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


Text, Author and Report - Part C


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Chapter 7

Text, Author and Report (Part D)

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

. . . Their real significance is therefore limited to the following considerations which concern the author.  [p.114] 

    All these quite noticeable discrepancies in the text become much more striking as we reflect that they are supposed to be the work of a man gifted with exceptional lucidity of mind and powers of observation. The longer one ponders this contradiction, the less one is inclined to believe that a man capable of registering and describing such stunning experiences with such accuracy would then be unable to present his report in a coherent fashion. The tension between these two poles is too powerful not to produce the feeling of a separation between observer and author, and thus generating the desire for an explanation.

    Before we can contemplate and possibly accept such a separation of identities, we have to ask ourselves whether Ezekiel could yet be the author of the report which has come down to us. As has already been said, he was about fifty years old at the time of the fourth and last encounter and could thus have recorded his experiences in writing when he was in his sixties. The discrepancies might then be construed as the result of a weakening of his intellectual faculties because of his age. Such a view, however, is in no way acceptable. Suffice it to point to the precision of his descriptions and also to the absence of any contradictions within these descriptions and with respect to the technical reconstruction. In that regard there is not the slightest hint of a dimming of the intellect and therefore it would be illogical to assume it with respect to the simpler task of mere writing. Therefore we can with full assurance eliminate Ezekiel as the direct writer of the book which has come down to us.

    The question of what actually happened receives a simple answer in that we again take Ezekiel at his word. He says: ". . . I spoke to the exiles . . ."; that means he reported his experiences and visions orally. One or more people among his audience may have put these reports in writing in a more or less detailed form. Ezekiel himself may have made notes. After his death and perhaps even after the end of the exile, that material was edited by someone in the form of a book. We are deeply indebted to that anonymous author. Without his painstaking labor we would have no knowledge of Ezekiel's revealing encounters.

    It is however quite understandable if this author had had an inner rapport with only the visionary part of the story. Information concerning encounters with alien and huge flying objects could not have had any real significance for him and—because of their incomprehensible nature—could be used and adduced by him merely as a component of visions. It is remarkable that such fusion is reduced to a minimum. In general, the author has included technical passages in closed groups among the visions. Thanks to this not only were the technical descriptions preserved for us in such magnificent form but so also were Ezekiel's own reactions to what he saw. Just let us think how easy it would have been for that author—and how natural it actually was for him—to change the passages he could not understand, for example, the one where the commander is referred to as man (Adam) or identified as "he"! But the author was endowed with enough admirable integrity and truthfulness to avoid impressing his personal attitude on what he received. He subordinated himself to his task in the best sense of the word and in so doing gave us a truly extraordinary work.

    This dedicated truthfulness commands our understanding of the instances where various fragments were not correctly put together. The author may have found them individually, isolated, or he may have had several descriptions of the same part of the spacecraft. His natural absence of knowledge of the real structure prevented him from seeing the relationships, so that he had neither a reason for nor indeed the possibility of following an order of arrangement which we, today, know to be the correct one. Occasional incompleteness and sudden theme changes are also understandable: it is of course possible, indeed probable, that the oral and written information accessible to the author was not complete. It probably came from many sources, and death as well as other accidents of life left gaps in the available material. The author's attitude was upheld anew; in such circumstances he added nothing, he did not round off any corners. He allows the report to speak to us in the form in which it was transmitted to him. The very few places where he departs from this attitude have only been briefly mentioned in this study. Presently we shall see that for most of these cases there is a valid explanation.

    The first time such a spot is encountered is in Chapter 1, Verse 14, which mentions the swift back and forth movement of the spacecraft, the speed of which is compared to that of lightning.

    In the discussion of Verse 4 of Chapter 9 it was pointed out there, for the first and only time, the commander is referred to as "the Lord." But the commander has already been clearly identified as "man" (Adam) on an earlier occasion. The new identification used here can therefore only be regarded as an error.

    It is also appropriate to comment here on the seemingly very smooth connection between vision and technical happenings during the third encounter (Chapters 8, 9, and 11). To some extent, reference thereto has already been made in section 5. A very remarkable factor, however, was not discussed there because it did not pertain to the sequence of events as such: in Verse 11 of Chapter 9 the man clad in linen reports that he has carried out the order. The order was to kill all those guilty of abominations. In Verse 8, Chapter 9, Ezekiel himself confirms with anguish that "I was left alone." In Verses 1 and 2 of Chapter 11, however, we read to our surprise: 


. . . and behold at the door of the gateway there were twenty-five men; and I saw among them Jaazaniah, the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.


And he said to me: "Son of man, these are the men that devise iniquity, and who give wicked counsel in this city."

    So, contrary to all earlier statements, we see here a group of men who are explicitly described as some of the "wicked." They are not only alive but not a word is wasted to comment on their presence. The obvious contradiction between this scene and the preceding ones forces us to assume that both episodes were put here instead of other statements made by the commander, which could not be understood by the author: The suspenseful third encounter gives sufficient grounds for pertinent assumptions.

    Finally, two more cases deserve to be mentioned: the use of the words "visions of God" and the sites of the temples. They were sufficiently discussed in section 6 of this book so that no further comments are necessary and we can therefore confine ourselves to merely recalling these two instances.

    In considerations dealing with the author of the Book of Ezekiel we have so far exclusively used arguments resulting from the engineering investigation of the text.  [p.118] 


       Text, Author and Report (Part D)