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Seraph vs. Archangel — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 18, 2023
A "Seraph" is a celestial being, often described as having three pairs of wings, that stands closest to God in Jewish and Christian angelology. An "Archangel" is an angel of high rank but typically ranks below a seraph.
Seraph vs. Archangel — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Seraph and Archangel


Key Differences

"Seraph" is a term from angelology, primarily in Jewish and Christian traditions, which signifies a celestial being of the highest order. These beings are often described as having three pairs of wings and are said to be closest to the divine presence. The term itself is rooted in Hebrew and connotes "burning."
Conversely, the term "Archangel" also comes from angelology but indicates an angel of high rank, serving as a messenger or warrior for the divine. Archangels are leaders among angels but usually do not hold the same level of closeness to the divine as seraphs. This term has roots in Greek and signifies "chief angel."
In the grammatical sense, both "Seraph" and "Archangel" are nouns, used to label specific types of angelic beings. "Seraph" is often used in singular and plural as "Seraphim," while "Archangel" can simply be pluralized as "Archangels." Both terms carry a significant weight in religious and mythological texts.
In essence, while both seraphs and archangels are celestial beings, their roles and ranks differ. Seraphs are generally considered to be more proximate to God and are often seen as attendants or worshipers of God. Archangels, on the other hand, serve more active roles such as messengers or warriors.

Comparison Chart

Basic Definition

Highest order of celestial beings
High-ranking angel


Closeness to the divine
Messenger or warrior

Part of Speech


Plural Form




Compare with Definitions


A being of intense brightness or passion.
His love was like a seraph, burning intensely.


A celestial messenger or warrior.
The archangel Gabriel delivered God's message.


A celestial being closest to God in angelic hierarchy.
The seraph hovered near the divine throne.


A high-ranking angel in the celestial hierarchy.
Michael is considered an archangel.


An angelic being with three pairs of wings.
The seraph used its wings to cover its face and feet.


A figure in religious art representing divine messaging.
The archangel was depicted with a trumpet.


A figure in religious art or literature symbolizing pure devotion.
The seraph was depicted singing praises.


In literature, a symbol of noble action or communication.
He stood like an archangel, rallying the troops.


In literature, a metaphor for someone pure or devoted.
She was the seraph of his life, always inspiring him.


A leader among angels.
The archangel commanded the heavenly army.


A seraph (, "the burning one"; plural seraphim ) is a type of celestial or heavenly being originating in Ancient Judaism. The term plays a role in subsequent Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.Tradition places seraphim in the highest rank in Christian angelology and in the fifth rank of ten in the Jewish angelic hierarchy.


An archangel is an angel of high rank. The word archangel itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions, but beings that are very similar to archangels are found in a number of religious traditions.


(Bible) A celestial being having three pairs of wings.


A high-ranking angel.


Seraphim(Christianity) The first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.


Archangels The eighth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.


(biblical) A six-winged angel; one of the highest choir or order of angels in Christian angelology, ranked above cherubim, and below God. They are the 5th-highest order of angels in Jewish angelology. A detailed description can be found at the beginning of [ Isaiah chapter 6].


A powerful angel that leads many other angels, but is still loyal to a deity, and often seen as belonging to a particular archangelical rank or order within a greater hierarchy of angels. (Judeo-Christian examples: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel).


One of an order of celestial beings, each having three pairs of wings. In ecclesiastical art and in poetry, a seraph is represented as one of a class of angels.
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,As the rapt seraph that adores and burns.


Synonym of angelica


An angel of the first order; usually portrayed as the winged head of a child


A chief angel; one high in the celestial hierarchy.


A term applied to several different species of plants (Angelica archangelica, Lamium album, etc.).


An angel ranked above the highest rank in the celestial hierarchy


A biennial cultivated herb; its stems are candied and eaten and its roots are used medicinally

Common Curiosities

What is an Archangel?

An Archangel is a high-ranking angel, often serving as a messenger or warrior.

How do Seraph and Archangel differ?

Seraphs are closer to the divine, while Archangels serve as messengers or warriors.

Do Archangels lead other angels?

Yes, they are considered leaders among angels.

Is Archangel a Greek term?

Yes, it comes from Greek, meaning "chief angel."

Can Archangel be pluralized?

Yes, the plural form is "Archangels."

Are Archangels found in multiple religious traditions?

They appear in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

What is a Seraph?

A Seraph is a celestial being of the highest order, often closest to God.

Is Seraph a Hebrew term?

Yes, the term originates from Hebrew, meaning "burning."

Can Seraph be pluralized?

Yes, the plural form is "Seraphim."

Are Seraphs depicted with wings?

They are often described as having three pairs of wings.

How are Seraphs usually represented?

They are often shown in religious art as intensely bright beings near God.

Is Seraph used metaphorically?

In literature, it can symbolize purity or intense devotion.

How are Archangels represented?

They are commonly shown as messengers or warriors with specific tools like trumpets.

Is Archangel used metaphorically?

It can symbolize noble action or divine communication in literature.

Are Seraphs found in multiple religious traditions?

Primarily in Jewish and Christian angelology.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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