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Wings and Wheels

Humans have no doubt dreamed of flight since the earliest times simply by watching birds, and imagining themselves to, if not flying like birds, perhaps flying with the birds. The illustration below shows an actual ancient carving that portrays dreams of flight, but in a very curious way. Although the "bird" obviously has feathers, the leading edges of the wings seem rigid like metal wings of a modern-day aircraft. It has wheels for feet, and the passenger, or pilot, seems not be holding reins, or something similar, as would be expected to be used to guide a living creature, but rather seems to be holding a mechanical control wheel, or yoke. Considering that the carving is nearly 3,000 years old, it seems at the very least to have anticipated modern flying machines very well.

Ancient Flight

Ezekiel's encounter with a creature with "wings and wheels"

The ancient Israelites encountered "flying creatures" that were very real, not products of their imagination. An example from Ezekiel:

"The four wheels had rims and they had spokes; and their rims were full of eyes round about. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels." (Ezekiel 1:18-21 RSV)

"And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the thunder of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of a host; when they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings." (Ezekiel 1:24-25 RSV)

Fact Finder: What were the winged creatures that Ezekiel saw?
Ezekiel 10:15


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