The Vision of Ezekiel
These cookies are gingerbread representations of the Vision of Ezekiel, also known as the Merkabah, or Chariot Vision
Below is the text of the Chariot Vision. Scroll down for the Gingerbread Recipe. Then it’s your turn.
The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel
King James Version
1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity,
3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, November 1999)These are very edible and suitable for constructing visions.
3 cups all–purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger (or up to ¼ cup, for really spicy)
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
12 Tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly.
¾ cup un–sulphured molasses
2 Tablespoons milk
1. In food processor fitted with steel blade, process sugar first to get out lumps, then add flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour and process until mixture is sandy and resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough is evenly moistened and forms soft mass, about 10 seconds.
2a. Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in four parts (unless making thick and chewy cookies, in which case divide in two.) Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll dough to 1 ⁄8 inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15–20 minutes. Or a couple of hours. Or overnight.
2b. If surface ornamentation is desired, take a glob of dough and work into it as much flour as it will hold. Roll this piece out between parchment papers and freeze as well. When frozen, cut into strips for flat work or twisted rolls, or cut into shapes. Put pieces on a plate and keep in the fridge or in the freezer until ready to apply to figure.
3. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees for thin cookies, or 300 for thin cookies on heavy professional style cookie sheets. (Or 350 for thick chewy cookies. ) Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Or, simply use the paper that the figures are already on when you cut them out.
4. Remove one dough sheet from freezer. Peel off top parchment sheet and gently lay it back in place. Flip dough over, peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into desired people or elephants or crows, leaving them on parchment if possible and pulling out excess dough bits. Set scraps aside. Best spacing is at least ¾ inch. Repeat until baking sheets are full enough. Bake cookies until slightly darkened and firm in center when pressed with finger, about 15–20 minutes. (Or, for thick chewy cookies, bake until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8-11 minutes. But who would want thick chewy cookies, we’re making constructions here. ) Cool cookies on cookie sheet 2 minutes, then remove with wide metal spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.
5. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, freezing, cutting, and baking in steps 2 and 4. Repeat with remaining dough until enough is enough.
6. If alterations have to be made or holes cut, best to do it just after cookies come out of oven. Or snip bamboo skewers to ½ inch lengths and press them into dough. Remove right after baking.
7. These cookies, when made into complicated constructions, will last in the living room for a few months. Then, when you try to photograph them, on a stormy day in March, you will find them in smithereens the next morning.