James A. Steelman Honors in Religion

An Analysis of the Cherubim in Genesis Chapter Three
Through careful translation and analysis of Genesis chapter three and other Biblical texts that contain cherubim an attempt is made to understand the role of the cherubim in Genesis chapter three. The cherubim appear in the final verse of Genesis three with little description of what they are and what they are doing. By exploring the roles of cherubim in other passages an attempt is made to link the cherubim of the Garden of Eden and the entire Garden text to other texts in the Old Testament. The majority of these texts have to deal with tabernacle or temple and the cherubim that are found in both as the primary artwork. The other texts are the visions of Ezekiel where God comes to the Exiles in Babylonia riding on a throne of cherubim or are seen judging the temple from the same throne. The dirge over the King of Tyre in Ezekiel twenty-eight also provides a unique view of the cherubim. However, the text of Genesis does not allow for any outside material to be introduced as the author has carefully chosen his words. Each text is analyzed for any parallel that it might share with Genesis three in regards of theme and language.