The Spaceships of Ezekiel
Are there Flying Saucers in the Bible?


Refs: CCoHS - Ezekiel p. 612


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Keywords: Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, history, Middle East, religion, Ezekiel, Roman Catholicism, prophecy, Christianity, Old Testament, Judaism, Protestantism, biblical prophets, Tanakh, Hebrew  Scriptures





Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture

Ezekiel article page 612 


to (God's) mind' (by further sins). 25. After 'come': 'When iniquity has reached its term'. 26b. Lit. 'this not this [indicating a change], exalt the low and abase the high'.27. 'I will make her a ruin, a ruin, a ruin. Woe to her! She shall remain thus till he come [the Messias, Gen 49-101, to whom the right belongs and to whom I shall give it'. She, according to some Jerusalem, is more probably the Davidic dynasty.


28-32 (MT 33-37) Chastisement of Ammon— 28c-29. 'A sword, a sword is drawn to slay, is polished to flash lightning, amid thy false visions and lying oracles, to put to the neck of profaners, malefactors, whose day has come, whose iniquity has reached its term'.30a. 'Restore it to its sheath'. The chastisement is certain but deferred. According to Josephus (Ant. 10, 9, 7) the Chaldaeans devastated Ammon five years after Jerusalem's fall.


XXII 1-31 The Crimes of Jerusalem— Ezechiel first enumerates the various crimes of the citizens. Jerusalem filled with fugitives during the siege is then compared to a melting-pot for base metals. Finally the sins of the various classes, princes, priests, high officials, prophets, common people, are recorded to show that all are guilty.


1-16 The City of Blood— Idolatry and bloodshed are the major sins of Jerusalem but many others are here mentioned. 2. 'dost': 'wilt'.3a. 'Make known to her . . . and say'. 'this is': 'Woe to' (LXX); 'sheddeth': 'hath shed'.4. The sense is: thou hast hastened the day of chastisement and lessened thy years of life. 6. 'The princes . . . every one according to his strength, were in thee etc. 8. 'thou': 'they' (LXX). 10. 'humbled': 'done violence to'. Omit 'the uncleanness of'. 11. 'every one . . . father in law . . . brother': 'one . . . another . . . another'. 12. 'thou': 'they'; 'increase': 'interest'.13a. 'I shall put my hands on thy dishonest gain' (LXX). 14. Clapping indicates approval. 16. 'And thou shalt be profaned' (MT). A slight correction gives: 'I shall make thee my inheritance', an announcement of subsequent pardon.


17-22 The Melting-pot— Destruction of base metals is indicated, not testing or refining. 19. 'I will gather you': the country people seeking shelter in the capital. 20. 'take my rest': 'lay you there'. 21. 'burn': 'blow upon'.


23-31 The Universal Corruption— All classes have sinned rievously. There is none to save the nation from destruction. 24. 'unclean': 'not wetted' MX), arid and unfruitful. 25a. 'prophets' (MT): 'princes' (LXX). The princes are the lions. The prophets appear later. 'catcheth': 'teareth'; 'souls': 'men': 'hire': 'precious things'.27. 'princes': 'chiefs'. High officials are meant. Omit and to destroy souls' (LXX). 28. The prophets have whitewashed concealed weaknesses by false prophecies of security. 29. The people of the land are ordinary people. For 'by calumny', 'without judgement' (a double translation) read 'wrongfully'. 30. There was no saviour like Moses to avert God's wrath.


XXIII 1-49 Infidelity and Chastisement of Samaria and Jerusalem— Ezechiel develops here the comparison, ch 16, of Samaria and Jerusalem to two sisters espoused by Yahweh and unfaithful to him. The big sister, Samaria, has already suffered for her infidelity from her paramour Assyria. How inevitable then is the destruction of the far more unfaithful Jerusalem by her lover, Chaldaea!


1-4 Infidelity in Egypt— The sisters are accused of idol worship in Egypt. 4. Modern philologists give both names the same meaning 'tent-woman', Oholah 'tent of her', Oholibah (with the yod compaginis) 'tent in her'. St Jerome rightly renders Oholibah 'my tent is in her' and understands an allusion to the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. In inventing the names Ezechiel must have been influenced by contemporary usage rather than by archaic word formation. The parallel name of Jerusalem, Ḥep+̑ṣiḇāh, is interpreted 'my pleasure is in her', Is 62:4. Elder and younger should be big and little. 'I took them as wives'; lit. they became mine.


