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


Comments: Bible Text & Space Tech


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Keywords: UFO, unidentified flying objects, Bible, flying saucers, prophecy, Paleo-SETI, ancient astronauts, Erich von Däniken, Josef F. Blumrich, Zecharia Sitchin, Ezekiel, biblical prophecy, spacecraft, spaceship, NASA, Roswell, aircraft, propellant, extraterrestrial hypothesis, Jacques Vallee, interdimensional hypothesis, Project Blue Book, Condon Report, ancient history, Jesus, Judaism, Christianity, Middle East, end times, engines, rockets, helicopters, space travel, aliens, abductions, alien abductions, crop circles, extraterrestrials, astronomy, economics, biology, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Space Shuttle, Apollo, stars, planets, solar system, scriptures, design, fuel tank, aerodynamics, fuels, hydrogen, oxygen, wheels





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Bible Text and Space Technology

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

Translation differences.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part A)

Blumrich: "Since the original version of this book was written in German, a direct replacement of the German Biblical text used there (Reference 5) by an English version was not feasible. Reference 3 was therefore used, but adapted to reflect the essentials of the German translation." (italics added)

The truth is that Blumrich faced a much more fundamental problem—no translation in English or any other language supports his theory because it is based on two mistranslations that only appear in one German translation. (However, the "round feet" mistranslation was later copied in the English-language New American Bible, one of the Bibles that, unfortunately, Blumrich used to double-check the German translation.)

Not consulting an ancient-language expert.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part A)

Blumrich: "Initially I considered inviting the cooperation of an expert in ancient languages. However, I soon gave up this idea for two reasons: (1) Text differences as such, insofar as they are of linguistic origin, already are different interpretations by experts. The involvement of yet another expert would merely have added one more opinion, without any prospect of arriving at a final decision." (unbolded italics added)

If you think about it, this is basically arrogance. Here we have an engineer with absolutely no background whatsoever in theology or the Bible or archaeology or ancient cultures or biblical languages—and yet he decides there is no point in even talking to anyone trained. He considers himself so brilliant that he can figure out everything on his own—using only two commentaries, one of which is only 20 pages long! He never even read the complete Old Testament—not even once!

Let's put this in perspective—imagine Blumrich trying to diagnose an illness by simply reading an introductory medical text written not for physicians, but for laymen with no medical training.  He finds that different writers associate a particular set of symptoms with different illnesses. He doesn't say, "Gee, the truth is that I know nothing about this field. I need to talk to a medical expert." Instead, he says, "No problem! Talking to someone with actual training and experience would just add another expert's view. I can figure out myself which diagnosis is correct!"

Falsifying the data.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part E)

Blumrich: "Verse 24 and also Verse 25 do not really belong here, because they describe the still running rotors and attending phenomena, while Verse 23 already gave a description of the position at rest. This information is part of the description of the hover flight and the subsequent landing, and should therefore be inserted between Verses 14 and 15." (emphasis added)

This is typical of "liberal" scholarship in both biblical studies and other fields—simply declare source text unreliable and re-write it under the guise of "correcting" it. Then work with the re-written text as if it were an actual historical document.

The reality is that this is falsifying the data because of theory-driven thinking. In the military, often correct replacement parts are not available. In the U.S. Army there is a saying for the solution: "Cut to size, beat to fit, paint to match." Blumrich has already decided that the Ezekiel text must be describing a spaceship. So if the data—the source text—doesn't support his theory, then, by golly, he's gonna "Cut to size, beat to fit, and paint to match" until it looks like the data supports his theory. The problem is that in reality his approach is simply intellectual dishonesty.

Declaring text in error.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part J)

Blumrich: "Therefore, the statement in Verse 12: "And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes round about. . ." can be regarded with certainty as incorrect."

Here is another example of Blumrich's flawed methodology—if the source text doesn't fit his theory he simply declares the source text "certainly incorrect."

I want to be absolutely clear here: I am not saying Blumrich intentionally re-wrote the text with the goal of making it seem to support his theory. I am saying he committed serious methodological errors because he did not have appropriate training in textual criticism and textual analysis (hermeneutics).



Ezekiel 43:3 And the vision I saw was like the vision which I had seen when he came to destroy the city. And the vehicular structure I saw was like the vision which I had seen by the river Chebar and I fell upon my face.

Blumrich outright mistranslated this. In the Hebrew, the same word is used for "vision" and "vehicular structure". The root, r-a-h, means "view", "vision", "sight". It does not contain the concept "vehicle".

Blumrich: (Discussed at Chap 5, Part L) "But Reference 5 has an interesting insert which mentions "the vehicular structure" and which can probably be traced back to different original texts." (emphasis added)

Blumrich is simply wrong in his assumption. The major authoritative text for the Old Testament is called the Masoretic Text that is the source text used by all King James versions and for all  Jewish translations. All other texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi scripts, the Septuagint (pre-Christian Greek translation) are compared against the Masoretic Text as the standard. The version accepted by scholars and translators as reliable is published as the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, which is the Masoretic Text with extremely minor changes. Any significant difference among  source documents is specifically noted.

