Now that I have covered the basics of the Swords (Cherubim), let's move on to the interesting stuff, namely - how these Sword would look like once on top of the Mercy Seat of the Ark of The Covenant.
But before I do, I wanted to say that after reviewing my previous post, I think that the most accurate translation of the word "Cherubim" would be "The Guarding Swords" or "The Shielding Swords". Such translation, in my humble opinion, best reflects all usages of this word throughout the text of the Pentateuch.
As I have explained, the Swords(Cherubim) essentially looked like an Eagle Wings. Like so:
Of'course, the above image shows only the blade of the Sword, so to avoid any confusion, below is the rendering of a pair of Swords with Handles, even though it is most likely that handles were not part of the intended design and the description talks only about the blades; or perhaps that the Swords were not intended to have any. But if the handles were part of the design, may be their purpose was to help to move the Lid of the Ark. Anyway, here is the rendering of the Swords(Cherubim) with handles:
But what would these Swords would look like once they were hammered out of the Mercy Seat? Well, I think they would resemble Eagle Wings over its nest. Perhaps somewhat like so:
Image is from this web site.
In fact, maybe the handles that I have mentioned above, looked like the Eagle's head or tail. I'm not sure, but maybe in the future I will look into this question in more details. For now, let's follow the description of the Exodus 25:18-21 and see what we come up with with this new design:
As Exodus 25:18 states, these Swords were to of a hammered work and were to be one part with the Mercy Seat. The mercy seat itself was rather thin (see my Tabernacle Calculator for details), 2.5 cubits long by 1.5 cubits wide. Basically - a rectangular slab of Gold. Like this:
According to Ex 25:19, the Swords would be located at the Ends (do not confuse with Edges) of the Mercy Seat, most likely along its longer sides. This is because this is the most efficient and logical place to put these Swords to satisfy the description according my new proposed design. In my old design, which follows the traditional interpretation, Swords (Cherubim) are positioned along the short side, with their wings covering respective halves of the longer sides.
Now, as the most crucial part of the description states (Ex 25:20), and you will need this diagram to understand it properly, the Swords would have been spreading their Edges upward, covering IN their Edges the Mercy Seat. "In Edges" means that they were to point their sharpened edge one toward another in a reaching manner, creating an arc of sorts.
Then, the description proceeds to tell us that the Faces of the Swords were to point toward each other and also toward the Mercy Seat. This means that the Faces (one flat side of each Sword) was to point at an angle toward the Mercy seat. In such manner the description is satisfied, resulting in this:
For comparison purposes, examine the two images below of the entire Ark of The Covenant with its Mercy Seat on top of it:
This one is that of my old proposed design of the Swords(Cherubim) over the Mercy Seat:
And this one is that of this new design, rendered exactly from the same angle:
Here is a gray-scale rendering of this new design:
And here is a close-up view of the Mercy Seat upon the Ark of The Covenant with the Swords according to this new design:
As you can see (and in mu humble opinion) this design is not only looks better, but it also satisfies the description in a more complete and accurate manner. Such design also seem to be making more sense when applying the proposed translation of the word "Cherub" its all occurrences in the Pentateuch.
And even though this is going to be my last post for 2011, this is not all to it. One other very interesting detail that I have not discussed yet are the depictions of the Swords (Cherubim) on Curtains and Coverings of the Tabernacle.
In 2012, my first post will be dedicated specifically to that topic, so stay tuned and enjoy!