Sometimes history plays cruel jokes. It is the sad fate of the Biblical figure of the cherub that history has confused it with the image of Cupid. Now, whenever people think of cherubs they think of young, chubby, infantile angels. This presents quite an image problem and identity crisis for actual cherubs. Cherub, by the way, is short for cherubim. A cherub is some sort of heavenly being that serves often as a guardian in the Bible and — despite modern imagery — isn’t quite an angel.
Biblical cherubs are largely believed to tend to the Creator and lack human feeling and emotion, so they are far from the joyful baby we often picture. In fact, the picture of cherubs outlined in the book of Ezekiel is just plain otherworldly. These cherubs have several sets of wings and four faces. One face is an ox, the other a lion, the third a human, and the fourth an eagle. Add to that some hoofed feet and you’re off to a race of a different kind.
The truth is, we don’t know, nor can we picture or describe what these beings might look like and what they purpose they actually serve. What we do know is that they are probably not cheerful, chubby, or infantile.