Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.(Ezekiel 1:5-11) KJV
Seraphim and Cherubim were created in the firmasphere on the fourth day. God recombined their characteristics as he created the moving creatures in the hydrosphere and fowls in the atmosphere on the fifth day.
Cherubim are mentioned in many places in the Bible. Most of the time they’re included in the description of items used in ceremonial worship, such as the Cherubim which were made of gold to adorn the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.
We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.– Matty’s Razor
There’s only one place in the Bible where their physical appearance is described: the vision of Ezekiel. Isaiah saw Seraphim, and by contextual association with the words used in their description we included them with Dragons in the Reptile class.
We considered that the mode of creation which God employed wasn’t phylogenetic, which is to say it wasn’t based on cumulative changes in DNA that gave rise to shared derived characteristics (synapomorphies). The mode of creation was spherogenetic, God created forms with a free hand, according to their sphere of origin: the firmasphere is the firmament or the third heaven. This includes the host of heaven which was created on the fourth day. The DNA based genome of the creatures God created developed as an expression of their phenotype, not the other way around.
The hydrosphere and atmosphere were filled with moving creatures and fowls of the air on the fifth day, but again this was not according to phylogenetic groupings based on DNA, it was based on adapting and modifying the forms which were created in the firmasphere. The Seraphim, for instance, was the progenitor of the Cockatrice, which by turns became the source of characters found in many groups including reptiles and birds. However, as we will see today, this doesn’t include ALL birds.
As we look at the characteristics of the Cherubim we’ll see all loose strands connecting creation with the process of evolution permanently snap as we consider a polyphyletic origin for the mammals and birds.
The first thing that we see about the Cherubim from Ezekiel’s description is that they had the appearance of a man. He then goes on to describe the many ways in which the Cherubim are different from man, so we’re to understand that the Cherubim was bipedal. It has two legs. In this case the feet were like a calf, which is a feature found in many quadrupeds like horses and cows. This gives us a very solid connection to the mammals, many of which have this feature. They had hands of a man, which would in phylogenetic classification put them with primates having opposable thumbs, again a mammalian connection.
This is where the description takes an interesting twist, describing as it does 4 wings. Were these wings like the membranes of a bat which is grouped with the mammals? Or were these wings like the beetle or butterfly which are insect characteristics? The only clue which we have is that the four faces include an eagle. This is a connection to the birds. Can we assume that the wings were also like those of an eagle?
There isn’t a definite answer, but then, there doesn’t need to be. We’ve seen that the Cockatrice, a serpent, had the head of a cockerel. Cockerels are birds. We now see that the Cherubim, a mammal, has the head of an eagle. Eagles are also birds. These characters didn’t arise by a process of evolution. God created them as expressions of his own nature and personality. Evolution wasn’t involved. We’re talking about Abiogenesis.
Artistic renderings of Cherubim are surprisingly bad and very inaccurate. We were quite disappointed until we looked to DeviantArt.
- Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
- believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
- confess your sin.
Read through the Bible in a year
|Reading plan||May 22|
|Chronological||Psalms 95, 97-99|
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