Cherubim

Angels which, in the hierarchy of heavenly beings, belongs to the second order of angels. The distinctive attribute of a Cherub is knowledge, but they also represent mercy, as distinguished from justice, mercy in its various instrumentalities, and especially as connected with the throne of God, the "throne of grace."

Cherubim were set to guard the gates of the Garden of Eden,1 and formed the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant.2Ezekiel describes in a vision four Cherubim around the throne of God.3 They join the elders in the "new song;"4 they warn of danger from divine justice,5 and deliver the commission to those who execute it;6 they associate with the elders in their sympathy with the hundred and forty-four thousand who sing the new song,7 and with the Church in the overthrow of her enemies.8

The Cherubim rank ninth in Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, third in the Maseket Atzilut, eighth in the Berit Menuchah, and fourth in the Reshit Chochmah.

Iconography

The Cherubim have four faces: man, ox, lion, and eagle. They have eight conjoined wings which are covered with eyes.

References

Notes

Source

  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.