277. (v. 6) And in the midst of the throne, and roundabout the throne, were four animals full of eyes before and behind. That this signifies the guardianship and providence of the Lord to prevent the interior heavens being approached except by the good of love and of charity, that lower things thence depending may be in order, is evident from the signification of in the midst of the throne, as denoting from the Lord; for He who sat upon the throne was the Lord, as may be seen above (n. 268); and from the signification of roundabout the throne as denoting the interior or higher heavens, these being most nearly round-about the Lord; and from the signification of four animals, which were cherubim, as denoting the Divine guardianship and providence to prevent the interior or higher heavens from being approached except by the good of love and of charity, which will be explained in what follows; and from the signification of eyes, of which they were full, before and behind, as denoting the Divine providence of the Lord; for eyes when said of man signify the understanding, which is his internal sight; but when eyes are said of God, they signify the Divine providence, as may be seen above (n. 68, 152). And because eyes there signify the Divine providence of the Lord to prevent the higher heavens from being approached except by the good of love and of charity, therefore those cherubim were seen full of eyes, before and behind. The reason why lower things, which are the lower heavens, and also the church on earth, depend on that providence of the Lord, that they may be in order, is that the influx of the Lord is immediate from Himself, and also mediate through the higher into the lower heavens, and into the church; therefore unless the higher heavens are in order the lower cannot be in order (concerning which influx see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 277, 278).
Revelation 4:6; The Apocalypse Explained 68, The Apocalypse Explained 152, The Apocalypse Explained 268; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 277-278)
 That cherubim are here meant by the four animals is evident in Ezekiel, by whom similar things were seen at the river Chebar, which are described by him in chapters l. and x., and in the latter are called cherubim (verses 1, 2, 4-9, 14, 16, 18, 19). Concerning them it is said,
"The cherubim lifted themselves up; these animals which I saw by the river Chebar. These animals that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; I understood that they were the cherubim" (x. 15, 20).
These four animals which were the cherubim, are thus described by the same prophet:
Near the river of Chebar "appeared the likeness of four animals of which this was the aspect: They had the likeness of a man, and they had each four faces, and they had each of them four wings: This was the likeness of their faces: the four had the face of a man and the face of a lion on the right side, and the four had the face of an ox on the left side, the four also had the face of an eagle. The appearance of them was as burning coals of fire, like the appearance of lamps; it went up and down among the animals, so that the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. Over the heads of the animals was an expanse according to the form of a wonderful crystal: over the expanse which was over their head, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it; from the appearance of his loins and downwards I saw as it were the appearance of a fire, and it had brightness round about, as the aspect of a rainbow that is in the cloud; this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah" (i. 1, 5, 6, 10, 13, 22, 26-28).
By these representatives is described the Divine of the Lord in the higher heavens, and His providence to prevent them from being approached except by the good of love and of charity; and in that description are contained all the things mentioned in this chapter of the Apocalypse concerning the arrangement of the heavens, and they are signified by the throne upon which sat one in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardine; also by the rainbow about the throne, by the lamps of fire burning before the throne, and other things, which it would therefore be needless to explain, particularly in this place.
Ezekiel 1:1-2, 1:1, 1:5-6, 1:10, 1:13, 1:22, 1:26-28, 10:1-2, 10:1, 10:4-9, 10:9, 10:14, 10:15, Ezekiel 10:16, 10:18-19, 10:20)
 It shall now only be shown that by cherubim in the Word are signified the guardianship and providence of the Lord, to prevent the higher heavens from being approached except by the good of love and of charity, that lower things may be in order. This is clearly manifest from the account of the cherubim placed before the garden of Eden, when man was driven out; concerning which it is thus written in Moses:
"When" Jehovah God "had driven out the man, he made cherubim to dwell on the east of Eden, and a flame of a sword turning itself every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen. iii. 24).
What is meant by the man and his wife in these chapters may be seen explained in Arcana Coelestia, namely, that by the man is there meant the Most Ancient Church, which was a celestial church; and a celestial is distinguished from a spiritual church in this, that the former is in the good of love to the Lord, but the latter is in the good of charity towards the neighbour, as may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28).
