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Wednesday, June 24 2015

Isaiah 6: The Fire Of The Seraphim

"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly ... 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"

The Hebrew word, pronounced saw-reef, means burning, or fiery. The word is first found in the Holy Scriptures in the Book of Numbers as an adjective used to describe the "fiery" bite (i.e. the burning pain) caused by venomous snakes when the Israelites rebelled against the LORD (see Why 40 Years In The Sinai? and The Identity Of The LORD God).

"21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." (Numbers 21:5-9 KJV)

The LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) then told Moses to "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." Amazingly (and a surprise to many people), that "serpent in the wilderness" is stated in the first part of the famous "John 3:16" teaching - although rarely does anyone read the entire sentence - let alone the entire context of the Messiah's lesson (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).

The Brazen Serpent

"3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Moses later reiterated the same lesson to the children and grandchildren of the Exodus adults - who refused to enter the Promised Land, while the children and grandchildren did enter (see Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?).

"8:11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 8:12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 8:13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end" (Deuteronomy 8:11-16 KJV)

The word was also written four times in the Book of Isaiah. It's the same word - the meaning is identical. The first two mentions by Isaiah use "seraphim" or "seraphims" to refer to the fire that those particular angels delivered - it was not referring to the angels themselves i.e. "having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar."

"6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

6:4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

6:6 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:" (Isaiah 6:1-6 KJV)

Notice carefully that Isaiah then uses the word in the same way that Moses did i.e. translated in these verses as "fiery."

"14:28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.

14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." (Isaiah 14:28-29 KJV)

"30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them." (Isaiah 30:6 KJV)

With the knowledge of the actual meaning of words, it becomes much easier to understand why they were used and even their specific purpose for the person directly involved. Notice also that the term "seraphim" was recorded by Moses and Isaiah - both of whom said "I am a man of unclean lips" (Exodus 6:30, Isaiah 6:5) before they were commissioned to be prophets of the LORD.

"6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

6:4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

6:6 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: 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then said I, Here am I; send me.

6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

6:11 Then said I, Lord, how long?

And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 6:12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof." (Isaiah 6:1-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Moses and Isaiah ever know what is today known as "Judaism"? Did the "lost ten tribes" ever know "Judaism"? When did "Judaism" originate?
See Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism and Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism


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This Day In History, June 24

79: Vespasian, Roman emperor from 69-79 and founder of the Flavian dynasty, died (see Vespasian and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?).

109: The Aqua Traiana was inaugurated by Roman Emperor Trajan. The aqueduct delivers water from Lake Bracciano, 40 kilometers / 25 miles from Rome.

637: The Battle of Moira, the largest battle in the history of Ireland. The High King of Ireland fought the Kings of Ulster and Dalriada.

The Holy Scriptures 1292: Adolf of Nassau was crowned as German king at Aachen.

1310: Solomon ben Abraham Adret died at age 75. The religious leader of Spanish Jews of his time, he is remembered partly for his 1305 decree threatening to excommunicate all Jews under 30 (except medical students) who studied philosophy or science (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism).

1322: Jews were expelled from France.

1340: During the Hundred Years war, the British fleet battled the French at Sluys.

1441: Eton College in England was founded by King Henry VI.

1497: John Cabot, navigator and explorer, sighted Cape Breton Island and claimed North America for England.

1509: Henry VIII was crowned king of England, the second monarch from the House of Tudor.

1527: King Gustavus of Sweden assembled the Diet of Wester's for the purpose of carrying through the Protestant Reformation in Sweden.

1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on what is today Prince Edward Island, Canada.

1604: Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

1611: Henry Hudson, his son, and several sick men were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers. After more than a year at sea, the crew of Hudson's ship, the Discovery, were afraid of going any further. Nothing is known of Hudson's fate. The only record of the voyage and mutiny is an account by Abacuk Pricket, a survivor of the Discovery.

1664: New Jersey, named after the Isle of Jersey in Britain's Channel Islands, was founded.

1812: During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River, thereby beginning the invasion of Russia.

1813: The Battle of Beaver Dams during the War of 1812 (1812-1814). After being warned by Laura Secord of an impending U.S. attack on a British outpost at Beaver Dams, about 500 U.S. invaders, including their commander, were taken prisoner after a firefight. The site of the battle was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1921.

1916: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the First Battle of the Somme began. More than 1 million men were killed during the five-month battle.

1947: U.S. pilot Ken Arnold reported seeing strange objects in the sky over Mount Rainier (in Washington State) looking like "saucers skipping across the water." The incident led to the first use of the term "flying saucers."

1948: The Soviet Union began the Berlin Blockade.

1985: Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became the first Arab, and first Muslim, in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

1994: The European Union and Russia signed a landmark friendship accord in Corfu, Greece.

2002: The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania killed 281 people, the worst train accident in African history.


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