School of Theology and Seminary Faculty Publications


Ezekiel's Cherub: A Promising Symbol or a Dangerous Idol?

Document Type


Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | Biblical Studies | Religion


“Ezekiel drew upon imagery and iconography from Israel and its ancient Near Eastern environs. A particularly important iconographic image in Ezekiel' s prophetic message is the cherub. Although this word is more frequently used in the plural and applied to those beings that form and direct Yhwh' s throne chariot, the references to the cherub in the singular (9:3; 10:4, 7; 28:14, 16) raise questions about the identity and role of this figure and show the metaphoric or symbolic power of this image to hold in tension royal, priestly, and prophetic dimensions of the Israelite tradition. This capacity to balance different, often competing, religious, social, and political visions makes the cherub an important agent in forming boundaries within Ezekiel' s prophetic imagination.” –Page 165-166.