I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

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Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Garden of Eden Symbolism - The Flaming Sword

What would be the symbolic meanings of the cherubim and flaming sword? What are the characteristics native to each? First, to describe the characteristics of a cherubim, we need to know what it is. I have done much research and discovered that nobody seems to really know what it is. It is my suspicion that somebody knows but they are not going public with it, but I will discuss my reasons for this on another day.

For today, then, let’s focus on the flaming sword. We don’t use swords in the kitchen to make dinner salads. It should be obvious that the sword could represent death just by it’s mere association with death. It is a weapon used to inflict death and inspires fear in those who are to be victims of it’s violence. A sword is used to cut. The term “cut off’ is often used in the scriptures to talk about death. It is used about 231 times in the Bible and 310 times in all the standard works combined. The first reference that we have of the term in reference to death is in talking about the great flood.

"And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." (1)
Moreover, cutting something off is an act of separation. If you cut off your finger, you separate it from the hand and body. When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, not only did they become separated from the presence of God, but they became subject to conditions of mortality and death.

1. Genesis 9:11, King James Version

23 Comments:

Anonymous Kurt said...

See page 15 of the following for an explanation of the cherubim and the sword:

http://www.cybcon.com/~kurtn/moses4.pdf

The front end is:

http://www.cybcon.com/~kurtn/exegesis.html

3:51 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

The interpretation which I liked the most was as follows:

The sword is a symbol for the word of God or words in general.

The flame is a symbol of the divine presence.

Thus the flaming sword represents divine words. The idea is that the angel which stands as sentinels are armed with the divine words which we also must know in order to pass them as taught by Brigham in relation to the temple ceremony.

10:19 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

Of course when giving stories symbolism more than a little bit of speculation is always close at hand.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Scott N. Ashby said...

Ahhhh yes. The sword is the word of God. I forgot about that angle. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I will attempt to address that next.

The "divine presence" - considered but is scheduled to be posted down the road a bit.

Speculation - Yes. But are we not told to study it out in our mind, and THEN ... ASK if it is true? (Doc. & Cov. 9:7-9)

Too many people are ignorant of the gospel, simply because they are too lazy to think for themselves and expect someone to give them the answers without any effort of their own.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Scott N. Ashby said...

Ummm... not that I am accusing anyone here of that. ;>)

4:10 PM  
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Anonymous Bill McGrath said...

I have written a series of fantasy novels based on the flaming sword of Eden. For more information, please go to: www.TheSwordofFire.com

Now, because its a fantasy story, I have a physical flaming sword in the story, but I do like the explanations I found on this blog.

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