While Moses was up on Mt Sinai, he received patterns for every detail of the tabernacle. This included all of the fixtures present within. The ark, the menorah, the karoob (cherub), everything was determined by those Heavenly examples shown to him on the mountain. Moses saw what everything looked like, with precise measurements, no artistic license was allowed.
The artist Bezaleel, was trained personally, Yahweh called him by name to make the fixtures of the Tabernacle service. Bezaleel was filled with the Spirit of Elohim, in wisdom, understanding and knowledge in all kinds of workmanship. The finished work is present in the earth today. The fabrication of these things was a very serious matter. With all of the information given in the Torah, the appearance of the karoob, for example, seems to be left to conjecture. In my opinion, this was a safeguard against the natural tendency to duplicate these pieces for other purposes.
We have the Prophets. For one, Ezekiel is taken up to the Throne Room in Heaven. He was very descriptive as to what he saw. His documentation is essential to the understanding of the relationship between the Israelite camp and the vision of the Apostle John. As Ezekiel saw it, chapter 1 describes the karoob as a creature with 4 faces and “when they went, they went upon their four sides.” In other words, they do not turn as we do to change directions, they remained orientated as if to the cardinal points of the compass. Whichever direction they went, the face on that side led the way. Ezekiel sees their faces, a head with the face of a man, a lion, a bullock (may read ox) and an eagle.
(In Ezekiel’s vision, these Living Creatures have four wings, instead of six in the Revelation. The four faces are combined in Ezekiel, whereas they are individuals in the Revelation account. Also, Ezekiel 10:14, KJV which gives a different description, instead of the bullock, we see cherub. This verse is not present in the Septuagint.)
We are beginning to connect the earthly with the Heavenly. The entire camp was a picture of Heavenly things. Really it was a prefigure of New Jerusalem. The Living Creatures, the standards, each depict an aspect of the Redemption and Salvation promised to Adam and to us, which came through Y’shua Messiah.
Judah has the lion, we began to see that in Genesis. Y’shua is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This was the picture on the eastern standard. Y’shua’s appearance will be from the east, like lightening. It is interesting that the karoob moves as lightening (Ezekiel 1:14, Matthew 24:27).
The lead tribe to the south was Reuben, this standard was the face of a man. Y’shua Salvation came to us in the form of a man. Y’shua is the Word, and the Word was made flesh (John 1). He shed His blood on the cross. He died and on the third day He arose from the dead. Victory! By His shed blood we defeat the accuser (Revelation 12:10).
To Ephraim the bullock (calf) standard to the west. We see that in Deuteronomy 33 as Joseph. Ephraim and Manasseh are the half tribes of Joseph, Ephraim was the lead. The bullock was the consecration or induction sacrifice for the High Priest, Aaron. Y’shua Messiah is now our High Priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of Majesty (Hebrews 8:1).
The eagle is on the north side, with Dan as the lead. The flying eagle is the figure used in times of miraculous rescue. Eagle’s wings are a picture of us being carried up to Yahweh, He lovingly brings us to Himself (Exodus 19:4, Revelation 12:14). We are rescued at the Exodus from Egypt and away from the dragon.
Many books could be written. Much more detail lives among the pages of the of both testaments. Yet I pray this small piece shows the wonderful connection between these two witnesses. Bringing forth treasure from the old and the new.