Angel-ology
 

The Cherubim Choir

The Cherubim AngelsHierarchy: First Angelic Triad
Order/Choir: Second Choir
Classified: Cherubim
Origin of Name: Translated, the word means "fullness of knowledge, or, wisdom."
Alternate Name(s): Malakhim, Mal'akh
Reports to: God
Angels:  Cherubiel, Gabriel, Haziel, Kerubiel, Ophaniel, Raphael, Sachiel, Uriel, Zophiel, Satan (Before his fall)

 

  

 

 

Chronicle

Physical Appearance:

  • The Cherubim have four wings and four heads
  • The four heads point to the four points of the compass
  • Cherubim are never mentioned as cute, chubby winged babies with flutes and harps as is depicted in so much "Angel art"

Symbolized By:

Primary Role(s):

  • Cherubim are the Angels of God's knowledge or wisdom
  • They are the spiritual leaders of Heaven
  • They have the capacity to understand and communicate divine knowledge for the Creator
  • They are the guardians of the fixed stars
  • They are keepers of the celestial records
  • They are the bestowers of knowledge

Noted For:

  • Cherubim are the first Angelic mention in the Bible and are referred to in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Hebrews
  • In the Book of Genesis it is the Cherubim who force Adam and Eve out of Eden and guard the gates to Paradise and the Tree of Life, with a flaming sword flashing back and forth. They will be there until the Day of Judgement
  • Cherubim are the carved figures on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant
  • In Islamic lore, the Cherubim were supposedly created out of the tears shed by the Archangel Michael for all the sins of humanity

Possible Origins:

The historical origins of their lore can possibly be traced to:

  • Assyria - whose term Karabu meant "great and mighty"
  • Akkadia - whose term Kuribu meant "propitious and blessed"
  • Babylonia - whose term Karabu meant "propitious and blessed"

Shedu, Human-Headed, Winged, BullIn some regions, the Assyro-Babylonian term came to refer to "Spirits" which served the gods. In particular to the Shedu which were human-headed, winged, bulls. Sometimes these Shedu were referred to as Kirubu, a term grammatically related to Karabu. The Karabu were represented as pairs of colossal stone statues found on either side of objects to be protected, such as the entrances to temples and palaces.

A number of scholars have proposed that the Cherubim were originally a version of the Shedu. However, while the Shedu were popular in Mesopotamia, archaeological remains suggest that they were quite rare in the immediate vicinity of the Israelites.

On the other hand, the related Lammasu, the human-headed winged lions, (similar to the Sphinx in appearance), were the most popular winged-creature in Phoenician art. As a result, many scholars suspect that Cherubim were originally a form of Lammasu. This is based upon archeological findings and opinions that the Israelites arose as a subculture in Canaanite society. Hence, it was only natural for the Israelites to continue using Canaanite protective deities.

The Lammasu was originally depicted as having a king's head, a lion's body, and an eagle's wings. Because of the artistic beauty of the wings, they became the most prominent part in imagery. Wings were later were bestowed on men, thus forming the familiar image of an Angel.

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