5-10 Infidelity and Destruction of Samaria— She became allied with Assyria under Jehu in 841 and more permanently under Menahem in 738. Foreign alliance introduced foreign worship. Revolt from Assyria and alliance with Egypt led to her destruction in 721. 6. 'Who were clothed in violet-dyed stuffs, governors and commanders, all beautiful youths', etc. 7. 'uncleanness': idols'.10. 'They uncovered her nakedness . . . she became a byword among women'.


11-21 Infidelity of Jerusalem— Instead of taking warning from her sister's fate Jerusalem conducted herself still more shamefully in her relations with Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians. Achaz introduced the alliance with Assyria, Ezechias made an alliance with Egypt. Alliances with Egypt and Babylonia succeeded each other after the death of Josias. 12. Cf. 6. 14. 'colours': 'vermilion'.15b-c. 'And with streaming turbans on their heads and all of them great warriors to look upon, representations of sons of Chaldaea, the land of their birth'. 'Babel' before 'Chaldaca' is probably interpolated. 17. 'and her soul was alienated from them'.18a. 'And her fornications were revealed and her nakedness discovered'.19-21. Jerusalem returns to the sin of her youth by alliance with Egypt.


22-35 Chastisement of Jerusalem— Babylon the paramour, formerly loved but now loathed, will be Yahweh's instrument in inflicting a most terrible and merciless chastisement. 22. Omit 'all'. The lovers now loathed are the Babylonians. 23. For 'nobles, kings, princes' read Peqod (Puqudu) Shoa' (Shutu) Qoa' (Qutu), peoples cast of the Tigris subject to Babylonia. 24. 'well appointed': 'from the north' (LXX). 'breastplate': 'shield'. Judgements are laws. 26. Instruments of thy glory are thy jewels. 28. 'glutted with': 'alienated from'.29. 'full of disgrace': 'bare'; 'disgrace': 'nakedness'.32. The text seems disordered. 33. 'grief and sadness': 'horror and terror'.33a. 'And thou shalt drink it and empty it and drain it to the dregs' (slightly corrected).


36-49 Recapitulation of the Sin and Punishment of the Sisters— Some additional sins are mentioned, in particular human sacrifices. 36. 'dost': 'wilt'. 'Declare' is an imperative. 37. 'offered': 'made pass through the fire'.38. Omit 'on the same day' (LXX). 39. 'and': 'they'.40. The strangers to whom a messenger was sent are the Egyptians, Assyrians and Chaldaeans with whom the Israelites sought alliances. 41. 'thee': 'it', the bed. 42. The text and sense are uncertain. There is question apparently of the reception of the foreigners. 43. Text is uncertain. Vg renders literally. 45. 'But just men will judge them'. The Chaldaeans are just as instruments of divine justice. 46. 'multitude': 'assembly', a judicial tribunal; 'tumult': 'ill-treatment'. 47. let them kill . . . let them burn'.48. 'Women' means 'nations'.


XXIV 1-27 Announcement of the Siege and Capture x of Jerusalem— Two symbolic actions indicate the siege. The cauldron previously mentioned is filled with choice meats to be cooked by fire. The choice meats are the principal citizens. Fire is next applied to the empty cauldron to remove the rust with which it is defiled. Complete destruction is indicated. Ezechiel's wife dies suddenly on the day the siege begins. Omission of the usual mourning rites represents the attitude of the exiles on hearing of the city's fall.


1-8 The Full Cauldron—1. The date of the beginning of the siege must have been revealed to Ezechiel. It was the 10th of Tebet (Dec.-Jan.) in the 9th year of Sedecias 589-588. Later the Jews celebrated the anniversary by a solemn fast, Zach 8:19. 4. After 'shoulder': 'fill it with choice bones'.5. Wood, not bones (MT), was piled under the cauldron. 5b. 'Boil its pieces of meat and let the bones within it be well cooked'. 6. Not the rust but the meat and bones are to be cast out without discrimination since all are for destruction. 7. There was an ancient belief that blood while exposed