Thursday, January 4, 2024

Seven Spirits (4.5–6a)


And from the throne came lightning flashes and booms and thunders. And seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are God’s seven spirits. And in front of the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal.


The seven spirits—possibly this author’s iteration of the seven archangels tradition—are symbolized as ‘seven lamps of fire’, thus encoding them collectively as the menorah in God’s heavenly temple. From this the reader should anticipate other temple imagery. The ‘sea of glass’ may allude to the crystalline firmament in Judean cosmography.



29.3 The voice of Yhwh is over the waters; the god of glory thunders, Yhwh, over mighty waters.


1.8.10–11 And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of Yhwh, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of Yhwh filled the house of Yhwh.


1.13–14, 26 In the middle of the living creatures there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and lightning issued from the fire. The living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning. […] And above the dome over their heads there was something like a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed like a human form.


19.16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain

24.9–10 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the god of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.

1 Enoch

14.10–12, 18, 22 I drew near to a great house built of hailstones; and the walls of this house were like stone slabs, and they were all of snow, and the floor was of snow. And the ceiling was like shooting stars and lightning flashes; and among them were fiery cherubim, and their heaven was water, and a flaming fire encircled all their walls, and the doors blazed with fire […] and the voice of the cherubs […] Flaming fire encircled him and a great fire stood by him

20.1–8 These are the names of the holy angels who watch. Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is in charge of the world and Tartarus. Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is in charge of the spirits of men. Reuel, one of the holy angels, who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries. Michael, one of the holy angels, who has been put in charge of the good ones of the people. Sariel, one of the holy angels, who is in charge of the spirits who sin against the spirit. Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is in charge of the garden and the serpents and the cherubs. Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God has put in charge of them that rise. The names of the seven archangels.


7.9 As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire.


12.15 ‘I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord.’


2.2 For on the first day he created the heavens, which are above, and the earth, and the waters and all of the spirits which minister before him: the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels of the spirit of fire, and the angels of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds and darkness and snow and hail and frost, and the angels of resoundings and thunder and lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and heat and winter and springtime and harvest and summer

Prayer of Joseph

A ‘I, Jacob, who is speaking to you, am also Israel, an angel of God and a ruling spirit. […] Are you not Uriel, the eighth after me?’

Testament of Abraham

7.11 The commander-in-chief said to him, ‘I am Michael, the commander-in-chief who stands before God’

1 Timothy

5.21 In the presence of God and of the Anointed Jesus and of the elect angels


1.19 The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God’

Revelation of Abraham

17.15 Eternal, fiery, shining, light-giving, thunder-voiced, lightning-visioned, many-eyed

2 Enoch

4.2 And they showed me there a vast ocean, much bigger than the earthly ocean.

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