Wings of Glory Covering Ark of the Covenant
And within the oracle he
made two cherubim of olive tree, each ten
cubits high. And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits
the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing
unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. ... And he set the cherubim within the
inner house: and they stretched forth (parash) the wings of the cherubim, so that the wing
of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the
other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.
1 Kings 6:23ff (Spoke 11, Cycle 1)
Cherubim of Glory
covering the Ark of the Covenant
The two cherubim described in this passage were about fifteen feet tall and stood on
either side of the Ark of the Covenant. They reiterated the design of the cherubim atop the Ark
on the Mercy Seat (Kapporet) that God had revealed to Moses on the mount.
The New Testament calls them cherubim of glory because God's glory (kavod)
would appear between them when He spoke with Moses. It functioned as the Throne (Kissey)
of God in the heart of His Temple.
The convergence of Kaph KeyWords relating to the ideas of glory,
crown, and covering
in the description of the Holy of Holies is simply overwhelming. It all begins with Kaph as
the symbol of the palm of the hand with which we cover things. This extends to the
covering wings (kanaph) characteristic of the cherubim who declared
"Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory (kavod)" (Isa 6:3).
And what is the glory of God if not the work of atonement (kaphar) His Son wrought
on the Cross? This is represented by the covering of the Ark call the Mercy Seat (Kapporet).
The relation between wings and covering is evident in Ezekiel's vision of
And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other:
every one had two, which covered (kasah) on this side, and every one had
two, which covered (kasah) on that side, their bodies. ... And there was
a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down
their wings (kanaph). And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a
throne (kissey), as the appearance of a sapphire stone: ...