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Cherubim (which is the plural of cherub) were celestial angelic beings in the spiritual realm.
They are always associated with the holiness of God. When Adam sinned cherubim were stationed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life. They represent the righteous government of God, and are the executers of God's righteous and holy judgment. The Cherubim are revealed by Ezekiel in chapter 1:5-10 as four living creatures, each one having 4 different faces, the face of a man, lion, ox, and eagle.
Cherubim (which is the plural of cherub) were celestial angelic beings in the spiritual realm. They are always associated with the holiness of God. When Adam sinned cherubim were stationed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
- They represent the righteous government of God, and are the executers of God's righteous judgement.
Gen 3:22-24 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Their representation on the fabric around and above the Holy Place stresses the righteousness of God and those who serve him in his perfect holiness.
- Ezekiel gives a description of the cherubim in his vision:
Ezek 1:4-14 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves' feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man, each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces. Their wings were stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of torches. Fire was going back and forth among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.
Ezek 10:1 And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
- John also in Revelation sees a vision of the cherubim:
Rev 4:6-8 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
The 2 Cherubim
Ex 25:18-20 "And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. "Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. "And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.
- They represent the judgment of God.
- Their position indicates that God's judgment upon Israel was averted because of the blood-sprinkled mercy seat.
- The Cherubim are revealed by Ezekiel in chapter 1:5-10 as 4 living creatures, each one having 4 different faces, the face of a man, lion, ox, and eagle.
Man- This face spoke of mind, reason, affections, and all the things that encompass a human being.
Lion- The lion was always recognized as strong, fierce, and majestic. It was the most royal of animals.
Pro 30:30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any;
Pro 20:2 The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.
ox- The ox was recognized as the animal who patiently labored for his owner. He was strong, able to bear a burden, and knew its owner.
Pro 14:4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
Ps 144:14 That our oxen may be well-laden; that there be no breaking in or going out; that there be no outcry in our streets.
Is 1:3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider."
Eagle- The divine bird that flew above the storms, while below there was only sorrows, dangers, and distress. A swift bird strong and powerful, never becoming weary.
Pro 30:18-19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I do not understand: The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a virgin.
Is 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Ps 103:5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Ex 19:4 `You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.
Ezek 17:3 "and say, `Thus says the Lord GOD: "A great eagle with large wings and long pinions, full of feathers of various colors, came to Lebanon and took from the cedar the highest branch.
Hos 8:1 "Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law.
According to the writings of the ancient sages the words of Ezekiel, "The had the hands of a man under their wings" (Ezek 1:8), refer to the hand of God which is extended beneath the wings of the Chayyoth (Cherubim) to receive penitents from the power of judgment" [Pes. 119a]