Mysteries of the Ancients: Part II in a Series...
The Wheels of Ezekiel

Prophet staring at a 1936 Knucklehead

"As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel!"

The Book of Ezekiel has long posed a question to biblical scholars. What were the 'whirling wheels' mentioned in Ezekial 10:13? Over the years, explanations have ranged from literary metaphor, to hallucinations, to natural phenomenon, to visits by alien spacecraft. Now, modern advances in archaeological science have provided the answer...

Harley Davidsons.

The 'wheels' described by the prophet were, of course, the wheels themselves, and possibly the air cleaner, if Ezekiel was viewing a later-model bike from the right. 'Wheels within wheels' is clearly a reference to the brake drums and/or rear sprockets. The 'crystal and glass' should be familiar to anyone who has seen a pack of customized choppers ride by, and the ambiguous references to 'wings' would be the Harley Davidson emblem itself, with its stylized depiction of an eagle. Biblical scholars have yet to determine what model was involved, but in view of their antiquity, these were probably pre-WWII flatheads -- possibly the 74 cubic inch 'knucklehead' introduced in 1936, which is still popular with modern collectors.

While it's not immediately clear what Harleys were doing back in ancient Judea, their presence shouldn't too surprising, for the bikes have been in production for an awfully long time. But it's clear they were not being ridden by Israelites, for hogs, as we all know, are not kosher...

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Last modified: 25 September 2009