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In many mythologies and religions, an angel is a good spirit. The word angel comes from the Greek word angelos which means "messenger". Angels appear frequently in the Old Testament, the New Testament, Qur'an and Aqdas.
In the Bible
Angels are powerful, smart spirits that obey God's commands and praise him with singing and they have male (masculine)gender, but without any sex. They sometimes appear to humans in human form. They can deliver messages to people in person or in dreams. Angels that are named in the Bible are Michael (called a "chief prince"), Gabriel (known for telling Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus), and Raphael (in the Apocryphal Book of Tobit). The Ethiopian Book of Enoch also lists four Archangels which watch over the four quadrants of heaven; Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Uriel. Lucifer is also known as an angel in the Bible.
- Cherubim (plural of cherub) are described as "winged creatures" which have four wings Cherubim guard the Eden with a sword of fire. This suggests that the author of Genesis was aware of different types of angels. Genesis 3:24 is found in the Book of Ezekiel. A Cherub is mentioned in Ezekiel 28:13-14, saying that the angel was in the Garden of God.
Ezekiel 28:13-14 13. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
It describes the sound of their wings, "like the roar of rushing waters."
Ezekiel 10:5-7 ; Ezekiel 10:8 reveals that they have hands like a man under their wings .
Ezekiel 1:7 KJV reveals that they look like man but are different because they have "straight feet" and four wings and four faces.
Ezekiel ch 1, and 10 describe the cherubim creatures ascending and descending from the earth with wheels. Ezekiel 1:14-20 ; Ezekiel 10:16
Ezekiel 10:9-13 describes what the wheels appeared to look like, and how they moved around, how they moved or flew through the sky quickly but turned not as they went; and how the inside workings of the wheels appeared to be "a wheel in the midst of a wheel" and that the color of the wheels was the color of "Amber" Stone. There are four separate wheels in both accounts, one for each single cherub which is there.
- Seraphim (plural of seraph, which means "burning")they also are depicted having wings, six of them. They are known for singing and praising God. They can shout so loud, they shake the temple.
- Archangels like Gabriel (Gospel of Luke 1:19) are the highest type of angel. They are considered saints in the Catholic church. However, in the King James Version of the Bible; they are another type of angel. In the Book of Revelation the Angel Michael casts the 'great dragon' Satan out of heaven and down to earth in a great battle between the good and bad angels, just before the Great Judgement of angels and man. (Revelation 12)
- The Leviathan in Book of Job 41:19-21 has flame that goes: 'out of his mouth' like a dragon. Isaiah 30:6 also talks of a 'fiery flying serpent'. Compare Revelation 20:2: , where an angel: 'laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years'.
They are often shown in art as having wings and a halo. The wings represent their speed, and the halo represents their holiness.
The cherubim in art always appear as baby faced angels with very small non useful wings.
The study of Angels is called Angelology.
- Matthew 26:53
- Hebrews 13:2
- Matthew 1:20
- Daniel 10
- Luke 1:26-38
- The Amazing Bible Factbook. New York: American Bible Society. 2008. pp. 4-7, 179. .
- Ezekiel 1:6
- Genesis 3:24
- The IVP New Bible Commentary pp734 states: ' the exact significance of the cherub is unclear'
- Ezekiel 1:24
- Isaiah 6:4