The term cherubim (chruvim in Hebrew), refers to various spirits or beings mentioned in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible that live in God’s presence or perform divine tasks.
The word itself may come from the Assyrian term kirubu, meaning “to be near,” a reference to those who are near to God in the heavenly court, busy praising and worshipping God’s holiness.
References to cherubim occur throughout sacred literature. They are first mentioned in Genesis (3:24). Later, in accordance with God’s instructions, images of cherubim were placed on the cover of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, representing nearness to God’s presence. In the Talmud, cherubim are associated with the “order of wheels” (ophanim). In the Middle Ages, they were thought to be the guardians of the heavens.
Last updated: May 17, 2015 at 21:46 pm
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