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A cherub (plural: cherubim) is a type of living creature described most in depth by the Prophet Ezekiel in Chapters 1 and 10 of The Book of Ezekiel. They are listed throughout scripture most often dealing with the Throne of God, but also guarding the Garden of Eden.

Appearances

It is generally accepted that the cherubim are a type of Angel, although only Lucifer is described as both a cherub and an angel. In Ezekiel, Lucifer is described as the anointed Cherub.[1] The Apostle Paul explains Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.[2] This is the only link in the bible showing that cherubim are angels, no other cherub is described as an angel directly. Jesus says in Luke that he saw Satan as lightening fall fRomans heaven[3], which is consistent with the movement of a cherub describe by Ezekiel.[4]

The first time cherubim are mentioned is in Genesis, where multiple cherubim were placed outside the Garden of Eden to guard it fRomans Adam and Eve.[5] The exact number is not given.

In Exodus the LORD instructs Moses to make two cherubim statues out of hammered gold to be placed on both ends of the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle.[6] Images of cherubim are also present in the fine linen used throughout the Tabernacle.[7] Since cherubim are present in the Tabernacle, it is no surprise that cherubim would be found later in the Temple.[8] That is exactly what we find in the First Book of Kings; a pair of statues of cherubim are placed in the inner sanctuary in the Temple, made fRomans olive wood, and overlaid with god.[8]

Two different Psalms paint an image of God sitting enthroned between the cherubim in Heaven.[9] In Psalms 80:1 it is the "Shepard of Israel" that dwells between the cherubim, and in Psalms 99:1 it is the LORD that sits between the Cherubim. The Psalms parallel with the Ark of the Covenant in Second Samuel where the LORD of Hosts is described to dwell between the cherubim.[10][11]

The Prophet Ezekiel describes living creatures in Ezekiel Chapter 1[12], then cherubim in Ezekiel Chapter 10[13], and at the end of Chapter 10 he clarifies the cherubim are the same living creature he saw before.[14] He witnessed them both times with the Throne of God.

It is entirely possible that not all cherubim look the exact same. Lucifer is described differently[15] than the four described by Ezekiel in Chapter 1 and 10. The four cherubim in Chapter 1 are described as having four faces (Man, Lion, Ox, Eagle).[16] The four cherubim in Chapter 10 also have four faces, but one is different (Cherub, Man, Lion, Eagle).[17] Although they are described with some differences in Chapter 10, Ezekiel confirms that these are the same living creatures he wrote of in Chapter 1.[14]

It is interesting to speculate that Lucifer, as a cherub, could have four faces one of which may be a human face. It is also possible as many as three faces could be faces of earthly creatures. It must have been an interesting event as the cherubim witnessed the creation of the earth[18] and saw the creation of the living creatures of their faces. This could also have been one reason Lucifer would have been so quick to visit earth[19], and cause the fall of mankind[20]; taking dominion of the earth[21][22]. The devil is also described as walking around the earth like a roaring lion[23] which one could also speculate may be one of his faces.

It is worth noting that John in the Book of Revelations described four beasts around the throne of God that share similarities with the Cherubim described in Ezekiel.[24] They are described as having 6 wings, and bodies covered in eyes vs rings of eyes high above them.

Descriptions

Table

Ezekiel 1 Ezekiel 10

Revelations 4

Name Given Living Creature Cherubim Beasts
General Shape Man[25] - -
Faces Man, Lion, Ox, Eagle[16] Cherub, Man, Lion, Eagle[26] Lion, Calf, Man, Eagle[27]
Wings 4 wings each (Two upward attached to each other, and two covering their bodies.)[28] 4 Wings each[29]
Hands Hands of a Man under their wings[30] Hands of a Man under their wings[31]
Feet Hooves like cows; brass colored[32]
Movement Always walked straight forward; do not turn as they walk[33]

They move as fast as the flash of lighting[34]

Always walked straight forward; do not turn as they walk[35]
Apperance They glow like burning coal with lightening sparking out[36]
Wheels The color of Beryl by the Cherubim that moved with them[37]
Eyes Rings of eyes high above and around them[38]
Sounds When they move, the sound of their wings are described as a noise of great water, as the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.[39]

*It is possible that the four beasts of Revelation 4 are separate beings, not just four different faces on the same being.

Verses

  1. Ezekiel 28:14 (Link)
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (Link)
  3. Luke 10:18 (Link)
  4. Ezekiel 1:14 (Link)
  5. Genesis 3:24 (Link)
  6. Exodus 25:18-20 (Link)
  7. Exodus 26:1, 26:31, 36:8, 36:35 (Link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 1 Kings 6:23-28; 8:6-7
  9. Psalms 80:1, 99:1 (Link)
  10. 1 Samuel 4:4 (Link)
  11. 2 Samuel 6:2 (Link)
  12. Ezekiel 1:5 (Link)
  13. Ezekiel 10:1 (Link)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ezekiel 10:15, 20
  15. Ezekiel 28:12-13 (Link)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ezekiel 1:6
  17. Ezekiel 10:14 (Link)
  18. Job 38:4,7 (Link)
  19. Genesis 3:1-7 (Link)
  20. Romans 5:12 (Link)
  21. Job 1:7, 2:2 (Link)
  22. Matthew 4:8-9 (Link)
  23. 1 Peter 5:8 (Link)
  24. Revelation 4:7-9 (Link)
  25. Ezekiel 1:5 (Link)
  26. Ezekiel 10:14 (Link)
  27. Revelation 4:7 (Link)
  28. Ezekiel 1:6, 9, 11 (Link)
  29. Ezekiel 10:21 (Link)
  30. Ezekiel 1:8 (Link)
  31. Ezekiel 10:8 (Link)
  32. Ezekiel 1:7 (Link)
  33. Ezekiel 1:9, 12, 17 (Link)
  34. Ezekiel 1:14 (Link)
  35. Ezekiel 10:11 (Link)
  36. Ezekiel 1:13 (Link)
  37. Ezekiel 1:15, 16, 19-21 (Link)
  38. Ezekiel 1: 18 (Link)
  39. Ezekiel 1:24 (Link)

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