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5 Isa. xL 28 ; Job xlii. 1 ff. ; xxxviii. f. ; xxxvii. 15 ff. ; xxxvi. 26 ;
xxvi. 14 ; Prov. xxx. 2-4.

6 Isa. xlv. 15 ; comp. Prov. xxv. 2. 7 Deut. xxix. 29.

8 Baudissin, Stiidien, II. p. 107.


ness of God is his inaccessible transcendence, while his
glory is his visible manifestation in the world.

It may be supposed that the glory of God appeared
to the Israelitish imagination as a consuming fire and
as a dazzling light, and that this more or less material
conception was originally suggested by the fire and
the light of the tempest; which is the more probable
since a cloud is often represented as the vehicle of
God's glory. Further evidence is found in numerous
passages taken from documents of all periods. i That
God appeared as a consuming fire is surely the reason
why it was feared that death would be the penalty of
approaching him or seeing his face. That he appeared
as a dazzling light is the reason why no one dared look
upon his face,2 and that those who, like Moses, had
seen but a part of his glory, retained a reflection of it
that dazzled other mortals.^

It is apparent from a large number of the passages
cited that the glory of God is, as we have already said,
the side of divinity that appears and manifests itself to
men. When Moses was invited by Jehovah to ascend to
him on Mount Sinai, he there saw the glory of God.*
On another occasion Moses entreated Jehovah that he
might see his glory, and this favor was granted him.^
It is said that the Israelites saw the glory of God, and

1 Ex. iii. 2 ; xiii. 21 f . ; xvi. 10 ; xix. 16 ff. ; xxiv. 15 ff. ; xl. 34 f . ;
Lev. ix. 6, 23 f . ; Num. xvi. 42 ; Deut. iv. 12, 15, 24, 33, 36 ; v. 22 ff. \
ix. 3 ; xviii. 16 ; xxxii. 22 ; xxxiii. 2 ; 1 Kings viii. 10 f. ; 2 Chron. v.
14 ; vii. 1-3 ; Isa. x. 17 ; xxx. 27, 30, 33 ; xxxiii. 14; Ix. 1 f., 19 f. ;
Zeph. ii. 2 ; iii. 8 ; Nah. i. 6 ; Hab. iii. 3 f . ; Ezek. i. 4, 27 f . ; viii. 1 f . •
X. 4 ; xliii. 2 ; Mai. iii. 2 ; Ps. xviii. 7 ff. ; xxi. 9 ; 1. 3 ; Dan. vii. 9 f . '

2 Ex. xxxiii. 20-23 ; Isa. vi. 2 ; 1 Kings xix. 13.

8 Ex. xxxiv. 29-35. * Ex, xxiv. 16 f. « Ex. xxxiii. 18-22.


that all the earth is, or shall be, filled with it.^ All
manifestations of the divine activity in history and in
nature, in his judgments and in his benefits, may be
regarded as manifestations of his glory. ^

From Ezekiel onward, the glory of God is connected
with the sanctuary. The prophet, having seen it for
the first time at Chebar, resplendent as the rainbow, ^
afterwards saw it on its way to the temple, which was
filled with a cloud ; even the court shone with the glory
of Jehovah.* When he had his vision of the restored
temple, Ezekiel also saw the glory of the God of Israel
approach from the east and enter the temple, which was
filled with it, by the eastern door.^ At the dedication
of the temple of Solomon the cloud and the glory of
God filled the structure.^ According to document C,
the tabernacle of the desert was hallowed in the same
way ; ^ and when Aaron, who had just been consecrated,
offered the first sacrifices, the glory of God appeared to
all the people ; a fire burst from the presence of Jeho-
vah and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the
altar. ^ According to the same document, the divine
glory appeared at various times during the journey in
the desert, to rebuke the murmurs and revolts of the
people.^ It appears from all this that the sanctuary of
Israel was regarded as the place where the glory of
Jehovah dwelt. ^^

1 Num. xiv. 21 f. ; Isa. vi. 3 ; Hab. ii. 14.

2 Deut. V. 24 ; Ezek. xxxix. 21 ; Isa. xxxv. 2 ; xl. 5 ; Ps. xix. 1 f. ;
Ivii. 5, 11 ; xcvi. 3. 3 Ezek. i. 28 ; iii. 23. * Ezek. x. 4.

