This is pasted from my book 'The Cherubim of Glory'.
[I apologise, I cannot shorten this as the argument covers too much ground, across many scriptures.]
NOTE 1 : The text is easier to read in the PDF in the link as it is already
pagenated and paragraphed for online perusal. The section on 'the four faces' is from Page 118 to Page 127.
NOTE 2 I do not see that Jeremiah 5:6 can be included in this series of visions. I think it something different, a different allusion. That will become evident on consideration of the other scriptures, as follows.
Page 118 Section 21. The Four Faces
It is clear to me that the chai chaiyah, the ‘live living’ - the ‘living
creatures’ - in Ezekiel are an expression of cherubim. And it is
also clear to me that the ‘four living’ in the Apocalypse are, also.
Three times are the four faces of the cherubim described, twice
in Ezekiel and once in the Apocalypse. Then, in the mention in
Ezra and Nehemiah, of the four returning from Babylon, there is
a further description, by means of the application of four names.
These two mentions I see as one, save that the first name is
slightly different in Ezra and in Nehemiah, wherein is a subtlety
worthy of notice. All of this information results in four sets of
four descriptions. And the relevant order of the four sets of
information is instructive.
In Ezekiel 1:10, four faces are described - man; lion; ox; eagle.
In Ezekiel 10:4, four faces are described - cherub; man; lion;
In Ezra 2:59, four men are listed - Telharsa; Cherub; Addan;
Immer. They came from Telmelah.
In Nehemiah 7:61, four men are listed - Telharesha; Cherub;
Addon; Immer. They came from Telmelah.
In Revelation 4:7, four faces are described - lion; calf; man;
In the first description, I see the first man, given dominion
over all other flesh; man over lion, ox and eagle. But after
transgression, and after the descent of the old world into a
condition so gross that Enoch must needs be re-positioned out of
it and Noah must needs fashion an ark to escape the inevitable
judgment upon it, sacrifice is required, in righteousness, to
extend the first man’s presence on earth, and to prolong the
continuance of unclean heavens. Noah sets this forth in Genesis
Therefore I see in the second description, that the ox is
sacrificed and, thus, the cherub appears. Man is subordinate to
cherub, but still has dominion over lion and eagle. After man’s
transgression and banishment, the cherubim appeared in the
Garden of Eden, and they were settled at the east end of it. By
redemptive sacrifice shall there be progress towards what
And thus, in the new order of the old creation, cherubim
predominate, for what they represent is not relinquished; it is
still held - and held predominately over the first man. What they
represent shall not be fulfilled in the first man, now. But out of
that which is of the first humanity, shall there come something
else. In that, shall the cherubic representation be realised. Thus
humanity is still there, but is now subordinate.
The four men in Ezra and Nehemiah came from Telmelah. Tel
is a mount, as in Tel Abib (Telaviv). Melach is the Chaldee for salt.
They came from a mount or an heap of salt. Out of judgment
came they. I believe this is a reference back to subsequent
judgment at Sodom and Gomorrha. Amber, I would say, is a
reference to judgment by Flood. Salt is a reference to judgment
The cherubim pass through these judgments. They come out of
the colour of amber. And these four came from the mound of salt.
The judgments on the first man are essential, in righteousness,
before there is progress towards the ultimate fulfilment of what
cherubim represent. Just as we see that thirty years must pass,
from the time of Josiah’s repentance until all judgment has been
meted out, in every direction, before the day when . . ‘the
heavens were opened’.
Out of righteous judgment shall come forth the purposes of God.
He will relinquish that which fails. And he will wait until the time
is proper for him to act towards his eternal purpose.
As to the four men in Ezra/Nehemiah, Telharsa - in Ezra - has a
shade of meaning, haras, harisah, harisuth, relevant to
overthrow, ruin and destruction, whilst the concomitant name in
Nehemiah, Telharesha, has the connotation, hariyyah, of a
woman with child. Both these relate to a Tel, a mount. Then
Addan/Addon means noble and Immer means lambs. It is lambs
plural so I do not see this as sacrificial, I see it as the lambs of a
flock, the new born.
