Ophanim Angels

In Judaism, Ophanim (Thrones or Wheels) Are Known for Wisdom

ophanim thrones wheels angels
In Judaism, ophanim angels (also called thrones or wheels) are known for their wisdom, and they guard God's throne in heaven. Song Speckels/Getty Images

The ophanim angels are a group of angels in Judaism who are known for their wisdom. They never sleep, because they're constantly busy guarding God's throne in heaven. Ophanim are most commonly called thrones (and sometimes "wheels").

Their name comes from the Hebrew word "ophan," which means "wheel," due to the Torah and Bible's description of them in Ezekiel 1:15-21 as having their spirits encased inside wheels that moved along with them wherever they went.

The ophanim's wheels are covered with eyes, which symbolize their constant awareness of what's happening around them and how well those activities align with God's will.

As people's minds progress through the different levels of heaven during Merkabah mysticism meditation, they encounter ophanim angels who test them on their spiritual knowledge and reveal more holy mysteries to them after they pass a test and continue on their way. Their goal is to leave their personal egos behind and move closer to God's will for them. Ophanim angels help people grow closer to God by helping them open their minds up more to discovering and fulfilling God's purposes for their lives.

Ophanim angels help transport a chariot of fire carrying the biblical prophet Enoch to and through heaven in a story included in the book of 3 Enoch, a Jewish and Christian sacred text. When the ophanim and other angels present in heaven meet Enoch (who turns into Archangel Metatron), they scoff: "He is merely a gnat among those who divide flames of fire!".

But God replies that he has chosen Enoch because of his "faith, righteousness, and perfection of the deed" to be "a tribute from my world under all the heavens."

In Kabbalah, Archangel Raziel leads the ophanim angels as they express God's creative energy of wisdom (called "chokmah") throughout the universe.

That work involves the ophanim angels working with humans to: help people learn more knowledge, guide people to apply that knowledge to their lives in practical ways so they can become wiser, and empower people to reach their full, God-given potential in life.

Ophanim angels may send signs or messages to people through extrasensory perception (ESP), including:

  • Clairvoyance (clear seeing), seeing impressions in your mind
  • Clairaudience (clear hearing), hearing sounds that come from beyond the physical realm
  • Clairalience (clear smelling), receiving psychic knowledge through your sense of smell
  • Clairgustance (clear tasting), learning about something through taste, despite the lack of a physical source of that taste
  • Clairsentience (clear sensing of touch and emotions), gaining psychic information through your sense of touch or perceiving something by feeling the emotion of it in a physical way

Some of the other ways that ophanim may communicate with humans include sending fresh creative ideas (such as insights about new ways to solve problems) and boosts of faith.

Ophanim angels are constantly reflecting on God's will so that they can understand and follow it wisely. The ophanim explain God's will to other beings that the Creator has made (humans included) to help everyone develop greater wisdom.

They also explain and enforce the laws that govern the universe, ushering God's justice into every type of situation and working to right wrongs. As they explain God's laws to humans, they work through people's minds, sending thoughts that increase their understanding of, and appreciation for, the ways God has designed the universe to work for the good of everyone in it.

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Hopler, Whitney. "Ophanim Angels." ThoughtCo, Feb. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-are-ophanim-angels-123917. Hopler, Whitney. (2017, February 9). Ophanim Angels. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-ophanim-angels-123917 Hopler, Whitney. "Ophanim Angels." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-ophanim-angels-123917 (accessed November 24, 2017).