I have heard angels and seraphim being used interchangeably. is there any biblical evidence that they are different or the same? The only verse I know off the top of my head is Isaiah 6:2

Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (KJV)

My question is whether angels and seraphim are the same thing or not, and why.


3 Answers 3


Bible Gateway (RSVCE) - Quick Search: Seraphim return results that show that in the Bible, seraphim is only mentioned in Isaiah 6: A Vision of God in the Temple.

If angel is understood from

Used in Scriptural translations for Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Jehovah)," from base l-'-k "to send."

Only the action of the one of the seraphim in Is 6:6-7 (RSVCE) can be that of a messenger.

6 Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”

Other than that the seraphim are above God's throne, one calling to another

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

This appears to be their sole function and purpose in scripture.

Meaning | SERAPHIM | Jewish Encyclopedia The passages cited furnish conclusive evidence against the idea, popular for a time, that the seraphim belong to the same category as angels. They have nothing whatever to do with the "messengers of God"; in the Jewish conception the two have always been distinguished.


In the Bible, angels are messengers bringing messages from God to man, and working out among men the will of God. But seraphim do not do these things. They don't do the work of angels; they remain in the presence of God.

Angels are described as human-like, and they are never described as having wings; but while seraphim are also humanoid, they differ in that they have six wings and fly around the throne of God.

For this reason, I believe there is no basis for seraphim to be likened to angels.

Angels as messengers: Luke 1:11ff, Revelation 9, etc.

Angels as human-like: Hebrews 13:2

Seraphim in God's presence: Isaiah 6:2-3


Seraphim is plural, SERAPH is singular. SERAPH means burning one.

"A seraph (/ˈsɛr.əf/; pl. seraphs or seraphim /ˈsɛr.ə.fɪm/; Hebrew: שְׂרָפִים śərāfîm, singular שָׂרָף śārāf; Latin: seraphi[m], singular seraph[us]; Greek: σεραφείμ) is a type of celestial or heavenly being in Judaism and Christianity.

Psalm 104:4 KJV King James Version Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Hebrews 1:7 ; King James Bible "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."

Literally "burning ones", the word seraph is normally a synonym for serpents when used in the Hebrew Bible. A seminal passage in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8) used the same term to describe fiery six-winged beings that fly around the Throne of God crying "holy, holy, holy". This throne scene, with its triple invocation of holiness (a formula that came to be known as the Trisagion), profoundly influenced subsequent theology, literature and art. Its influence is frequently seen in works depicting angels, heaven and apotheosis. Seraphs are mentioned as celestial beings in an influential Hellenistic work, the Book of Enoch, and the Book of Revelation. Tradition places seraphs in the fifth rank of ten in the Jewish angelic hierarchy and the highest rank in the Christian angelic hierarchy."

from Wikipedia Christianity and Judaism

Psalm 104:4 EXPOSITION Verse 4. Who maketh his angels spirits; or wields, for the word means either. Angels are pure spirits, though they are permitted to assume a visible form when God desires us to see them. God is a spirit, and he is waited upon by spirits in his royal courts. Angels are like winds for mystery, force, and invisibility, and no doubt the winds themselves are often the angels or messengers of God. God who makes his angels to be as winds, can also make winds to be his angels, and they are constantly so in the economy of nature.

His ministers a flaming fire. Here, too, we may choose which we will of two meanings: God's ministers or servants he makes to be as swift, potent, and terrible as fire, and on the other hand he makes fire, that devouring element, to be his minister flaming forth upon his errands. That the passage refers to angels is clear from Hebrews 1:7 ; King James Bible "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." -Commentary of Psalm 104:4.

  • Please give links to the exact pages you used, and mark your quotes with >s. Even so, it only has one Bible passage, Isaiah 6:1-8, and doesn't clearly show that they are angels!
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 11, 2014 at 9:18
  • «Literally "burning ones", the word seraph is normally a synonym for serpents when used in the Hebrew Bible.» The only source I can find for that is "God's Angels Are Blessings" by Tracey Edwards-Wright and she gives no sources for it.
    – user17377
    Dec 1, 2014 at 0:31

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