What are “angels” in the Bible?
The words translated “angel” in the OT (mal’ak) and NT (angelos) simply mean “messenger” and are used both of human (e.g. Gen 32:3; Luk 7:24) and divine beings (e.g. Gen 19:1; Matt 1:20) who are sent to communicate information or perform a task.
Who is called ʾelōhı̂m (“god”) in the Bible?
It’s a common mistake to think that Yahweh is the only “god” in the Bible. The Hebrew word translated as “god” (ʾelōhı̂m) is also used of the gods of the nations (Judg 11:24; 1 Kgs 11:33), members of the heavenly council (Ps 82:1, 6), and even spirits of dead people (1 Sam 28:13). ʾelōhı̂m (“god”) is thus a “place-of-residence” term that refers to any spirit being. However, it is also a title for the unique transcendent capital-G God.
How many wings do angels have?
Angels take human form when they encounter humans and are never described with nonhuman features (e.g. wings, animal parts, multiple faces). Though seraphim and cherubim are described as having wings, they are not to be confused with angels.
What is the “divine council”?
The Bible speaks of Yahweh presiding over a divine council of lesser heavenly beings (see Ps 82:1; 89:5-7; Job 1-2; 15:8; Isa 14:13; Jer 23:18, 22; Dan 7:9-10).
What does Yahweh’s heavenly council do?
The other members of the council appear to genuinely participate in decision-making, but in a way that does not undermine Yahweh’s sovereignty (see 1 Kgs 22:19-23; Isa 6:1-8; Dan 4:17; 7:9-10).
Excluding Israel, what being(s) ruled over the nations of the world in the OT?
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 explains that while Yahweh presided directly over Israel, he allotted the nations to the “sons of God” or divine princes (see also Daniel 10:13, 20).
What are cherubim?
Cherubim, along with seraphim, are guardians of Yahweh’s throne-chariot (Ex 25:18; 1 Sam 4:4). They are never called angels and—unlike angels—they have several faces, animal features, and wings (Ezek 1, 10).
Can angels procreate?
The best understanding of Genesis 6:4 is that divine sons of God procreated with human women, producing offspring called Nephilim. Though spirit-beings are immaterial, they can take human form and are called “men” when they do so (Gen 18:1-8).
Who is Michael?
Michael is the “heavenly prince” over Israel (Dan 10:21; 12:1) and is distinguished from the prince of Yahweh’s army (Josh 5:14; Dan 8:11).
Which angels are named in the Bible?
Though Rafael and others are mentioned in Second Temple Jewish literature (e.g. Tobit, Enoch), only Michael (Dan 10:13) and Gabriel (Dan 8:16) are named in the Bible.
With whom did Jacob wrestle?
In Gen 32:22-32, Jacob wrestles with a “man,” who seems to be more than he appears. Jacob believes he wrestled “God” himself (Gen 32:30). Hos 12:3-4 agrees, calling this individual both “God” and “the angel.”
Will God reconcile fallen angels?
Colossians 1:19-20 says that God reconciled through Jesus everything on earth or heaven. However, this does not mean that fallen angels are redeemed (see Heb 1:13-14). Rather, the “reconciliation” of these beings is the peace that came through them being disarmed and defeated (Col 2:15).
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