Holy, Holy, Holy
Isaiah 6:2-3 – “Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh, Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
So, are the Seraphim just repeating themselves by exclaiming “Holy, holy, holy” to provide emphasis on how set apart or holy [qadowsh קָדוֹשׁ H6918] Yahweh is from his creation, or to simply fully worship him? Is there, perhaps a more suitable explanation? Let’s examine scripture for clues as to why the word holy is repeated three times:
First Two Clues –Yahweh Is Our Elohim; Elohim Is One
Deuteronomy 6:4 –“Hear, O Israel! Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is one!”
Indeed, there is a more suitable explanation, and Scripture tells us that Yahweh [יְהֹוָה H3068], our Elohim [God אֱלֹהִים H430] is one [echad אֶחָד H529]. Yahweh is our Elohim – and Elohim is one. Elohim is a plural word in Hebrew, and tells us that Yahweh is a Trinity, or in other words, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is confirmed by many other scriptures, including Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26, and especially Matthew 28:19.
The threefold Holy points to this attribute of Yahweh – He is a Trinity; He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Third Clue – Yahweh Is Eternal
Revelation 4:8 – “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
We find another clue in Revelation 4:8. Here, a trinity of adjectives is used: was, is, & is to come, which takes us back to Exodus 3:15. The memorial-name of God, Yahweh, is commonly called the Tetragrammaton, and is composed of four Hebrew letters: YHVH [יהוה H3068]. The four letter representation of God’s name and can be rearranged to spell the words:
היה He Was hayâh H1961
הוה He Is howêh H1934
יהיה He Will Be w’yihiyê From H3068
The threefold Holy points to this attribute of Yahweh – He is eternal – He was, he is, he will be.
Combining these clues together, we find that the Seraphim exclaim “Holy, Holy, Holy” not to repeat themselves for emphasis of Yahweh’s holiness, but to proclaim that Yahweh is our God, Elohim, who is one, who is a trinity, and who is eternal. Each Holy honors one of these attributes.