My question is in regards to the Four Living Creatures or Four Living Beings in the Book of Revelations. I notice they have the physical traits of the Seraphim in Isaiah and the Cherubhim and Wheels in Ezekiel. Could they be another class of angel altogether? Separate from the Seraphs and Cherubs which are part of the first choir of angels. I am aware of the theory that these four angels share a connection with the four evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I am not an expert in Angelology, so I am a bit confused by your classification of Seraphim and Cherubim as part of a single choir. They are separate “choirs” or “orders” of angels in he systems I have heard of, hough they might be grouped together in a higher level category, like hierarchy or triad.
So what do you mean by “choir”? What would be useful about adopting that idea, as opposed to using the traditional idea of choir?
I suppose it might be useful to group angels by the level of their message. The four Beasts, as messengers of the gospel (angels of the evangelion) would be in the highest place. The Angels that gave the Torah to Moses might be in that class or close to it. Etc.
I believe the four beasts are intended to just be symbolic of the evangelists, therefore since they are saints rather than angels I don’t think they would be a part of the same classification as the angels. Much like how Our Lady is typically spoken of as being at the right hand of Christ near the Trinity, a higher position of glory than that of even seraphim. Much of the same could be said of the four beasts. As grace, being a mystery even to the angels, seems to elevate those who are lesser in being to higher places of glory. Like how St. Michael, while being of a lower order than the seraphim or cherubim, has a higher place of honor due to his role in salvation history.
Hi Dovekin and Bonaventurian, they are known as choirs according to St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologiae, in the first choir you have seraphims, cherubims, and thrones also known as ophanims in the Book of Enoch.
The seraphim in Isaiah have six wings and the cherubim in Ezekiel have four wings, four faces - man, lion, ox, and eagle, with eyes all over their bodies. Now what’s interesting about the Four Living Creatures is they have six wings like the Seraphs and each of them has eyes all over their bodies like the cherubs; and one face each - man, lion, ox, and eagle, instead of four faces each. Which made me wonder if they are a choir of their own above the seraphim, cherubhim, and ophanim. Hence, Ten Choirs of Angels instead.
I like your theory of the Four Living Creatures or Evangelion possibly being the Four Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. With John portraying them as angels symbolically and figuratively. I agree with your theory of Mother Mary having a position higher than the angels of Heaven, since she is the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, a title and role given to her by God. I also agree with your theory of St. Michael the archangel, even though archangels are part of the third choir which is lower than the first choir, it was Michael along with God’s Powers who defeated Lucifer, the Pricipalities and Powers in the War of Heaven and to this day they still fight each other in the unseen world for our souls. Michael is even considered the Prince of the Heavenly Host, and he is one of the seven archangels that stands before the Throne of God and knows what He looks like along with the other six archangels.
Aquinas repeats the set up described by Dionysisus the Areopagite (Pseudo). There are 3 “hierarchies” of angels, each consisting of 3 choirs, hence 9 choirs. The highest hierarchy consists of of the three choirs of Seraphim, Cherubim and Throne. If you call the hierarchies “Choirs” then you would only have 3 choirs.
The division into Hierarchies and Choirs is based on the nature and origin. It is unlikely another choir would be added on that basis. But of course, we can arrange them in other ways, ie by their role in our lives. The evangelists then become the highest, with most general authority, and guardian angels, with the most limited authority, to a specific individual. This would not be another choir imo, but a reordering of angels by different principles.
That makes a lot of sense about 9 choirs having 3 hierarchies each, and for the choirs not being hierarchies. After reading your’s and Bonaventurian’s responses, I’m starting to see the symbolism of the Four Evangelion clearly now; I think the four evangelist’s - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are in the same level as the Seraphim and Cherubim or above them, which explains why each beast has a body and individual face of his own. If God gave them such an honour in His Kingdom, I cannot even begin to imagine the honour God would give us in Heaven!
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