Ancient Angels: Heavenly Messengers or Myths? The Origins of Cherubim – Part I
If one does a Google search and types in “movies about angels”, you will receive a plethora of films that feature angels or what could be angels. Of course, this list includes the fallen ones as well. While Hollywood provides the films today, many people believe in the Heavenly beings from other sources – and have for thousands of years.
According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll that was conducted in 2011, nearly eight out of 10 Americans believe in angels. According to the report:
Belief is primarily tied to religion, with 88 percent of Christians, 95 percent of evangelical Christians, and 94 percent of those who attend weekly religious services of any sort saying they believe in angels.
Of course, the majority of believers are religious. However, “more than four in 10 of those who never attend religious services” believe in angels. While belief in such beings is subjective, it is without question interesting.
A colorized image from ‘Paradise Lost’ ( Public Domain )
Before continuing, understand that this piece does not endorse any particular religious beliefs. Rather, this article seeks to uncover the nature of angels and man from a historical perspective as to what mankind believes, and what the Hebrew biblical texts indicate. In other words, are they real or a figment of our imagination, or perhaps a combination of both? We will look at angels, but focus primarily on the origins of the cherubim.
Cherubim from Barton Turf Rood Screen, Norfolk, U.K. (Martin Harris/ CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Angel: The Messenger
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word angel comes from the “Old English engel, ultimately via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek angelos ‘messenger’; superseded in Middle English by forms from Old French angele.” In Hebrew, the term angel means the same thing. Moreover, the word angel and the word spirit are interchangeable, but one has to be careful for there are a few times when the term angel has nothing to do with a spiritual being. In the Bible, depending on the context, an angel could be a human messenger as well. The book of Malachi 1:1 states, “This is the message that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.” While it is obvious that an angel can be human or a heavenly being, the term itself becomes somewhat generic due to its interchangeability within the physical and spiritual realms. The question that needs to be addressed is: what are these heavenly creatures so many people believe in? What are they, where do they come from, and what do they look like?
What are They?
So, what is an angel? The following texts are examples of where the term "angel of the Lord" can be read:
Genesis 16:7–14. The angel of the Lord appears to Hagar.
Genesis 22:11–15. The angel of the Lord appears to Abraham.
Exodus 3:2–4. The angel of the Lord appears to Moses in a flame.
Numbers 22:22–38. The angel of the Lord meets the prophet Balaam on the road.
Judges 2:1–3. The angel of the Lord appears to Israel.
Judges 6:11–23. The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon.
Judges 13:3–22. The angel of the Lord appears to Manoah and his wife.
However, one has to be mindful of the variances when reading these few passages provided. For at times, an angel is mentioned but then the Hebrew god, Yahweh (Lord) is injected into the passage as the one who is present. Take Exodus 3:2–4 for example. The ‘angel of the Lord’ appears to Moses in a flame, but the voice coming from the flame is that of Yahweh. So, what does one make of this? Like with an ambassador or diplomat of any nation, a messenger usually comes first to announce the coming of his or her king, queen, prime-minster, president, etc. After the messenger makes the announcement, the leader takes over from there.
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Cam Rea is an author and military historian. He has written numerous articles for Ancient Origins, Classical Wisdom Weekly, and has authored several books, including: The Wars of Israel: A Military History of Ancient Israel from the End of Judges to Solomon
Top Image: Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan. ( Public Domain );Detail.
By Cam Rea
Hello Cam Rea,
Hey, I thought science was the only realm that removed God as an equation I never thought in terms of history doing it I always equate history with a different hemisphere than science. Well I guess we learn something New everyday huh?
As a small child I went with my mom too Acapulco one Summer. My mom had great trepidation when she spied the ocean of Acapulco she felt like something bad might happen there Now As for myself I was just excited to be their.
The Hotel was situated right on the beach considering how hot it was that was a pleasant relaxing atmosphere. Being Christians we prayed every morning and every evening but, my mom still couldn't shake something was wrong it wouldn't be till a Saturday I'd find out why and admittedly it was by my doing.
So Saturday is when we go too Church were Seventh Day Adventist so that's our Sabbath so this Sabbath Day mom takes me too the Beach we have a serious conversation before coming down to the beach about the water but being Seven I quickly forgot that conversation I was too caught up with the fun of the Water but mom had given me a specific designated area where I could get my feet wet and my legs splashed but that was it because neither Mom or I know how to swim.
It wasn't till I saw the beach peddlers bringing their wears around to my mom that I began to venture beyond my designated spot on the beach.
Picture it if you will, I was wearing a big bright orange life preserver tube around my waist; and two Orange things up on my arms nice and thick but those tools didn't stand a chance against a huge undertow.
It knocked me down and started dragging me out too the ocean line. My mom sees my orange tube flying in the air and thinks I'm goofing off till she sees me taken away by the undertow.
Standing up on the beach she screams somebody help me my daughter can't swim now my mom stays where she is on the beach because as I've mentioned we both don't know how to swim.
I may never learn how to swim on account of how many ear problems I've had since I was little and that was before the near drowning incident at Acapulco.
Anyway this man who was holding his little boy heard my mom cry for help squashed his child into the sand and ran out too get me he and this eighteen year old who was on vacation with His Family both tried pulling me in but they lost me four times because of the undertow.
Finally the man whose voice I heard speaking nothing but Spanish I'm not joking I heard him even over the roar of the undertows talking.
The eighteen year old assisting Him finally, I was brought in and up on to the beach, after I was checked too see if I was alright my mom looked for the man too thank him and that's when it got interesting. The crowd that formed around Mom and I hadn't seen the man rescue me; only the eighteen year old.
