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I'm wondering why the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant, as referenced in Exodus 25:20, 1 Kings 8:6, 2 Chronicles 5:7, etc., are explicitly described with outstretched wings? I believe that prophets such as Moses had the true authority of G-d and Moses followed the instructions given regarding the Ark and the Tabernacle. However, the detailed description reminds me of the Egyptian goddesses Nephthys & her much more well known sister, Isis. With their outstretched wings, they served as protective deities. They are featured here Why Does Isis Have Wings? | Isiopolis and here: King Tut's Isis & Nephthys Pectoral, | Egypt! They are prominently attested in the Egyptian archaeological record (the last being one of King Tut's pectorals)!!! Now compare those motifs of Isis & Nephthys with artists' renditions of the cheribum on the Ark (as far as I'm aware, it hasn't been discovered yet... Hehe. Just going off of biblical texts) here: The Ark of the Covenant - YAHWEH's Sword and here: Finding the Ark of the Covenant! Do you guys see how similar they appear? Or is it just me? Do you think there is a connection here? Like an Egyptian influence? After all, the Israelites had been living in and among the Egyptians for awhile... But, But, But... The cherubim are designed in accordance to G-d's will so why would He want to reflect the Ark in a similar fashion to the foreign/despised deities of the nation, who He delivered the Israelites from? (Do you guys see how similar they are or am I imposing it on them)? Or is it simply just a common motif that is likely to crop in many ancient cultures?

Any similarities to Egyptian art forms/expressions? If so, why would G-d allow, rather order, that when he despised the Egyptians' wickedness? And to top it all off, why are they even represented if it's contrary to the commandments? I'm curious what scholars have come up with? At the end of the day, who are we to speculate G-d's reasoning -- He can do whatever He wants. I'm just curious how have scholars addressed these issues and how they have reconciled the seemingly Egyptian parallels?

  • I apologize. Despite trying, I could not figure out how to link the websites. – Butterfly and Bones Jul 22 '16 at 0:48
  • Thank you for this question. I warn you in advance that some users are trigger happy when it comes to downvoting questions that contain information that is very new to them, and apologize in advance if your question is downvoted with no reason given, or for poor reasons. Hopefully if this occurs you will not let it discourage you. – mevaqesh Jul 22 '16 at 1:45
  • A link iws put in with "[" followed by the text ending with "]" followed by "(" with no space between them, the URL followed by ")" That makes it more readable. – sabbahillel Jul 22 '16 at 2:02
  • I feel like this has been asked before. There are many examples of practices in Judaism from older cultures. Temples and their structure, animal sacrifices and incense, etc. A number of narratives in the Torah also seem to have parallels in older cultures. Not that I am totally comfortable with this explanation, but I've heard some suggest that God gave the Jews religious practices and stories that they would have already been familiar with so it wouldn't seem so foreign, just modified to be in line with a monotheistic worldview. – A L Jul 22 '16 at 2:31
  • The second link shows the 2 sisters and somewhat between them, know you what is it? – kouty Jul 22 '16 at 5:02
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Judaism fundamentaly differs from Egyptian theological system. Only thing similar here are wings and fact there is two of them. Cherubim and their representation is not contrary to commandments, it was explicitly commanded by God, I think that is why they might appear elsewhere… It is in Shemot 25:18 "and you shall make two golden cherubim; you shall make them of hammered work, from the two ends of the ark cover."

  • Very good beginning for a question. It will be very helpful if you explain the last statement a bit more. ;) – kouty Jul 22 '16 at 14:16
  • וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁנַיִם כְּרֻבִים זָהָב מִקְשָׁה תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם מִשְּׁנֵי קְצוֹת הַכַּפֹּרֶת – Ana Jul 22 '16 at 14:35
  • It is Shemot 25:18,"and you shall make two golden cherubim; you shall make them of hammered work, from the two ends of the ark cover." when inctructions for Mishkan are given I think – Ana Jul 22 '16 at 14:35
  • Good! + 1. I understand now. Please include the explanation in the answer itself because the comments are sometimes canceled. – kouty Jul 22 '16 at 14:58

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