The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: C

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What is the derivation of the Heb word "cherub"? One possibility: "cherub" = ke-rab: the conjunction of two Heb words: (a) ke: the likeness of; and (b) rab: greatness, or a great number (cp "Rabbi"). Thus cherubim (the plural) sig a great and mighty multitude, in whom God is manifested. This might refer to an angelic company or the company of the redeemed. All of the places of worship have cherubim associated with them (Gen 3:24; Exo 25:13-22; 26:31,33; 1Ki 6:23-35) -- suggesting that the great cherubic multitude will be finally revealed through their true worship of the Almighty.

The cherubim were associated with chariots (1Ch 28:18) -- the ancient vehicles of war, suggesting that their manifestation will be accompanied by a great battle. (JT suggests the word cherub is related to the Heb word "rekab", or "chariot".)

Therefore, the cherubim speak of the sureness of God's purpose, covenants, and provisions, and His promise to fill the earth eventually with His glory, in the persons of many resurrected Spirit-beings. This salvation is the hope of all creation, and the cherubim in Eze 1 are pictured with four heads:

  1. The lion: the head of all wild creatures;
  2. The ox: the head of all tame creatures;
  3. The eagle: the head of all birds; and,
  4. Man: the supreme head of all God's creation (Gen 1:26,28), who has been promised dominion over the earth.
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