Saturday, March 19, 2016


In this study we explore the cherubim (cherubs) in the bible to understand their appearance and the role they serve in Heaven.

  • Gen 3:24
  • Ezekiel 1:3-14
  • Ezekiel 10:9-15;20-22
  • Exodus 25:17-22
  • 2 Kings 19:5
  • Ezekiel 41:17-19
  • Ezekiel 28:14-16
  • Matthew 28:19-20

Spirit Beings In This Lesson
  • Cherubim
  • Flaming Sword

What Are Cherubim?

cherub, (plural) cherubim

The ordinary derivation, from a root signifying to carve, grave, and especially to plough, compared with Exodus 25:20, suggests that the cherubim were winged bulls, probably with human heads, like those brought from Nineveh.

A cherub (/ˈtʃɛrəb/;[1] also pl. Cherubim is a winged angelic being who is considered to attend on the Abrahamic God in biblical tradition. The concept is represented in ancient Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagles' wings and a human face.  Cherubim are mentioned throughout the Hebrew Bible and once in the New Testament in reference to the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant
  • Wikipedia

Early Semitic tradition conceived the cherubim as guardians, being devoid of human feelings, and holding a duty both to represent the gods and to guard sanctuaries from intruders. Cherubim first appear in the Bible in the Garden of Eden, to guard the way to the Tree of life.

Cherubim in Art

Why do we see cherubs depicted as chubby babies in art?

The Talmud, by a popular derivation of the Hebrew word, asserts that the cherubim had the faces of children.

During the Renaissance Period arts flourished in a very liberal way much to the point that Biblical figures or events were often depicted with a cross-breeding of elements from the Greek Mythology. Although the results were magnificent works of art, they did tend to destroy the true images of Biblical elements, One such example is the depiction of Cherubim as little chubby babies with wings, evidently suggesting that they were mixed up with the Greek Mythology's Eros (or Roman Cupid), resulting to the  "putti" which most people are now familiar with.

There really is no teaching in the Catholic Church regarding "fat, baby angels." Rather, it is an artistic convention. In the realm of art and art history, these are called "putti."

“It's not that cherubim are being depicted as babies, it's that the depictions of the babies with wings are being called cherubim. They're actually putti, which are found in Ancient Greco-Roman art and revived in Italian Renaissance-period art.”

Garden of Eden

Gen 3:24
24So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim[kerub] and the flaming sword[chereb] which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
  • The role of a cherubim was to prevent man from entering into a place that God considered off limits to him
  • The cherubim prevent any being from entering into God’s presence
  • Cherubim here is plural

The Flaming Sword

  • We see a flaming sword which is listed separately than the cherubim
  • Note that the cherubim isn’t holding the flaming sword they are two separate items
  • Cherubim = kerub; flaming sword = chereb
  • The Hebrew gives it as a flaming sword that turns itself around, or turned every way
  • The flaming sword could be a separate spiritual being

Ezekiel's Visions

Ezekiel 1:3-14
3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians.[a] There the hand of the Lord was on him.
4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.
10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
  • Ezekiel was by the Kebar river
  • There were 4 living creatures having human bodies, four faces and four wings
  • Their feet were like that of a calf/cow
  • They each had a face of:
    • A human
    • A lion
    • An ox
    • An eagle
  • Each creature had a wheel associated with it which had their spirit in it
  • There was a vault/firmament which separated them from the throne
  • God was over the living creatures; above the firmament

Ezekiel 10:9-15;20-22
9I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like topaz. 10As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 11As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn aboutb as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. 12Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. 13I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels.” 14Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
15Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the living creatures I had seen by the Kebar Rive
20These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim. 21Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like human hands. 22Their faces had the same appearance as those I had seen by the Kebar River. Each one went straight ahead.
  • The living creatures we read about earlier are identified here as cherubim
  • The cherubim have human hands
  • They had the faces of
    • Human
    • Lion
    • Eagle
    • Cherub
  • He also says their faces were the same as the ones he saw before

So here is the same description as previously except now it lists the face of a cherub instead of an ox.  
  • “face of a cherub” which implies that a cherub has a single face
  • Ezekiel was familiar with what a cherub looked like
  • A cherub’s face is similar to that of an ox.
  • This implies that a cherub can have one face

Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant

We see that in the tabernacle and in the temple they had a depiction of two cherubim over the ark.

