He preached in the same church as C. H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. Yet most people today have never heard of John Gill. This is unfortunate, since his works contain priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews.

This commentary confirms our studies that the cherubim are representative of the church. You can find Gill's commentary on the E-Sword software program offered free of charge at this website: E-SWORD:

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

Gen 3:24 - So he drove out the man, .... Being unwilling to go out upon the orders given, some degree of force was used, or power exerted, in some way or other, to oblige him to depart; the word it is expressed by is used of divorces: there was a conjugal relation between God and man, the covenant between them had the nature of a matrimonial contract; which covenant man broke, though he was an husband to him, by committing idolatry, that is, spiritual adultery, not giving credit to him, but believing the devil before him; wherefore he wrote him a bill of divorce, and sent him away; drove him from his presence and communion with him, from his house and habitation, from his seat of pleasure, and garden of delight, and from all the comfortable enjoyments of life; an emblem of that separation and distance which sin makes between God and his creature, and of that loss which is sustained thereby:

and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims ; the Septuagint version is,"and he placed him, or caused him (Adam) to dwell over against the paradise of pleasure, and he ordered the cherubim''But the words are not to be understood either of placing man, or placing the cherubim, but of Jehovah's placing himself, or taking up his habitation and residence before the garden of Eden, or at the east of it: while man abode in a state of innocence, the place of the divine Presence, or where God more gloriously manifested himself to him, was in the garden; but now he having sinned, and being driven out of it, he fixes his abode in a very awful manner at the entrance of the garden, to keep man out of it; for so the words may be rendered, "and he inhabited the cherubim, or dwelt over, or between the cherubim, before or at the east of the garden of Eden" (q); so the Jerusalem Targum,"and he made the glory of his Shechinah, or glorious Majesty, to dwell of old at the east of the garden of Eden, over or above the two cherubim;''or between them, as the Targum of Jonathan; and very frequently is Jehovah described as sitting and dwelling between the cherubim, 1Sa_4:4 by which are meant not flying animals or fowls, whose form no man ever saw, as Josephus (r); nor angels, which is the more generally received opinion; for these were not real living creatures of any sort, but forms and representations, such as were made afterwards in the tabernacle of Moses, and temple of Solomon; and which Ezekiel and John saw in a visionary way, and from whom we learn what figures they were: and these were hieroglyphics, not of a trinity of persons, as some of late have stupidly imagined; for these were the seat of the divine Majesty, and between which he dwelt: and besides, as these had four faces, they would rather represent a quaternity than a trinity, and would give a similitude of the divine Being, which cannot be done, and be contrary to the second command; to which may be added, that the word is sometimes singular as well as plural: but these were hieroglyphics of the ministers of the word, whose understanding, humility, and tenderness, are signified by the face of a man; their strength, courage, and boldness, by that of a lion; their labour and diligence by that of an ox; and their quick sight and penetration into divine things by that of an eagle, which are the forms and figures of the cherubim; See Gill on Eze_1:10. Among these Jehovah is; with these he grants his presence, and by them signifies his mind and will to men; and these he makes use of to show them the vanity of all self-confidence, and to beat them off of seeking for life and righteousness by their own works, and to direct them alone to Christ, and point him out as the alone way of salvation; and of this use the hieroglyphic might be to fallen Adam, now driven out of Eden:

and a flaming sword, which turned every way; a drawn sword, brandished, and which being very quick in its motion, as it was turned to and fro, glittered and looked like a flame of fire: this is not to be understood as by itself, and as of itself, turning about every way without a hand to move it, nor as with the cherubim, or as in the hands of angels, as in 1Ch_21:16 or as being they themselves, which are made as flames of fire; but as in the hand of the Lord God, that dwelt between the cherubim; for so it may be rendered, "he inhabited the cherubim and that with a flaming sword" (s); that is, with one in his hand, an emblem of the fiery law of God now broken, and of the fire of divine wrath on the account of that, and of the flaming justice of God, which required satisfaction; and this turning on all sides:

to keep the way of the tree of life ; showing, that life and salvation were not to be had, unless the law and justice of God were satisfied; and that they were not to be expected on the foot of men's works, but only through Christ, the way, the truth, and the life; that no happiness was to be looked for from the covenant of works, now broke, nothing but wrath and vengeance; and that there must be another way opened, or there could be no enjoyment of the heavenly paradise.

