6:2 Seraphs 1 stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, 2 and they used the remaining two to fly.
6:6 But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs.
1 tn Hebrew שָׂרָף (saraf, “seraph”) literally means “burning one,” perhaps suggesting that these creatures had a fiery appearance (cf. TEV, CEV “flaming creatures”; NCV “heavenly creatures of fire”). Elsewhere in the OT the word “seraph” refers to poisonous snakes (Num 21:6; Deut 8:15; Isa 14:29; 30:6). Perhaps they were called “burning ones” because of their appearance or the effect of their venomous bites, which would cause a victim to burn up with fever. It is possible that the seraphs seen by Isaiah were at least partially serpentine in appearance. Though it might seem strange for a snake-like creature to have wings, two of the texts where “seraphs” are snakes describe them as “flying” (Isa 14:29; 30:6), perhaps referring to their darting movements. See the note at 14:29.
2 sn Some understand “feet” here as a euphemistic reference to the genitals.