Why did God cause 2 cherubim to be placed over the mercy seat on the ark ?

Ark contained the LAW Adam & Eve (Symbol of man and woman) were first to break God’s law
The LAW was enclosed by the mercyseat Mercyseat = Propitiation. Covering of skin in Eden & death of animal provided by God, pointed to Jesus sacrifice covering sin
On top were 2 cherubim. Cherubim & mercyseat all made of one piece of beaten gold

Ex 37:7 And he made a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And he made two cherubim of hammered gold; on the two ends of the mercy seat he made them, one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.


Cherubim were a symbol of man and woman. They were made out of one piece along with the mercy seat. Adam and Eve were made out of one in the image of God, but they failed – they turned to each other and away from God.

The cherubim on the ark were a symbol of the second Adam (Jesus) and the ‘woman’ of the new covenant.     Their wings kept safe the things of God. In Eden, Adam and Eve failed to keep safe the things of God. They faced each other across the mercy seat of God. God and the covering blood of lamb/Jesus were between them. Their focus is on the things of God.

In a similar way the King of Tyre is described as a cherub in Eden giving covering.

Ezek 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;…v14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;

The cherubim’s wings were thus to keep safe the things of God and defend them


Ps 57:1 in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge

Ruth 2:12 “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Cherubim in Eden – Gen 3:24 he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims (plural), and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. The job of the Cherubim was to keep/protect the way of the tree of life.
God spoke from the place that was above the mercy seat but below the wings of the cherubim – but only when the blood was sprinkled there

Ex 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony

The mercy seat is a symbol of God’s dwelling place – it is the blood which was sprinkled on the mercy seat which is the symbol of Jesus – the place God spoke from.
God’s dwells with the 2 cherubim

Ps 80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock;

Thou that dwellest (between) the cherubims, shine forth.

The cherubim on the ark were not a symbol of angels – but of people

Heb 2:16 “For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham.”

Just as the mercy seat and cherubim were all made of one piece of gold – so Jesus and his ‘bride’ will be one with God – John 17:11 Keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

The ark with cherubim was a symbol of God’s dwelling with people and pointed to God dwelling with people through Christ. The ultimate fulfilment will be when the earth is full of Godly people

Rev 21:3 “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them

The cherubim on the ark are a symbol of man and woman. God meets with them their through the blood of Jesus.

Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest (between) the cherubims, shine forth. Psalm 80:1

God placed in Eden Cherubim to keep safe the way to the tree of life – perhaps they were righteous people known as “Sons of God” in Gen 6:2

AT THE CROSS – God rode on a cherub

At the foot of the cross God was with the small group of women who gave comfort to His Son. God gives comfort through people. (For more about the women at the cross see ‘Under the Banner of Love – Mary Magdalene Author of the Fourth Gospel’

God flew on angel’s wings

Ps 18:10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
He came swiftly upon the wings of the wind/(spirit)
This is highly symbolic language – God doesn’t need a cherub to fly – yet He chooses to dwell with the righteous. This passage pointed to the hour of Jesus death when God was united with Mary and the Beloved Disciple in grief and comfort for Jesus.
Context in Psalm 18 (also see 2 Sam 22)
The cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire…16 He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They came upon me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my stay.
19 He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
Crucifixion in Matthew

From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli′jah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; 52 the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Of further interest is that the Jews believed  the cherubim on the ark were formed as male and female in the form of human beings with wings.



About alsowritten

Another voice in the wilderness
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