Ezekiel - Ezekiel 1 - The Living Creatures and the Glory of the Lord
Type of Spiritual Experience
We saw that rebirth is sometimes characterised by a fairly violent process of being devoured by eagles, torn apart by lions and leopards, consumed by fire, disembowelled, cut up with knives, struck by lightning and thunderbolts or battered by winds! The symbolism of animals like the lion, eagle and so on can vary, but IN THIS CONTEXT, all these are symbolic of the process of rebirth.
Thus the eagle devours…………… The lion or occasionally a leopard devours [it depends which animal in a culture is regarded as the most feared] …….. In essence Ezekiel was either shown a vision of the symbolism of rebirth or underwent a rebirth process
A description of the experience
Ezekiel 1 - The Living Creatures and the Glory of the Lord
1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions …….
4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The centre of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.
10 ….: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out upward; each had two wings, one touching the wing of another creature on either side, and two wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.