From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Many-eyed Cherubim angel in center. (Nave Mosaic from Palatine Chapel, Palermo, Sicily. Mid 12th c.)

The many-eyed Cherubim (sg. Cherub), second after the seraphim in the angelic hierarchy, stand before the all-knowing God in ineffable radiance. They are always radiant with the light of the knowledge of God and His Wisdom, and with the knowledge of the mysteries of God. Named 'cherubim', meaning 'great understanding' or 'effusion of wisdom' in Hebrew, they are enlightened and therefore, through the cherubim, wisdom is sent down to others and enlightenment of the spiritual eyes is given to see God and have knowledge of Him. In other words, the Lord dwells between the cherubim (2 Samuel 6:2).

Representing the mysteries above, in the Old Testament figures of cherubim decorated the sanctuary. A pair of cherubim made by gold was ordered to be placed on the mercy seat and between them the Lord spoke to his people (Exodus 25:17-22). Figures of cherubim were woven on the veils of the tabanacle.

In the Divine Liturgy the song of cherubim is sung in the liturgy of faithful, representing cherubim between whom the Lord dwells.


First Hierarchy: Seraphim | Cherubim | Thrones
Second Hierarchy: Powers | Dominions | Principalities
Third Hierarchy: Virtues | Archangels | Angels