Cherubim, part 2

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Cherubim are one of nine orders or choirs of angels which are organized into three spheres, with three choirs in each sphere.  According to Christian tradition, the first sphere, which is made up of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and the Thrones, are considered the closet to Heaven.  In Ezekiel 10:14, the Cherubim are described as having four likenesses or four faces, “And every one had four faces; the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.”  Cherubim are most always depicted as chubby babies.

The Cherubim were to be guardian angels.  In two places in the Bible, there role is thus described, first as guardians of the gates at the Garden of Eden and then of the Ark of the Covenant:

Genesis 3:22-24,  [22]“And the LORD GOD said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever; [23]Therefore the LORD GOD sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. [24]So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

I Samuel 4;4, “So the people went to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims.”

Sculptures of cherubs often adorn the graves of children. Here, the cherub is leaning against an inverted torch. The flames coming from the bottom of the torch look a bit like a mop.  The flame or fire is symbolic of the soul.  The inverted torch represents a life that has been extinguished.  The monument marks the grave of “HARRY” who only lived 17 months.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

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