CHERUB (Low Lat., front Ileb. ICrubh, cherub; Ileb. plural cherubim, Engl. plural also cherubs). The name for a Winged crea ture with a human eountenanee, which in the religious symbolism of the Old Testament is rep resented in attendance upon Jehovah, and as forming, part of the court of heavenly N'ings around his throne. Cherubim are mentioned in (:enesis (iii. 24) as guards of paradise; a (diem') with a flaming, sword himb•red the ap proaeh of Adam and Even to the sacred tree. In the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, and after wards in the temple, two cherubim wrought in embossed metal were represented above the mercy-seat or covering the ark of the covenant. so that they appeared to rise out of it. Figures of cherubim were also wrought into the hangings of the Holy of Ilolies, and into the carved wood \\ ork of the walls and doors of the temple. The cherubim that appear in the visions of Ezekiel and the Revelation of John are of a much inure complex character. In Ezekiel (chapter 1) they have the body of a man, whose head. Besides human countenance. has also that of a lion, an x. and an eagle: they are provided with four two of which support the chariot of Je hovah and serve to tly, while the other two cover the body. They move straight forward, not only by moans of wings. but with whirling wheels full of fire. In the Revelation four clicruldm. covered with eyes and having six wings. surround the throne of Jehovah; the first has the face of a lion, the second of an ox, the third of at man, and the fourth of an eagle. This gave rise at a very early period to the symbolical figures of the four Evangelists. the human countenance being associated with Mat thew, that of the lion with _Mark, of the ox with Luke. and of the eagle with John. In the developed system of Jewish angelology, the cherubim (so. e.g. in the. Book of Enoch) form env of the ten highest classes of angels. In ac counting for the origin of the symbol, one must between forms of it which are now distinctively Hebraic and such as evidently con tain foreign admixtures. The cherub belongs
to the class of winged monsters and ehinfieras that we encounter among various nations. Such are the winged griffins on Plurnician monuments. whieh have been traced back to the Hittite art of Syria. The existence of such monsters is probably connected with primitive notions of evolution which imagine a period in which crea tures of a mixed type filled the universe. To the same order of ideas, therefore, as the cherubim belong the seraphim or 'winged serpents' which form part of the imagery in Isaiah (chapter vi.). In Ezekiel, however, specifically Babylonian de velopments of the original conception of cheru bim have been introduced, and his description represents a combination of early Hebrew with later Babylonian notions. The fiery flames (as also the fiery burning sword referred to in Gen. iii. 24) is a Babylonian notion. and likewise the 1-cry complicated conception of a cherub with four faces. on the other hand, the cherubim seated on the covering of the ark represent the more primitive view of monsters guarding the approach to a sacred spot and chosen by the deity as his bodyguard. though in the art itself, since the description of the tabernacle may be long to a later period, foreign elements may be discerned. It is rather strange that the cherubim, which are thus of as forbidding, character, should have become the kind of angels that are ordina rily associated with the terni. The transition to the more pleasing conception is found in Jewish angelology above referred to. in which the cherubim are represented as youthful angels, bearing the glory of God as it passes through the heavens. in the hierarehical gradations estab lished by Christian theologians. cherubim rank next to the seraphim as the second of the nine orders of angels.