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So he drove out the man, and he placed the cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden—with the flaming sword that was turning in every direction—to guard the way to the tree of life. Bible

“cherubim.” At this point in the biblical narrative we know almost nothing about cherubim other than God uses them as powerful guards. We learn more as we read the Scripture. For example, we learn they have wings in Exodus and also in Kings and Chronicles where they are associated with the Ark of the Covenant, no doubt at least in part to represent God’s guarding it (cp. Exod. 25:20; 37:9; 1 Kings 6:27; 2 Chron. 3:11, 13). However, it is not until Ezekiel 1 and 10 that we have a more complete description. They are said to be living creatures, they have four faces on their heads and four wings each, and arms and hands like human hands under their wings. They would then grasp the flaming sword mentioned in Genesis with their hands. Their powerful fast bodies, faces that looked in every direction, and ability to carry weapons made them formidable beings indeed.

“with the flaming sword.” The Hebrew reads “and a flame of the sword,” but it is clear that the cherubim are holding and wielding the swords and the swords were what we would refer to as “flaming swords,” hence the translation in the REV.


Commentary for: Genesis 3:24