This typically prophetic writing goes on for many pages, telling the

woes and sins of the Israelites. Reference is made in a few places to

the material in the first chapter, but even this dies out before the

end of the book.

No mention is made again of the living creatures till chapter three

where the following verse is found:

_13. I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that

touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them,

and a noise of great rushing._

This combines some of the ideas of earlier verses without adding any

new information. Notice that writer has the notion that the wings of

one creature touched those of another, or that the creatures touched

one another.

This verse is typical of several more scattered throughout the first

third of the book. All the verses mentioning the living creatures

after the first chapter are more dramatic and all fail to continue the

style of a careful reporter. No new ideas are advanced, but some

rather unusual contradictions are introduced, by using several parts

of several verses of Chapter One. Chapter Ten reads like an attempt at

rephrasing Chapter One and Chapter Eleven is the last mention of the

living creatures in the entire book.

Although it contains no further information on the living creatures,

Chapter Three has a verse that should be mentioned. Verse fifteen

sounds like a fitting conclusion to the first chapter:

[Illustration]

_15. Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-Abib, that dwelt by

the river Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there

astonished among them for seven days._

Just what do we have? We have a description of four spacesuited and

helicopter-equipped men, getting off of, or out of something that

landed in a cloud of dust or smoke. The four men start their

helicopters, take off and fly to some height. On returning to the

ground they remove their flying gear and wait. They are met by a fifth

man, riding on a flying platform. Such an event would cause some

interest in any community today, but in those times it could only be

interpreted as supernatural--a miracle. The miracle may well be that

the story has been preserved for us, twenty-six centuries later.

A word for word interpretation is only part of the oddity of this

chapter. Several other aspects are worth pondering. The whole chapter

has a well-worn feeling, as though the author had told and re-told it

many times. It reads like a deposition, taken down by a police

officer, after the witness, who prides himself on truthfulness, has

told the story over and over to his incredulous friends. It has a

certain poetic beauty. It has the style of one who is telling you the

truth, no matter whether you are going to believe it or not. It is

the presentation of a tableau that makes no sense to the man who

witnessed it, or to those to whom he is describing it.

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