Isaiah 6:6
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New International Version
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.

New Living Translation
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.

English Standard Version
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

New American Standard Bible
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.

King James Bible
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.

International Standard Version
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, carrying a burning coal in his hand that he had taken from the altar with tongs.

NET Bible
But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs.

New Heart English Bible
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then one of the angels flew to me. In his hand was a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then flew unto me one of the seraphim, with a glowing stone in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;

New American Standard 1977
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then one of the seraphim flew unto me, having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

King James 2000 Bible
Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

American King James Version
Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

American Standard Version
Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And one of the seraphims flew to me, and in his hand was a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar.

Darby Bible Translation
And one of the seraphim flew unto me, and he had in his hand a glowing coal, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;

English Revised Version
Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

Webster's Bible Translation
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

World English Bible
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.

Young's Literal Translation
And flee unto me doth one of the seraphs, and in his hand a burning coal, (with tongs he hath taken it from off the altar,)
Study Bible
Isaiah's Vision of the Lord in His Glory
5Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven."…
Cross References
Revelation 8:3
Then another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.

Numbers 16:46
Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!"

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.

Ezekiel 10:2
And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, "Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And he entered in my sight.
Treasury of Scripture

Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

flew

Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with two he …

Daniel 9:21-23 Yes, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom …

Hebrews 1:7,14 And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his …

having, etc. Heb. and in his hand a live coal

Ezekiel 10:2 And he spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between …

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes …

Acts 2:3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it …

Revelation 8:3-5 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; …

which

Leviticus 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off …

Hebrews 9:22-26 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without …

Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Revelation 8:3-5 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; …

(6) Then flew one of the seraphims.--In presenting the vision to our mind's eye we have to think of the bright seraph form, glowing as with fire, and with wings like the lightning-flash, leaving his station above the throne, and coming to where the prophet stood in speechless terror. The altar from which he took the "live coal "--literally, stone, and interpreted by some critics of the stones of which the altar was constructed--is commonly thought of as belonging, like that of Revelation 8:5; Revelation 9:13, to the heavenly Temple which was opened to the prophet's view. There seems, however, a deeper meaning in the symbolism if we think of the seraph as descending from the height above the throne to the altar of incense, near which Isaiah actually stood. It was from that altar that the glowing charcoal was taken. What had seemed part of the material of a formal worship became quickened with a living power. The symbol became sacramental. So in Psalm 51:7, the prayer of the penitent is "Purge me with hyssop"--i.e., make the symbol a reality. Fire, it need hardly be said, is throughout the Bible the symbol at once of the wrath and the love of God, destroying the evil and purifying the good (Numbers 31:23; Malachi 3:2; Matthew 3:11; 1Corinthians 3:15; Hebrews 12:29; 1Peter 1:7). Isaiah passed, as it were, through the purgatory of an instantaneous agony.

Verse 6. - A live coal; or, a glowing stone, as Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Knobel, and Mr. Cheyne understand (comp. 1 Kings 19:6, where a cognate word is used). The tongs... the altar. The presence of an altar in the heavenly dwelling, with the usual appurtenances, is assumed (comp. Revelation 6:9; Revelation 8:3). The altar is, no doubt, an altar of incense, and of gold, not of stone; but the incense is burnt upon stones heated to a glow, and it is one of these stones which the angel takes with the golden tongs of the sanctuary (Exodus 25:38). Then flew one of the seraphim unto me,.... When the prophet had confessed his sin; for upon that follows the application of pardon; and when the seraph, or minister of the Gospel, had an order from the Lord to publish the doctrine of it: it is God's act alone to forgive sin; it is the work of his ministers to preach forgiveness of sin, and that to sensible sinners; who when they are made sensible of sin, and distressed with it, the Lord takes notice of them, and sends messengers to them, to comfort them, by acquainting them that their iniquity is forgiven; who go on such an errand cheerfully and swiftly; and though they do not know the particular person, yet the Lord directs their ministration to him, and makes it effectual.

Having a live coal in his hand: by which is meant the word of God, comparable to fire, and to a burning coal of fire, Jeremiah 23:29 for the light and heat which it gives both to saints and sinners, and for its purity and purifying nature:

which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; of burnt offering, where the fire was always burning; which was a type of Christ, and his sacrifice; and this shows what particular doctrine of the word it was the seraph or Gospel minister took, and delivered in this visionary way; it was the doctrine of pardon, founded upon the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ. To this sense of the words the Targum agrees, which paraphrases them thus,

"and there flew to me one of the ministers, and in his mouth a word which he received from his Shechinah, upon the throne of glory, in the highest heavens, above the altar,''

See Revelation 14:6. 6. unto me—The seraph had been in the temple, Isaiah outside of it.

live coal—literally, "a hot stone," used, as in some countries in our days, to roast meat with, for example, the meat of the sacrifices. Fire was a symbol of purification, as it takes the dross out of metals (Mal 3:2, 3).

the altar—of burnt offering, in the court of the priests before the temple. The fire on it was at first kindled by God (Le 9:24), and was kept continually burning.6:1-8 In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.
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