Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones (High priest)

In the last post we looked at the throne and the exalting of the saint body to the political rule of the future age. This time we finish our study with a more detailed look at the High priest of our calling who occupies that throne, and the prophetic reason for this vision!

The train or Skirt

The train or skirt filled the temple. This word is used exclusively in two contexts in scripture.

  • The skirt of Israel lifted up as the skirt of a harlot (Lam 1:9, Jer 13:22,26 and Nah 3:5)
  • The rim of the robe of the ephod of the High Priest (Exo 28:33-34, 39:24-26)

This draws our minds to the great contrast between the leaders of the nation at the time and our lord. He is the faithful one the Amen, holy and true are his words. The false leaders of the time spoke smooth things, and committed fornication with the false doctrines and “gods” of the nations around.

Exo 28:33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before Yahweh, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

The word for pomegranate is the word rimon רמון, the same as the place Rimon, in Zechariah 14, “Gevah to Rimon”. This word again comes from the word high, ram רמ, of av’ram אברם. Hence drawing attention to the high or exhaled nature of the pomegranate. It’s used along with other plants that represent the Israelite people in Numbers 13:25:

  • figs – Yashua in his time describes Israel as a dry fig, a fig without fruit
  • vine – There are many references to Israel as a vine planted by Yahweh

And the pomegranate, containing in the one fruit a multitudinous seed of lifted up ones, exhalted ones – hence the immortal glorified saints. The bride in the song of songs 4:3 and 6:7 is described as having a forehead as a piece of pomegranate. Showing the multitudinous aspect of a bride who has exhaled and fruitful thoughts. In 1 kings 7:21, there are also 400 pomegranates on the head of the two pillars at the entrance to the temple of Solomon. In Hebrew, that is four one hundreds, bringing out the four living ones and the four faces of the cherubim.

Notice also the three colours of the pomegranates:

  • Blue or violet – tochelet תְּכֵלֶת, which means completeness. Also related to the word for the bride in Isa 61:10, speaks of the purified chased bride of Christ.
  • Purple – argaman וְאַרְגָּמָן – I didn’t have time to look into this one in any detail, however the traditional view is that it describes the kingly aspect. Hence king priests.
  • Scarlet – tola’at sh’ni וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי – the Tola worm was a beetle crushed for it’s blood which was then used as a dying agent for cloths. The Tola worm is used to describe the sacrifice of Yashua.

Psa 22:6 – “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people”

and also

Isa 41:14 – “Fear not, thou worm Jacob (overcomer), and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith Yahweh, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in Yahweh, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The second part is sh’ni which I think comes from the word tooth. Alluding to the crushing of the beetle, or the biting of the heal of Yashua by the generation of vipers that he came to condemn. Hence the scarlet represents those who have been covered in the blood of their lord, washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb.

The putting on of the robe is described poetically in Isa 61

Isa 61:9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which Yahweh hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my Elohim (mightly ones, the saints); for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe(same word as the robe of the Ephod) of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh (priests; takes on the role of the priest) himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

The role of a husband is one of a priest. He intercedes for his wife and family, tending to their needs and feeding them the meat of the word. He would also offer the families sacrifices, until the eldest son was old enough to take on that responsibility. Typing the work of Christ. Brethren, the role of a husband is a very responsible position, do we treat it as such?

This lovely imagery is taken further in the spreading of the “skirt” (heb. wings) of Boaz over Ruth, and also Yahweh over Israel in marriage. He spreads his wings over them in the wilderness journey, as an eagle (Deut 32).

Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Though with hissing remarks, they lay doubt over his parentage, the spirit contrasts their waywardness with the faithfulness of Yashua and the seed that comes from his loins.

Seraphim standing

We will now look at the seraphim in more detail. Notice in verse two, the location of the Seraphim. Above the temple, and standing! So we are looking for another reference in scripture for a messenger of Yahweh standing in Jerusalem, over the location of the Temple. We find this in I Chr 21 and verse 16, where David, having been moved by Yahweh because of the wickedness of the land, numbered the people (II Sam 24:1).

I Chr 21:15 And Elohim sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, Yahweh beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of Yahweh stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite (heb: I will shout for Joy the trodden down ones).

16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

The Cherubic messenger, the flaming sword, protecting the way to the tree of the lives, here purges Israel. And where does the Angel stop? The exact location of the building of the Temple. This is the vision of Isaiah 6. In the previous few chapters, David has subdued the nations around, here the city is purified and in the following chapter we have the inauguration of Solomon. These events type the march of the rain-bowed angel, going forth from Sini/Chorev, the mount of the sword, where the saints will be judged. The subduing of the latter day Edom, Moab and Ammon and the saving of Jerusalem from the armies of Gog and the setting up of the righteous reign of Christ.

The Seraphim שרפים is a specific name for a particular role of the Cheruvim כרובים. The symbolic actions of the Cheruvim כרובים in Ezekiel chapter 10 are virtually identical to that of the the Seraphim שרפים in Isaiah chapter 6. If we had time, we could look into this in more detail. We also have the living ones of Apoc 4 singing the song of the Seraphim שרפים, “holy, holy, holy”.(Relif of Ezekiel when he sees the vision of chapter 10)

This song is the song of the Immortalised saints, no longer in the leprous state, plagued with the flesh and having to “put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean” (Lev 13:45).

the whole earth is full of his glory

Earth

Earth (Photo credit: stef thomas)

Verse :3 – “the whole earth is full of his glory” or better translated “the fullness of the earth is his glory”. I do not believe that this is particularly talking of the time when, after the second death, the whole earth will indeed be full of those bearing his name, as described by Habaquq. Instead it appears to be referring to the character of those who do bear his glory, those of the earth or land of Israel, in contrast to the current state, bear his glory.

This can be seen of the use of the word elsewhere in scripture. In the temple of solomon, the 12 spoons of the shekel of the sanctuary, one gathered from each tribe, symbolising the people of the tribe. Presented to the father, and the fullness was the incense (Heb. smoke), those that in the following verse fill the temple in the smoke that fills the temple!

The analogy is also used speaking of Jacob or Israel “his seed shall become the fullness of the nations”. In him shall all nations cause themselves to be blessed, as they “take hold of the skirt of a Jew”.

Some lovely psalms relating to this time:

Ps 24:1 The earth is Yahweh’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Ps 93:1 Yahweh reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; Yahweh is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
3 The floods have lifted up, O Yahweh, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

Fly

A hen protecting her chicks.

A hen protecting her chicks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wings of the Seraphim have two aspects, first the flying on in battle and secondly the protection from the enemies. I can do no better than use the words of the spirit to demonstrate this:

Isa 31:4 – For thus hath Yahweh spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall Yahweh of armies come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.
5 As birds flying, so will Yahweh of armies defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.
6 Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.
7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.
8 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.
9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith Yahweh whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.

Conclusion

Unfortunately we have run out of time, there is so much more to look at. There are so many levels to every verse and it would take weeks to properly deal with all of the symbols in this chapter. So in summary I’d like to finish by reading Isa 4:4 which summarises of the actions and purpose of the Seraphim שרפים:

Isa 4:4 When Adonay shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
5 And Yahweh will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

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