Ezekiel 28:14 – A guardian cherub
It was written of Satan:
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery (flaming) stones. (Ezekiel 28:14)
In this text Satan is presented as:
- a guardian cherub, with spread wings
- who had a place on the holy mount
- walking among the fiery (flaming) stones.
What does the Bible say about cherubs?
A cherub appears to be an angel with a specific outward appearance (wings) and a special commission (to protect, to guard).
Cherubs (keruwb) are mentioned in 66 verses of the Bible, in the Old Testament.
These refer mostly to the construction of the tabernacle and, later, the temple.
There were two cherubs on the lid of the ark (see further) and they were depicted in the ‘work of the embroiderer’.
Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.
(Exodus 26:31 and other texts)
Only Ezekiel saw cherubs in a vision that is described in chapters 9 and 10 of his book.
Cherubs (as: cheroubim) are only mentioned once in the New Testament, in the description of the ark in the tabernacle.
Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. (Hebrews 9:5)
The OLB translates the Hebrew word for cherub (keruwb) as: angelic being.
The Hebrew dictionary translates cherub (keruwb) as: winged celestial being.
When translated from the Greek (cheroubim), a description of the two cherubs on the atonement cover of the ark is given.
Cherubs appear in the Bible as guardians (in Genesis 3:24, among other texts) and as protectors, as on the atonement cover of the ark and Satan, who was a guardian cherub.
Each of the cherubs on the atonement cover of the ark had two wings. (see image below) The cherubs in the vision Ezekiel saw also had two wings.
the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, … (Ezekiel 10:19)
They also had several faces.
Each one had four faces. The first face was that of a cherub, and the second that of a human being, the third was the face of a lion, the fourth that of an eagle. (Ezekiel 10:14)
A guardian cherub, with spread wings.
Now to the text:
You were anointed as a guardian cherub … (Ezekiel 28:14)
After the deliverance of the people of Israel God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle, exactly according to the model that God had shown him. This was also called ‘the tent of meeting’.
Moses was to make an ‘ark’ for it (among other things), a chest, which was placed in the tabernacle’s Holy of Holies. There were two cherubs on the lid of the ark.
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (Exodus 25:8-9)
Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. (Exodus 25:10)
(the length of an el is estimated to be 50 cm, although there are differing opinions. Dimensions in the region of: 1,25m x 75cm x 75cm therefore)
Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. (Exodus 25:17)
And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover … (Exodus 25:18)
The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. (Exodus 25:20)
There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. (Exodus 25:22)
In the tabernacle, the predecessor to the temple in Jerusalem, God was present above the atonement cover on the ark, between the cherubs. These stood in a protective, bowed position, covering the atonement cover with their wings.
When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the LORD spoke to him. (Numeri 7:89)
You were on the holy mount.
The holy mount can be seen as God’s dwelling place, as the Psalmist says:
I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. (Psalm 3:4)
You walked among the fiery stones.
Exact meaning unknown.
Interpretation of the text: A guardian cherub.
God created Satan as a guardian cherub.
When Moses spoke with God in the tabernacle, he heard a voice from the Holy of Holies, coming from between the cherubs, from above the atonement cover of the ark.
Satan must have also been a guardian cherub like that, in the true tabernacle in heaven, close to God’s throne.
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Ezekiel 28:14 - A guardian cherub.