Archaeology of Biblical Astronomy
They are the four heads of animal creation: the lion, of wild beasts; the ox, of tame beasts; the eagle, of birds; and man the head of all. Again we have the four divided into 3 + 1: three animal, and one human. They mark the purpose of God from the moment the curse was pronounced, and are the pledge that it will one day be removed. Other characteristics mark the cherubim off from all else. They are not Divine, for they are never worshiped, and all likeness of God was forbidden; moreover the God-head is presented at the same time with them, for they are connected with His throne. They are distinguished from angels, and they are never dismissed on errands. They are distinguished from the Church in Revelation 5:9, 10, a passage which is supposed to prove their identity with it; for in verse 9, the word "us" should be omitted, with Lachmann, Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort, and the RV; and the words "us" and "we" in verse 10, should be "them" and "they" (with all the textual and ancient authorities), the verses reading as in RV:—"Thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with Thy blood, men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,* and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon the earth."* Note the four-fold description. The fact, therefore, of the living creatures being four (and no other number) marks them as connected with Creation , and as a symbolical representation that its hope of deliverance from the curse is bound up with the blood-shedding of the coming Redeemer.