Angel (Biblical)

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See also: Angel

Angels, Biblically, are creatures of unknown origin, said to be "ministering spirits" sent on behalf of the heirs of salvation.[1] They were said to be extremely wise, knowing all that was occurring in the earth,[2] and to be very powerful.[3]


In the Old Testament, angel is translated from the Hebrew word "mal'ak", pronounced "mal-awk", and is used 213 times in the Old Testament.[4] In the New Testament, angel is translated from the Greek word "aggelos", pronounced "ang'-el-os", and is used 186 times in the New Testament.[5] Both words, roughly translated, mean 'messenger'.


The first Biblical reference to angels is in Genesis 3:24 where, following the fall of man, the outcast humans are prevented from returning to the Garden of Eden by Cherubim.

Angels, typical of their name, were often used to deliver messages to mankind, including Hagar,[6] Abraham,[7] Zechariah,[8] Mary and Joseph,[9] Philip,[10] Cornelius,[11] Paul,[12] and John.[13] They were also used to guide or protect people by God, including Abraham's servant[14], the Israelites with Moses,[15] the Israelites with Joshua,[16] Gideon,[17], Samson's parents,[18] Daniel and his friends,[19] Jesus,[20] and the Apostles.[21] In some cases they were also sent to punish or kill the wicked, including Baalam,[22] Jerusalem,[23] the Assyrians,[24] and Herod.[25]

As seen in the book of Revelation, angels will be used to bring plagues upon the world who, worshiping the antichrist, will be in complete rebellion against God.[26]


Biblically, the angels which did not keep their first estate, sinning, God cast into Hell and has reserved in eternal chains under darkness until the great day's Judgment.[27] Given the account of this in Judges 9:8-15 and Ezekiel 31, 'Eden' was not only a garden for the creation of mankind, but the original dwellingplace of the angels,[28] with a rebellion that began by many of the angels seeking a king to reign over them. The Fig Tree, Olive Tree, and Vine, each symbolizing an angel or type of angel, refused, while the bramble, Satan, became their leader. Sometime after the fall of the angels, Eden was destroyed and turned into a "desolate wilderness".[29]

Symbolized As Trees

The following are examples where angels are symbolized by trees:

  • In Judges 9:8-15 it tells a parable of the trees seeking to anoint a king, with the Olive Tree, Fig Tree, and Vine all refusing promotion, and the Bramble accepting, and telling them to put their trust in him or fire will come out to devour the Cedars of Lebanon.
  • In Psalms 52:8, David compares himself to an Olive Tree in the house of God who trusts in the mercy of God forever and ever.
  • In Isaiah 2:13-14, it speaks of bringing all the proud low, including the Cedars of Lebanon and Oaks of Bashan.
  • In Isaiah 14:6-8, it refers to Lucifer the fallen angel (v. 12) and when punished by God, the earth is at rest, with the Fir Trees rejoicing, and the Cedars of Lebanon saying, "since you are laid down, no feller is come up against us."
  • In Ezekiel 17, it speaks a parable of the Cedars of Lebanon, ending in v. 24 by saying that the Lord has brought down the high tree, has exalted the low tree, has dried up the green tree, and has made the dry tree flourish.
  • In Ezekiel 31, the entire chapter speaks of Satan as being Pharaoh, who was a mighty Cedar in Lebanon, how his height was exalted above all the other Cedars of Lebanon (v. 5), and how no other trees were like him in beauty (v. 8) so that they envied him (v. 9). Because of this, he lifted himself up in height and became proud (v. 10) so that God delivered him to the mighty of the gentiles (v. 11). The result is to be that none of the trees will exalt themselves, and are delivered to death, and sent down to the lower parts of the earth and the pit (v. 14). When he went to the grave, God caused a great mourning and mourning among Lebanon, with the trees of the field fainting for him (v. 15). In verses 16-18 it calls them the "trees of Eden", including Satan among them.
  • In Zechariah 4:11-14, the prophet is shown a pair of Olive Trees which are said to be the "two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
  • In Revelation 11:3-6, John is told God will give power to his two witnesses, and that these are the two olive trees, and two candlesticks. They also have special powers to burn assailants with fire from their mouths, prevent rain, turn water to blood, and smite the earth with plagues.

Also of note is that Solomon in 1 Kings 6:23-35 carved statues of the cherubims out of Olive Trees and Fir Trees.