That was because he was rescuing me right next too the mysterious Man pulling me back in from the Undertows; so accept for this eighteen year old who did see Him know one else saw Him they didn't see him loose me four times too the Undertows.
My mom looked for him; the eighteen year old searched for the man too He wasn't there and know one else had seen Him but my mom and the eighteen year old, heck I heard him speaking Spanish when He grabbed Me.
All I can say is that's the day we went too Church, when I nearly drowned now the Human explanation with this personal story is that was just a coincidence, but from a Faith Based Background in terms of God and his Angels far as were concern He was an Angel.
That day I learned a powerful lesson on the Consequences of Disobedience sometimes you don't get second chances other times if you do get Second Chances seek what direction God wishes you too Go that's what I got from that lesson on The Beach.
I can't remove an entire belief system regarding The Angels because it is the entire backdrop to the Judeo-Christian Faith; not too mention my experience in Acapulco.
What caught my attention is the Cherubs that were mentioned in the article.
The first Cherub that was Created by God is described in Revelation as That Old Ancient Serpent of Old and re-known who is of course Lucifer his title was The Covering Cherub.
Based on the Scriptures with the exception of The Holy Trinity Lucifer was so old that there isn't an exact date of knowing when God created Him in The Universe.
What I do know is that all the Angels came before the Creation of the Heaven's, The Constellations, the Planet's, and all of the Moon's and Sun's which includes the Creation of Earth and all who dwell on this Planet.
What little I do know is that Cherubs like Lucifer has wings they could be like that of the wings of Eagles or the Wing's of Butterflies and Moth's.
The Seraphims or the most interesting describe they are mentioned further in The Old Testament The Book's of Isaiah chapter 6/Ezekiel chapter 1 just when God's people is in the midst of The Babylonian Captivity.
The final time in The Bible where the Seraphims are made known is in Revelation chapter 4 last Book of the Bible.
These celestial beings are described as having Six Wing's.
They are depicted as having the head of a Lion, Head of a Man, Head of a Bull or in some translations of the Bible an Ox, the last A Head of an Eagle; so they have Six Wing's and apparently Eyes all over their entire body the Seraphims constantly dwell in The Presence of The Most High.
Day and Night according to Isaiah and John The Revelator testifies that they sing praises to God who sits on his throne Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty they do this everyday.
The sheer brilliance of God's Holy Light is so intense that the Seraphims use their first set of wing's to cover their eyes, the third set of Wing's is used to cover their Feet since Eyes are all over their body that makes sense too me; the middle pair of Wing's they flap around all day their Feet never touching the throne rooms floor.
Now according to Ezekiel chapter one These Seraphims move faster than the speed of light some cases they might flap their wings in the manner of the Hummingbird are perhaps 50 times more beat per second than the Hummingbirds.
Then their are other Angels that look like you and I accept they are exceptionally tall. Some Christian stories from the early to the late 1800s in Europe and America is that they reached the Height of 10 Feet tall.
In the Forbidden Scriptures of The Gospel of Peter the disciple who sat at Jesus' feet for three in a half year's maintained that when Christ was called from His Sleep in Death from Joesph of Arimathea family Tomb The Angels Heights Reached to the Star's.
The important thing too remember is that their are Righteous Angels and Wicked Fallen Angel's like Lucifer who follow after Him.
When Lucifer deceived the Angels Revelation states that one-third of the Stars fell from Heaven Falling Stars in The Bible usually symbolized Angels.
In fact in the Cast Out Bible Book Enoch 3 The Book of Giant's testifies to God sending Dreams too 200 off-spring of Fallen Angel's who without God's permission left their abode in the Heaven's came down and married human Women.
The Human Women of Cain's Bloodline in turned gave birth to these Angels great sons that were said to be be Giant's according to Enoch 1 The Book of The Watchers they grew too 3000 feet in Height.
Anyhow the vision God sent these Children of The Angel's in their dreams were 200 Stars falling from Heaven God was showing them their impeding destruction with The Great Flood as a Bonus God was trying too reach the ones who were more reasonable but the Olive branch was rejected.
In the greek and roman stories Cupid&Psyche is the most popular love story from The Ancient World.
If I hadn't found and read Enoch I would of put it down too it just being another greek myth with Enoch I can no longer make that argument.
So instead of one Cupid try 199 more Cupids in question and that's the number of Fallen Angel's called The Watchers who Married Human Women.
It shouldn't have escaped our notice this winged figure embracing his Psyche for his wings are the wings of the Cherubim Angel's.
There is so much more that I could say on this subject but won't for now. I do have one thing too mention you spoke about Gideon and the Angel He encountered?
Well That Angel He spoke to his described as The Angel of The Lord that is Jesus, Joshua spoke to Him right before The Walls of Jericho came down He identified Himself too Joshua as The Captain of the Hosts who are the Army of the Angels; yet Jesus is apart of the Holy Trinity.
When being baptized in to Christianity ministers would often say the person's name then state I Now Baptize you in The Name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit; in African American Churches The Ministers say The Holy Ghost, it would shock the World to know that The Holy Spirit is not Male but, is Female.
Another place in The Bible is found in 2 Kings when the Assyrian Army besieged Jerusalem this was doing the Reign of King Hezekiah well led by The Angel of The Lord 185,000 Angels slaughtered the Assyrian Army leaving The King Alive as the Soul Survivor of the Heavenly Slaughter the King of Assyria was put to death by his own countrymen.
This was an exciting article to read and explore thank you for sharing this piece so Goodbye for now until next time.