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Old Testament


All the spirits in the Bible

Old Testament [revised version]

By John Chopores



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

Could not the “tree of life” be a type of Jesus Christ? Cf. John 14:6  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Cherubim: “But what were these?  They are utterly unknown. Conjectures and guesses relative to their nature and properties are endless.  Several think them to have been emblematical representations of the sacred Trinity, and bring reasons and scriptures in support of their opinion; but as I am not satisfied that this opinion is correct, I will not trouble the reader with it. From the description in Ex 26:1,31; 1Ki 6:29,32; 2Ch 3:14, it appears that the cherubs were sometimes represented with two faces, namely, those of a lion and of a man; but from Eze 1:5, &c.;Eze 10:20,21, we find that they had four faces and four wings; the faces were those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle; but it seems there was but one body to these heads.  The two-faced cherubs were such as were represented on the curtains and veil of the tabernacle, and on the wall, doors, and veil of the temple; those with four faces appeared only in the holy of holies.” [Adam Clarke].

Mr. Clake is right; in the Hebrew, the word for “Cherubim” is plural: the question is: why plural? The answer may be, because they have more than one face.


Ge 3:24. placed ... cherbim--The passage should be rendered thus: "And he dwelt between the cherubim at the East of the Garden of Eden and a fierce fire, or Shekinah, unfolding itself to preserve the way of the tree of life." This was the mode of worship now established to show God's anger at sin and teach the mediation of a promised Saviour as the way of life, as well as of access to God. They were the same figures as were afterwards in the tabernacle and temple; and now, as then, God said, "I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims" (Ex 25:22).” [JFB]. Cf. Gen. 3:24 ... dwell at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flame of the sword which is turning itself round to guard the way of the tree of life.[YLT].


Later, we see the cherubim again, this time at the mercy seat.   Cf. Exodus 25:20  "And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.

 From these passages, it would seem that the “cherubim” guard the way to God.

As for God dwelling between the “cherubim”. Cf. Psalms 80:1 ¶ <<To the Chief Musician. Set to "The Lillies." A Testimony of Asaph. A Psalm.>> Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!

Psalms 99:1 ¶ The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!


Gen. 19:1 ¶ Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.

Lot does not seem to know that the angels are angels. For he treats them as if they were men.


2  And he said, "Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." And they said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square."

3  But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

 Angels can (but do not need to) eat food. Angels would not have their own food, if they could not eat! Cf. Psalms 78:25  Men ate angels' food; He sent them food to the full. 


10  But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.

11  And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Angel have great power to do the work that God gives them.   Sometimes that power to harm those who work against God.  Cf. Psalms 78:49  He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, Wrath, indignation, and trouble, By sending angels of destruction among them. 
Rev.9: 15  So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Revelation 15:1 ¶ Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.



Genesis 19:15 ¶ When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."

We see here that God uses His angels (many times) to save His people from harm!



Genesis 28:12  Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

We can see from this verse, that there are always a number of angels coming and going to the earth! Cf. 2 Chronicles 16:9  "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."

  Even the Devil (Satan) spends time on the earth! Cf.  Job.1:6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

7  And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."

1 Peter 5:8 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

2 Chronicles 18:18  Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right hand and His left.

19  "And the LORD said, `Who will persuade Ahab king of Israel to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?' So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.

King Ahab was a great sinner before the Lord. Cf. 1 Kings 16:30  Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.

1 Kings 16:33  And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

 For God will deal with the evil. Cf. Isa.5: 24  Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

This spirit was permitted to lie to Ahab.  You will notice, the Lord said “Who will”, God seems to be asking if anyone wanted to do it. God could have ordered one of His angels to do it, but He does not!



2 Chronicles 18:20  "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, `I will persuade him.' The LORD said to him, `In what way?'

2 Chronicles 18:21  "So he said, `I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And the LORD said, `You shall persuade him and also prevail; go out and do so.'

2 Chronicles 18:22  "Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you."




 Job.1:6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

 You will notice, that this verse does not say that Satan isa son of God”, but only that he “came among them”!

Some people believe that “sons of God” is a name for angels. Cf. Hebrews 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

 Job 38:7  When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?  

Since God is the One who made the angels. He is, in a sense, a father to them. Cf. Hebrews 12:9  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?


Only Christ is “God the Son”. Cf. John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

2 Corinthians 4:6  For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4  whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Jesus Christ is God the Son, part of the Trinity! Cf. John 14:8  Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."

John 14:9  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, `Show us the Father'?

Philippians 2:6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

Hebrews 1:3  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Matt. 3: 16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

17  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

1 Tim.3: 16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Jesus Christ is greater than any angel! Cf. Heb. 1: 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

3  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

4 ¶ having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5  For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?

6  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."

7  And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire."

8  But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.


[For more information, see my web sites on the Trinity and God the Son.].




Psalms 103:20  Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.

 Angels are very powerful!  


Psalms 148:2  Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!

Because there are so many angels, they are sometimes called: “hosts”.


Isa. 6: 1 ¶ In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

2  Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

The Hebrew word for “seraphim” is “saraph”, it means: “majestic beings with 6 wings,  human hands or voices in attendance upon God”. The word for “seraphim” is for the root word: “saraph”, which means: “to burn”.
 Comments by others:

eraph is to burn; implying the burning zeal,  dazzling brightness (#2Ki 2:11 6:17 Eze 1:13 Mt 28:3) and serpent-like rapidity of the seraphim in God's service. Perhaps Satan's form as a serpent (nachash) in his appearance to man has some connection with his original form as a seraph of light. The head of the serpent was the symbol of wisdom in Egypt (compare #Nu 21:8 2Ki 18:4). The seraphim,  with six wings and one face,  can hardly be identified with the cherubim,  which had four wings (in the temple only two) and four faces (#Eze 1:5-12). (But compare #Re 4:8). The "face" and "feet" imply a human form; something of a serpentine form (perhaps a basilisk's head, as in the temples of Thebes) may have been mixed with it: so the cherub was compounded of various animal forms. However,  seraph may come from a root meaning "princely, "applied in #Da 10:13 to Michael [MAURER];” [JFB].

3  And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"

Three times “holy” is said, probably because God is “three in One”!
We see here what seraphim talk about: the Holiness of God!
(On the languages of Angels. Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1 ¶ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

2 Corinthians 12:4  how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.


4  And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.



[Unless otherwise noted, all verses are from the NKJV.].