Cherubim is the translation of the Hebrew word, "k@ruwb", pronounced "ker-oob", and is used 91 times in the Old Testament.[30] While Cherubim appear to be Angels, whether they are a distinct species of them is uncertain. The following traits about them are known, however:

  • Guards: They guarded the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were cast out.[31] They were always used, even in statue, to show the guarding of God's Mercy Seat.[32]
  • Winged: They are described as having huge wings which they used to cover the Mercy Seat.[33] Their wings were also used to cover the Ark of the Covenant.[34] The wings appear to make sound volume comparable to a helicopter, being heard from far away.[35]
  • Transporters: God used them to get around, riding on them as winged vehicles.[36]
  • Huge: Likenesses of them were made ten cubits tall, and with outstretched wings that made them ten cubits wide.[37] Egypt also used the cubit as a standard of linear measurement, and it was approximately 1.5-2.0 feet long, making them at least 15-20 feet tall and equally wide when their wings are outstretched.[38]
  • Close to God: God sits between two Cherubim.[39]
  • Included Satan: Satan was called "The Anointed Cherubim Who Encloses", and it was said God made him that way. He was on the holy mountain of God, and walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. He was perfect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him, after which he was cast as profane from the mountain of God.[40]


"Seraphim" is translated from the Hebrew word "saraph", pronounced "saw-rawf", a word roughly translated meaning "burned" or "to burn", and is only used 9 times in the Old Testament.[41]

Two of these usages occur in Isaiah chapter 6, verses 2 and 6, where it states that the Seraphim had 6 wings, 2 to cover their faces, 2 to cover the feet, and 2 with which to fly, while they proclaimed, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."(KJV) They are also said to have hands in verse 6, with which one used tongs to take a coal from an altar.

Interestingly, the other 7 times the word is used, it is in relation to fiery serpents,[42] in some cases said to fly.[43]

"Sons of God"

In Job 1:6 and 2:1, it states that one day, the "Sons of God" (Hebrew "ben 'elohiym") came to present themselves before God, with Satan among them. The same phrase, Sons of God, is used in Genesis 6:2-4, in stating that the Sons of God saw the daughters of men were fair, and that they took themselves wives. Verse 4 then says their children became mighty men of renown. The phrase is also used in Job 38:4-7 where it states that when God laid the foundations of the earth, the morning stars (the name 'Lucifer' means "Morningstar" and Jesus was called the Morning Star)[44] sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy.

Further Reading


  1. The Bible. Hebrews 1:13-14.
  2. The Bible. 2 Samuel 14:17-20.
  3. The Bible. Zechariah 12:8.
  4. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary. 4397.malak
  5. Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon Entry for Aggelos".
  6. The Bible. Genesis 16:9-11; 21:17.
  7. The Bible. 22:11-15.
  8. The Bible. Zechariah 1:9-6:5.
  9. The Bible. Matthew 1:20-24; 2:19; Luke 1:26-2:21.
  10. The Bible. Acts 8:26.
  11. The Bible. Acts 10:7-22.
  12. The Bible. Acts 27:23-24.
  13. The Bible. Revelation 1:1.
  14. The Bible. Genesis 24:7.
  15. The Bible. Exodus 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16.
  16. The Bible. Judges 2:1-4.
  17. The Bible. Judges 6:12-22.
  18. The Bible. Judges 13:3-21.
  19. The Bible. Daniel 3:28; 6:22.
  20. The Bible. Luke 22:43.
  21. The Bible. Acts 5:19-20; 12:7-11.
  22. The Bible. Numbers 22:22-35.
  23. The Bible. 2 Samuel 24:16-17; 1 Chronicles 21:12-30.
  24. The Bible. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:36.
  25. The Bible. Acts 12:23.
  26. The Bible. Revelation 7:2; 8:7-13; 9:11-14; 16:3-8.
  27. The Bible. Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4.
  28. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:13; 31:9,16,18.
  29. The Bible. Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3.
  30. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary. 3742.kerub.
  31. The Bible. Genesis 3:24.
  32. The Bible. Exodus 25:18-22, Exodus 37:7-9, 1 Samuel 4:4, 2 Samuel 6:2.
  33. The Bible. Exodus 25:20, Exodus 37:9.
  34. The Bible. 1 Kings 8:6-7, 1 Chronicles 28:18, 2 Chronicles 5:7-8.
  35. The Bible. Ezekiel 10:5.
  36. The Bible. 2 Samuel 22:11, Psalms 18:10, Ezekiel 9:3.
  37. The Bible. 1 Kings 6:23-27, 2 Chronicles 3:10-13.
  38. Cubits, Merriam Webster. Retrieved on 2011-03-10. Scofield, C.I.; Rikkers (2003). The Scofield Study Bible III. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pg. 611. ISBN 0195275276. 
  39. The Bible. 2 Kings 19:15, Psalms 99:1, Isaiah 35:16.
  40. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:14-16.
  41. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary. 8313.seraph.
  42. The Bible. Numbers 21:6,8; Deuteronomy 8:15
  43. The Bible. Isaiah 14:29; 30:6.
  44. The Bible. Isaiah 14:12, Revelation 22:16