Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ezekiel, Chapters 7-9: The truth about angels

Chapter 7

I want my whimsical story about 4-faced space aliens and their flying cars back! But no, Zeke is in full-on doomsday prophet mode, haranguing the people that the end is coming 'soon' and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth (v. 9). How? Oh, the usual, plague, famine, war. Who? Everybody, of course! And no bribing your way out with silver and gold.

Chapter 8

Okay, this is more like it. Zeke is sitting around chewing the fat with the village elders when god appears in fiery form and lifts him up by the hair and carries him to the temple. Then they go on a little sin-finding tour that is the opposite of Alice's absurd adventures. First, Zeke digs underneath a hole in the wall, where, unsurprisingly, he finds a lot of creepy crawlies, but also a door. Behind the door are 70 men worshipping false idols.

Next, god leads him to another gate where women are ritually mourning the loss of sunlight in tribute to a harvest god, a practice that makes sense for an agrarian people, especially when your own god is constantly threatening you with crop failure and famine. Behind door number three are another 25 men worshipping the sun. It's all too much for god, and he declares he's going to kill every last one of them. Again some more.

Chapter 9

God, in yet another fit of uncontrollable rage, screams at Zeke to call his 6 avenging angels to come with their swords and an inkhorn. Their task is to go through the city marking righteous men and killing everybody else. As they're doing it, Zeke throws himself down on the ground and asks god why he's so mean to everybody all the time. God sighs in the way of abusers that if the people wouldn't be so damned stubborn, he wouldn't have to smite them so much. Then the angel comes back and says he's finished with his task.

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