In my readings of Ezekiel chapter 1, Ezekiel comes into contact with what in our time could only be interpreted as a robot. For instance, it had wheels, four faces, was metallic, and was able to fly; these are all features of a robot or mechanoid, and I don't believe it is how G-d has ever been described.

Well before the initial creation of robots, this robot must have travelled through time. Are there alternate possiblities for the presentation of a robot other than time travel?


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First, if your time travel theory is correct, you might prove to some people (but not all) that Ezekiel book was written at God's direction. However, I think the time-traveling robot theory is not sustainable. The primary problem, it seems to me, is that the author intended the first chapter to be interpreted as a vision:

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.—Ezekiel 1:1-3 (ESV)

Understanding the author's intent is probably the most important rule of hermeneutics and Ezekiel's intent was almost certainly not to announce the arrive of robots from the future. In fact, the start of Ezekiel sets the stage for a series of strange, but relevant visions. The verses above establish the time, place, people, and events of the rest of the work. A news reporter would be proud of this presentation of Five Ws. We are missing "Why", but that's given in the next chapter:

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.—Ezekiel 2:1-5 (ESV)

So God's purpose for Ezekiel is to be sent to the people of Israel and the purpose of the vision is so that "they will know that a prophet has been among them". For that reason, Ezekiel describes the vision that he saw, which is admittedly strange. It's also likely that the vision was symbolic. In other words, the "gleaming metal" of "the likeness of the glory of the LORD" was probably not an indication that God is made of metal, but rather an indication of some aspect of that glory. Perhaps it symbolized strength or impenetrability.


As intriguing as it might be to interpret Ezekiel as news of futuristic mechanoids, the text strongly indicates that the author's purpose is even larger and more strange.

  • As they say, truth is stranger than fiction...
    – user1539
    Aug 20, 2012 at 0:53

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