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


Refs: CCoHS - Ezekiel p. 620


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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 620 


enter the outer court by the northern gate leave it by the southern aims at the maintenance of order and binds prince and people. Six lambs and a ram are sacrificed on these feasts, also a bullock on the New Moon feasts. The usual accompaniment of an ephah of meal and a hin of oil is prescribed except in the lamb offerings when the amount is left to the liberality of the prince. When the prince makes a voluntary offering he may assist at the sacrifice in the porch of the eastern gate. Finally every morning a lamb must be offered as a holocaust together with a' sixth of an ephah of meal and a third of a hin of oil. The law prescribed also a similar evening sacrifice and exacted a lesser quota of meal and oil. 19. 'brim': 'blocks'. 20. 'on the first day of the seventh month' (LXX).


XLVI 16-18 Inalienability of the Prince's Domain— Only to his sons can the prince give permanently part of his domain. Such a gift made to anybody else is a loan and returns to the prince automatically in the year of liberty, the next Sabbatic year when Hebrew slaves were freed from bondage.


19-24 The Kitchens— The kitchens for cooking sacrificial meats, sin-offerings and guilt-offerings eaten by the priests in the inner court, naturally attached to the dining-rooms already described, were at the western extremity of these buildings. Only the northern kitchens are mentioned but others on the south side may be assumed. The kitchens for the laity were in four enclosures, 40 cubits long and 30 wide, occupying the four angles of the outer court. Here the flesh of peace-offerings was cooked and eaten.


XLVII-XLVIII The New Holy Land— The Temple River is first described, then the boundaries of the land, and lastly its distribution.


XLVII 1-12 The River— It issues from beneath the south side of the threshold of the temple, flows eastward by the Altar of Holocausts and emerges from the sanctuary on the south side of the perpetually closed eastern gate of the outer court. Thence it flows into the Dead Sea, increasing in depth so rapidly that at 4,000 cubits (less than 1 1/2 miles) from the sanctuary it is no longer fordable. The desert which it traverses becomes extremely fertile. The trees on its banks heal with their leaves and bear fresh fruit monthly. The waters of the Dead Sea, healed by its entry, abound with fish. From Engaddi to Enaglaim at the sea's NW. end fishermen ply their trade. Only detached pools of Dead Sea water retain their salt. Ezechiel derives the fertility, of desert land, a regular feature of Messianic prosperity, from the abiding presence of Yahweh.


13-23 The Boundaries— Ezechiel had previously indicated the northern and southern boundaries when he predicted, 6:14, that the land would be devastated from the desert (between Palestine and Egypt) to Riblah, near Homs, in the latitude of Tripoli and on the southern confines of Hamath. The site of Ezechiel's Riblah where Nabuchodonosor judged his captives on the confines of the land, 11:10, is quite certain. It helps us to identify the sites on the northern boundary and shows that Ezechiel's Messianic kingdom, a revival of that of David, included that monarch's Aramaean conquests. 15-18. 'These are the boundaries of the land: On the north side from the great sea [Mediterranean] by Hethlon [Heitala two hours E. of Tripoli], the entry of Hamath [Restan midway between Homs and Hamath] Sedad [Sadad SE. of Homs], Berotha [Bereitan SE. of Ba'albek], Sibravim [šōmeriye E. of the lake of Homs] which is between the confines of Damascus and Hamath, Hasar-Enan [Qaryetain on the road from Damascus to Palmyra] on the confines of Hauran. And the boundary was from the sea to Hasar-Enan, northern boundary of Damascus and boundary of Hamath. That is the north side. The eastern side was from between Hauran and Damascus and from between Gilead and the land of Israel, the Jordan serving as boundary to the east [Dead] sea and Tamar [Kornub SW. of Dead Sea]. That is the east side Besides the usual corrections ṣāp+̑ônāh, a  i  dittography, is omitted in 17. Hauran is the key to the interpretation. It is not Hawwārîn near Qaryetain but clearly a district like Hamath and Damascus, the Assyrian province of Haurina, which had to be included in the Messianic kingdom because it contained Aramaean territory subject to David. Ezechiel gives it a wide extension northwards as far as HasarEnan. Berotha and possibly Helam (LXX) are mentioned as Aramaean cities conquered by David, 2 Kg 8:8; 10:17. Harnath was the northern, Damascus the eastern boundary of Ezechiel's Hauran. Only at Gilead does the Jordan become the eastern boundary. The southern boundary is the usual one. MeribathQadesh ('Ain Qudeis) and the Torrent (of Egypt, Wady el-'Arish) are mentioned. The Mediterranean is the western limit as far as opposite the entry of Hamath. Phoenicia as far north as Tripoli is included.



XLVIII 1-35 The Distribution— Ezechiel begins by j giving foreigners settled in the Holy Land a share in its territory. The distinction between Jew and Gentile tends to disappear in the Messianic kingdom. He then assigns a strip of land to each of the twelve tribes, seven to the N. and five to the S. of the previously reserved territory. The order from N. to S. is: Dan, Aser, Nephtali, Manasses, Ephraim, Ruben, Judah, reserved territory, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zabulon, Gad. Each tribe divides its land by lot among its families and alien residents. Judah and Benjamin have privileged positions next the sanctuary from which the tribes of servile origin on the mother's side, Dan, Aser, Nephtali, Gad are furthest removed. Levi has no portion among the tribes. The Levites therefore in the reserved territory are a tribal unit, not  k  merely degraded priests. Ezechiel's distribution is k mathematical. He takes no account of tribes that have disappeared anciently like Ruben and Simeon or recently like those of the Northern Kingdom nor of the variety in the population of the tribes and the fertility of the land. The reconstitution which he contemplates is not practical but ideal or Messianic. A recapitulation of the description of the reserved territory gives new information about the city. It will be peopled by members of all twelve tribes and will measure 5,000 cubits squared if the suburbs extending 250 cubits on all four sides are included. It will have twelve gates named after the twelve sons of Jacob, not the twelve tribes for Joseph and Levi replace Ephraim and Manasses. The reserved territory E. and W. of the city 10,000 cubits long and 5,000 wide on both sides will supply food to the citizens. The circumference of the city wall will be 18,000 cubits and the name of the city will be Yahweh is there.