description, but we will take this when we come to it. It is
surprising that Ezekiel has organized his material so well. It reads
like a scientific report. If he had headed the section that we just
covered, "Description," we would not have been too surprised to find
the following section headed, "Action":
_15. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the
earth by the living creatures, with his four faces._
If we read Ezekiel correctly and the creatures did have helicopter
attachments on their backs, we can assume that one of them now
started his helicopter, which would appear as a "wheel" to Ezekiel,
and probably surprised him greatly.
_16. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the
colour of Beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance
and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel._
Here we must digress in order to put ourselves into the life and time
of this man because he has mentioned the wheel. A wheel did not have
quite the same meaning for him as it does for you and I, living in a
mechanical age. The wheel in 600 B.C. in the area around the eastern
end of the Mediterranean, the most civilized part of the world at that
time, had only a few very limited uses.
One use, old even in Ezekiel's time was the potter's wheel; a simple
platform mounted on crude vertical bearings so that it could be turned
with one hand while the clay was worked with the other. From this the
grindstone and the lapidary wheel developed for working metal and
stone. These early machines probably employed some form of foot
treadle but even these could not turn the wheel very fast. If the
stone had a large enough diameter, it was possible to get the speed at
the outer edge high enough to produce sparks when grinding hard
material. The "work" took place at some distance from the axis,
usually at the edge of the stone.
The wheel we usually associate with ancient times is the cart wheel.
In its earliest form it was a solid wheel, like those still in use in
primitive sections of Mexico. Even with the cart wheel, ancient man
would associate the edge of the wheel with the "work" of the wheel.
This was the part that left a track in the mud and dust, crushed an
occasional rock and fractured an occasional toe.
In order to increase the efficiency of military chariots it was
necessary to build a wheel that was lighter, yet just as strong as the
solid model. This was first done by cutting out "lightening holes"
between the hub and rim. Pressing this invention to the ultimate
produced a spoked wheel. The Egyptians used a six-spoked chariot wheel
thousands of years before Ezekiel's time, and the Greeks and others
had four-spoke models. This was quite an invention and in addition to
its useful aspects, it produced some rather unusual, even magical
side-effects. As every child knows, if you turn your tricycleDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>