5 Ezek. xliii. 1-5. ^ 1 Kings viii. 10 f. ; 2 Chron. v. 14 ; vii. 1-3.
' Ex. xl. 34 f. ; xxix. 43. s Lev. ix. 6 ; 23 f.

9 Ex. xvi. 7, 10 ; Num. xiv. 10 ; xvi. 19, 42.

10 Ps. xxvi. 8 ; comp. Ixiii. 7.


2. The Name of Grod. — The name of God is very
analogous to his glory. Sometimes the two terms seem
to be synonymous. Deutero-Isaiah, for example, says :
" The name of Jehovah shall be feared from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun.''^ And a
psalmist exclaims: "The nations shall fear the name
of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth thy glory! "^
As the glory of God is especially connected with the
sanctuary, so is his name.^ The name of God then,
like his glory, denotes his peculiar presence.

We find also in the mouth of Jehovah these expres-
sions as synonymous : " For the sake of my name " and
"for my own sake."* Jeremiah says both that Jehovah
swears by himself,^ and that he swears by his name.^
Isaiah makes Jehovah say: "They shall sanctify my
name, they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob. "^
According to deutero-Isaiah, to trust in the name of
Jehovah and to lean upon God are one and the same
thing. ^ Elsewhere Jehovah and his name are placed in
parallelism as having the same signification.^ Since
the name of God, like his glory, is what man may
know of the Deity, and since the Old Testament speaks
exclusively of God as revealed, known, the identifica-
tion of Jehovah and his name is very natural.

This identification seems also to be of very early date.
According to document A, Jehovah says to Israel, after

1 Isa. lix. 19 ; comp. xlii. 8 ; xliii. 7. 2 pg^ cii. 16.

3 2 Sam. vii. 13 ; Isa. xviii. 7 ; Jer. vii. 12 ; Deut. xii. 5, 11 ; xiv. 23 ;
xvi. 6, 11 ; 1 Kings viii. 29 ; ix. 3 ; 2 Kings xxi. 4, 7 ; xxiii. 27.

* Isa. xlviii. 9, 11. ^ xxii. 5 ; xlix. 13. e xliv. 26. ^ xxix. 23.

8 Isa. 1. 10.

9 Isa. lii. 6 ; Ixiv. 1 ; Ps. Ixxvi. 1 ; Ixxxvi. 12 ; ciii. 1 ; cxlv. 1 f . ;
cxlviii. 1-5.


the promulgation of the law, that he will send an angel
before them to protect them and bring them to the land
of Canaan, and adds that his name shall be in this
angel.i Now Reuss translates "my name " here simply
"ma personne." In fact, the name of God is here God
himself, who will be with Israel to lead, protect, and
bless them. In other passages the name of God is God
in his various manifestations, whether their object is
to protect and bless, or to execute his wrath and his
judgments. 2

As is well known, the prophets often declare that
they speak or act in the name of Jehovah, which unques-
tionably means that they speak or act by his power or
authority. In other passages God says that he acts
only for the sake of his name, toward men, more espe-
cially toward Israel, who are unfaithful and unworthy
of divine blessings; that he acts, that he blesses, for
the sake of his name, to prevent it from being profaned
in the eyes of the nations, and to make it known, to
sanctify and glorify it.^

In view of all this, Oehler has justly said: "The
name of God is not a mere title that God takes by virtue
of the divine relations into which he enters with men ;
it denotes at the same time all that God can reveal
of himself, and, if we may be allowed the expression,
all that side of the Deity that is turned toward
man." And again: "The name of God is every-

1 Ex. xxiii. 21.

2 Isa. XXX. 27 ; xxvi. 8 ; Jer. x. 6 ; Mic. v. 4 ; 1 Kings viii. 42 ; Prov.
xviii. 10 ; Ps. liv. 1 ; cxliii. 11.

3 Ezek. XX. 9, 14, 22, 44 ; xxxvi. 20-23 ; Isa. xlviii. 9 ; 1 Kings viii.
41-43 ; Ps. xxiii. 3 ; xxv. 11 ; xxxi. 3 ; Ixxix. 9 ; cvi. 8 ; cix. 21.


where where the presence of the living God is felt and
experienced. 1

3. The Face of God, — Another expression that is
very analogous to those preceding is the "face of God."
It likewise denotes that side of the Deity that is acces-
sible to men, and it also is identified with God.

