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


Bible Text &  Space Technology - F


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Chapter 5

Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part G)

(Part F)
Go to Chapter Part: A B C D E F G H J K L  Comments

The first encounter

. . . Whether this surmise is correct remains of course a question to which no answer can be given.  [p.68] 


And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above.

    Verse 26: Looking up beyond the rim of the "firmament," Ezekiel sees the command capsule. The first object he notices is the commander's seat and he begins its description by mentioning its color. As he did earlier, he refers to a mineral for this purpose; and again he differentiates between appearance and substance by using the word "like." The comparison to a throne which follows is interesting and revealing. On the one hand it indicates that Ezekiel himself had probably seen a throne; this is quite plausible because he belonged to a Jewish group of high social standing. If, however, we consider the most characteristic features of a throne—the high back, its arm rests, and possibly its upholstery—we will have no difficulty identifying them with the passenger seats and especially the pilot seats of present-day airliners. The word "throne" thus clearly defines the seat of the commander.

    In connection with the seats of our present-day aircraft it should not be overlooked that even their color is often consistent with Ezekiel's description. We cannot explore here whether this is merely coincidental or whether psychological factors are also relevant in the choice of colors. The latter case would notably broaden the scope of those visitors' resemblance to humans, an aspect that is discussed later in this book.

    The second part of the Verse takes us to the very peak of Ezekiel's capabilities: he sees the shape of the commander who is sitting on the "throne," and acknowledges in him "a likeness as the appearance of a man."

    To understand the true extent of the intellectual effort that was necessary to make such a statement, we must again turn our attention to the situation in which Ezekiel found himself. Without any warning an event burst upon him, he was suddenly confronted by an object and by occurrences for which he had nothing in the way of comparison, reference, or logical explanation within the whole range of what he had ever known or felt. As he is a believer, and a priest, he has every reason—at least during this phase of the first encounter—to believe that the commander is God himself. The mass of impressions which he suddenly receives shakes him to his innermost depths. But in the midst of this tumult of his senses—he is in a near shock condition—his spirit is yet not overcome by his emotions. He retains the incredible ability to register in his brain with full objectivity what his eyes actually see; and he is capable of describing later in the same objective manner what he saw. Only an intellect of superior caliber is capable of such an achievement!

    Another weighty circumstance must be mentioned here: Rabbi Dr. Fisch explicitly points out in his commentary (Reference 6, p. 41) that Ezekiel uses in his description of the commander's appearance the word "Adam." With that, Ezekiel himself eliminates any possibility of a different interpretation.


I saw as it were gleaming bronze, as the appearance of fire round about enclosing him. Upward from what had the appearance of his loins, and downward from what had the appearance of his loins, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.


Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one that spoke.

    Verse 27: In this Verse (and in the beginning of Verse 28) Ezekiel—because of his natural lack of pertinent knowledge—aptly differentiates two objects through the quality of their light effects. One is characterized by "fire" and "gleaming bronze," the other by "brightness" and "bow" (rainbow). The difference between these two optical effects—the active, penetrating effect of fire, the static transparency of the rainbow—indicates two origins, two different objects as sources of these effects. This realization helps in the unraveling of these passages which would otherwise appear rather confusing.

    Both the text (with its reference to "loins") and the technical necessity lead us to recognize in the words "fire" and "gleaming bronze" the commander's suit, the surface of which has a gilded appearance. The aptness of the description chosen by Ezekiel is reminiscent of the lively light effects and flamelike reflections of the insulation of an Apollo lunar module. The goldlike appearance of this insulation is produced by a special, very thin synthetic foil which is covered on its inward side by an equally thin aluminum coating. This outer sheet is the topmost of many similar layers which jointly serve as protection against undesirably high temperatures. Thus we can witness today the use of such materials and protective layers. There is no valid reason against the assumption that the suit worn by the commander was in its outer layer very much like the one shown here.

    Very different from this is the optical effect of the capsule, which is made of a glasslike material. Its light and color effect is confusing: Sunlight hits it directly, but there is also the glare from the rays reflected from the curved upper side of the spaceship. A part of its surface mirrors the blue of the sky while Ezekiel can see the sky through other parts of the capsule. To this are added the fiery reflections of the commander's suit and the sapphire hue of his seat. Additional color effects may be caused by interference phenomena of the doubtlessly laminated material of the capsule. When Ezekiel describes this variety of light and hues as "brightness round about him," he gives a very good image of what he saw; and also the comparison with the rainbow becomes understandable.

    Finally, we should not overlook the fact that all this brightness was "round about him" and therefore did not proceed from him. Again we have a case where observation coincides exactly with actual fact: The capsule surrounds the commander, it is "round about" him. As for the rest, there is nothing else about the capsule that is unusual and would prompt Ezekiel to make further statements; except, perhaps, its curved upper part which suggests a comparison with a rainbow.

    With these last remarks Ezekiel has reached the end of his observations and descriptions of the visible phenomena. He contemplates again, as it were, the total picture when he says by way of summary: "Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord."

    Overwhelmed, he falls with his face to the ground. . . .  [p.72] 


       Bible Text and Spacecraft Technology (Part G)