What Does the Bible Say About Angels?

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Angel references can be found in 108 verses in the Old Testament (117 times) and there are 172 verses in the New Testament (182 times). However, this depends on the translation. "Mal'ak" is Hebrew for angel while in the Greek translation of the Bible, the Septuagint, the word for angel is "aggelos." Both words mean "one going," "one sent" or "messenger."

History

  • In the old testament before the Exile, angels are described as spiritual beings made by God and some have free will.
    Psalm 8:6 is the verse that shows that angels are better than people, "You have made him (man) a little less than the angels."

Features

  • Angels are a body of spiritual beings according to Hebrews 1:14, and there are some types named in different books of the Bible. In the Old Testament, there is less description of what angels look like, but there are references to orders of angels.

Identification

  • Ezekiel describes cherubim in chapter one verse 5-8 of Ezekiel:

    "At the center of the storm I saw what looked like four living creatures in human form, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, and they had hoofs like those of a bull. They shone like polished bronze. In addition to their four faces and four wings, they each had four human hands, one under each wing."

    Isaiah 6:2 speaks about seraphim, "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." Most often, angels appear to people as men. The angels who visited Abraham looked like men. Gabriel appears as a man to tell Zachariah of the birth of John the Baptist. Angels don't have to be visible. In 2 Kings 6:17, Elisha's servant is afraid of an army coming to attack, but Elisha says not to worry. "Then Elisha prayed 'Lord, open his eyes and let him see.' And the Lord opened the young man's eyes so that he could see the horses of fire and chariots of fire everywhere upon the mountain!"

Function

  • Angels are God's messengers, meaning that they carry out His work and communicate God's will to people. According to the Bible, they have the ability to do many things, such as be warriors, guardians and even attendants. The Old Testament, according to Acts 7:38, 53, tells how angels gave the law to the Jewish people. Angels are described as attending God's throne in Daniel 7:9 -10, Psalm 96:7, Psalm 102:20, among others. In the New Testament, in Matthew 4:11, angels came to help Jesus after he had spent 40 days in the desert. There is a very specific function for some angels, mentioned in Revelation 8:2-5, where they are the attendants of God. Guardian angels are mentioned in Matthew 18:10. Two of the most well known angels are the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Misconceptions

  • Altough angels are higher than people, they are not as powerful as God. They can make mistakes. Revelation 22: 8-9 shows what happens when John started to worship an angel:

    "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God."

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