There have been several theories as to the identity of these seven spirits.

1. Because this phrase comes between a reference to God as Father and Jesus the Messiah, many commentators have asserted that it definitely referred to the Holy Spirit.  This is possible, but not certain.  This same phrase is also used in Rev. 3:1; 4:5 and 5:6.  In these other instances it is not at all certain that it is a reference to the Holy Spirit unless an allusion in Zechiah. 4 is assumed.

2. Others believe that it is an allusion to Isa. 11:2 from the Septuagint, where the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit are mentioned.  However, in the Masoretic Text there are only six gifts mentioned.

3. Those of a Jewish inter-biblical background would identify these with the angels of the presence as the seven archangels before the throne of God (cf. Rev. 8:2).

4. Others relate them to the angels or messengers of the seven churches which are mentioned in Rev. 1:20.


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