Angels are some of the most intriguing figures in religious and mythological narratives. Often seen as messengers of God, they play pivotal roles in many biblical stories. Yet, many of the commonly held beliefs about angels are not found in the Bible. Here, we’ll explore some surprising and lesser-known facts about these celestial beings based on biblical accounts.
Not Always Benevolent
While angels are often perceived as gentle protectors, the Bible presents instances where they execute God’s judgment, as seen in the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19).
No Halo Depictions
Popular art depicts angels with halos, but there’s no biblical reference to angels with these radiant headpieces.
The Angel of the Lord
This special designation appears frequently, and some theologians believe it may be a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.
Limited Appearances in Old Testament
Angels aren’t as omnipresent in the Old Testament as one might assume. In fact, they only appear in 17 out of 39 books.
More Active in the New Testament
Conversely, in the New Testament, angels actively participate in the events surrounding Jesus’ life, from annunciation to resurrection.
Guardians of Nations
Daniel 10:13 mentions the “prince of Persia” and “Michael, one of the chief princes.” This suggests angels might guard or represent nations.
Cherubim Guard Eden
After Adam and Eve’s expulsion, cherubim guard Eden with a flaming sword, preventing their return (Genesis 3:24).
Seraphim’s Fiery Presence
Isaiah 6 describes seraphim with six wings, flying around God’s throne and calling out His holiness.
Not Always Winged
While art showcases winged angels, the Bible doesn’t consistently describe them this way.
Only Michael and Gabriel are named as angels in the Bible, both playing significant roles in key narratives.
Contrary to popular belief, Isaiah 14’s reference to Lucifer doesn’t definitively link to Satan. It was directed at the Babylonian king.
Several biblical instances show angels forbidding humans from worshiping them, emphasizing worship for God alone (Revelation 19:10).
Messengers First and Foremost
The term “angel” translates to “messenger” in Greek, underlining their primary role.
Protection for Believers
Psalm 91:11 promises that God will command His angels to guard believers in all their ways.
Jacob’s Angelic Wrestling
Jacob wrestles with a man till dawn in Genesis 32, later realizing he had wrestled with God or an angel.
Mysterious Angelic Encounters
Hebrews 13:2 suggests that some have unknowingly entertained angels, highlighting their occasional covert interactions with humans.
Gabriel’s Important Announcements
Gabriel, appearing to both Daniel and Mary, plays a crucial role in announcing significant events like Jesus’ birth.
Angels in Revelation
The book of Revelation is rife with angelic activity, from delivering messages to executing judgments.
Angels Don’t Marry
Jesus mentions in Matthew 22:30 that angels don’t marry or reproduce.
Chained Fallen Angels
Some angels who sinned are chained in darkness awaiting judgment, as mentioned in Jude 1:6.
Multitude of Angels
Hebrews 12:22 speaks of “myriads of angels,” indicating their vast numbers.
Angels Observe Humans
1 Corinthians 4:9 suggests that humans are a spectacle to angels, hinting at their observational role.
Matthew 24:36 states that not even the angels know the day or hour of the end, highlighting their finite knowledge.
Angels Rejoice Over Repentance
Luke 15:10 mentions angels rejoicing when sinners repent, showing their investment in human redemption.
The Angelic Assembly
1 Kings 22:19 describes a vision where God is surrounded by a host of angels, suggesting a form of angelic council or assembly.
Angel of Death Passover
Exodus 12 tells of an angel “passing over” the houses of the Israelites, sparing them but striking the Egyptians’ firstborn.
Angels Don’t Age
Luke 20:36 indicates that angels do not die, suggesting their eternal nature.
Two Angelic Visitations to Lot
In Genesis 19, two angels visit Lot in Sodom, warning him of the impending destruction.
Angels Feed Prophets
1 Kings 19 narrates an angel providing food to Elijah, showcasing their occasional tangible interactions with humans.
Release from Prison
In Acts 12, an angel miraculously releases Peter from prison, showcasing divine intervention through angelic beings.
Angel Guides Balaam’s Donkey
In Numbers 22, an angel with a drawn sword is visible only to Balaam’s donkey until God allows Balaam to see him.
Angels Present at Sinai
Galatians 3:19 and Acts 7:53 suggest that angels were present and active during the giving of the law at Mount Sinai.
Guardian Angel Theories
While the Bible suggests angels guard believers (Matthew 18:10), it doesn’t explicitly state that everyone has a personal guardian angel.
The Four Living Creatures
Revelation 4 describes four unique living creatures around God’s throne, often considered a class of angels.
Angelic War in Heaven
Revelation 12 describes a war in heaven where Michael and his angels combat the dragon (Satan) and his followers.
Angels Awaiting Command
Psalm 103:20 depicts angels as mighty beings, waiting to obey God’s word.
Angels at the Tomb
In the Gospels, angels are present at Jesus’ tomb, informing the women of His resurrection.
Colossians 1:16 asserts that angels were created by God, contradicting some beliefs of their pre-existence.
Manasseh’s Idolatrous Angel Worship
2 Chronicles 33 tells of King Manasseh’s wrongdoings, including building altars for the worship of angels.
Angels in Prophecy Interpretation
Throughout Daniel, angels help interpret visions, serving as intermediaries for divine messages.