By The Book

Wesley Bishop

Wesley Bishop

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09 October 2016

In the Bible, we find references to mysterious beings known as cherubim and seraphim, but what exactly are they? The answer is, for the most part, unknown.

Many in the religious world explain cherubim (and also sera-phim) as a high ranking, special class of angels. However, this claim is never made in the Bible. Blocher states that there is no scripture which identifies cherubim (or seraphim for that mat-ter) with angels (Henri Blocher, In The Beginning). There isn’t even a scripture that links them together. The Bible usually de-scribes them in the plural (cherubim as opposed to the singular cherub), which means there must be more than one. Instead of cute and chubby as they are often depicted in modern art, the Bible describes them as beings of power that are rather terrify-ing. Ezekiel describes them as living beings that go forth as burning coals, as flashes of lightning (Ezek. 1:13-14), whose purpose is to carry out the divine will in the execution of judgement (Homer Hailey, Revelation). Ezekiel also describes them as having four wings, hands, feet, and four faces each. The faces reflect what appear to be glorious aspects of God’s earthly creation: Man, lion, ox, and eagle. Robert Harkrider states that the man represents intelligence and reason; the lion reflects strength; the ox reflects patient service and endurance; and the eagle reflects penetrating vision and swiftness. They are also revealed as fierce guardians of things that are holy and sacred (Gen. 3:24; Exo. 25:18). Ezekiel describes the throne of God as being above them, where there is an expanse between them (Ezek. 1:22-28, 10:1).

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