Wednesday, December 25, 2013

bible3 The Covering Cherub

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden where everything was cosy, but God had placed on them one prohibition. Eve came under the influence of the Serpent, and Adam joined her in that one violation.  God responded like this:

Gen.3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree  of life.

Cherubim are mentioned often in the Old Testament, but it wasn't until Ezekiel that we find it in the pegorative sense. In his prophecy Ezekiel addressed the arrogant King of Tyre:
Ezekiel 28:
[1] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
[2] Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

[3] Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:
[4] With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:
[5] By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:
[6] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;
[7] Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.
[8] They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas....

14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

[16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

When we examine the relationship between the quotes in Genesis and in Ezekiel we see a correspondence; both were punishers!

Jesus was well aware of the phenomenon

In Luke 12 we read:
[16] And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
[17] And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
[18] And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
[19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
[20] But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee...

In the Marriage of Heaven and Hell we see what Blake thought about the cherubim of Genesis:

PLATE 14 of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:
The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire
at the end of six thousand years is true. as I have heard from
For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to
leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does, the whole
creation will be consumed, and appear infinite. and holy whereas
it now appears finite & corrupt.
(That Plate is a clear and lucid example of how freely Blake read and used the Bible.)

He made frequent use of cherubs, especially in Milton and in Jerusalem:

Milton Plate 9 (Erdman 104):

Beneath the Couch of Albion, on the seven mou[n]tains of Rome
In the whole place of the Covering Cherub, Rome Babylon & Tyre.
His Spectre raging furious descended into its Space...
The Western Gate fourfold, is closd: having four Cherubim
Its guards, living, the work of elemental hands, laborious task!
Like Men, hermaphroditic, each winged with eight wings
That towards Generation, iron; that toward Beulah, stone;
That toward Ulro, clay: that toward Eden, metals.
But all clos'd up till the last day, when the graves shall yield
their dead
He views the Cherub at the Tree of Life, also the Serpent,
Orc the first born coild in the south: the Dragon Urizen:
Tharmas the Vegetated Tongue even the Devouring Tongue:
A threefold region, a false brain: a false heart:
And false bowels: altogether composing the False Tongue,

Milton Plate 24 (E`204):
When Jesus raisd Lazarus from the Grave I stood & saw
Lazarus who is the Vehicular Body of Albion the Redeemd
Arise into the Covering Cherub who is the Spectre of Albion 
By martyrdoms to suffer: to watch over the Sleeping Body. 
Upon his Rock beneath his Tomb. I saw the Covering Cherub 
Divide Four-fold into Four Churches when Lazarus arose 
Paul, Constantine, Charlemaine, Luther;

In Jerusalem Plate 63 (214):

Then Vala the Wife of Albion, who is the Daughter of Luvah
Took vengeance Twelve-fold among the Chaotic Rocks of the Druids
Where the Human Victims howl to the Moon & Thor & Friga
Dance the dance of death contending with Jehovah among the Cherubim.

Jerusalem 66 (E218):

Here Vala stood turning the iron Spindle of destruction
From heaven to earth: howling! invisible! but not invisible
Her Two Covering Cherubs afterwards named Voltaire & Rousseau:
Two frowning Rocks: on each side of the Cove & Stone of Torture:
Frozen Sons of the feminine Tabernacle of Bacon, Newton & Locke.
For Luvah is France: the Victim of the Spectres of Albion.

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