The Hebrew name for a winged being with human-like qualities, commonly regarded as a type of angel, but there are those who consider them beasts.
Cherubs or Cherubim are described as having the body and head of a man, but also the head or face of an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They have two sets of wings, four human hands, and their entire body, wings, hands, and all is completely covered with eyes.
Sometimes they have six wings and carry a flaming sword, they are associated with the Chariot of God and revolving wheels which are also covered in eyes. They have superhuman power but lack human emotions.
The Cherubim are attendants of God, living bearers of the divine chariot, keepers of the celestial records, personifications of the winds, and guardians of divine places and treasures.
Sacred places and objects they guard include the of the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon's Temple, the fixed stars, the entrance at the East of Eden and the way to the Tree of Life.
In Jewish Angelology, the Cherubim are ninth of ten ranking classes of angels. In the Christian Angelic Hierarchy they are a separate class in the first hierarchy.
The following quote from the Holy Bible refers to the king of Tyrus as "the anointed cherub," early bible commentators supposed that the king of Tyrus was an incarnation of Satan.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more (Ezekiel 28:12-19 King James Version).
In addition to composite animals wielding swords of fire, Cherubs are also commonly portrayed as small chubby children with wings and children's heads with wings.
Also associated with universal knowledge, storm clouds, winged bulls, griffins, Garuda and other supernatural guardian birds, as well as various supernatural animals used as transportation.
Also known as Kerubim, Cherubym, Cerubin, Cherubin, Cherubyn, Cherubis, and Cherube.
See Also: Creatures by Type » Angels, Biblical
The Holy Bible, King James Version.
Chambers's Encyclopaedia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge. London: W. & R. Chambers, Limited, 1901.
Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels. New York: The Free Press, 1967.
Lindsay, Frederic Nye. Kerubim in Semitic Religion and Art. Columbia University, 1912.
Rose, Carol. Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins. New York: Norton, 1998.