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Stefanus
10th April 2010, 21:09
Seraphim
The Burning Ones

The First Hierarchy – those closest to God

Seraphim – the first choir
Cherubim – the second choir
Thrones – the third choir

Seraphim is plural from the word Seraph which literally means burning ones. In Hebrew Serap or a word spelled the same also means snake or serpent.

In Christianity from the Celestial Hierarchy they are described as the "burning ones” and are above the throne of God.

In the Jewish angelic hierarchy the first choir is Chayot. They are "angels of fire" who hold up the throne of God and the earth itself. This puts the Chayot on the same level as the Christian Seraphim.

The Kabbalistic angelic hierarchy by the Golden Dawn is similar to the Jewish angelic hierarchy. They are called "fiery serpents"

The Book of Enoch describes them as fiery serpents

Although I never think of snakes when I am thinking about angels except in the Garden of Eden, serpents are represented in many religions and cultures as guardians and protectors of sacred places.

How do we know any of the descriptions are real?

All religious text from the Hebrew Bible, The Torah and the Book of Enoch were all translated by men. Due to the similarities in the text it is clear that all knowledge was given to the angels by God. At His command the angels delivered His messages to His profits such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Enoch through dreams, visions and in some cases visitations.

The Seraphim are the most exalted and perfect celestial beings of the nine choirs of angels. The light that emanates from them is so bright that no human could stand in their presence. Even fellow angels do not look at them because their divine, flaming light is so powerful.

The only time they are mentioned by name in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is in the Book of Isaiah 6: 1-7.

In Isaiah’s vision he sees ”the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the sanctuary. Above Him stood the Seraphim; each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew.

Isaiah’s vision refers to heat or flame “Then flew one of the Seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away and they sin purged.”

In Isaiah's vision the angels constantly praise God with their song ”Holy, Holy, Holy the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His Glory” and the sound of their voices shook the foundations of the Temple.

In the Book of Revelations 4:6-8 they are not mentioned by name but the description and the song are undeniable. They are again described as being ”Forever in God’s presence and praising Him constantly: Day and night they never stop singing: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.

If you have never heard the hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy and would like to listen and watch a video, from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir click here (http://www.wendag.com/forum/showthread.php/506-The-Angelic-Pantheon?p=3068&viewfull=1#post3068)

Their song or chant,“Holy, Holy, Holy” has traditionally been understood to address the Holy Trinity. This chanting is known as The Trisagion which means “Thrice Holy”.

The Trisagion is used in songs of almost all religions and is also one of the oldest prayers in Christianity. The Orthodox Jewish churches use it in daily services.

What do all the references to burning and flame mean? Symbolically flame is associated with purity and purification.

I think the best description is from the Celestial hierarchy written by Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite around the sixth century:

”The name Seraphim clearly indicates their ceaseless and eternal revolution about Divine Principles, their heat and keenness, the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assimilation of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all-consuming flame; and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless radiant and enlightening power dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness”.

The following quote from Marianne Williamson sums it up nicely.


"The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center.”

Stefanus
10th April 2010, 21:12
Holy Holy Holy
The Seraphim Song

In Isaiah's vision the Seraphim constantly praise God with their song "Holy Holy Holy the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His Glory". It further says that the sound of their voices shook the foundations of the Temple.

Their song or chant has traditionally been understood to address the Holy Trinity. This chanting is known as The Trisagion which menas "Thrice Holy".

The Trisagion is used in songs of almost all religions and is also one of the oldest prayers in Christianity. The orthodox Jewish churches use it in daily services.

If you have never heard the song Holy, Holy, Holy I thought you might enjoy listening. This rendition is by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and includes video.


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