Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cherubim and a Flaming Sword

So manly, right?

Having been raised Catholic I was exposed to imagery of Michael the Archangel and had in my mind his being the ultimate warrior. Recently, however, I came across this post about women being described in the Old Testament as 'ezer,' Hebrew for God-like power and oft used in military-speak according to the author. Given the elevated status granted women (as I propose) I began to wonder if a higher ranking in God's army applied here. too.

In case you're not familiar with it, here are the orders of angels from highest to lowest in the Christian tradition:

  1. Seraphim
  2. Cherubim
  3. Thrones
  4. Dominions
  5. Virtues
  6. Powers
  7. Principalities
  8. Archangels
  9. Angels

For some reason, I honed in on the order of Virtue. We associate women with virtue with great frequency. Yes, we talk about this in connection with chastity, but a virtuous woman is described as so much more than that in these precious verses: Proverbs 31:10-31.

This made me speculate that women previously fought in that great battle against Lucifer either at the level of a Virtue or were appointed to that title after having proved themselves strong and brave in the fight for good against evil.

If that's the case, I suggest the following, because you know I'm big on woman and man ascending up the orders of priesthood, tokens, and now angelic hierarchies together to return to the Celestial Kingdom:

  • With the Tree of Life under guard of cherubim, and supposing Eve represents Virtue and Adam comes from the archangel level, then the in-between or missing orders need to be filled in for exaltation to be complete. "Angel," I believe, is covered by saintly living here on earth as defined by LDS doctrine. That is to say that those who do the will of God may be considered angels. This leaves Thrones, Dominions, Powers, and Principalities. Those orders of the angels would need to be added to Adam and Eve through a priesthood that straddles heaven and earth in a binding ordinance. --If I'm on to something, that is.
  • Eve is closer to the Seraphim*, which are purportedly nearest to God. This, to me, would mean that at some point she will do as they do and teach Adam some or all of these ways as they travel upward. What we know from Isaiah chapter 6 is that Seraphim can fly, they cover their feet and faces, and call upon the Lord in repetitions of 3. They also cleanse lips with hot coal... Can't wait to try any and all of that sometime!
  • The cherubim seem mighty in their own right, I'm not sure they need a flaming sword. Are the cherubim meant for Eve and the sword for Adam? Maybe.

In closing, I can't help but think that perhaps the greatest gag played on humankind was getting us to think cherubs were rosey-cheeked babies when they were quite possibly Amazonian warrior babes who didn't mess. The worst gag, perhaps, is getting us to conflate virtue with female chastity as we do today.

*Makes me wonder if President Faust was holding back from titling his talk as, How Near to the Seraphim Angels.

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