Therefore I see that a change from the overthrow, ruin and
destruction of all that the first man has established on earth shall
result in a noble form of humanity and shall result in a new birth
and a flock of such new born, flocking together in communion.
There are two mounts seen - Telharsa/Telharesha - and both are
seen in one man. So, with those who come out of the first man
into a new man. They pass by Mount Sinai and they go to Mount
They labour in bondage, as Hagar, but, at the time
appointed of the father, they shall shine forth as heirs and
freeborn sons. This change from ruin and destruction to woman
with child denotes a new birth.
This is what returns out of the devastation of judgment upon
Judah; returns from the chastening of captivity by Chebar.
Nothing is lost in the purposes of God. Though a people must
yield to God’s ways and must bow to the providence of God’s
righteous judgment and receive the scourging and chastening
that is necessary, yet shall it, eventually, yield the fruit of
righteousness and peacableness.
How relevant this is to today - 2015 !
So, I sum up the third description as :-
Old mount to woman with child; Cherub; noble man; lambs.
Lion;calf;man;eagle. In the context of the Apocalypse, I see the
Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book of
God’s everlasting purpose and to loose the seals of judgment
upon the first creation, that a new creation might be established.
This is the Everlasting Testament which is thoroughly based, in
righteousness, in sacrificial redemption - hence the calf. Thus
shall man be rightly placed in a new creation. And that place is
above all the works of God’s hands - even the above the very
principalities in the heavens.
In Christ, who is exalted, in humanity, above every name that is
named - who is exalted above the heaven to the very throne of
the Father - in him, and under his Headship, is a new humanity
which is risen out of the old and is seated in the heavenlies with
Christ. Such a humanity is that which is according to God’s
eternal purpose. In such humanity - in sonship - does the Father
This living - expressed fourfold - is seen round the throne. It is
thoroughly wrong to translate zown, in Chapter Four, as ‘beast’,
thus causing confusion with therion, ‘beast’, in Chapter 13:1, and
thereafter, which beasts are associated with the Drakon, another
The four living, they should be called, and they are around
throne in company with the twenty four elders, all the wisdom
come out of Israel and come out of Apostleship. Together, the
living and the wisdom combine and are seen again as the
hundred and forty four thousand, the full complement of both
testaments multiplied in divine activity.
There is another hint of what is here seen in the two angels, in
white, which Mary saw in the sepulchre. They are described as
‘sitting’, kathezomai. Downsitting, kata, but with the word zoe,
life, added. I take this to imply sitting upright, either literally or
metaphorically. Six times is the word used and it is instructive to
see of whom it is used. But here I see an emphasis on living.
Seated, in that the attitude is one of rest, in sabbath, yet not
inactive. Lively, quick, for all that they are ‘dwonseated’.
And here also is a hint of what cherubim convey. The angelic two
sit at the head and feet of where the body of Jesus had lain, very
reminiscent of cherubim atop the ark. Rightly seen, the
sepulchre is where the ark completes its journey. Then - he is not
here; he is risen !
The full complement are seen again, an exceeding great
multitude which no man number. Angels minister to these,
holding back the winds of final judgment till all be gathered and
sealed, Revelation 7:3. These angels stand about the throne, and
they are about the elders and, within, are both about the living.
All fall upon their faces before the throne and worship God,
saying, Amen: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving
and honour and power and might be unto God for ever and ever.
Cherubim are an abstract concept. I do not believe they are,
strictly speaking, a representation of the people of God in
themselves. Nor do I believe they are a representation, as such,
of angelic beings or angelic activity itself. Nor yet do I accept that
they are an expression of animal life, as such.
I believe that cherubim are an abstract concept representing
something in God. It is a matter of God’s purpose. It is that which
he purposes in everlasting. It is that which, ultimately, will
express God in a substantial creation. That which is within God -
his desire, his purpose - shall, through first creation, redemption
and new creation, be fully expressed in the manifesting of God
But the first humanity failed of that purpose. Hence redemption
in Christ. But redemption in Christ does not re-instate the first
humanity. Redemption in Christ brings in a new humanity - in
Christ - of which he is the Head.