Jacob, after having maintained the mysterious strug-
gle with God reported by document A, calls the place
of this struggle Peni-el, or Face of God; for, says he,
I have seen God face to face. 2 It is said likewise that
God spoke with Moses face to face.^ According to Ex.
xxxiii. 14-16, God promises Moses that his face shall
attend the people Israel across the desert. Moses re-
plies to God: "If thy face come not, make us not go
up hence. And how shall it be known that I have
found favor in thy eyes, I and my people ? Shall it not
be if thou come with us ? " Moses, then, identifies God
with his face. Reuss here renders " my face " and " thy
face," "mapersonne" and "ta personne," and Segond
employs simply the personal pronouns "moi-meme " and
"toi-meme." These two scholars translate in the same
way Deut. iv. 37, where Moses reminds the people that
Jehovah brought them from Egypt by his face and by
his great power. According to Lam. iv. 16, the face of
God dispersed the Israelites at the destruction of Jeru-
salem. In Ps. xxi. 9 it is said of Jehovah that he
will make his enemies like a glowing furnace on the
day when he shows his face. The face of God, then,
like his name and his glory, denotes the presence of
God, manifesting himself by the protection that he
grants or the punishments that he sends to men.
1 § 56 ; comp. Schultz, II. pp. 122 ff. 2 Gen. xxxii. 30. 3 e^. xxxiii. 11.


The analogy between the face of God and the name of
God appears also from Num. vi. 25-27, where it is said
that in blessing the people Israel in the words : " Jeho-
vah make shine" or "lift his face upon thee," — the
high-priest puts the name of Jehovah upon them.

On the contrary, there are two passages that declare
that man is not able to see the face of God.^ This
term, therefore, which usually denotes the accessible
side of the Deity, here, exceptionally, denotes the in-
visible side of God.

4. The Malakh of God. — As the revealed God is
identified with the glory, the name, or the face, of God,
so also, in the case of the malakh^ i.e. according to the
ordinary translation, the angel of God, or of Jehovah.
He is mentioned as early as the song of Deborah. ^

It is easy to satisfy one's self that there exists a close
analogy between the angel of God and his face. On
the one hand it is said that the angel of God delivered
Israel from Egyptian slavery and accompanied them
across the desert;^ on the other, that this was his face.^
Deutero-Isaiah evidently attempts to combine these two
points of view in speaking of the angel of the face of
God who saved Israel from all his afflictions.^

The analogy that exists between the angel of God
and his face perfectly explains the identification of the
angel with God himself. It is found in a large number
of passages. The malakh of Jehovah is mentioned for
the first time in the narrative. Gen. xvi. 7-12, Avhere he
appears to Hagar. But in v. 13, Hagar calls the name

1 Ex. xxxiii. 20 and 33. '^ Jud. v. 23.

* Ex. xiv. 19 ; xxiii. 20-23 ; xxxii. 34 ; xxxiii. 2 ; Num. xx. 16.

* Ex. xxxiii. 14 f. ; Deut. iv. 37. ^ Isa. Ixiii. 9.


of Jehovah, who has spoken to her, Attah-M-ro'i, which
means : Thou art a God who sees. There is here, then,
an identification of the angel of Jehovah with the name
of Jehovah and with Jehovah himself. God and his
angel are further identified in the following passages :
Gen. xxi. 17-19; xxii. 11-18; xxxi. 11-13; xlviii.
15 f.; Ex. iii. 2-6; Jud. ii. 1 ff . ; vi. 11-16, 20-24;
Zech. xii. 8. According to Ex. xiv. 19, the angel of
God goes before the camp of Israel ; according to vv, 24 f .
and xiii. 21, it is Jehovah himself. Hosea, alluding
to the narrative of Genesis that reports the struggle of
Jacob with God, says first that the patriarch strove with
God, and then adds that he strove with the angel. ^