Exodus 25:17-22
17“Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
  • God would come down and meet the priest from between the two cherubim
  • How many faces do these cherubim have?
    • One
    • They are facing each other

2 Kings 19:5
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
  • Cherubim surround God’s throne

Ezekiel 41:17-19
17In the space above the outside of the entrance to the inner sanctuary and on the walls at regular intervals all around the inner and outer sanctuary 18were carved cherubim and palm trees. Palm trees alternated with cherubim. Each cherub had two faces: 19the face of a human being toward the palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the other. They were carved all around the whole temple.
  • Cherubim cover God’s throne
  • Notice that one cherub had two faces here
    • The face of a lion and the face of a man
  • Cherubim were depicted as different combinations of the four animals: human, lion, ox/bull, eagle/vulture

We know that the temple and the tabernacle were designed to be a reflection of what exists in Heaven.  Therefore we know that similar to how there were cherubim covering God’s presence in the temple there must be cherubim covering God in Heaven.

The King of Tyre

Ezekiel 28:14-16
14You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
15You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
16Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
  • The covering or guardian cherubim have an anointed position
  • They are anointed above other cherubim
  • They protect God’s throne
  • Why did this cherub get fired and evicted from Heaven?
    • Wickedness was found in him
    • You have to be sinless to remain in God’s presence


Cherubim are beings in the spiritual realm.  From our previous studies we know that angels are ministering spirits meant to serve and interact with man.   We see that the Cherubim’s primary roles are related to protecting God’s throne and preventing anything unholy from entering into God’s presence.  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 are stationed around God’s throne in Heaven.

They were not created to serve and minister to man.    So I would say that they are technically not angels.  But since all spiritual beings are loosely referred to as “angelic beings” the term can be used for them.  The fact that they exist around and above God shows that they must be righteous and holy.   To be in the presence of God you must be completely holy.  That is why the cherub who had sin in him was cast from Heaven.  We see that some cherubim have an anointed role of guarding God’s throne.  

We saw that the cherubim have a natural face similar to an ox but also somehow have the face of a man, an eagle and a lion.  Ezekiel saying that the cherubim had the face of a cherub implied that cherub could have one face.  We also assume that the cherub’ on the ark had only one face.   We saw other cherubs drawn on the temple had two faces - the face of a lion and a man.  The  a cherubim of Ezekiel’s vision had four faces.  This tells us that cherubim can have one, two,  or four faces.  Whether they can have more or whether one cherub can have a different number of faces at different times is not clear.  They may have the ability to manifest the necessary faces at any specific time.  The different number and types of faces could somehow represent characteristics or abilities of that specific cherub.

Food for Thought

In art and in statues cherubim are depicted with the face of one of these beings fused onto the body of another one of these beings.  We can see many of these combinations in Greek mythology and in Egyptian hieroglyphics.   These creatures are generally placed in front of buildings and structures to guard them.   The mythical griffin that you see at the entrance of many buildings has the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet.  

Where have we seen the face of a man and the body of a lion what do we get?  

The sphinx which guards the great pyramid of Giza.
Many of the Egyptian symbols may have been based on actual spirit beings.
Many of the mythological Greek creatures and stories were borrowed from Egyptian stories
Egypt is Not God’s Favorite

The Israelites fled to Egypt to escape the famine when Jacob was serving there.  Almost 2,000 years later Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape Herod.

Egypt used to be God’s favorite, but now it’s Israel.   The new temple is in Israel replacing those built in Egypt.  The new Heaven will come to Israel not Egypt.


