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


Complements and Insights - D


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Chapter 6

Text, Author and Report (Part A)

(Part D)
Go to Chapter Part: A B C D  Comments: Leitmotifs   Temples

The temples

In the fourth encounter

    If we neglect—without giving any reasons for the time being—the references to Jerusalem and Israel in the two introductory verses, we will find the only, and vague, information concerning the location of the temple in the description given in Chapter 40, Verse 2: "upon a very high mountain." The temple, including its measurements, is described in incredible detail and turns out to be a very large complex. Reading the text, one has the impression that on the basis of this information—because of the abundance of details—it would be easy to draw a plan of the temple. This impression vanishes quickly when one tries to actually do it; and there are points on which even Bible commentators disagree. The temple complex as a vision is an object of contention because the temple was never built, and when the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt, there was not even an attempt to build it according to the plan outlined in the Book of Ezekiel (Reference 4, p. 617, letter A; Reference 5, p. 1056).  [p.107] 

    The temple covers a square with a side length of over 350 feet. The very size of the complex reduces the credibility of its location on a high mountain. A further argument along the same lines is the description of the river in Chapter 47. This river begins as a small brook which emerges from under the southern part of the eastern temple wall and flows eastward. The brook becomes a river farther to the east and flows between fertile banks. This description suddenly ends with Verse 12; from Verse 13 to the end of the next Chapter (which is also the end of the book) we find the contents of a vision. The separation of the first twelve verses from the rest is unmistakable.

    This separation is evidenced by the sudden change of theme and also a change of style which, without any transition, passes from the form of a narrative to that of an injunction. Moreover, Verse 13 starts with a new introduction: "Thus says the Lord God. . . ." The description of the river must therefore be counted as part of the temple description, and it rules out its location at the indicated site.

    A third argument against the "mountain" is Ezekiel's first impression after the landing which he describes in the following words:


and brought me in the visions of God into the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city opposite me.

    It would seem extremely unlikely for an outstanding observer such as Ezekiel to take a city for a temple complex and vice versa. Even more so since the temple is a vast and majestic structure so that no such confusion is possible even when reading the report. Later Ezekiel does describe the temple but not the city. His report on this encounter ends abruptly, without any visible reason; and the end of it is also the end of the book. The traditional text is therefore unmistakably a fragment. A mention of the return flight is missing; and if the city is not mentioned or discussed again, this also must be attributed to the same reason.

    Besides, the presence of a city would be a necessary conclusion even if it were not mentioned at all: The need for such a huge temple complex can only arise in the vicinity of a large settlement. These considerations too supply good reason to assume buildings outside the temple, and to eliminate the mountain as a site.

    So we see a large temple complex, the city belonging to it, and a stream flowing eastward and developing into a river. The "mountain" thus loses its form and is replaced by a vast landscape. Ezekiel could perhaps have seen "a very high mountain" while flying toward it; but with our elimination of this landmark he also loses the ability of a visual determination of a high altitude. The latter now only becomes noticeable through a more or less acute difficulty in breathing and the slowness of all movements due to the rarefied air.

    Where had Ezekiel really been?  [p.109] 


       Text, Author and Report (Part A)