Of Wings and Wheels: A Synthetic Study of the Biblical Cherubim (Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft)
- ISBN-13: 9783110205282
- Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
- Release Date: Oct 20, 2008
- Pages: 220 pages
- Dimensions: 0.63 x 9.21 x 6.14 inches
This study examines the physical form and cultic function of the biblical cherubim. Previous studies of the cherubim have placed too great an emphasis on archaeological and etymological data. This monograph presents a new synthetic study, which prioritises the evidence supplied by the biblical texts. Biblical exegesis, using literary and historical-critical methods, forms the large part of the investigation (Part I). The findings arising from the exegetical discussion provide the basis upon which comparison with etymological and archaeological data is made (Parts II and III). The results suggest that traditions envisaging the cherubim as tutelary winged quadrupeds, with one head and one set of wings, were supplanted by traditions that conceived of them as more enigmatic, obeisant beings. In the portrayal of the cherubim in Ezekiel and Chronicles, we can detect signs of a conceptual shift that prefigures the description of the cherubim in post-biblical texts, such as The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and the Enochic texts.
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