Spiritual Meaning of
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That the cherubs signify guard and providence lest the Lord and also heaven be approached except through the good of love, that is, except by those who are in the good of love; and also lest the good which is from the Lord in heaven and with man be injured; is evident from the passages in the Word where cherubs are mentioned; as in Genesis:--
And He cast out the man; and He caused to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden cherubs, and the flame of a sword that turned itself, to guard the way of the tree of lives (Genesis 3:24);
that the cherubs here are guards is evident, for it is said to guard the way of the tree of lives. The tree of lives denotes the good of love which is from the Lord, thus the Lord; and it is guarded by its not being approached except through the good of love.
 It is believed that the Lord can be approached through the truths of faith; but He cannot be approached through these truths when they are separated from the good of love; nor indeed can heaven; but as soon as truths separated wish to enter, heaven is closed against them, thus the way to the Lord; and as truth cannot enter by virtue of itself, unless good is in it, and it thereby becomes the truth of good, so neither can the understanding, and still less can memory-knowledges separated from the good of the will.
 As guard and providence lest the Lord be approached, and also heaven, except through the good of love, is signified by the cherubs, therefore in the Word Jehovah is said to sit on the cherubs, and also to ride and to dwell upon the cherubs, as in the following passages:
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that sittest upon the cherubs, shine forth (Ps. 80:1).
Jehovah shall reign; the peoples shall shake. He sitteth on the cherubs (Ps. 99:1).
Jehovah rode upon a cherub, and did fly (Ps. 18:10).
Jehovah Zebaoth, that dwellest on the cherubs (Isa. 37:16).
And for this reason there were cherubs on the curtains of the Habitation, and on the veil (Exod. 26:1, 31; 36:35); and also upon the walls of the temple round about, and upon the doors thereof (1 Kings 6:23-29, 31-35); and in like manner in the new temple described in (Ezekiel 41:18-20). That there were cherubs upon the curtains of the Habitation, upon the veil, upon the walls of the temple, and upon the doors of it, signified the guard of the Lord lest the holy Divine should be approached except through the good of love; and that there were cherubs upon the ark signified that the Lord Himself was not to be approached except through this good. Therefore also the cherubs were made of solid gold, and in the temple at Jerusalem were made of wood of oil, for by gold and by oil is signified the good of love.
 This guard and providence of the Lord is described by the four animals, each of which had four faces, under the throne on which the Lord was, in Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10; and also by the four animals round about the throne on which the Lord was, in the (Rev. 4:6-10; 5:6, 8, 9, 14). By the four animals is signified under various aspects the good that proceeds from the Lord, and guarding and protecting lest there be admitted anything else except the good of love to the Lord, and the good of love toward the neighbor; by the throne upon which the Lord was, is signified heaven.
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|