What Sets the Cherubim Apart from the Seraphim?

The primary distinction between cherubim and seraphim, two categories of celestial beings, is their outward appearance: cherubim have four faces and four wings, whilst seraphim have six wings. The cherubim and seraphim’s primary function in the Bible is to kneel before God in worship.

Several books of the Bible, including Genesis, Ezekiel, Kings, and Revelations, feature cherubim. Their four faces are an ox, a lion, a man, and an eagle, though Ezekiel substitutes a cherub’s face for the ox’s. Their wings hide their torso, and they move quickly by employing a wheel inside of a wheel.

Isaiah is the only book where seraphim are mentioned. Their name translates to “flying serpents, blazing ones.” Seraphim fly using two of their wings. They belong to the highest class of celestial creatures, the Cherubim.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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