Angels, Cherubim, And Seraphim

The word angel comes from the Greek word ANGELOS, meaning “messenger.” The corresponding Hebrew word is MALAKH also meaning “messenger.” The terms are sometimes used to designate human messengers (Hag. 1:13, Mal. 2:7), but most often are used to refer to supernatural, celestial beings.

To my limited knowledge the Bible does not describe them as having wings. Mythology and medieval art represent them as having wings, and thus a current concept is that they have wings.

Another form of supernatural, creating beings are cherubim. This word comes from the Greek, CHEROUBIM, or Hebrew, KRUBIM. Their primary task is that of serving as guards. They guard the way to the tree of life (Gen. 3:24), and either support or flank the throne of God (Psalm 80:1; 99:1).

Cherubim are spoken of as being winged. Their swiftness is spoken of as being like the wind. They were mysterious, heavenly beings represented under the form of winged lions with human faces (Ezek. 41:18ff).

Two wooden replicas of cherubim, gold covered and with wings outspread, were placed over the cover or “mercy seat” of the Ark of the Covenant, protecting the holy things.

Seraphim form a third order of celestial beings and are spoken of as being winged (Isaiah 6:2,3). The word is from the Hebrew SARAPH, in that they are mentioned only once in the Bible, and that is in the Old Testament. They appear to be attendants waiting to carry out the bequest of the Lord.

Most scholars consider these three orders as separate forms of created celestial beings.