15. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.
15. Et ascenderunt cherubim: ipsum est animal quod videram in fluvio Chebar.
We shall afterwards explain in the proper place why he says the cherubim ascended. The first and principal scope of this vision was that God would no longer dwell in the temple, because he had determined to depart thence on account of the impious and wicked profanations by which the temple had been contaminated. Now for this reason he says, the cherubim ascended; but he adds, that was the living creature, which he had seen near the river Chebar He adds this for clearing up the vision, because if it had been offered only once, the Jews might doubt its tendency, and its obscurity would take away their taste for it, and render the prophetic teaching quite insipid. But since the vision is repeated, God confirms and sanctions what otherwise had not been sufficiently stamped upon the hearts of the people; for experience also teaches us this, that we increase in faith and make further progress according as God speaks with us again and again. For even if we seem to ourselves to follow up what we have learnt from the Scriptures, yet if the same sentence is repeated, we become still more familiar with it. Then again, if we read the same sentiment in two or three Prophets, God brings forward more witnesses, that so the truth may be better established; since we know our great propensity to doubt, we are always fluctuating, and although the word of God has in it sufficient energy to confirm us, we are still unsettled, unless our minds are propped up by various supports. God therefore wished to place the same thing twice before the eyes of his Prophet, that the former vision might make more impression not only on the Prophet himself, but also upon all the Jews. For we said that although there was some difference, yet there is no discordance in the Prophet's saying that the living creature was one and the same.