Who Are Cherubim Angels?

Cherubim Guard God's Glory, Keep Records, and Help People Grow Spiritually

Cherubs painting, circa 1510s
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock / Getty Images

The cherubim are a group of angels recognized in both Judaism and Christianity. Cherubs guard God's glory both on Earth and by his throne in heaven, work on the universe's records, and help people grow spiritually by delivering God's mercy to them and motivating them to pursue more holiness in their lives.

Cherubim and Their Role in Judaism and Christianity

In Judaism, the cherubim angels are known for their work helping people deal with sin that separates them from God so they can draw closer to God. They urge people to confess what they've done wrong, accept God's forgiveness, learn spiritual lessons from their mistakes, and change their choices so their lives can move forward in a healthier direction. Kabbalah, a mystical branch of Judaism, says that Archangel Gabriel leads the cherubim.

In Christianity, the cherubim are known for their wisdom, zeal to give glory to God, and their work helping to record what happens in the universe. Cherubs constantly worship God in heaven, praising the Creator for his great love and power. They focus on making sure that God receives the honor that he deserves, and act as security guards to help prevent anything unholy from entering the presence of a perfectly holy God.

Close Proximity to God

The Bible describes cherubim angels in close proximity to God in heaven. The books of Psalms and 2 Kings both say that God is "enthroned between the cherubim." When God sent his spiritual glory to Earth in physical form, the Bible says, that glory resided in a special altar that the ancient Israelite people carried with them wherever they went so they could worship anywhere: the Ark of the Covenant. God himself gives the prophet Moses instructions for how to represent cherubim angels in the book of Exodus. Just like cherubs are close to God in heaven, they were close to God's spirit on Earth, in a pose that symbolizes their reverence for God and desire to give people the mercy they need to draw closer to God.

Cherubs also show up in the Bible during a story about their work guarding the Garden of Eden against being corrupted after Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world. God assigned the cherubim angels to protect the integrity of the paradise that he had designed perfectly, so it wouldn't become tainted by the brokenness of sin.

The biblical prophet Ezekiel had a famous vision of cherubim who showed up with memorable, exotic appearances--as "four living creatures" of brilliant light and great speed, each with the face of a different type of creature (a man, lion, ox, and eagle).

Recorders in the Universe's Celestial Archive

Cherubim sometimes work with guardian angels, under the supervision of Archangel Metatron, recording every thought, word, and action from history in the universe's celestial archive. Nothing that has ever happened in the past, is happening in the present, or will happen in the future goes unnoticed by the hardworking angelic teams who record every living being's choices. Cherub angels, like other angels, grieve when they must record bad decisions but celebrate when they record good choices.

The cherubim angels are magnificent beings who are much more powerful than the cute babies with wings that are sometimes called cherubs in art. The word "cherub" refers both to the real angels described in religious texts like the Bible and to the fictional angels that look like chubby young children who began to appear in artwork during the Renaissance. People associate the two because cherubim are known for their purity, and so are children, and both can be messengers of God's pure love in people's lives.

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Hopler, Whitney. "Who Are Cherubim Angels?" Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-are-cherubim-angels-123903. Hopler, Whitney. (2021, February 8). Who Are Cherubim Angels? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-are-cherubim-angels-123903 Hopler, Whitney. "Who Are Cherubim Angels?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-are-cherubim-angels-123903 (accessed March 21, 2023).