According to English dictionaries, “cherubim” (Hebrew plural for “cherub”) is reserved for the celestial beings mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, while “cherubs” refers to the rosy-cheeked infants of Western art; the singular “cherub” applies to both.


See Victor Hurowitz, “Did King Solomon Violate the Second Commandment?” Bible Review, October 1994.


If this ivory came from Arslan Tash, as I will suggest, it should be noted that other ivories from Arslan Tash featured the Egyptian lotus as well as the Mesopotamian palm (Phoenizische Eifenbeine, Bildhefte des Badischen Landesmuseum [Karlsruhe: 1973], pp. XVI, XVII).