Author Erich von Daniken’s book Chariots of the Gods written in 1968 caused quite a stir not only among space exploration enthusiasts but also the Christian community.
Among other “out of this world” theories—pun intended—Daniken postulated that in the second half of Ezekiel 1:16 when the prophet said, “And the four [wheels] had the same likeness, their appearance, and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel,” he was referring to a UFO.
What is a “wheel within a wheel”? Let’s take a deeper look into the first chapter of Ezekiel to see if we can unpack its contents.
Within the first verse of the opening chapter, Ezekiel states what he sees: “the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” He concludes the same chapter saying, “Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Does this sound like Ezekiel is talking about a UFO or God Almighty? The answer must be obvious.
The first and last verse that bookend the remaining description of Ezekiel’s vision provides the context in which the chapter should be interpreted. The prophet, to the best of his ability, is sharing with his reader what lies before him.
The symbolism and imagery of the entire chapter are profound, yet Daniken chooses to handpick the “wheel with a wheel” segment to perhaps fit his already assumed narrative.
In Ezekiel 1:4-22, the prophet presents a lengthy description of the “living creatures” along with the appearance and movement of the wheels. Daniken assumes that these living creatures that had the “likeness of a man” took Ezekiel to “a vault, sparkling like crystal” better known as their spacecraft.
But once again, Daniken is proof-texting this passage from the book of Ezekiel. He has an agenda or presupposition that he wants to demonstrate and manipulates the truth of Scripture to validate his theory.
The “living creatures” are most certainly cherubim—angelic beings created by God to do his bidding. And the unique description of the wheels beneath these cherubim represent the heavenly chariots of which 1 Chronicles 28:18 explain as the throne of the Lord.
The well-known saying, “the Bible is its own best commentary,” is a good reminder that we should let Scripture interpret Scripture and not come to its pages with any personal bias. Mr. Dankien believes that there are many other biblical references that lend credence to his “alien life form” hypotheses.
The philosophical principle, Occam’s Razor, basically states that if there are two explanations for a particular occurrence or event, the one that entails the least amount of speculation is typically correct.
Look at the plain meaning of a text and pray for the Spirit’s guidance to pursue its interpretation void of any bias. Concerning this passage found in Ezekiel, the magnificent glory of God is clearly on display, rather than a UFO and its passengers.