© 2000 Walter E. Gast
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Wheat is a rich biblical symbol. From Jesus' parables, wheat came to represent believers over against the "weeds" or "tares", which represent unbelievers. Wheat may also be used to represent the bread in Holy Communion and, further, the Body of Christ.

Matt. 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28 " 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29 " 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' " (NIV)

John 12:23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (NIV)

John 6:48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (NIV)

A rotating wheel is symbolic of divine force. A burning wheel is thus sometimes shown in presentations of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden. God's throne is sometimes portrayed borne on flaming wheels covered with eyes and wings, an allusion to the vision of Ezekiel. A flaming wheel may also be used as an emblem of Ezekiel for the same reason.

Ezek. 1:15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about(n) as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around. (NIV)