Archive for January 7th, 2012
Posted in Bible study, tagged Babylonian captivity, Benny Thomas, Cyrus, eagle, four creatures, Jewish nation, lion, living creature, man, ox, Persepolis, Prophet Ezekiel on January 7, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
In the opening chapter of the book of Ezekiel the reader is confronted with a perplexing image. What is it really? Was there an Alien visitation? There has been speculation through centuries each according to his own persuasion.
The prophet was away from Jerusalem in an alien land,- among the captives in the land of Chaldeans. He was by the river of Chebar. He saw seven visions during the 22 year period from 593 till 571 BC. The temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 586. So much for the historical background.
Now let us look at one of the contemporary image taken from the palace complex of Persepolis and the other from the palace of Susa. The fabled beast has the body and tail of a lion,wings of an eagle and human face.The face of man has beard in the Assyrian style. The figure has two pairs of wings. One pair is lowered along the sides which is visible in bas-relief.
Now for the other.
The winged figure of Ahura Mazda is represented by two concentric circles. In my opinion these are the rings that the prophet saw in his vision. If one looks closely at the hood of two figures one shall see rings in the form of ‘eyes’. The Persian gods and authority are subject to the divine will. The living creatures could only move straight meaning that they were reined in by JAHWEH and were there only to serve his Will.For more details the reader may refer my posts The vision of Ezekiel
The vision concerns Ezekiel’s world primarily where God has prepared his Anointed one Cyrus the great to fulfill his Will. The living creatures were yoked and the chariot was under the control of JAHWEH! Ezekiel clothed in his mind’s eye with elements of iconography that he would have been familiar with. The Prophet was to be a witness to the House of Israel in his everyday circumstances. Thus when he takes a tile to describe the siege against Jerusalem he was using a human artifact.(Ez.4:1)
Another point to remember is that the prophet was among other captives and it does not seem it was a public event as outpouring of Holy Spirit was, as mentioned in the book of Acts of the apostles. What shall we infer from it? This was a private commission between JAHWEH and the prophet.
In the Immensities in which he was the centre he saw the heavens as being opened. His inner eye visualized what God had intended for his people. This inner eye is distinct from our physical eye, which I must emphasize here. The four creatures ox,lion, man or eagle are not aliens. The creative eye or the inner eye of the prophet was to assemble the commission of God and serve as the Watchman to the House of Israel.