What are cherubim?

by Matt Slick

Cherubim are a kind of angel created by God. They are powerful beings and are among those who were chosen by God not to fall (1 Tim. 5:21) in Satan's rebellion. After Adam and Eve sinned, they were assigned to guard the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24), presumably so Adam and Eve would not re-enter. God instructed that images of the cherubim be constructed upon the Mercy Seat which was over the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies (Exodus 25:18-22; 37:7). God is enthroned above the cherubim (2 Samuel 6:2; Psalm 99:1) as a reference to the Ark of the Covenant. Cherubim were constructed out of gold (Exodus 25:18; 1 Kings 6:28) and olive wood (1 Kings 6:23) as well as carved engravings (1 Kings 6:29; 2 Chronicles 3:7), and embroidered on the walls of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1; 36:8) and on the veil (Exodus 26:31).  They are described in Ezekiel 1:5-11 and carry out God's purposes (Ezekiel 10:9-11).

  • Gen. 3:24, "So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life."
  • Exodus 25:18-20, "And you shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 “And make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. 20 “And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat."
  • Heb. 9:5, "And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail."

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.