There exist, however, passages where God and his
malakh are distinguished the one from the other as if
they were two different persons. ^ In one instance
identification and distinction occur in the same narra-
tive. An angel of Jehovah, called also a man of God,
appears to the parents of Samson ;2 he is clearly dis-
tinguished from Jehovah ; * and yet, after his disappear-
ance, Manoah says to his wife : " We shall die, for we
have seen God." ^

Theologians have given much attention to the ques-
tion who the malakh of God really is, but they have
reached very divergent conclusions. According to some,
he is an angel, but not always the same one; accord-
ing to others, he is always one and the same angel ; some
even of these latter, attempting a more precise identifi-
cation, have maintained that he is the archangel Michael

1 Hos. xii. 3 f.

2 Gen. xxiv. 7, 40 ; Num. xxii. 31 ; 2 Sam. xxiv. 16 ; Zech. i. 12 f.

3 Jud. xiii. 3, 6 ff. * j^^. xiii. 8 f., 16, 18 f . & Jud. xiii. 22.


of the book of Daniel. Some say that he is a created,
others that he is an uncreated, being; many, especially
in earlier times, have seen in him the logos^ the second
person of the Trinity; others, in modern times, regard
him, not as a personal being at all, but simply a tem-
porary appearance of God. Oehler, after having men-
tioned and rejected all these various solutions, arrives
at the conclusion that the passages in which there is
reference to the angel of God do not all agree with one
another, and that from the standpoint of the Old Tes-
tament it is difficult to reach an exact idea who he is.
He, therefore, has recourse to the teaching of the New
Testament concerning the logos to find an answer to
the question. 1

We think that it is not necessary to go so far to find
the solution, but that it is found in the Old Testament
itself, more precisely in what we have already learned
respecting the glory, the name, and the face of God.
These three manifestations are very analogous to the
angel of God. This is what strikes one everywhere,
when the term is taken in its strict signification. Reuss
says on this subject : " The original signification of the
word, which is usually translated angel^ is abstract, and
corresponds nearl}* to the French word delegation. God
is an invisible, impalpable being, and if it pleases him
to bring himself within the comprehension of man, it
is not his very essence that the latter grasps ; it is a form,
a sign, an appearance, a phenomenon ; in fine, some-
thing that might be said to be separated from the Deity
or delegated by it."^


2 On Gen. xvi. 7, comp. Dillmann on Ex. iii. 2 ; [Schultz, II. pp.
221 ff.].


As there exists a close analogy between the angel of
God, on the one hand, and his face, his name, his glory,
on the other, it is natural that the first should some-
times be identified with God and sometimes distin-
guished from him ; we have shown that the same is the
case with respect to the other three manifestations.
God appears in the world under various forms. They
may be taken for God himself, since man does not know
God in any other way. But from a higher standpoint,
a distinction must be made between form and substance,
between appearance and essence, between God for us
and God in himself, between the revealed and the
hidden, the visible and the invisible God. The only
difference between the angel of God and the other divine
manifestations that have been mentioned is that the
angel is a personal manifestation ; he is not merely a
delegation, he becomes, by virtue of his personal char-
acter, a delegate. But this is only a formal difference;
in substance there is a striking analogy among the
various divine manifestations of which we have here

II. Cherubim and Seraphim.

1. Cherubim. — This is the place to speak of the
cherubim, whose chief function is to render God visible,
and to symbolize his presence.

