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What are the 7 spirits of God?

What are the 7 spirits of God?

Have you heard about the 7 spirits of God and gotten a little confused about what they are and how they work?

Studying and understanding the nature of God can be a bit confusing especially if you don’t have a background in theological studies. Trying to understand the 7 spirits of God is a bit even more complicated because- are the 7 spirits part of the Holy Spirit or do they exist independently? What are they and what do they do?

If you’ve been trying to understand the concept of the seven spirits of God, here is everything you need to know including their Biblical references and their interpretation. Additionally, we will also try to explain what the number seven means in the Bible and why it’s such an important number.

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What are the 7 spirits of God?

What are the 7 spirits of God?

The concept of the seven spirits of God is mentioned symbolically a few times in the Bible, particularly in the books of Isaiah and Revelation. However, they are often interpreted in two different ways. Here’s a look at their interpretations.

Symbolic representation of the attributes of the Holy Spirit

In this interpretation, the seven spirits of God are not viewed as separate entities but rather as the seven attributes of the Holy Spirit that empower people in different situations. The seven spirits based on this interpretation are;

  • Spirit of the Lord
  • Spirit of wisdom
  • Spirit of understanding
  • Spirit of counsel
  • Spirit of might
  • Spirit of knowledge
  • Spirit of fear of the Lord

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This interpretation is based on Isaiah 11:2-3 which is often interpreted as a prophecy of the coming Messiah who would be filled with the Holy Spirit. It says:

What are the 7 spirits of God?
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,” (ESV). 

Besides Isaiah, the book of Revelation also mentions the seven spirits of God four times but doesn’t explain much about what they mean or what they do. 

Revelation 1:4 (NIV)

“John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,”

Revelation 3:1 (NIV)

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”

Revelation 4:5 (NIV)

“From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.”

What are the 7 spirits of God?

Revelation 5:6 (NIV)

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”

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Distinct Angelic beings

Another interpretation suggests that the seven spirits of God are actually seven powerful angelic beings who are sent by God to serve Him. 

Scholars who are for this interpretation often point to these verses in the Book of Revelation as their references:

Revelation 8:2 (NIV)

“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.”

Revelation 15:6-7 (NIV)

“Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.”

It’s however, important to note that while the Bible mentions seven angels, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are only seven angels in existence. It’s also important to note that the quoted verses don’t mention the seven angels by name or their specific roles. 

What does the number seven mean in the Bible?

What are the 7 spirits of God?

It’s pretty clear that the number seven is important as it is mentioned so many times in both the Old and New Testament- so, why is it important, and what does it symbolize?

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The number seven is generally interpreted as a symbolic interpretation of the completeness and perfection of God’s nature and work. In the creation story, for example, God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh day signifying the completion of His work. He also instructed man to rest on the seventh day which marks the end of a working week.

Additionally, in the story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, Noah had to wait for seven days after the flood for the floodwaters to go down before getting off the ark (Genesis 8:6). 

What are the 7 spirits of God?

Also, in Joshua, the Israelites were instructed to march around the city of Jericho seven times on the seven days before the mighty walls of Jericho fell. The instructions were as follows:

“Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets” (Joshua 6:4).

These are just a few of the many times that the number seven is mentioned symbolically in the Bible. There are many other interpretations of the number seven depending on the context where it’s mentioned, but overall, it’s clearly an important number.

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