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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

burning; fiery

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(burning, glowing), an order of celestial beings, whom Isaiah beheld in vision standing above Jehovah as he sat upon his throne. (Isaiah 6:2) They are described as having each of them three pairs of wings, with one of which they covered their faces (a token of humility); with the second they covered their feet (a token of respect); while with the third they flew. They seem to have borne a general resemblance to the human figure. ver. 6. Their occupation was two fold to celebrate the praises of Jehovah's holiness and power, ver. 3 and to act as the medium of communication between heaven and earth. ver. 6.

ATS Bible Dictionary

Burning ones, celestial beings surrounding the throne of God. Compare De 4:24 Hebrews 12:29. They appear to be distinguished from the cherubim, Ezekiel 1:5-12. The prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 6:2,3, represents them as reverently adoring the triune God, and burning with zeal to fly and execute his will. Each one had six wings, with two of which he covered his face, with two his feet, and with the two others he flew. They cried to one another, and said, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Mentioned in Isaiah 6:2, 3, 6, 7. This word means fiery ones, in allusion, as is supposed, to their burning love. They are represented as "standing" above the King as he sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears to have been human, with the addition of wings. (see ANGELS.) This word, in the original, is used elsewhere only of the "fiery serpents" (Numbers 21:6, 8; Deuteronomy 8:15; Comp. Isaiah 14:29; 30:6) sent by God as his instruments to inflict on the people the righteous penalty of sin.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Plural of Seraph.

2. (n.) The Hebrew plural of Seraph. Cf. Cherubim.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ser'-a-fim (seraphim): A plural word occurring only in Isaiah 6:2;-Isaiah's vision of Yahweh. The origin of the term in Hebrew is uncertain. Saraph in Numbers 21:6 Isaiah 14:29, etc., signifies a fiery serpent. A Babylonian name for the fire-god, Nergal, was Sharrapu. In Egypt there have been found eagle-lion-shaped figures guarding a grave, to which is applied the name seref. The equivalent English term is "griffin."

It is probable enough that popular mythology connected fire with the attendants of the deity in various ways among different peoples, and that burning lies at the base of the idea in all these suggested etymologies. It remains, however, that in Isaiah's use there is nothing of the popular legend or superstition. These seraphim are august beings whose forms are not at all fully described. They had faces, feet, hands and wings. The six wings, in three pairs, covered their faces and feet in humility and reverence, and were used for sustaining them in their positions about the throne of Yahweh. One of them is the agent for burning (with a coal off the altar, not with his own power or person) the sin from the lips of the prophet.

Seraphim are in Jewish theology connected with cherubim and ophanim as the three highest orders of attendants on Yahweh, and are superior to the angels who are messengers sent on various errands. As the cherubim in popular fancy were represented by the storm-clouds, so the seraphim were by the serpentine flashes of the lightning; but none of this appears in Isaiah's vision.

In the New Testament the only possible equivalent is in "the living ones" ("beasts" of the King James Version) in Revelation 4; Revelation 5, etc. Here, as in Isaiah, they appear nearest Yahweh's throne, supreme in praise of His holiness.

William Owen Carver

Strong's Hebrew
8314b. saraph -- probably one of an order of angelic beings
... 8314a, 8314b. saraph. 8315 . probably one of an order of angelic beings.
Transliteration: saraph Short Definition: seraphim. Word ...
/hebrew/8314b.htm - 5k

Concerning the Seraphim and Cherubim and Thrones, and Concerning ...
... CAPUT VII. Concerning the Seraphim and Cherubim and Thrones, and concerning
their first Hierarchy. Section I. We, whilst admitting ...
/.../dionysius/on the heavenly hierarchy/caput vii concerning the seraphim.htm

For what Reason the Prophet Isaiah is Said to have Been Purified ...
the Prophet Isaiah is said to have been purified by the Seraphim. Section I. ...
/.../dionysius/on the heavenly hierarchy/caput xiii for what reason.htm

The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Father and the Son. ...
... Spirit who is the Wisdom of the Father of all: and the powers of these, (namely)
of the Word and Wisdom, which are called Cherubim and Seraphim, with unceasing ...
/.../the demonstration of the apostolic preaching/chapter 2 the holy spirit 2.htm

Isaiah was Sent by the Spirit, and Accordingly the Same Spirit was ...
... What is meant by the revolving wheels, and the divers wings, and how since the Spirit
is proclaimed Lord of Sabaoth by the Seraphim, certainly none but impious ...
/.../ambrose/works and letters of st ambrose/chapter xxi isaiah was sent.htm

