Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 6

The cherubim above the ark

1 Kings 6:23-28

The cherubim are special angels, holy servants of God, whose special duty is to guard the most sacred things.

So, for example, in Genesis 3:24, cherubim guarded the tree of life after God ordered the first people to leave Eden.

Unless God shows the angels to us, we cannot see them. However, the Bible teaches that they are constantly working for God in our world (Genesis 28:12; Hebrews 1:14). So of course they were present to guard the most holy place in the temple, God’s house in this world.

God wanted people to be aware that these powerful angels were guarding that very holy place. So, he gave an extraordinary instruction. Usually, God’s people must not make images to use in prayer or in acts of religion (Exodus 20:4-6). However, God told Moses to make models of two cherubim for the most holy place (Exodus 25:17-22)

So, Solomon arranged for his most skilled workmen also to make models of cherubim for the temple.

Those models of cherubim stood so that their wings were above the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the sacred box that contained evidence of Israel’s relationship with God. These sacred objects stood in a room that nobody ever entered, except the chief priest once each year. Nobody else saw them, not even the other priests - but everyone knew that they were there. Those models were there to remind Israel’s people that real cherubim, angels, were guarding these holy places. They stood above the ark to remind the people that real angels were guarding Israel’s relationship with God.

Next part: The designs in the temple (1 Kings 6:29-35)


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