Rabbi Avin said four kinds of excellency were created in the world: (1.)
Man's excellency over the animal kingdom; (2.) the eagle's excellency
over the feathered tribes; (3.) the excellency of the ox over domestic
cattle; and (4.) the lion's excellency over the wild beasts. All were
fixed under the chariot of God; as it is said (Ezek. i. 10), "As for the
likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, the face of a
lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle." And why all this? In
order that they should not exalt themselves, but know that there is a
kingdom of heaven over them; and on this account it is said (Eccles. v.
8), "He that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher
than they." This is the meaning of Exod. xv. 1: "He hath triumphed
THE MIDRASHIM, _Midrash Shemoth_, chap. 23.