Angelic Order and Hosts of Heaven PART 1

The cherubim were the first of the angelic beings mentioned in the Bible. Genesis 3:24 – "So God drove out the man' and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep and guard the way of the tree of life." The Hebrew masculine word for cherubim was Kerub, translated, "one who intercedes" or "knowledge", borrowed from the Assyrian Kirubu, from Karabu, meaning "to be near". As mentioned in Genesis 3:24, a cherubim "guarded" the tree of life. The cherubim themselves, rather than their appearance or likeness found, are mentioned four times in the Bible. In Psalm 18:9 & 10, David, the Psalmist, describes the sudden descent of Jehovah to rescue a soul in distress in the following words: "He bowed down the heavens also and came down; and thick darkness was under His feet, v.10, And He rode upon a cherub (or a storm) and flew swiftly; yes, He sped on with wings of the wind." Cherubim have been described as chariots. The Hebrew word Kerub – which has been associated with the Hebrew Rakab, or "to ride" and Merkeba, or "a chariot" are often used interchangeably. One of the functions of the cherubim is that of throne-bearers, or "carriers" of His Divine Majesty, hence their depiction as charioteers. They are described as chariots, not because they had the outward shape of a vehicle, but because they symbolize swift-winged living creatures.

In Egyptian art, they appear as figures with a human face and two outstretched wings. In Assyrian art, they are winged human creatures, sometimes hawk-headed, sometimes with men's faces. The most spectacular accounts of a cherub are from the prophet Ezekiel at the river Chebar. These visions are found in Ezekiel 1:5-28 and Ezekiel 10. His descriptions in both of these passages are essentially identical. He witnessed the living creatures or the cherubim at close hand, each with four faces and four wings. His explanation of the cherubim is one of the most difficult to understand in scripture and has given rise to a multitude of explanations. The prophet first saw a luminous cloud coming from the north; from a distance it seemed a heavy cloud fringed with light and some intense brilliancy in the center, bright as God, yet in perpetual motion as the flames of a fire. Within that heavenly fire, he began gradually to distinguish four living beings with bodies as men, yet with four faces each: a human face in front, but an eagle's face behind; a lion's face to the left and an ox's face to the right. Though approaching, their knees did not bend in their march, straight and stiff they remained, and for feet they had the hooves of oxen, shod with shining brass. They had four arms, two to each shoulder, and attached along each arm they had a wing. Of these four winged arms, two were outstretched above, and two were let down and covered their bodies. These four living beings stood together, facing in four opposite directions, and between them were four great wheels, each wheel being double, so that it could roll forward or sideways. Thus, this angelic "chariot" in whatever of the four directions it moved, always presented the same aspect. And both angels and wheels were all studded with eyes. And over the heads of the cherubim, so that they touched it with the points of their outstretched wings, was an expanse of crystal, and on this crystal, a sapphire throne, and on the throne one resembling a man, the likeness of the Glory of God. The mystical meaning of each detail of this vision will probably remain a matter of speculation, but the meaning of the four faces seems fairly easy to grasp: man is the king of creation, the lion is the king of the beasts of the forest, the ox is the king of the field, the eagle is the king of the birds of the air. These faces are understood to signify that these angelic beings possessed the intelligent wisdom of man, the strength of the lion, the ponderous weight of the ox, and the soaring sublimity of the eagle. In Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre in chapter 28, verses 14-16, he describes Tyre as a cherub fallen from glory.

Indirectly from this passage, we gather that cherubim were conceived to be in a state of perfection, wisdom, sinlessness and nearness to God in His Holy Mountain and of supernatural glory and happiness. The words "o