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View Study Bibles. Church Resources Newsletter. Some try to emphasize the connection between what Ezekiel described and the artistic images of half-beast, half-human monsters of ancient cultures. Yet the Biblical idea if cherubim goes back much further. They had the likeness of a man : Ezekiel noted that they were not men; they were angelic beings, not human beings.
Yet they had the likeness of a man — in general form and structure, they looked like men. Yet they were generally more like men than dragons or whales or other forms. When angelic beings appear to men and women in the Bible, they often have the likeness of a man. Perhaps the general form and appearance of angels is something like the general form and appearance of human beings. Each one had four faces : Ezekiel will describe their faces in the following lines. From the fact that one being had four faces perhaps indicates that some beings can comprise more than one person.
In a way beyond our total comprehension, there is one God in three persons; perhaps the four faces indicate that these cherubim comprise one being in four persons. Each one had four wings : Cherubim are a very special class of angelic beings, and this is one of the few places in Scripture that tells us that wings are associated with angelic beings at all.
The artistic designs of cherubim commanded to be made with the tabernacle, temple, and the ark of the covenant emphasized their wings Exodus and ; 1 Kings and In Isaiah , the prophet described his heavenly vision where he saw beings he called seraphim who had six wings. It is likely that cherubim and seraphim are the same beings described from slightly different perspectives or noting different details.
The name seraphim means burning ones , which seems to fit with these cherubim as described in Ezekiel They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze : These beings had a shiny, radiant appearance. They sparkled and gave off something of a bronze color. Our blessed Lord is represented with legs like burnished brass , Revelation The hands of a man were under their wings : This is another example of how their appearance was human-like in some ways.
Their wings touched one another : The four cherubim were close together, not spread out at large distances. Each one went straight forward : They did not turn to the left or the right, but kept straight ahead in their course. There was nothing erratic or chaotic about their movements. Eze The appearance and movement of the living creatures. 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 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, like the appearance of torches 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.
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As for the likeness of their faces : Each of the cherubim had the face of a man , a lion , an ox , and an eagle. Most think that John simply described the particular face that was turned towards his line of sight. These four faces have stirred the imagination of Bible scholars, students, and artists through history. These four faces or figures are a common motif in Christian art, especially in middle age Europe, with the association of a figure with a gospel writer.
In the sculpture work on European cathedrals one may often see a figure of man with a book, a lion with a book, and also an ox and an eagle. The problem is that there has been no absolute agreement on which figure represents which gospel writer. Some commentators say these four creatures speak of the ensigns of the head tribes as Israel camped in four groups around the tabernacle in the wilderness.
This the learned Mede proves from the Rabbins, who, though fabulous enough, yet in such a thing may be credited. Perhaps it is safest to say that the four faces are important because they represent all of animate creation, in its utmost excellence. The lion is the mightiest of wild animals, the ox strongest of domesticated animals, the eagle king of all birds, and man is highest of all creation.
Shemoth , cited in Feinberg. Man is the highest creature God made. Lion, eagle and ox dominate the wild animal kingdom, the skies, and the domesticated animals respectively.
pistvemersuhi.tk Since God sits on a throne above the cherubim, the thought is that all sentient creation is subordinate to him. There are many examples of paintings and sculptures from the middle east that combine animal and human forms — for example, a winged bull with a human head.
But there is nothing like this, beings that have four faces. Two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies : This is different, though not contradictory, to what Isaiah recorded in Isaiah There he saw seraphim burning ones with six wings: two for flight, two to cover the face, and two for covering the feet.
Ezekiel seems to record the two used for flight and the two used to cover the feet. Each one went straight forward : The idea from Ezekiel is repeated for emphasis. These beings did not turn when they went , not moving to the right or the left. Nothing will deter Him—nothing can sidetrack Him at all.
If the latter, then they are perfectly responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah described them as burning ones seraphim, Isaiah , and so did Ezekiel. Out of the fire went lightning shows the power and awe associated with these creatures. The creatures ran back and forth : The cherubim were active , seeming to not stand still for a moment. Their movements were as quick as a flash of lightning. Eze Looking below: the wheels associated with the living creatures.
Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces.