John’s Seven Angelic Celestial Objects

When I read Revelation in high school, I was super confused by the seven spirits before God’s throne. God was already three-in-one as the Trinity, but now his Holy Spirit was divided into seven parts? Many scholars have tried to explain how such a thing could work.

But the seven spirits being the Holy Spirit just doesn’t sit right with me. Personally, I think these spirits are important angels, like the archangels of Jewish lore. After all, angels are spirit-ual beings and literature around John’s time therefore had no problem calling them spirits. With this view, these important angels are standing right in front of God’s throne where they easily fit without confusion.

But there’s another idea that I think can fit here too. Some scholars wonder if John might have used these seven spirits in reference to the night sky. Perhaps in his mind, they were representative of the sun, moon, and the five planets known in Babylonian times. The reason this idea can also work is because space objects were considered to be spiritual beings in the ancient world. We see this throughout Revelation as the themes of stars and angels often overlap with one another.

With this in mind, the seven archangel spirits before God’s throne could simultaneously be viewed as the brighter celestial objects of the night sky. Their higher authority equals a greater brightness. And here they are, before God’s throne, worshipping him. These two views can fit well together.

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