From the men who constitute those two churches on earth the two higher heavens are formed; when, therefore, the celestial church, which was the most ancient and primary church on this earth, declined and began to recede from the good of love, then it is said that cherubim were made to dwell on the east of the garden of Eden, and a flame of a sword which turned itself every way, to guard the way of the tree of life. By the east of Eden is signified where the good of celestial love enters; and by the flame of a sword which turned itself every way is signified truth from that good defending; and by the tree of life is signified the Divine which is from the Lord in the higher heavens, which is the good of love and charity, and heavenly joy therefrom. Hence it is evident that by cherubim are signified guards to prevent those heavens being approached except by the good of love and of charity; and on this account it is also said, "to guard the way of the tree of life." (That the east signifies the good of love, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 1250, 3708; that Eden signifies wisdom therefrom, n. 99, 100; that sword signifies truth fighting against falsity and dispersing it, thus truth defending [see above], n. 73, 131; that flame signifies truth from celestial good, n. 3222, 6832, 9570; that the tree of life signifies the good of love from the Lord and heavenly joy therefrom, may be seen above, n. 109, 110).
Arcana Coelestia 1250, Arcana Coelestia 3222, Arcana Coelestia 3708, Arcana Coelestia 6832, Arcana Coelestia 9570, Genesis 3:24; Heaven and Hell 20-28; The Apocalypse Explained 73, 99-100, 109-110, 131)
 On account of this signification of cherubim there were two made of solid gold placed upon the propitiatory upon the ark, concerning which it is thus written in Moses:
"Thou shalt make cherubim, of solid gold shalt thou make them, from the two extremities of the propitiatory; from the propitiatory thou shalt make the cherubs, and let the cherubim be expanding their wings upward, covering with their wings the propitiatory; towards the propitiatory shall be the faces of the cherubim, and thou shalt put the propitiatory upon the ark. I will meet thee there, and I will speak with thee between the two cherubim" (Exod. xxv. 18-22; xxxvii. 7-9).
By the ark and the tabernacle were represented the higher heavens; by the ark, in which was the testimony, or the law, was represented the inmost or third heaven; by the habitation which was without the veil, the middle or second heaven; by the propitiatory, hearing and reception of all things of worship which are from the good of love and of charity; by the cherubim were signified guards, and by the gold of which they were made, the good of love. It is therefore also evident that the two cherubim represented guards to prevent the higher heavens from being approached, except by the good of love and of charity. (That by the tabernacle in general was represented heaven, where the Lord is, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 9457, 9481, 10,545; by the ark, the inmost or third heaven, n. 3478, 9485; by the testimony or the law in the ark, the Lord as to the Word, n. 3382, 6752, 7463; by the habitation which was without the veil, the middle or second heaven, n. 3478, 9457, 9481, 9485, 9594, 9596, 9632; by the propitiatory, the hearing and reception of all things of worship which are from the good of love and of charity from the Lord, n. 9506, and by gold, the good of love, n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9510, 9874, 9881).
Arcana Coelestia 113, Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552, Arcana Coelestia 3382, 3478, Arcana Coelestia 5658, Arcana Coelestia 6752, Arcana Coelestia 6914, 6917, 7463, Arcana Coelestia 9457, 9481, 9485, 9506, 9510, Arcana Coelestia 9594, 9596, 9632, Arcana Coelestia 9874, 9881, Arcana Coelestia 10545; Exodus 25:18-22, Exodus 37:7-9)
 And because by the cherubim were signified guards, therefore also, there were cherubim upon the curtains of the habitation, and upon the veil (Exod. xxvi. 1, 31).
And it was for the same reason that Solomon made, in the oracle of the temple, cherubim of olive wood, and set them in the midst of the inner house, and overlaid them with gold, and engraved all the walls of the house round about with figures of cherubim, and palm trees, and open flowers, and that he ornamented the two doors in the same manner (1 Kings vi. 23-29, 32-35).
By the temple also was signified heaven and the church, and by its oracle, the inmost of heaven and of the church; by the olive wood of which the cherubim were made was signified the good of love, and similarly by the gold with which they were overlaid. By the walls upon which the cherubim were engraved were signified the ultimates of heaven and of the church, and the cherubim there signified guards. By the doors, upon which also were cherubim, was signified entrance into heaven and the church. It is therefore evident that these cherubim signified guards to prevent heaven from being approached except by the good of love and of charity; and because of this signification of cherubim, they also signify the Divine providence of the Lord, for those guards are from the Lord and are His Divine providence. (That the temple and house of God signify heaven and the church may be seen above, n. 220; hence the oracle signifies their inmost. That olive wood signifies the good of love, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 886, 3728, 4582, 9780, 9954, 10,261, and likewise the gold, see above, n. 242. That doors signify approach and admission may be seen also above, n. 248).
