Ezekiel 1 and the Nation of Islam

Michael Lieb

in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199204540
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Ezekiel 1 and the Nation of Islam

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The first article of the Book of Ezekiel inaugurates one of the most profound events in Hebrew Scriptures. Extending well beyond the first article and reappearing later in the prophecy, this event represents Ezekiel's encounter with God in the form of an overwhelming vision. By means of this vision, the prophet is called upon to proclaim the divine message to his people in exile during the period of the Babylonian Captivity. This article discusses how the vision of Ezekiel is integrated into the life of the Nation of Islam by focusing on the teachings and experiences of its two most important exponents: the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, known to the Nation as the Messenger of Allah, and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial student of the Messenger. Through them, the vision of Ezekiel assumes its own bearing as a vehicle that has ties at once with ‘popular culture’ and at the same time with the most profound of religious experiences. Designated the Mother Wheel, the Mother Plane, or the Mother Ship, as well as simply the Wheel — this vehicle is not only a marvel of technology but an emblem of the ultimate triumph of the black man over his white oppressor.

Keywords: Book of Ezekiel; Hebrew Scriptures; vision; Elijah Muhammad; Louis Farrakhan

Article.  6171 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies

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