What Cherubim Represent
We know within Scripture that when the Cherubim are mentioned, they are always associated with the presence and glory of God (Read Ezekiel 10; Isaiah 6; Revelation 4). Although, when the cherubim are illustrated on earth (such as when God wanted them within the design of the tabernacle), then this is where they signify a meeting place with God
We need to remember that although Adam and Eve and their descendants were prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life (by God’s mercy), they could have still come back to Eden to meet God. This, in a way, was their “holy of holies” (if thinking of the tabernacle). Therefore, God sent the cherubim to guard the way to the tree and also gave the angels a flaming sword
Who are the Cherubim?
The fact that Scripture mentions Cherubim in Genesis 3:24 shows that God placed multiple cherubs to the east of Eden
“After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”Genesis 3:24
As mentioned, Cherubs are angels who are involved in the worship and praise of God. Yet, interestingly enough, before his rebellion, Satan was a cherub (Read Ezekiel 28:12-15)
Within the book of Ezekiel, it describes the “four living creatures” (Ezekiel 1:5) as the same beings as the cherubim (Ezekiel 10). If we think of cherubs, quite often a chubby little angel comes to mind – which is what we depict cherubs to be all over the world – and yet, Scripturally, each cherub is described as having four faces (a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle along with four wings) so therefore, not quite the cute chubby angel we think of!
In their appearance, the cherubim “had the likeness of a man” (Ezekiel 1:5), and they used two of their wings for flying and the other two for covering their bodies because they were within God’s presence (Ezekiel 1:6; 11; 23)
Lastly, within the book of Revelation, Scripture describes the cherubim as having the purpose of magnifying the holiness and power of God (Read Revelation 4:6-9), which is one of their main responsibilities throughout the Bible. Therefore, in addition to praising God, they served as a visible reminder of the majesty and glory of God and His abiding presence with His people, hence why they were placed at the edge of Eden
The Flashing Sword
The sword basically represented the justice of God that would fall on any of Adam’s descendants who sought to find their way back to God and to the Tree of Life by their own efforts
Flaming in Hebrew means ‘blaze, scorch, and burn’. The Sword is the word kharav which means ‘to make desolate, lay waste, dried up, slay, attack’, which is very much what we go through here on earth in all sorts of ways because it is pointed against satan on earth to keep him from destroying the way of access to God
Where Is Eden Now?
People have tried to find Eden over the centuries, and Genesis 3:24 is the last historical mention of the garden of Eden in the Bible. Most people believe that God did not destroy this incredible place, but instead left it to the effects of the curse, and therefore, it would have withered from its original condition over time, which meant that it eventually blended into the surrounding geography and so now cannot be found