1 Kings 6:23-29, 6:32-35; Arcana Coelestia 886, Arcana Coelestia 3728, 4582, Arcana Coelestia 9780, Arcana Coelestia 9954, 10261; Exodus 26:1, 26:31, The Apocalypse Explained 220, 242, 248)
 Similarly, the new temple is described as ornamented with cherubim; concerning which it is thus written in Ezekiel:
"Cherubim and palm trees were made, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; thus was it done to all the house round about; from the ground unto above the door were cherubim and palm trees made, and the wall of the temple" (xli. 18-20).
The palm signifies spiritual good, which is the good of charity (as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia. n. 8369).
Arcana Coelestia 8369; Ezekiel 41:18-20)
 Because the Divine truth from the Divine good is that which protects, therefore the king of Tyre is called a cherub; for by king is signified Divine truth, and by Tyre are meant knowledges (cognitiones); and hence by the king of Tyre is signified intelligence, concerning which it is thus written in Ezekiel:
King of Tyre, "thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. Thou cherub, the spreading out of one that protects; I have placed thee in the mount of holiness of God; thou hast walked in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways in the day that thou wast created" (xxviii. 13-15).
(That by a king is signified Divine truth, may be seen above, n. 31, and by Tyre knowledges, in Arcana Coelestia, n. 1201. That by precious stones are signified the truths and goods of heaven and of the church, see n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905, which are called stones of fire, because fire signifies the good of love, as may be seen, n. 934, 4906, 5215, 6314, 6832). Because the king of Tyre signifies intelligence from Divine truth, and this guards or protects, therefore the king of Tyre is called the cherub, the spreading out of one that protects.
Arcana Coelestia 934, 1201, Arcana Coelestia 4906, 5215, Arcana Coelestia 6314, Arcana Coelestia 6832, Arcana Coelestia 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, Arcana Coelestia 9905; Ezekiel 28:12-16, 28:12-15; The Apocalypse Explained 31)
 Because the higher heavens cannot be approached except by means of the good of love and of charity, that is, cannot be approached by worship and by prayers unless they proceed from that good, therefore the Lord communed with Moses and Aaron, when they entered the habitation, between the two cherubim that were upon the ark (Exod. xxv. 22); as also is evident in Moses:
"When Moses entered into the tent of assembly he heard a voice speaking unto him from over the propitiatory that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim " (Num. vii. 89).
Because it is the Divine proceeding from the Lord which provides and guards, therefore it is said of the Lord,
That He sitteth upon the cherubim, as in Isa. xxxvii. 16; Psa. xviii. 10; lxxx. 1; xcix. 1; 1 Sam. iv. 4; 2 Sam. vi. 2.
1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; Exodus 25:22; Isaiah 37:16; Numbers 7:89; Psalms 18:9-10, 80:1, 99:1)
 Because the subject treated of in this chapter is the arrangement of all things for judgment therefore also the cherubim are here treated of, that the guardianship and providence of the Lord that the higher heavens may not be approached except by means of the good of love and of charity; for unless this had been done before the Judgment, the very heavens themselves, in which were the true angels, would have been endangered, because those heavens which were about to perish (concerning which see Apoc. xxi. 1) were not in the good of love and charity, but only in some truths. For there were there those from the Christian world who were in the doctrine of faith alone, which some had confirmed from a few passages of the Word, and by that means had obtained some kind of conjunction with the ultimate heaven; but this conjunction was broken when that heaven, which is called the former heaven, had passed away. It was then ordained by the Lord, that hereafter no one should be conjoined with the heavens unless he be in the good of love to the Lord and in charity towards the neighbour; this is what is specifically meant by the things that now follow in this chapter. Whoever, therefore, believes that the heavens can hereafter be approached by the worship and by the prayers of those who are in faith alone and not also in the good of charity, is much deceived. The worship of these is no longer received, nor are their prayers heard, but the love of their life alone is regarded. Wherefore if the love of self and of the world reign, in whatever external worship they may have been, they are conjoined to the hells, and are also borne thither after death, and not in the first place to some heaven that is about to perish, as was previously the case.
Ezekiel 10:15, Ezekiel 28:12-15; Revelation 4:6, 21:1)