upside-down and spin the wheel, the spokes seem to vanish. All that
can be seen is the rim and the parts of the hub near the center of
rotation. No matter what shape the hub actually is, it too looks round
like a wheel. It is very likely that such an effect was referred to as
"a wheel within a wheel."
In verse 16 Ezekiel says that, "wheels and their work was the colour
of beryl ...", a blue-green color. This sounds like the emphasis is on
the color at the _edge_ of the wheel. This could be from a flame
coming from jets on the tips of the rotors.
All of the creatures must have started their rotors. ("... they four
had one likeness.") They looked like "... a wheel in the middle of a
wheel." Or the spinning spokes of a wheel. Notice also that he never
mentions "wings" and "wheels" at the same time, for when one appears
the other vanishes.
_17. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned
not when they went._
If four men were standing fairly close together on the ground with
running helicopters, they would tend to spread out as they left the
ground, so as to not run into each other. Moreover, with a helicopter,
it is not necessary to _face_ the direction you intend to go. This
sounds like four men lifting off the ground, spreading out slightly
and starting up and away, in formation.
_18. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful;
and their rings were full of eyes round about them four._
The four creatures are now high in the air above Ezekiel, a dreadful
and awe-inspiring sight for a man of Ezekiel's time. Their "rings"
obviously are the flames from their tip-jets, seen from below--the
only part of the wheel now visible from far below. And the rings
_would_ be full of eyes. When a jet or rocket motor is operating there
is a shock wave generated in the tailpipe which tends to cut the
exhaust gas into segments. Time exposures of jet aircraft at night
often show this. When a tip-jet is operating, these bright, evenly
spaced spots give it the appearance of a string of pearls, "... full
of eyes round about them...."
_19. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went up by them:
and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the
wheels were lifted up._
Ezekiel makes it clear that he does not know whether the men are
lifting the wheels or the wheels lifting the men, but both went up
_20. Withersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their
spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted over against them: for the
spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels._
This is a most sophisticated opinion. Although Ezekiel was describing
only what he saw, he could not help but have some opinions about the
creatures. In verse nineteen he makes it clear that he does not know
whether man is lifting the machine, or the other way around, but hereDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>