Letter xviii. To Pope Damasus.
... "Some of my predecessors," he writes, "make the Lord sitting upon a throne' God
the Father, and suppose the seraphim to represent the Son and the Holy Spirit. ...
/.../jerome/the principal works of st jerome/letter xviii to pope damasus.htm

Concerning the Trisagium ("The Thrice Holy").
... Gregory, and all the band of the divinely-inspired Fathers bear witness: because,
as a matter of fact, by the threefold holiness the Holy Seraphim suggest to ...
/.../exposition of the orthodox faith/chapter x concerning the trisagium the.htm

Whether the Orders of the Angels are Properly Named?
... Objection 5: Further, the name "Seraphim" is derived from ardor, which pertains
to charity; and the name "Cherubim" from knowledge. ...
// theologica/whether the orders of the.htm

Whether the Grades of the Orders are Properly Assigned?
... Objection 3: Further, knowledge comes before love, and intellect is higher than
will. Therefore the order of "Cherubim" seems to be higher than the "Seraphim.". ...
// theologica/whether the grades of the.htm

The Father is Holy, and Likewise the Son and the Spirit...
... Cherubim and Seraphim with unwearied voices praise Him and say: "Holy, Holy, Holy,
is the Lord God of Sabaoth." [1378] They say it, not once, lest you should ...
/.../ambrose/works and letters of st ambrose/chapter xvi the father is.htm

Whether the Highest Angel among those who Sinned was the Highest ...
... stretched out, and protecting, and I set thee in the holy mountain of God." Now
the order of the Cherubim is under the order of the Seraphim, as Dionysius says ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the highest angel among.htm

Seraphim (2 Occurrences)
...SERAPHIM. ser'-a-fim (seraphim): A plural word occurring only in Isaiah 6:2;-Isaiah's
vision of Yahweh. The origin of the term in Hebrew is uncertain. ...
/s/seraphim.htm - 10k

Cherubim (63 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) Plural of Cherub. 2. (n.) The Hebrew plural of
Cherub.. Cf. Seraphim. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CHERUBIM (1). ...
/c/cherubim.htm - 40k

Flew (10 Occurrences)
... Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind. (WEB DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV). Isaiah
6:2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. ...
/f/flew.htm - 9k

Serpent (40 Occurrences)
... In Numbers 21:8, it occurs in the singular: "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set
it upon a standard." In 21:6 we have ha-nechashim ha-seraphim, "fiery serpents ...
/s/serpent.htm - 46k

Angel (209 Occurrences)
... The cherubim and seraphim (see CHERUB; SERAPHIM) are represented as winged (Exodus
25:20 Isaiah 6:2); winged also are the symbolic living creatures of Ezekiel ...
/a/angel.htm - 78k

Vision (106 Occurrences)
... Thus Isaiah's vision of the seraphim (Isaiah 6:2) was doubtless suggested by familiar
figures used in the decoration of the temple at Jerusalem; Paul's "man of ...
/v/vision.htm - 45k

Glowing (14 Occurrences)
... Isaiah 6:6 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; (DBY JPS). ...
/g/glowing.htm - 11k

Flying (22 Occurrences)
... Isaiah 6:2 Above Him stood the seraphim; each one had six wings: with twain he covered
his face and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. ...
/f/flying.htm - 12k

Tongs (6 Occurrences)
... Isaiah 6:6 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. ...
/t/tongs.htm - 9k

Cherub (21 Occurrences)
... In European painting the cherubim have been shown as blue, to denote knowledge,
as distinguished from the seraphim (see Seraph), and in later art the ...
/c/cherub.htm - 18k

Bible Concordance
Seraphim (2 Occurrences)

Isaiah 6:2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew.

Isaiah 6:6 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.



Seraphim (Seraphs): Celestial Beings

Related Terms

Cherubim (63 Occurrences)

Flew (10 Occurrences)

Serpent (40 Occurrences)

Angel (209 Occurrences)

Vision (106 Occurrences)

Glowing (14 Occurrences)

Flying (22 Occurrences)

Tongs (6 Occurrences)

Cherub (21 Occurrences)

Seraphims (2 Occurrences)

Seraiah's (1 Occurrence)

Fly (33 Occurrences)

Coal (7 Occurrences)

Wings (81 Occurrences)

Glory (590 Occurrences)

Faces (158 Occurrences)

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