Wheeling Around with Ezekiel

The biblical character of Ezekiel is declared to have played the role of “prophet” of doom from c.597 to c.586 BCE. After the Hebrews were allowed to return to Jerusalem after their Captivity, Ezekiel is then credited with developing a new ecclisiastical system and the theological doctrine of propitiation (god’s favoritism). More than any other character in biblical storytelling, “prophet” Ezekiel stands responsible for the priest-written Levitical Code being imposed upon the people of Israel—a code that gave priests authority over all the people.

But what most people think of when the name Ezekiel is mentioned is the account of a “wheel within a wheel” which he claimed to have seen in a vision and which kicks of chapter one–and rapidly plunges toward the surreal by verse five. “Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.” Then in verse ten he claims: “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” So enthralling is the tale of Ezekiel that speculation has been put forth in our technilogical age that perhaps Ezekiel was attempting to describe some UFO and the extraterrestrials that he might have encountered!

The the “likeness” symbolisms used to describe his “visions” are suspicious, however,and it should be taken into account that Ezekiel supposedly received his “prophetic calling” during the time spent in Babylon c.593 BCE. The founders of the Babylonian dynasty in the 7th century BCE were a Semitic people referred to as Chaldeans and are remember chiefly for a series of kings that included King Nebuchadnezzar II in Ezekiel’s time  period.   In biblical references to Chaldean, the term is usually synonymous with “magician” or “wise man,” but what is rarely discussed is that all these were in reference to men who were dedicated astronomers. Even later,well into the second century BCE, about the time that the Babylonian book of Daniel was adjusted to fit into scripture, Chaldea was recognized as a center of ancient esoteric learning.

Ezekiel made use of his time during the Babylonian Captivity by becoming proficient in the science of astronomy–for his was an age of monumental and frightening activity in the heavens. Indeed, around 587 BCE eventful happenings in the heavens affected Earth to such an extent that all civilized nations of the world found it necessary to begin recalculating their manner of chronological measuring. Knowing this, the “prophetic” visions attributed to Ezekiel can be deciphered: the vision of the face of a “man” was in reference to constellation Aquarius; the “face” of the lion referred to constellation Leo; the “face” of an ox alluded to constellation Taurus; and the “face” of an eagle was the Hebrew symbol for constellation Scorpius. So the mysterious “wheel within a wheel” was nothing other than sky positions designated with Zodiac imagery which contains within it the cosmogonical, precessional, annual and diurnal cycles. The “eyes” spoken of in verse 18 as being within the “rings” therefore are but a poetic reference to stars.

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