The Divine Throne-Chariot

The following fragment was found in Qumran along with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls believed to be from the sect known as the Essenes. J. Strugnell made this particular translation in 1960, under the title The Angelic Liturgy at Qumran. The words in parentheses are assumed to be what was intended, as the manuscript was in very poor condition.

...the [ministers] of the Glorious Face in the abode of the gods] of knowledge fall down before Him, [and the cherubim] utter blessings. And as they rise up, there is a divine small voice...and loud praise; (there is) a divine [small] voice as they fold their wings.

The cherubim bless the image of the Throne-Chariot above the firmament, and they praise the [majesty] of the fiery firmament beneath the seat of His Glory. And beneath the turning wheels, Angels of Holiness come and go, as it were a fiery vision of most holy spirits; and about them (flow) seeming rivulets of fire, like gleaming bronze, a radiance of many gorgeous colors, of marvellous pigments magnificently mingled.

The spirits of the living God move perpetually with the glory of the wonderful Chariot. The small voice of blessing accompanies the tumult as they depart, and on the path of their return they worship the Holy One. Ascending, they rise marvellously; settling, they [stay] still. The sound of joyful praise is silenced and there is a small voice of blessing in all the camp of God. And the voice of praise [resounds] from the midst of all their divisions in [worship of]...and each one in his place, all their numbered ones sing hymns of praise.

Scholars think that the writers of this text got the inspiration from the book of Ezekiel and their imaginations took over from there. I don't think so. Men like Moses, David and Solomon were well acquainted with cherubims. In their accounts there was no hint of surprise or mystery, nor was there a sense of worship toward the cherubim. Ezekiel, on the other hand, was a priest in bondage at the time of his experience and probably not educated in the worldly sciences of the time. To Ezekiel, what he saw was a creature, and the LORD rode on this live animal of unknown origin.

What the writers of the Qumran text describe is a chariot that, supposedly, came from heaven and was driven by angels. Obviously these people were familiar with chariots, but because these were exceptionally beautiful they may have thought they were heavenly and the occupants angels. Who else could they be?

In the era of the Qumran scrolls, the Divine-Throne Chariot was also known as the Merkabah, and over time they would become objects of worship. To the Jewish people they were referred to as Angelic cherubims, and the Rabbinic Orthodoxy eventually felt that they had to step in and discourage the practice.

In some Jewish literature, such as the Mishnah, Ezekiel's chapter of his vision is forbidden to the common man. It even lays down the law that "no wise man is to share his understanding of the Merkabah with a person less enlightened than himself." That pretty well took care of the subject, and so far no other written material on the Divine-Throne Chariot, the Merkabah, or the Angelic cherubim have been found. "No wise man is to share his understanding of the Merkabah with a person less enlightened than himself."

A very significant statement! What it says is the wise men of the day knew all about the Merkabah and who the so-called angels actually were. The general public, however, was not aware of them, and any knowledge given out in a haphazard way would only cause confusion and maybe even fear to the uninitiated. Sounds familiar.

Vimana

In India, there are Sanskrit texts several thousand years old that, in amongst all of their fascinating legends and mythology, contain accounts of flying ships that "go on their own force like a bird, on earth, on water, or in air." These "Vimana" can fly through the skies and can visit other planets. Some of these stories even give descriptions of the building process, which have drawn modern day scientists to the ancient writings. Whether the vehicles were known as Vimana, Throne-Chariots, Merkabahs or cherubims, they were of the earth and piloted by earthly beings. Angels are spirits that "fly swiftly" and can appear and disappear whenever and wherever they want; they do not need to race around in the skies in motorized machines.

I have included the cherubims in the topic of heaven because they have always been associated with the heavenly host. I find it amazing that the true identity has never been recognized, or has it been that no one has wanted to see it? That is all too common in our society. There are many pebbles and shells of truth in the sands that some people would rather not see, or have to deal with.

Lauretta Lueck is the author of The Many Waters; a scientific interpretation of the creation story in Genesis and corroborrated by other ancient manuscripts.

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