Isaiah 6:2


King James Version (KJV)

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

American King James Version (AKJV)

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

American Standard Version (ASV)

Above him 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.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Over him were the winged ones: every one had six wings; two for covering his face, two for covering his feed, and two for flight.

Webster's Revision

Above it stood seraphim: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

World English Bible

Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Above him 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.

Definitions for Isaiah 6:2

Twain - Two.

Clarke's Isaiah 6:2 Bible Commentary

Above it stood the seraphim - שרפים seraphim, from שרף seraph, to burn. He saw says Kimchi, the angels as flames of fire, that the depravity of that generation might be exhibited, which was worthy of being totally burnt up.

He covered his feet "He covereth his feet" - By the feet the Hebrews mean all the lower parts of the body. But the people of the East generally wearing long robes, reaching to the ground, and covering the lower parts of the body down to the feet, it may hence have been thought want of respect and decency to appear in public and on solemn occasions with even the feet themselves uncovered. Kempfer, speaking of the king of Persia giving audience, says, Rex in medio supremi atrii cruribus more patrio inflexis sedebat: corpus tunica investiebat flava, ad suras cum staret protensa; discumbentis vero pedes discalceatos pro urbanitate patria operiens. - Amoen. Exot. p. 227. "The king sat on the floor cross-legged, as is the custom of the country. He was covered with a yellow garment, which reached down to the feet when standing, but covered the feet for decency when sitting with his slippers off." Sir John Chardin's MS. note on this place of Isaiah is as follows: Grande marque de respect en orient de se cacher les pieds, quand on est assis, et de baisser le visage. Quand le souvrain se monstre en Chine et a Japon, chacun se jette le visage contre terre, et il n'est pas permis de regarder le roi; "It is a great mark of respect in the East to cover the feet, and to bow down the head in the presence of the king."

Barnes's Isaiah 6:2 Bible Commentary

Above it - Either above the throne, or above him. The Septuagint renders it, 'Round about him' - κύκλῳ αὐτοῦ kuklō autou. The Chaldee, 'The holy ministers stood on high in his presence.'

The seraphims - The verb שׂרף s'âraph, from which this word is derived, is uniformly translated "to burn," and is used frequently; see "Taylor." The noun שׂרף s'ârâph denotes, according to Bochart, the "chersydros," a serpent that lives in lakes and moist places; but when those places are dried up, it becomes a land serpent, and then its bite is very fierce, and is attended with a most dreadful inflammation all over the body. Rabbi Solomon says, that 'serpents are called seraphim because they burn people with the poison of their teeth,' perhaps because the idea of "heat and poison" were connected. The word is applied to the fiery flying serpents which bit the children of Israel, and in imitation of which a brass serpent was erected on a pole by Moses. It is translated 'a fiery serpent' in Numbers 21:8; Isaiah 14:29; Isaiah 30:6. In Deut; Deuteronomy 8:15; Numbers 21:6, it is rendered 'fiery,' and in the passage before us, "seraphims."

The word שׂרפה s'erêphâh often occurs in the sense of "burning;" Deuteronomy 29:23; 2 Chronicles 16:14; 2 Chronicles 21:19, ... The Septuagint renders it "seraphim," σεραφὶμ serafim; so the Vulgate and the Syriac. The Chaldee, 'his holy ministers.' Probably it is now impossible to tell why this name was given to the representations that appeared to Isaiah. Perhaps it may have been from their "burning" ardor and zeal in the service of God; perhaps from the "rapidity" of their motion in his service - derived from the rapid motion of the serpent. Gesenius supposes that the name was derived from a signification of the word denoting "noble or excellent," and that it was on this account applied to princes, and to celestial beings. Kimchi says, that the name was given with reference to their bright, shining appearance; compare Ezekiel 1:13; 2 Kings 2:2; 2 Kings 6:17. The word is applied to celestial beings no where else, except in this chapter. There is no reason to think that the seraphim described here partook of the "form of" the serpent, as the representation seems to be rather that of a man. Thus each one Isaiah 6:2 is represented as covering his "face" and his "feet" with his wings - a description that does not pertain to the serpentine form. God is usually represented as surrounded or encompassed by heavenly beings, as his ministers; Psalm 104:4; Daniel 7:10; 1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 68:17; Hebrews 12:22. The idea is one of special magnificence and grandeur. It is derived especially from the customs of monarchs, particularly Eastern monarchs, who had numerous princes and nobles to attend them, and to give magnificence to their court.

Each one had six wings - "Wings" are emblematic of the "rapidity" of their movement; the number here, perhaps, denoting their celerity and readiness to do the will of God.

With twain he covered his face - This is designed, doubtless, to denote the "reverence and awe" inspired by the immediate presence of God; compare Amos 6:9, Amos 6:10. The Chaldee adds, 'He covered his face so that he could not see.' To cover the face in this manner is the natural expression of reverence; compare the note at Isaiah 52:15. And if the pure and holy seraphim evinced such reverence in the presence of Yahweh, with what profouond awe and veneration should we, polluted and sinful creatures, presume to draw near to him! Assuredly "their" position should reprove our presumption when we rush thoughtlessly and irreverently into his presence, and should teach us to bow with lowly veneration and deep humility; compare Revelation 4:9-11.

He covered his feet - In a similar description of the cherubim in Ezekiel 1:11, it is said tha they covered "their bodies." In Isaiah, the expression clearly denotes not the feet only, but the lower extremities. This was also an expression of reverence drawn from our conceptions of propriety. The seraphim stood covered, or as if "concealing themselves" as much as possible, in token of their nothingness and unworthiness in the presence of the Holy One.

He did fly - He was quick to execute the commands of God. It may be observed, also, that among the ancients, "Mercury," the messenger of Jupiter, was always represented with wings. Milton has copied this description of the seraphim:

'A seraph winged: six wings he wore to shade

His lineaments divine; the pair that clad

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast

With regal ornament; the middle pair

Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round

Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold,

And colors dipt in heaven; the third his feet


Wesley's Isaiah 6:2 Bible Commentary

6:2 Stood - As ministers attending upon their Lord. Seraphim - An order of holy angels, thus called from fire and burning, which this word properly signifies; to represent either their nature, which is bright and glorious, subtile, and pure; or their property, of fervent zeal for God's service and glory. Covered - Out of profound reverence.

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