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Title: Cherubim and Seraphim in the Old Testament
Author: Carlill, A. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 1673 6901
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is the first modern joint study of biblical Cherubim and Seraphim. I begin by setting out the recent history of their interpretation, before taking each of the biblical texts in turn. Chapter 1 looks at the references to Cherubim in Ezekiel. I argue that the Cherubim in Ezek. 1-11 are based upon the two large Cherubim in the sanctuary in Jerusalem. I investigate the different traditions represented by LXX and MT versions of Ezek. 28 and identify a tradition which may account for the MT of this chapter. Chapter 2 covers the other descriptions of living Cherubim in the biblical texts in Gen. 3 and Ps. 18. I argue for a conscious link with the Jerusalem Temple in both texts but for their independence from each other. All the references to Cherubim in the Temple and the Tabernacle are looked at in Chapter 3, and I offer a radical re-imagining of the two large Cherubim in the Solomonic Temple and on the Kapporeth in the Mosaic Tabernacle. In Chapter 4 I question the validity of translating the Cherubim Formula as “enthroned upon the Cherubim”, and offer an alternative translation which makes reference to all the Cherubim mentioned in the text. In Chapter 5, looking at the references to saraph, I follow Joines and others in arguing for a serpentine form for the Seraphim, but argue that this identity was forgotten at an early stage of the textual transmission, and that they were then seen as part of Yhwh’s heavenly host. Finally, I argue that the role of Cherubim and Seraphim is similar, being primarily apotropaic, but that both are associated with theophany and, less frequently, with heavenly worship.
Supervisor: Day, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biblical studies ; Theology and Religion ; Religions of antiquity ; Judaism ; Cherubim ; Seraphim ; Angels ; Old Testament