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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary Hebrew Lexicon
Strong's #08314 - שָׂרָף
1) serpent, fiery serpent
1a) poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison)
2) seraph, seraphim
2a) majestic beings with 6 wings, human hands or voices in attendance upon God
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
II. [שָׂרָף] noun masculine Isaiah 6:2 plural שְׂרָפִים seraphim (probably akin to I. ׳שׂ, as beings originally mythically conceived with serpents' bodies (serpent-deities, compare Isaiah 14:29; Isaiah 30:6), or (Che Comm.) personified of lightning, compare arts. SERAPHIM, Strachan Hast. DB Che Ency. Bib.; Di Marti and others compare also Egyptian guardian-griffins, called Šerref; see also כְּרוּב; on Assyrian Šarrapu (-bu), epithet of god Nergal, connected by Dl WB with √ שָׂרַף, see שָׁרָב, Zim KAT 3. 415); — in OT. majestic beings with six wings, and human hands and voices, attendant upon ׳י Isaiah 6:2,6.
(I.) a species of venomous serpents, Numbers 21:6. שָׂרָף מְעוֹפֵף a flying dragon, Isaiah 14:29, 30:6. It is supposed to be the Gr. πρηστήρ, καύσων, so called from its inflamed bite. If the derivation is to be sought in the Phœnicio-Shemitic languages, I should prefer regarding it as so called from swallowing down, see שָׂרַף No. 1 but it corresponds to the Sanscr. sarpa, serpent; sarpin, reptile, from the root srip, ἕρπειν, serpere. Compare Bochart, Hieroz. t. iii. p. 221, ed. Lips.
(II.) pl. שְׂרָפִיס Isaiah 6:2,, an order of angels attending upon God, and appearing with him, having six wings. The Hebrews, as Abulwalid and Kimchi, render the word bright, or shining angels (compare Ezekiel 1:13; 2 Kings 2:11, 6:17 Matthew 28:3); but the verb שָׂרַף has the sense of burning, not of shining, and it is better, comparing شريف, to understand princes, nobles of heaven, who elsewhere are also called שָׂרִים, see שַׂר No. 2. If any one wishes to follow the Hebrew usage of language (in which שָׂרָף is a serpent), he may render it winged serpents, since the serpent, amongst the ancient Hebrews (Numbers 21:8; 2 Kings 18:4), and amongst the Egyptians (Herod. ii. 74; Ælian. Var. Hist. xi. 17, 22), was the symbol both of wisdom and of healing power (see more in my Comment. on Isa. loc. cit.); but I prefer the previous explanation, since the Hebr. שָׂרָף is elsewhere used of a poisonous serpent. [The idea of winged serpents surrounding the throne of God is in itself wildly incongruous, and it is not to be borne that such a notion should be supported by a connection with Jewish superstition, supposed or real; so Gesenius in Thes.]
(III.) [Saraph], pr.n. m. 1 Chronicles 4:22.