Angels: Seraphim

How many types of angels are there? Well, that depends. Scholars throughout history have debated this question. When people look at the Biblical text, generally the answer can vary from 7-11 different types of angels.

As you read this, please keep in mind this is not a comprehensive or conclusive list. There is much speculation and conjecture with this topic.

Angels do have structure and order. There is much debate as to which group of angels is the most powerful.

Seraphim: The term is simply defined in the Hebrew as a fiery serpent. Seraphim is the plural form with the -im ending. Context of Biblical verses would suggest they are copper or amber in color. The most comprehensive verse of description for seraphim is in Isaiah. The scene is in Heaven.

Isaiah 6:1-4 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

Heat and fire apparently do not burn them.

Isaiah 6:6-7 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

There is the incident in the wilderness with Moses and the “the fiery serpent.”

Numbers 21:6-9 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

The interesting part of the story is the language used by the LORD verses the language used by Moses and the people. When the LORD is talking, the term saraph or seraphim is stated.

When Moses and the people are talking, the term nachash is used. Nachash is translated as snake or serpent. Nachash is the term used of the snake in the Garden of Eden. (Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.)

Seraphim are utilized by God as an instrument of judgment towards the people in the desert. The LORD sent seraphim.

Seraphim are involved with types and shadows of the atoning power of Jesus Christ. Seraphim are the instrument God uses in examples. It is not the saraph that atones for sin. In Isaiah 6:7, it is the burning coal carried by the saraph that removes the sin. The fire cleanses and purifies in the example.

The LORD told Moses to make a “saraph”. Moses made a bronze “nachash” and placed it on a pole. When the people put their faith in God’s word to look at the bronze serpent for healing, they were spared their human lives at that time.

Seraphim were involved in examples of the Promise to come.

Colossians 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

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