We read in two parallel passages of some antiquity,
2 Sam. xxii. 11, and Ps. xviii. 10, that Jehovah, appear-
ing in the midst of the tempest, was mounted on a
cherub, that he flew and soared on the wings of the
wind. Ezekiel saw the glory of Jehovah go up from


the cherubim which had appeared to him in a vision ^
and then rest again upon them.^

In chapters i. and x. of his book this prophet gives
us a detailed description of the cherubim, and Riehm's
Handtvorterhuch^ in art. Cherubim^ contains a figure
corresponding to this description. We leave to archse-
ology the task of discussing details, content to call at-
tention to the fact that the cherubim are composed of
four living beings, have a man's, a lion's, a bull's, and
an eagle's face apiece, and rest on a fantastic car, that
can move in all directions, and that serves as the throne
of God and the vehicle of his glory. ^

This chariot without horses symbolizes the principal
attributes of God. Thus the human figure represents
the divine intelligence; the lion's, the divine power;
the bull's, the generative or creative might of God;
finally, the eagle's, his omniscience or his providence.
As for the wheels that can turn in all directions, and
are covered with eyes,^ they represent at once the om-
nipresence and the omniscience of God.

The fact that the cherubim form the throne of God,
and are the vehicle of his glory and the symbols of his
presence, evidently explains why images of them are
found in the sanctuary where Jehovah was supposed
more especially to dwell. Two statues of cherubim ten
cubits in height were placed in the holy of holies of the
temple of Solomon.^ Their forms were carved on the
walls and on certain sacred utensils.^ They were re-
produced on the veil that hid the holy of holies.''

1 ix. 3 ; X. 4. 2 X. 18 f. ; xi. 22. 3 Ezek. i. 4 ff. ; x. 1 ff., 9 ff.

4 Ezek. i. 15 ff. ; X. 9 ff. ^ i Kings vi. 23-28.

6 1 Kings vi. 29-35 ; vii. 29, 36 ; 2 Chron. iii. 7. ' 2 Chron. iii. 14.


According to document C, the Mosaic tabernacle was
ornamented in the same fashion. ^ Finally, in the ideal
temple of Ezekiel, we again encounter the same thing. 2

The figures of the cherubim in the temple and the
tabernacle have only one face, and therefore differ from
the cherubim of Ezekiel, which have four faces; but
they also represent the throne of God, and symbolize
the presence of God : in Israel Jehovah, in all ages, was
imagined as seated between the cherubim or enthroned
above them.^

The cherubim, finally, take the part of guardians of
sacred things. In the sanctuary they cover with
their wings the ark of the covenant, where Jehovah is
more especially present ; * they are stationed with spread
wings at the entrance of the holy of holies where the
ark is kept.^ Thus they guard the thrice sacred pres-
ence of God, and in a sense veil it that nothing unclean
or profane may approach it. We likewise see cherubim
posted on the east of the Garden of Eden, to guard the
way to the tree of life,^ that sinful man may not approach
it. They are, therefore, the guardians of sacred things,
the protectors, as Ezekiel calls them.'

How did the Israelites come to imagine these strange
figures ? It is difficult to say. The etymology of the
word cherubim is uncertain," hence it cannot greatly aid

1 Ex. XXV. 18-20 ; xxxvii. 7-9 ; xxvi. 1, 31 , xxxvi. 8, 35.

2 Ezek. xli. 17 ff.

3 1 Sam. iv. 4 ; 2 Sam. vi. 2 ; 2 Kings xix. 15 ; 1 Chron. xiii. 6 ; Ex.
XXV. 22; Num. vii. 89 ; Ps. Ixxx. 1 ; xcix. 1.

* 1 Kings viii. 6 f . ; 1 Chron. xxviii. 18 ; 2 Chron. v. 7 f . ; Ex. xxv.
20 ; xxxvii. 9.

5 1 Kings vi. 27 ; 2 Chron. iii. xiii. ; Ex. xxv. 20 ; xxxvii. 9.

6 Gen. iii. 24. "^ xxviii. 14, 16.


in elucidating the subject. What is certain is that
analogous conceptions exist among other peoples of an-
tiquity.^ It is probable that the cherubim, which to
the imagination of the Hebrews were real and living
beings, a kind of winged monsters, owed their origin
to the phenomena of the tempest. The clouds, some-
times black, sometimes bright, chased by the wind,
seem to have given rise to the idea that the divine glory,
majesty, was being borne by these clouds as by winged
beings or a flying chariot. This seems clear from Ps.
xviii., which we have already cited, but also from vari-
ous passages in Ezekiel, where the cherubim are accom-
panied by a violent wind, thick clouds, great noise,
where they are like the lightning, a flashing fire and a
brilliant light. ^ Be it also remembered, that according
to document A, God appeared to Israel when the law
was promulgated, in the midst of the noise, the clouds,
and the fire of the tempest.^ Finally, let it be remem-
bered that the glory of God, of which the cherubim are
the vehicle, appeared to the Israelites as a devouring
fire, and a dazzling light, as we saw at the beginning
of this paragraph.

