Difference Wiki

Cherub vs. Archangel: What's the Difference?

By Aimie Carlson || Updated on May 20, 2024
A cherub is a type of angel known for its childlike and innocent appearance, often depicted in religious art, while an archangel is a higher-ranking angel known for leadership and significant roles in religious texts.

Key Differences

Cherubs are often depicted as youthful, winged beings in religious art and are considered to be angels of a lower order, associated with innocence, purity, and the protection of divine secrets. Archangels, on the other hand, are high-ranking angels with significant authority and responsibilities. They are often seen as leaders among angels and are specifically named in religious texts, such as Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
In terms of function, cherubs are often depicted as guardians of sacred spaces, like the Garden of Eden or the throne of God, symbolizing protection and divine wisdom. Archangels are messengers and warriors, often involved in direct interaction with humanity, delivering important divine messages and leading spiritual battles.
Cherubs emphasize innocence and protection, while archangels focus on leadership, communication, and battle against evil.

Comparison Chart


Lower order of angels
Higher-ranking angels


Youthful, childlike, often chubby
Powerful, often depicted as warriors


Guardians of sacred spaces, protection
Leaders, messengers, warriors

Common Representation

Renaissance art, biblical guardians
Religious texts, messengers like Michael and Gabriel


Symbolize innocence and purity
Deliver messages, lead heavenly armies

Biblical Examples

Guardians of the Garden of Eden
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael

Cherub and Archangel Definitions


Seen in religious texts as multi-faced, winged beings.
Ezekiel's vision included cherubs with four faces and wings.


A high-ranking angel with significant authority.
Archangel Michael is known as a leader of the heavenly army.


Symbol of innocence and purity.
The cherub's presence in the artwork conveys a sense of divine protection.


Messenger of God with specific, important roles.
Archangel Gabriel delivered the message of Jesus' birth to Mary.


A type of angel depicted as a chubby child with wings in art.
The painting features a cherub hovering above the Virgin Mary.


Often depicted as powerful and commanding figures.
The statue of the archangel shows him with a sword and armor.


In biblical terms, a guardian of sacred spaces.
Cherubs are described as guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden.


Names often mentioned in religious texts for their leadership roles.
The archangel Raphael is known for his healing missions.


A winged celestial being.


Involved in spiritual warfare against evil.
Archangels are said to lead battles against demonic forces.


Cherubim(Christianity) The second of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.


A high-ranking angel.


A putto.


Archangels The eighth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.


A person, especially a child, with an innocent or chubby face.


A powerful angel that leads many other angels, but is still loyal to a deity, and often seen as belonging to a particular archangelical rank or order within a greater hierarchy of angels. (Judeo-Christian examples: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel).


(biblical) A winged creature attending God, described by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (short=yes) as the second highest order of angels, ranked above thrones and below seraphim; similar to a lamassu in the pre-exilic texts of the Hebrew Bible, more humanoid in later texts.


Synonym of angelica


An artistic depiction of such a being, typically in the form of a winged child or a child's head with wings but no body.


A chief angel; one high in the celestial hierarchy.


(figuratively) A person, especially a child, seen as being particularly angelic or innocent.


A term applied to several different species of plants (Angelica archangelica, Lamium album, etc.).


A mysterious composite being, the winged footstool and chariot of the Almighty, described in Ezekiel i. and x.
I knew that they were the cherubim.
He rode upon a cherub and did fly.


An angel ranked above the highest rank in the celestial hierarchy


A symbolical winged figure of unknown form used in connection with the mercy seat of the Jewish Ark and Temple.


A biennial cultivated herb; its stems are candied and eaten and its roots are used medicinally


One of a order of angels, variously represented in art. In European painting the cherubim have been shown as blue, to denote knowledge, as distinguished from the seraphim (see Seraph), and in later art the children's heads with wings are generally called cherubs.


A beautiful child; - so called because artists have represented cherubs as beautiful children.


A sweet innocent baby


An angel of the second order whose gift is knowledge; usually portrayed as a winged child


Associated with the protection of divine secrets and wisdom.
Cherubs are often depicted around the Ark of the Covenant.


What roles do cherubs play in religion?

Cherubs act as guardians of sacred spaces and symbols of divine protection and wisdom.

How are archangels depicted in art?

Archangels are often shown as powerful figures, usually with armor and weapons, symbolizing their role as leaders and warriors.

What is a cherub?

A cherub is a type of angel often depicted as a chubby, winged child, symbolizing innocence and purity.

What is an archangel?

An archangel is a high-ranking angel known for significant leadership roles, often mentioned in religious texts.

How are cherubs depicted in art?

Cherubs are commonly depicted as youthful, chubby children with wings in Renaissance and religious art.

Do archangels have a specific function in heaven?

Archangels serve as leaders of heavenly armies and deliverers of God's messages.

What roles do archangels play in religion?

Archangels serve as leaders, messengers from God, and warriors against evil.

What is the primary symbol of a cherub?

Cherubs primarily symbolize innocence and divine protection.

Can archangels be found in multiple religious traditions?

Yes, archangels appear in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Are cherubs considered lower-ranking angels?

Yes, cherubs are considered lower-ranking angels compared to archangels.

Do cherubs have a specific function in heaven?

Cherubs are often seen as protectors of divine secrets and sacred places in heaven.

Are cherubs and archangels part of the same hierarchy?

Yes, they are both part of the angelic hierarchy but at different levels.

Are archangels mentioned in religious texts?

Yes, archangels like Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are mentioned in religious texts for their significant roles.

Can cherubs and archangels interact with humans?

In religious narratives, archangels frequently interact with humans, while cherubs are more symbolic guardians.

What is the primary symbol of an archangel?

Archangels primarily symbolize leadership, authority, and divine communication.

What is an example of an archangel's role in the Bible?

Archangel Gabriel announces the birth of Jesus to Mary.

Do cherubs have any special attributes?

Cherubs are often depicted with multiple faces and wings, symbolizing their complexity.

Do archangels have any special attributes?

Archangels are often depicted with specific symbols, like swords for Michael, representing their roles.

Can cherubs be found in biblical descriptions?

Yes, cherubs are described in the Bible as guardians and multi-faced beings.

What is an example of a cherub's role in the Bible?

In the Bible, cherubs guard the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons