Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Rattled (05/09/13)
TITLE: Birth, Death and Rebirth
By Bruce Phenix
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597 BC. Ezekiel, son of Buzi, rose from the floor on which he had prostrated himself. It was time for him to leave Jerusalem, the City of Righteousness, the Holy City, and to follow the new king, Jehoiachin, a man several years younger than himself, into exile. The deportation of citizens, the carrying off of the Temple treasures. He gave a heavy sigh as in the street outside the wheels of carts and chariots rattled.
592 BC. Ezekiel, son of Buzi, was sitting on the bank of the Chebar, the great canal north of Babylon, among the Jewish exiles. Thirty years old – of an age to take up priestly duties as his father before him had done – but what had become of his own calling? Suddenly the heavens opened: a storm approaching. Yet this was no ordinary storm: in it were cloud, fire; four living creatures, cherubim with wing-tips touching, forming a box in which burning coals or torches seemed to move to and fro; a crystal dome overhead, and above that the very appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, enthroned in human form in rainbow splendour. Beside each cherub was a wheel within a wheel, full of eyes, moving smoothly in every direction. Wheels that never rattled.
588 BC. Ezekiel, son of Buzi, stared down at the floor. He had lost his beloved wife, the delight of his eyes. He bit his lip; he must not grieve, he had been commanded not to grieve. He fingered her bracelet, the one he had given her; then he dropped it back into her jewellery box, where for an instant it rattled.
586 BC. Ezekiel, son of Buzi, and his fellow Jewish exiles had lost their beloved city. Jerusalem had fallen, and the whole house of Israel was cut off completely, its hope dried up. A vision came to him of a valley floor strewn with dry bones. ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ asked a voice (1). ‘O Lord God, you know,’ answered the prophet (1). And with a mighty sound of resurrection the bones rattled.
(1) Ezekiel 37:3 (NRSV)
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