2. Seraphim. — The seraphim are somewhat like the
cherubim. There is reference to them, however, in but
one passage, Isa. vi. 1-7. The prophet there savs:
"In the 3'ear of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord

1 Dillmann, Bihel-Lexikon ; and Riehm, Handicorterhuch, art. Cher-
ubim ; [Smith, Dictionary, art. Cherub ; Lenormant, Beginnings^ pp.
117 ff.].

2 i. 4, 7, 13 f ., 24 ; iii. 12 f. ; x. 2, 4-7 ; comp. Schultz, IL pp. 229 f. ;
Dillmann, Bibel-Lexiko7i, p. 509 ; Riehm, Handicorterbiich, pp. 228,

3 Ex. xix, 9 ff. ; xxiv. 15 ff. ; comp. Dent. iv. 11.


sitting on a very lofty throne, while the train of his
robe filled the temple. Seraphim hovered above him;
each of them had six wings; with two of them they
covered their faces, with two they covered their feet,
and with two they flew. They cried one to another
and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of hosts! the
whole earth is full of his glory.' The doors were
shaken to their foundation by the voice as it resounded,
and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said:
'Woe is me! I am undone, for I am a man whose lips
are unclean, I dwell in the midst of a people whose lips
are unclean, and my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah
of hosts.' But one of the seraphim flew toward me,
holding a glowing stone in his hand, that he had taken
with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with
it and said: 'This hath touched thy lips; thy iniquity
is removed and thy sin is expiated.' "

What is the etymology, and what is the signification
of the word seraplmyi? What are the seraphim them-
selves ? what form have they, and what is their nature ?
Finally, what are their functions ? These are questions
that have been variously answered by various scholars.^
It must be admitted that, as Schultz remarks, it is diffi-
cult to form a perfectly clear idea of the seraphim from
the single passage that speaks of them. Reuss, after
having rejected the traditional idea, according to which
the seraphim were winged angels, adds: "In Hebrew
saraph is always a serpent, and we know that the serpent
played a part in oriental symbolism, as a representative
of certain divine attributes (mystery, eternity). We

1 Winer, Eealworterhuch, art. Seraphim ; Schultz, 11. pp. 237 ff . ;
the commentaries ; [Smith, Dictionary^ art. Seraphim^.


find it used in figurative representations of God among
the Jews.^ It is not here a question of simple serpents,
but of composite forms (like those of Ezekiel's cheru-
bim) that have parts of serpents, birds (wings), and men
(hands). These forms, created by the imagination of
the author, seem to us grotesque, because we are not
accustomed to symbolize abstract ideas such as the
divine attributes by hybrid combinations of animal forms.
These ideas thus become animate, personal beings,
and take their place as a species under the abstract
notion of God."^

This explanation, simple as it is, seems to us nearer
the truth than many more elaborate that have been pro-
posed. It is evident that the seraphim are very analo-
gous to the cherubim of Ezekiel. They both appear to
the prophets in visions. Both are of a composite nature.
The seraphim, like the cherubim, have wings with which
they cover their bodies.^ The latter, after the fashion
of the former, cry: "Blessed be the glory of Jehovah
from the place of his abode!"* One of them brings
glowing coals to a messenger of God, that he may scat-
ter them over the city of Jerusalem.^ Moreover, we
must not try to be too exact or lose sight of the fact that
we are dealing with a prophetic vision, which, like so
many other visions of the same kind, is important only
for the subjective and religious ideas that it expresses.
The above considerations show that the cherubim and
seraphim are not angels, as has often been thought.

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