winged bull of Assyria was called ?Kerub? almost as far back as the time of Moses. The word appears in its Hebrew form 500 years before the Jews had any contact with the Persian dominion. The Jews did not derive it from any Aryan race and so it belonged to their own language.
The variable form of the cherubim seems to prove that they are symbolic appearances rather than real beings. A parallel may be found in classical literature. In Horace, Carmina, 3:11, 15 ? Cerberus has three heads; in 2:13, 34 ? he has a hundred. Breal-Semantics suggests that the three heads may be dog heads, while the hundred heads may be the heads snakes. But Cerberus is also represented in Greece as having only one head. Cerberus must therefore be a symbol rather than an actually existing creature. H. W. Congdon of Wyoming, N. Y., held, however, that the cherubim are symbols of God?s life in the universe as a whole.
<262814> Ezekiel 28:14-19 ? ?the anointed cherub that covereth? = the power of the King of Tyre was so all-pervading throughout his dominion, his sovereignty so absolute and his decrees so instantly obeyed, that his rule resembled the divine government over the world. Mr. Congdon regarded the cherubim as a proof of monism. See Margoliouth, The Lord?s Prayer, 159-189. On animal characteristics in man, see Hopkins, Scriptural Idea of Man, 105.
3. As to their moral character.
(a) They were all created holy.
<010131> Genesis 1:31 ? ?God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good?; Jude 6 ? ?angels that kept not their own beginning ? ajrch>n seems here to mean their beginning in holy character, rather than their original lordship and dominion.
(b) They had a probation.
This we infer from <540521>1 Timothy 5:21 ? ?the elect angels?; cf. <600101>1 Peter 1:1, 2 ? ?elect? unto obedience.? If certain angels, like certain men, are ?elect ? unto obedience,? it would seem to follow that there was a period of probation during which their obedience or disobedience determined their future destiny; see Elliott on <540521>1 Timothy 5:21. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, 106-108 ? ? <010314>Genesis 3:14 ? ?Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou? ? in the sentence on the serpent, seems to imply that Satan?s day of grace was ended when he seduced man. Thenceforth he was driven to live in dust, to triumph only in sin, to pick up a living out of man, to possess man?s body or soul, to tempt from the good.?
Was this article helpful?