  • The chubby winged babies that we see in paintings that are often referred to as cherubs are actually known as “putti”.  These images originated in Greco-Roman art and were also popular in the Renaissance period and have their origins in Roman paganism.
  • Cherubs in ancient time were understood as being an ox with the wings of an eagle, and the face of a man.
  • The proper plural name for cherubs is cherubim.
  • In the bible cherubim were stationed in the Garden of Eden to prevent man from accessing the Tree of Life
  • In Ezekiel’s vision, he described cherubim as having four faces: an ox, a man, an eagle and a lion with human bodies, four wings, the legs of a calf, and were were full of eyes.
  • He saw them underneath God’s throne.
  • The cherubim above the ark of the covenant had two wings and one face.
  • God would come down and His presence would rest between the two cherubim.
  • Drawings of the cherubim in the temple had the face of a man and a lion.
  • Ezekiel referred to the King of Tyre as the  “guardian cherub” who was cast out of Heaven because sin was found in him.
  • We saw that statues and depictions of cherubs in many civilizations were often shown supporting or protecting the thrones of deity and kings.  
  • They were often depicted as having the face of a man, the wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion or a bull similar to the  sphinx of the Great Pyramids of Giza

Presenter: Michael Leadon

Astrological Ages

How did the Egyptians know what the spirit beings looked like?

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Did Jesus imply that He would stay here on earth until the world ended?  ...but He didn’t.

An astrological age is a time period in astrologic theology which astrologers claim parallels major changes in the development of Earth's inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society, and politics. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in western astrology. At the completion of one cycle of twelve astrological ages, the cycle is claimed to repeat itself [1] every 25,920 years.[2]
Astrologers cannot agree upon exact dates for the beginning or ending of the ages, with given dates varying hundreds of years.[4]  Each age takes around 2160 years to complete.

So if Jesus left before the end of an age, then by 2190 or so we would have completed another age.   That is why many Christians feel that end of the world is coming.   Paul and the apostles thought they were living in the last generation as well.   Both are wrong.   We are simply coming to the end of our age.
The ages are based on astrological signs.   The musical Hair had a hit song about the dawning of the  Age of Aquarius.  We are currently in the age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius is next.

According to Neil Mann’s interpretation the following were past ages:
  • Taurus - 4300 BC and ended ca. 2150 BC
  • Aries - 2150 BC and ended ca. 1 AD
  • Pisces - AD 1 and ends ca. AD 2150
    • The Mayan calendar ended 21 December 2012
  • Aquarius - begins AD 2150 (some say 2062)

This could explain why the Israelites were often built statues of calves and bulls to worship because they were in the age of Taurus.  The pyramids of Giza are believed to have been built around 2560 BC near the end of the age of Taurus.   

Some believe that the spiritual realm was more accessible during that age.   They believe that the veil between our realm and the supernatural realm was thinner at that time.  This would allow us to access the spirit realm and beings from the spirit realm to access us.  This explains the supernatural building ability and astrological learning of the period.  It is also believed that as we come into the age of Aquarius the spirit realm will become more accessible again.  Things are changing now.  You can feel the atmosphere is different That is why people have been gaining a hunger for spiritual knowledge.   Since it’s not taught in the church they are turning to New Age, witchcraft and satanic worship.  


Extra Scriptures

1 Chronicles:5-6
5So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. 6David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who is enthroned between the cherubim—the ark that is called by the Name.

1 Kings 6
23For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. 25The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. 26The height of each cherub was ten cubits. 27He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
29On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.

The Throne

Samuel 4:4
So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
  • God’s presence would come between the cherubim
  • God’s throne is between the cherubim
  • God would physically come and dwell between the cherubim above the ark

Psalms 9:1
1The Lord reigns,
let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake.
Psalms 80:1-2
1Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth 2before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.

2 Kings 19:5
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
  • Cherubim surround God’s throne

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