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up as clouds, and his

up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles”, as well as other similar comments: (cf. Jer 4:13, 14:21, 17:12, 23:8, 23:19, 23:24, 25:32, 30:23, 48:40, 49-.22, 51:1)? A keen reader can look up all of the above-quoted passages, among which we have only chosen to examine in detail those about the experiences of three prophets: Ezekiel, Elijah, and Zachariah. This choice is due to three specific reasons: 1. The vision of Ezekiel is the most popular and, notwithstanding a very significant part and is always neglected, though very useful for a true understanding of the event; 2. The story of Elijah is never told in all its aspects and implications; and 3. Zechariah's vision is only rarely mentioned and, never highlighted an aspect that links it to the flying machines and the Guardians' land, which is Sumer, and which is extraordinarily alive in the story. Now let's have a more detailed look at the stories of these three biblical prophets. Ezekiel Ezekiel (A name that means “El is strong”) was born around 620 BC and, though belonging to a priestly family, operated as a prophet. Exiled to Babylon in 597 BC, he settled in the village of Tel Aviv, along the river Kebàr (Kevàr). His prophetic mission was restoring hope to the exiled people: after the punishment for idolatry, Israel was to be re-established, starting from the rebirth of the holy city of Jerusalem and of the Temple. The news about his life are scarce and his activity was perhaps very contrasted: it is known indeed that on one side he enjoyed a great prestige because the elderly people often turned to him to handle important business (even if sometimes they did not understand the content of his preaching or deliberately decided not to give him credit). Often, in order to draw his audience's attention, Ezekiel performed strongly 130

symbolic actions: For example, he would eat bread baked with dung, he would lay on the same side of the body for long periods, he would be tied with ropes, and he would cut his hair with a sword. Five years after the deportation, he had the vision described in the first chapter of the book that is named after him. The Prophet says that while he was on the banks of the river Kevàr (Ezekiel 1:1): The sky opened and I saw visions of Elohìms Let's start remarking that the usual translations often summarize this statement with the generic term “divine vision”. Quite different is the meaning expressed by the prophet, who says he saw the Elohìms after the sky had opened: actually, they are “visions”, that is a number of individuals, as it is clearly described later on. Indeed, Ezekiel continues with the usual wealth of details that we have often noted in other passages (Ezekiel 1.4 et seq.) “And I saw... 131

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