By Margaret Barker
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Extra info for Creation: A Biblical Vision for the Environment
10–14). Since the temple represented the whole cosmos, and the cherubim appear throughout, they must have functioned in all parts of the cosmos. 68 They were also the two aspects of the Lord, who both creates and rules the world, and their outspread wings were the sign that the powers of the Lord overshadowed and protected the universe. Thus the cherubim – and indeed all angels – have a twofold aspect: their nature, and the power to reveal their nature. They teach about themselves. They are the creating and ruling powers of the Lord, and communicate these to the human mind.
38 Early Christian teaching was based on temple symbolism – something that we have almost lost today. The temple furnishings were described in the Scriptures, but not explained. There is no indication in the Old Testament why the curtains, the lampstand or the incense had to be 34 Included in the fourth-century Sinai Codex, one of the oldest copies of the New Testament. 35 But now recognized as a fifth-century writer. 36 Dionysius, Celestial Hierarchy 137AB. 20. 38 Irenaeus, Demonstration 1–3. 18 Creation made in a particular way.
The pattern in Genesis 1 is not clear at this point either: sea life and birds appeared on the fifth day and the creatures of the land, including human beings, appeared on the sixth day. The final problem is the bronze laver, which does not appear in the Greek text. A bronze laver of water is unlikely in the desert, but this final stage in the erection of the tabernacle could have been influenced by memories of the temple furnishings. The bronze laver corresponded to the creation of the human being on the sixth day.