[ by Charles Cameron — responding to Steve Engel‘s comment on my post Purim, or Israel vs Iran redux? ]
Steve picked up on the image of the Merkabah, Ezekiel‘s visionary chariot as five wheels with wings in his comment today:
noting their resemblance to the Olympic rings. Such patterns have fascinated artists and symbolic thinkers across the centuries.
Thus the Abbot Joachim of Fiore portrayed the three “ages” of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as interlinked rings in his celebrated Liber Figurarum:
Cosimo de Medici, in the Renaissance, used the symbol of three interlocking “Borromean” rings on a medallion:
and indeed, Botticelli paints Pallas wearing the Medici triple rings in his painting, Pallas and the Centaur:
Jan Valentin Saether favors the Vesica Piscis formed where two circles overlap as the visionary aperture in the ninth image of his Viloshin Letters:
And the Olympic rings, as befits a logo heavily associated with advertising, might be the most banal of them all — had it not been redeemed one night by the gracious moon hanging low under London Bridge:
But let us return to Ezekiel’s angelic wheels, which are related to early Jewish “mysticism of the Chariot” or Merkabah:
Can we find some echo of those wheels, perhaps, in the roadwheels of the IDF Armored Corps’s Merkava IV tank? Pictured here is the Mark I, from 1979.
Production of the Mark IV continues…