Reference 5, Chapter 43:2 "broke in" versus "came".
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part K)

The Hebrew is והנה כבוד אלהי ישראל בא מדרך הקדים "Behold, the Glory of the God of Israel came from [the] direction [of] the east". The word בא (bah) means "he/it came" and does not contain the concept "to break in / interrupt unexpectedly".

This shows that the translators of Reference 5 were being dramatic and did not stick closely to the Hebrew text.

Whether different wording conveys different meaning.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part I)

Blumrich: ". . . Chapter 9, Verse 3, Ezekiel speaks of the "glory of the God of Israel," while Chapter 10, Verse 4, refers to the "glory of the Lord." If we bear in mind Ezekiel's enormous gift of observation, such differentiation is not meaningless. It points to a difference between the two flying objects."

This again shows Blumrich's fundamental lack of understanding. He was trained as an engineer, not as a historian, reporter, chronicler, storyteller or speechwriter. He was not familiar with biblical writing styles. He over-analyzed certain passages, assuming minor wording variations were intended to indicate signficant differences. He analyzed the text from a perspective inconsistent with the perspective of the author of the text.

Switch from singular to plural in Ezekiel 10:20.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part J)

Regarding "the jump from the singular to the plural" in Ezekiel 10:20, the Hebrew does change. However, in grammar there are "collective" nouns that have a singular form but contain "plural overtones".   A collective noun in the source language may not have a corresponding collective noun in the target language. In that case, the translator must  decide whether a singular or a plural in the target language most closely conveys the meaning of the original.

I am not expressing a view here on which translation is more accurate, I am simply pointing out what the underlying Hebrew says and why a switch in a translation might not be an error.



Ezekiel 10:19, (referenced but not quoted by Blumrich) [New American Bible]: These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.

Whether high officials really used to carry a writing implement.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part H)

Blumrich: "It is therefore logical to suspect rather that the so-called writing implement was really a communication device or an instrument for radiation detection."

In ancient times scribes frequently were high government officials and often became quite wealthy and influential. Even in modern times the County Clerk, state government Secretary of State, and other high government officials have the duty to make written records of government actions.

Again we see Blumrich making speculations that conveniently fit his theory instead of simply accepting the testimony of Ezekiel, who Blumrich says is a superbly accurate witness. Ezekiel says it was a writing case (inkhorn). Surely, Ezekiel had seen those.

Whether parts of the text are missing.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part J)


And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.


And the spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision of God by the spirit into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision I had seen went up from me.

Blumrich: Verse 24: At the beginning we encounter again two already well-known expressions ("the spirit" and "in the vision of God" ) which tell us that Ezekiel boards a spaceship and flies in it.

Verse 2: .  .  . It is noteworthy, however, that Verses 22 to 24 rule out the presence of Ezekiel in the capsule. The commander must therefore have left it again and necessarily must have returned to it before takeoff. The absence of any corresponding text must unfortunately lead to the conclusion that only a fragment came down to us with the beginning of Chapter 11. (emphasis added)

This conclusion is true if we accept Blumrich's conclusion that "the spirit" and "the vision of God" mean Ezekiel boards a spaceship. If Blumrich is wrong, then it is perfectly possible that "the glory of the Lord" could leave and yet "the spirit" could lift Ezekiel and bring him in "the vision of God" by the spirit.

This is another example where the text does not support Blumrich's theory, so he falsifies the data by declaring it to be erroneous: "The evidence doesn't fit my theory, so the part that proves my theory must be lost." 

Personal flying units.
(Discussed at Chap. 5, part L)

Blumrich: "He may therefore also have been equipped with that small propulsive device that makes individual flying possible (Fig. 12). In such a case he is, of course, able to lift Ezekiel into the air and to carry him over a moderate distance. The text clearly describes this procedure: ". . . lifted me up, and brought me . . ." It should be repeated at this point that devices and procedures of this kind are in no way unrealistic from a technical point of view. If anything, it is probably rather astonishing that such devices have not been developed much further in our time."

This again shows that Blumrich is quite unrealistic. There are simple reasons why "personal flight units" have not been developed, not even 30+ years after Spaceships was written—they are not scientifically viable:

  • Rocket-based units generate far too much heat to be practical.  Any chemical reaction that generates a lot of gas quickly will also generate a lot of heat.
  • Units that use highly compressed gas are not practical because any container strong enough to hold gas at a pressure of hundreds of pounds per square inch will be fairly heavy.
  • At any realistic high pressure it isn't possible to store enough gas in a small volume (e.g., backpack size) to enable flight for more than maybe 1-2 minutes.
  • Rapid release of a compressed gas rapidly decreases temperature.

    Any quantity of gas, compressed or not, will equalize to ambient temperature.  The compressed gas will contain a certain total amount of heat energy.  If that gas is suddenly released into a much larger area, e.g., to provide thrust, the total heat energy contained by the expanding gas will remain the same. But because that total energy is now spread out in a much larger volume, the temperature in the new area will decrease rapidly. That's the reason why deodorant sprayed from a can at room temperature always comes out cold.

    Exhaust from a compressed-gas flying unit would lower temperatures in its wake at least 50°F (28°C) almost instantly.

Even "aliens" are subject to the basic laws of physics!  (Whether they use deodorants or not!)


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