(q) Mybrkh ta--Nkvyw "et habitavit super `seu' cum cherubim", Texelii Phoenix, p. 256. So ta sometimes signifies "upon", "above", or "with". See Nold. Ebr. part. Concord. p. 116, 121. (r) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 6. (s) brxh jhl taw "idque cum gladio evaginato", Texelius, ib.


Eze 1:10 - As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, .... For these living creatures are men, redeemed from among men by the blood of Christ; their business lies with men, to preach the Gospel to them: and they should be humane, kind, and tender in their behaviour towards them; wounded consciences of weak believers, distressed and disconsolate souls, requiring such usage; and they should be men in understanding, have a large knowledge of the Scriptures, of the truths of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ, since their work is to feed men with knowledge and understanding; and should act the manly part, quit themselves like men in defence of the Gospel, and the truths of it;

and the face of a lion on the right side; denoting the strength of Gospel ministers, the lion being the strongest among beasts, Pro_30:30; and they have need to be strong in the grace of Christ, and in the power of his might, to do the several parts of their work; to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ; to wrestle with principalities and powers, and to bear the infirmities of the weak: and also their courage and fortitude of mind; their boldness in preaching the Gospel of Christ, not fearing the faces of men, nor their revilings; see Pro_28:1;

and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; expressive of the patience of Gospel ministers in bearing the yoke that is upon them, not only of the ministry, but of the weaknesses of saints, and the reproaches and indignities of the wicked; and in instructing those that oppose themselves, and in waiting the issue of their ministry: and also of their laboriousness in their ministrations; particularly in treading out the corn of the word, for the subsistence of the saints: see 1Co_9:9;

they four also had the face of an eagle; showing their strong and clear sight of the Gospel, and the mysteries of it; the eagle having so strong an eye, that it is able to look full and steadfastly upon the sun; and their diligence in searching into the deep things of God, and particularly to find out where the carcass is, a crucified Christ, to feed upon themselves, and to direct others to it likewise. It seems as if these four living creatures had four distinct heads, as well as faces, and that the position of them was in this manner; the face of a man before; the face of a lion on the right side; the face of an ox on the left; and the face of an eagle behind, These four are the most excellent of creatures. The Talmudists have a saying,

"there are four that are proud (or excel) in the world; the lion among beasts; the ox among cattle; the eagle among birds; and man, whom God has exalted above all, for he rules over all (o).''

(o) Apud Schindler. Lex. Pentaglott, p. 267.


Rev 5:9 - And they sung a new song,.... Upon a new occasion and subject, redemption by the blood of the Lamb, and his worthiness to open the sealed book; and in distinction from the old song of Moses and the children of Israel at the Red sea; and this was a most famous and excellent song, an unheard of one, and which none could learn, or sing, but the redeemed of the Lamb:

saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof . The Arabic version reads, "thou, O Lamb"; the reasons why they ascribe such fitness, ability, and dignity to him, are as follow:

for thou wast slain : by men, and for the sins of men; whereby, as he became worthy in his priestly office to take away the sins of his people, and to have all the glory of their salvation, and, in his kingly office, to have all power and authority, and to be exalted above every name, so, in his prophetic office, to have perfect knowledge, as man and Mediator, of all the future events that were to befall his church and people, and to make them known, and fulfil them:

and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; this shows, that as the four living creatures, and four and twenty elders, were not angels, so they were not representatives of the Jewish church; or the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament; not even the apostles of the New; for they were all Jews, and could not be said to be redeemed out of every tongue, nation, and people; and also that not the Jews only were redeemed by Christ, but the Gentiles also, and not all mankind, or every individual of human nature, but some out of all the nations of the earth; for God hath chosen some, both of Jews and Gentiles, and these Christ has redeemed and therefore the Gospel is sent unto all nations, that these among them may be called and saved. The redemption of them supposes them to have been in a state of slavery and bondage, as they are by nature, to sin, Satan, and the law; and signifies a deliverance from such a state, which Christ has obtained, not barely by power, but by price, as the word here used signifies, and may be rendered, "and hast bought us" and the price with which he has bought them in his own "blood", and which is of full and sufficient value, it being not only the blood of a man, of an innocent man, but of one that is God as well as man: and this price was paid "to God", and to his justice, against whom men have sinned, whose law they have broken, and whose justice they have injured and affronted, that he might reconcile them to God, bring them near to him, and that they might serve him in righteousness and true holiness.