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Those are Seraphim, the Burning Ones. They are the highest-ranking angels in Heaven, only behind the True Archangels when it comes to raw power and authority. Usually they flock around God's throne, singing him prayers from followers and praising his glory. Despite that, they are some of the most powerful warriors among the Heavenly Host, each capable of destroying dozens of legions of demons on their own. So why are they... OH DAMMIT! WHAT HAVE YOU IMBECILES DONE?!
Matt Wright.

The Seraphs (Seraph for singular) Seraphim, meaning the Burning Ones, are the highest choir of angels in Heaven, being the closet to God only behind the True Archangels.

Overview

The Seraphim are the highest angelic beings associated with the prophet Isaiah's vision of God in the Temple when God called him to his prophetic ministry. They are described as having six wings, with two wings covering their faces, two covering their feet, and two used for flight. Their voices are also said to be powerful enough to fatally kill a mere human and shatter glass. It is said that before his fall from grace, Lucifer was once a Seraphim himself and a prince of the choir.

In Kabbalah, the seraphim are the higher angels of the World of Beriah ("Creation", first created realm, divine understanding), whose understanding of their distance from the absolute divinity of Atziluth causes their continual "burning up" in self-nullification. Through this they ascend to God, and return to their place. Below them in the World of Yetzirah ("Formation", archetypal creation, divine emotions) are the Hayot angels of Ezekiel's vision, who serve God with self-aware instinctive emotions ("face of a lion, ox, eagle").

Tradition places seraphim in the highest rank in Christian angelology and in the fifth rank of ten in the Jewish angelic hierarchy. A seminal passage in the Book of Isaiah used the term to describe six-winged beings that fly around the Throne of God crying "holy, holy, holy". This throne scene, with its triple invocation of holiness, profoundly influenced subsequent theology, literature and art. Its influence is frequently seen in works depicting angels, heaven and apotheosis.

Description

It is said that the Seraphim flew about the throne on which God was seated, singing His praises as they called special attention to God’s glory and majesty. These beings apparently also served as agents of purification. An ancient Judean seal from the 8th century BCE depicts them as flying asps, yet having human characteristics, as encountered by Isaiah in his commissioning as a prophet.

Seraphim are known to defy the laws of the universe when commanded such as when one placed a hot coal against Isaiah's lips with the words, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." It did not burn him, but instead healed. Similar to the other types of holy angels, the seraphim are perfectly obedient to God. Similar to the Cherubim, the Seraphim are particularly focused on worshipping God.

Because they hold a high position in the celestial hierarchy, Seraphim are arrogant and boastful. They like to manipulate other choirs to their advantage, and use enviable oratory to confuse them; that makes them have many enemies. Despite a self-sufficient personality, the Burning Ones are righteous angels and are not easy to corrupt.

Appearances

Humans can rarely detect their presence, but they are said to have four heads and six wings. They can also appear in human form. They are usually depicted as angels of fire and are described as being aflame with the love of God. They use two of their six wings to cover their feet, two covering their faces, and using two to fly.

Some interpretations suggest that the feet is a kind of "double meaning" to refer to actually the Seraphim's genitals. It makes more sense, they cover their faces to try to withstand the divine power emanating from the face of God, while using their wings to fly and covering their genitals out of respect for the Most High.

Powers and Abilities

History

Myths and Legends

Notable Seraphim

Quotes

We be light, we be life, we be fire! We sing electric flame, we rumble underground wind, we dance heaven! Come be we and be free!
The Seraphim.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Seraphim is a word of Hebrew origin (saraf) which means "to burn" or "to set on fire", perhaps an allusion to biblical traditions where God is compared to a "fire" or even a "consuming fire". They are the highest hierarchy among the angels and the closest to God.
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