Of all the prophetic visions that occur in the Old Testament, Ezekiel’s vision is perhaps the one that attracts the most interesting and exotic interpretations, a vision that is described in Ezekiel 1:1-3:27. For Freemasons however, we can find much in the vision that we can recognise in our rituals; from the cherubs with their four faces (of man, lion, ox and eagle), to the overall study of symbolism in a section of the Old Testament that deals with the destruction of the Temple and the hope of rebuilding it.
The lion symbolises courage, the ox can be interpreted as strength and the eagle as having far-seeing wisdom, the symbolism of these creatures being described in various books of the Old Testament.
The wheels within wheels which appears by the four cherubim, also reveal rich symbolism for us to decipher. The rims of the wheels are covered in eyes, watching everything as the wheels turn, something that reminded me of how we interpret the All-Seeing Eye of God in Freemasonry, all-seeing, all-knowing and all-evaluating.
Indeed, the vision can be interpreted as a prophecy of the destruction of the Temple, God being displeased with the Israelites as they turned to idolatry. The vision could have suggested that God was watching what they were doing and punishment was coming.
The rituals of Freemasonry guide us through the story of the building of the Temple, its destruction and then its rebuilding in the Royal Arch. The mystical visions of Ezekiel end with hope and that the rebuilding of the Temple can be realised. Thus the rediscovery of God’s word can be achieved.