As Clear as Mud: What the Cherubim Are (and aren’t)

In the book of Ezekiel we read the only description in the Bible of what cherubim look like:

And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. sEach one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies.

Sounds like something from a movie right?

But if this is the only description of their image that we have, why do we paint them to look like this?

So how did they become fat babies with wings? I mean, I understand being unclear about the order of the end times or even a literal reading of the days of creation, but come on. This is not even close.

Our culture’s perception of Scripture creeps into our thinking in more ways than you might expect. Try to find the phrase: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” or the name “Lucifer” in the Bible. You won’t. And these are the smallest ways that the Scriptures are muddied by cultural misunderstandings. This is a great reminder for us that we must follow Paul’s command to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:14: by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit in both the big and the small.

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One Response to As Clear as Mud: What the Cherubim Are (and aren’t)

  1. Pingback: Ezekiel 28-31: Tyre-d of Satan | Unoriginal Observations

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