. And I heard the voice of someone speaking.
(א) אֵין דּוֹרְשִׁין בַּעֲרָיוֹת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. וְלֹא בְמַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית בִּשְׁנַיִם. וְלֹא בַמֶּרְכָּבָה בְּיָחִיד, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה חָכָם וּמֵבִין מִדַּעְתּוֹ. כָּל הַמִּסְתַּכֵּל בְּאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים, רָאוּי לוֹ כְּאִלּוּ לֹא בָּא לָעוֹלָם, מַה לְּמַעְלָה, מַה לְּמַטָּה, מַה לְּפָנִים, וּמַה לְּאָחוֹר. וְכָל שֶׁלֹּא חָס עַל כְּבוֹד קוֹנוֹ, רָאוּי לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בָּא לָעוֹלָם:
(1) One may not expound the topic of forbidden sexual relations before three or more individuals; nor may one expound the act of Creation and the secrets of the beginning of the world before two or more individuals; nor may one expound by oneself the Design of the Divine Chariot, a mystical teaching with regard to the ways God conducts the world, unless he is wise and understands most matters on his own. The mishna continues in the same vein: Whoever looks at four matters, it would have been better for him had he never entered the world: Anyone who reflects upon what is above the firmament and what is below the earth, what was before Creation, and what will be after the end of the world. And anyone who has no concern for the honor of his Maker, who inquires into and deals with matters not permitted to him, deserves to have never come to the world.