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The numerous depictions of cherubim assign to them many different roles, such as protecting the entrance of the Garden of Eden. In Jewish angelic hierarchy , cherubim have the ninth second-lowest rank in Maimonides ' 12th century Mishneh Torah , and the third rank in Kabbalistic works such as the 14th century Berit Menuchah. In the Book of Ezekiel and at least some Christian icons , the cherub is depicted as having two pairs of wings, and four faces: that of a lion representative of all wild animals , an ox domestic animals , a human humanity , and an eagle birds. Later tradition ascribes to them a variety of physical appearances. De Coelesti Hierarchia places them in the highest rank alongside Seraphim and Thrones. In Western Christianity , cherubim have become associated with the putto , which is derived from images of Cupid , resulting in depictions of cherubim as small, plump, winged boys. The cherubim are the angels closest to God in Islam. Others are the Bearers of the Throne or the archangels. Mythological hybrids are common in the art of the Ancient Near East. One example is the Babylonian lamassu or shedu , a protective spirit with a sphinx -like form, possessing the wings of an eagle, the body of a lion, and the head of a king.
A Cherub, or known in the plural form as Cherubim, is a symbolical angelic figure repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. Cherubim are described as serving the will of God, performing divine duties in the earthly realm. Their initial responsibility was protecting the Garden of Eden as referenced in the book of Genesis. Discover further scripture references to the Cherub and their relation to other angelic beings including Lucifer before his fall. There is no implication given of their shape or form. They are next discussed when Moses was commanded to provide furniture for the tabernacle Exodus ; , God promised to commune with Moses "from between the cherubim" Exodus