The sounds from above (Ezek 1:24-1:25)

“When they moved,

I heard the sound

Of their wings.

It was

Like the sound

Of mighty waters.

It was

Like the thunder

Of the Almighty.

It was

Like a sound of tumult.

It was

Like the sound of an army.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.

There came

A voice

From above the dome

Over their heads.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.”

What sounds did Ezekiel hear? He heard the sounds of the wings of these creatures as they moved. This sound was like the sound of mighty waters, like the thunder of the Almighty God, El Shaddai, not that of Yahweh. This sound was like the sound of a great commotion or an army on the move. However, when they stopped moving their wings, a voice came from above the dome over their heads. Then the same phrase was repeated again. When they stopped, they let down their wings.

The organization and activity around Mattathias (1 Macc 2:42-2:48)

“Then there united with them a company of Hasideans, the mighty warriors of Israel. All offered themselves willingly for the law. All who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them.   They organized an army. They struck down sinners in their anger. They struck down renegades in their wrath. The survivors fled to the gentiles for safety. Mattathias and his friends went around and tore down the altars. They forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel. They hunted down the arrogant men. This work prospered in their hands. They rescued the law out of the hands of the gentiles and the kings. They never let the sinner gain the upper hand.”

Mattathias was joined by the Hasideans. These were “the pious ones,” the saints, the holy ones, the religious ascetics. They were strict followers of the Mosaic Law. They may have come out of the Nazarene movement of earlier times. These Hasideans may have merged into the Essences of the first century CE. Perhaps the Pharisees with their emphasis on the letter of the law may have developed from these Hasideans also. They were the mighty warriors of Israel, clearly against the creeping Hellenism of the 2nd century BCE. Anyone who had trouble with the law also joined Mattathias just as David had gathered around him those who had trouble with King Saul in 1 Samuel, chapter 22. This rugged group attacked Jewish sinners and renegades, those mentioned in chapter 1 of this book, who did not follow the Mosaic Law. They went around tearing down the pagan gentile altars. They forcibly circumcised any boy they found in Israel. They were like a righteous terrorist bully group that punished those who disagreed with them. However, they seem to have been succeeding.