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Are Seraphim the Same as Angels?

Quick, are seraphim angels?

Until recently I would have said “yes” without hesitation. That’s what I was taught. However, after researching for the post Holy, Holy, Holy, I’ve reached a different conclusion.

First, the dictionary says seraphim are “celestial beings.” Celestial implies heaven or the divine (God). I equate celestial to the supernatural or the spiritual realm. So, that makes them supernatural beings or creatures from the spiritual realm (in contrast to us in the physical realm).

Second, I was surprised to discover that we only see seraphim in two verses in the Bible, both in the same passage, written by Isaiah. Isaiah doesn’t call them angels. He does say they have three pairs of wings and they fly. Interestingly, they only need two wings for flight.

In Isaiah’s vision, these seraphim are in the temple, worshiping God. Their adoration is not subtle. On the contrary, it is intense. Their voices reverberate and the temple fills with smoke. That sounds like a Christian rock concert to me, which gives us something else to contemplate.

In addition to worshiping God, one seraph talks to Isaiah.

That’s it. That’s all we know about seraphim. They’re not angels, they worship God, and they can fly and talk.

Next we’ll look into cherubim and then angels. Stay tuned.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 5-7, and today’s post is on Isaiah 6:2.]

Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

4 replies on “Are Seraphim the Same as Angels?”

I am surprised nobody so far acknowledged in this article what both ancient Hebrew and Christian theologians translated the word “Seraphim” to, when translating the Biblical scriptures from Hebrew to Greek. They both used the word “Drakon” which is where we get the English word “Dragon”. This is because a Seraph is a kind of serpent or dragon in the Hebrew language, and it may be no coincidence that a winged serpent, brazen idol-like effigy with apparently healing powers was ordered by God for Moses to make in the Wilderness, and in later years would indeed be worshipped like an idol of Yahweh in King Solomon’s temple. There is even a libation cup found in Babylon and thought to be booty stolen from Solomon’s temple, which shows the winged serpent-dragon idol of bronze which the Bible states was worshipped in the Temple for many years before King Hezakiah finally destroyed it. Perhaps this angered the Lord, because it was after this that the Babylonian captured Jerusalem and enslaved the Hebrews! Satan then, described as a dragon in the Book of Revelation, may have at onetime been one of these “dragon-like” angels.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

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