Archive for seraphim

Angels: Seraphim

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2019 by paulthepoke

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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Isaiah 6:6-7 Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, the Old Testament

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2012 by paulthepoke

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

The events above are taking place in the presence of God in the throne room of Heaven. The concept of burning coal from the altar in front of God in Heaven is consistent with the Aaronic ordinances given in Leviticus 16:12 “He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. What is done on earth is a picture of Heaven. This brings meaning to the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”.

your iniquity is taken away… The Hebrew word for iniquity is ‘avon. As defined by Strong’s Concordance it means: perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment/consequence of iniquity.

Burning coal is a symbol of cleansing. Fire purifies. Sin is taken away and removed in the presence of God. This is the Old Testament. Critics have often stated that removal and forgiveness of sin are New Testament ideas. Critics will say the God of the Old Testament is a mean ogre who is cruel and punishing, ready to crush with His thumb. There are many examples of mercy, grace, and forgiveness of sin in the Old Testament. These are Biblical concepts from beginning to end.

Psalm 32:1-2 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! These verses were written by David. He is clearly a man who had committed a transgression or two (murder, lust, adultery) in the events surrounding Bathsheba. He understood that God was merciful and gracious when it came to sin. In Psalm 32:5, David confessed his sins, and then You forgave my sins.

Psalm 51 is written with David’s adultery being at the forefront and focus of the Psalm. David knows he is guilty and he has sinned against God. David is in despair and desperate. Verse 1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  He also knows God can take care of his short comings. Verse 7,9 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. There is plea bargaining and begging. David is playing “Let’s Make a Deal”. Verse 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation…

Critics will argue Isaiah was written after Jesus’ death and resurrection to fit and fulfill prophecy and doctrine. Unfortunately for the critic, Isaiah was copied in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, approximately 330 years before the birth of Christ (Israel My Glory, November/December 2012, p. 8). Isaiah 53 foreshadows Jesus’ work on the cross. Verse 5-6, 11b, 12b But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

God has always been and will always be merciful, gracious, and forgiving.

Isaiah 6:2 Seraphim in the Throne Room

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , on October 28, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 6:2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

This passage is one of the better verses in the Bible to physically describe what a seraph looks like. The Hebrew word is seraph. Seraphim is the plural form of the word. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word isdefined asserpent, fiery serpent, poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison). The word literally means burning one.

There are other terms for angels in the Bible. They include: sons of God, holy ones, morning stars, cherubim, ministering spirits, and watchers.

The creature has six wings. One interesting note is the part of the verse in reference to covering his feet. Some scholars have suggested this is an idiomatic reference to genitals. Revelation 4 does mention creatures with six wings in the throne room of Heaven. Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. Previous verses in Revelation indicate the faces of the creatures are different from each other.

The word seraph can also be translated as a poisonous snake. See Numbers 21:6 The LORD sent fiery serpents (seraph) among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. A second example is Deuteronomy 8:15. “He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents (seraph) and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.

In Isaiah 14:29, seraph is translated as a flying snake. “Do not rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod that struck you is broken; for from the serpent’s root a viper will come out, and its fruit will be a flying serpent (seraph).

The Hebrew word for angel is malak in the Old Testament. Malak defined means: messenger, representative, angel, the theophanic angel or the Angel of the Lord.

The Greek word for angel is aggelos in the New Testament. Aggelos defined means: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God.

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