There is inimitable grandeur in this verse. Under the Mosaic system the cherubim are frequently represented as the chariot of God; hence Milton, in “Paradise Lost,” writes of the Great Father,– “He on the wings of cherubim Uplifted, in paternal glory rode Far into chaos.”
Without speculating upon the mysterious and much-disputed subject of the cherubim, it may be enough to remark that angels are doubtless our guards and ministering friends, and all their powers are enlisted to expedite the rescue of the afflicted. “_He rode upon a cherub, and did fly_.” Nature also yields all her agents to be our helpers, and even the powers of the air are subservient: “_yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind_.” The Lord comes flying when mercy is his errand, but he lingers long when sinners are being wooed to repent. The flight here pictured is as majestic as it is swift; “flying all abroad” is Sternhold’s word, and he is not far from correct. As the eagle soars in easy grandeur with wings outspread, without violent napping and exertion, so comes the Lord with majesty of omnipotence to aid his own.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.
Verse 10.–“_Cherub_.” The Hebrew name hath affinity with _Rechub_, a chariot, used in #Ps 104:3|, almost in like sense as “_cherub_” is here; and the _cherubims_ are called a chariot, #1Ch 28:18|; and God’s angels are his chariots, #Ps 68:18|, and they seem to be meant in this place; for as the angels are said to fly, #Da 9:21|; so the _cherubims_ had wings, #Ex 25:20|, and are by the apostle called “cherubims of glory,” #Heb 9:5|. In #Ps 80:2|, God is said “to sit on the cherubims,” as here, to ride; and “_a cherub_” may be put for many, or all the _cherubims_, as chariot for chariots, #Ps 68:18|.–^Henry Ainsworth.
Verse 10.–“_Cherubs_.” The “_cherub_” with the countenances of man, the lion, the bull, and the eagle (combining in itself, as it were, the intelligence, majesty, strength, and life of nature), was a symbol of the powers of nature. When powerful elements, as in a storm, are serving God, he is said to “_ride on a cherub_.”–^Augustus F. Tholuck. Verse 10.–“_Cherub_.”– “_He on the wings of _cherub_ rode sublime On the crystalline sky.”
Verse 10.–When God comes to punish his foes and rescue his people, nothing has ever surprised his friends or foes more than the admirable swiftness with which he moves and acts: _He flies “upon the wings of the wind.”_–^William S. Plumer.
Verse 10.–Every circumstance that can add to the splendour of Jehovah’s descent upon his enemies is thrown into the narrative by the inspired poet. It is not enough that the heavens should bend beneath him, and that clouds of darkness should be seen rolling, in terrible majesty, under his feet; cherubic legions also are the willing supporters of his throne, and, swift as air, he flies “_upon the wings of the wind_.” Into this amazing scene the awful appendages of the mercy-seat are introduced; on the bending heavens, the cloudy chariot rides sublime, and the winds of heaven bear it majestically along.–^J. Morison.
HINTS TO PREACHERS.
Verse 10.–Celestial and terrestrial agencies subservient to the divine purposes.