Thursday, July 26, 2012

What are the 9 Choirs of Angels?

What are the 9 Choirs of Angels?


The First Sphere: (Liberated)

Seraphim- The First and Highest Order.

The name Seraphim means "the burning ones." Seraph (singular) are said to take care of God's Throne.  "Above it stood Seraphim:  Each one had six wings: With two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."  Isaiah 6:2
and one cried to another and said:  "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts: The whole Earth is full of His Glory!"  Isaiah 6:3

Seraphiel holds the highest rank of the Seraphim.  Seraphiel is found in the book of Enoch as the protector of Metatron.  He is also referred to as the Angel of Silence.  In Enoch, Seraphiel is described as an enormous, brilliant angel as tall as the seven heavens with a face like the face of angels and a body like the body of eagles. He is beautiful like lightning and the light of the morning star. As chief of the seraphim, he is committed to their care and teaches them songs to sing for the glorification of God.

Cherabim- The Second Order.

Cherubim have four faces: one of each a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, a lion's body figure, and they have ox's feet. Cherubim guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14-16).
"Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end: you shall make the cherabim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat."  Exodus 25:19
"And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of the Almighty God when He speaks." Ezekial 10:5

Thrones- The Third Order

Thrones or Elders, known also as Erelim or Ophanim.  They are a class of celestial being mentioned by St. Paul in in Colossians 1:16.  "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him"  They are living symbols of God's justice and authority, and have as one of their symbols the throne. These high celestial beings appear to be mentioned again in Revelation 11:16.  The Ophanim : Wheels, also known as Thrones, from the vision of Daniel 7:9) are unusual looking even compared to the other celestial beings; They appear as a beryl-coloured wheel-within-a-wheel, their rims covered with hundreds of eyes.
They are closely connected with the Cherubim:  "When they moved, the others moved; when they stopped, the others stopped; and when they rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures [Cherubim] was in the wheels." Ezekiel 10:17.

The Second Sphere:  (Active)

Dominions- The Fourth Order.

Dominions, some sources refer to them as the Hashmallim. Their primary function that God delegates to them is the task of regulating the duties of lower angels. As their name implies these angels present order to the lower ranks and will on occasion make themselves known to man. They preside over nations. The Dominions are believed to look like divinely beautiful humans with a pair of feathered wings, much like the common representation of Angels, but they may be distinguished from other groups by wielding orbs of light fastened to the heads of their scepters or on the pommel of their swords. They are purified, illuminated and perfected by the divine Illuminations bestowed on them in a secondary manner through the first order of angels. 

"For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on Earth.  Visable and invisable, whether Thrones or Dominions."  Colossions 1:16

Virtues- The Fifth Order.

Virtues are responsible for the maintenance of the physical universe. Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies in order to ensure that the cosmos remains in order. They possess great strength and appear to be “workhorses” of the angels.

"The Virtues or Strongholds lie beyond the Ophanim (Thrones/Wheels).  Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the Heavily bodies in order for Cosmos remain in order." 

Powers or Authorities- The Sixth Order.

Some sources list Powers as the bearers of conscience and the keepers of history. They sometimes serve as warrior angels, fiercely loyal to God. Some believe that no Power has ever fallen from grace, but another theory states that Satan was the Chief of the Powers before his fall. They work diligently to oversee the distribution of power among humankind, hence their name.




The Third Sphere: (Active)

 Principalities or Rulers-  The Seventh Order.

We usually see these entities wearing a crown and carrying a scepter. Their duty also is to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and grant blessings to the material world. They oversee groups of people. As beings related to the world of the ideas, they inspire living things to many branches of knowledge such art and/or science.  It is also said their job is to prevent the 'fallen angels' from taking over the world and keeping the Universe in balance

"For We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.  But against Principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  Ephesians 6:12

Archangels- The Eighth Order.

Please see post on Archangels.

(Satan was throne out of heaven) "and war broke out in Heaven: Michael and His Angels fought with the dragon: and the dragon and his angels fought".  Revelation 12:7

"I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold.  A certain man (Gabriel) clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with Gold of Uphaz!  His body was like Beryl, his face like the appearance of lightening, his face like the appearance of lightening, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude." Daniel 10:5-6

Angels- The Ninth Order

Messengers that commune with various life forms within the physical worlds. This Order includes guardian angels of mankind, and as such, are the most accessible angels to humans. They are more properly named angels by humans than those of higher rank because their Order is more directly in contact with humans.
We see them as spirit beings that exist to fulfill the tasks given to them by God. As their name suggests, they are chiefly messengers of God and/or higher Orders of angels. In Muslim tradition, two angels are assigned to each person at birth. One angel records the person’s good deeds while the second records bad deeds.

In Psalms, we learn the concept of “guardian angels”:
“For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Psalms 91: 11, 12.

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