Angel

Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words

Strong's Number: 32 Greek: angelos.

"a messenger" (from angello, "to deliver a message"), sent whether by God or by man or by Satan, "is also used of a guardian or representative in Revelation 1:20, compare to Matthew 18:10; Acts 12:15 (where it is better understood as = 'ghost'), superior to man, Hebrews 2:7; Psalms 8:5, belonging to Heaven, Matthew 24:36; Mark 12:25, and to God, Luke 12:8, and engaged in His service, Psalms 103:20. "Angels" are spirits, Hebrews 1:14, i.e., they have not material bodies as men have; they are either human in form, or can assume the human form when necessary, compare Luke 24:4, with Luke 24:23 and Acts 10:3 with Acts 10:30.

 

"They are called 'holy' in Mark 8:38, and 'elect,' 1 Timothy 5:21, in contrast with some of their original number, Matthew 25:41, who 'sinned,' 2 Peter 2:4, 'left their proper habitation,' Jude 1:6, oiketerion, a word which occurs again, in the NT, only in 2 Corinthians 5:2. Angels are always spoken of in the masculine gender, the feminine form of the word does not occur."* [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 229.]

 

Note: Isangelos, "equal to the angels," occurs in Luke 20:36.

 

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Angel: a word signifying, both in the Hebrew and Greek, a "messenger," and hence employed to denote any agent God sends forth to execute his purposes. It is used of an ordinary messenger (Job 1:14: 1 Samuel 11:3; Luke 7:24; 9:52), of prophets (Isaiah 42:19; Haggai 1:13), of priests (Malachi 2:7), and ministers of the New Testament (Revelation 1:20).

 

It is also applied to such impersonal agents as the pestilence (2 Samuel 24:16, 17; 2 Kings 19:35), the wind (Psalms 104:4).

 

But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Genesis 18:2, 22; 19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Genesis 32:24, 30), to Joshua at Gilgal (Joshua 5:13, 15), of the Angel of the Lord, were doubtless manifestations of the Divine presence, "foreshadowings of the incarnation," revelations before the "fulness of the time" of the Son of God.

 

(1.) The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Genesis 16:7, 10, 11; Judges 13:1-21; Matthew 28:2-5; Hebrews 1:4, etc.

 

These superior beings are very numerous. "Thousand thousands," etc. (Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Luke 2:13; Hebrews 12:22, 23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zechariah 1:9, 11; Daniel 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9; Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16).

 

(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as "like the angels" (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Genesis 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them ("sons of God," Job 1:6; 38:7; Daniel 3:25; compare to v.28) and to men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as creatures (Job 4:18; Matthew 24:36; 1 Peter 1:12). As finite creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we read of "fallen angels." Of the cause and manner of their "fall" we are wholly ignorant. We know only that "they left their first estate" (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7,9), and that they are "reserved unto judgement" (2 Peter 2:4). When the manna is called "angels' food," this is merely to denote its excellence (Psalms 78:25). Angels never die (Luke 20:36). They are possessed of superhuman intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2 Thess. 1:7; Psalms 103:20). They are called "holy" (Luke 9:26), "elect" (1 Timothy 5:21). The redeemed in glory are "like unto the angels" (Luke 20:36). They are not to be worshipped (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10).

 

(3.) Their functions are manifold. (a) In the widest sense they are agents of God's providence (Ex. 12:23; Psalms 104:4; Hebrews 11:28; 1 Corinthians 10:10; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:16; 2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23). (b) They are specially God's agents in carrying on his great work of redemption. There is no notice of angelic appearances to man till after the call of Abraham. From that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth (Genesis 18; 19; 24:7, 40; 28:12; 32:1). They appear to rebuke idolatry (Judges 2:1-4), to call Gideon (Judges 6:11, 12), and to consecrate Samson (13:3). In the days of the prophets, from Samuel downward, the angels appear only in their behalf (1 Kings 19:5; 2 Kings 6:17; Zechariah 1-6; Daniel 4:13, 23; 10:10, 13, 20, 21).

 

The Incarnation introduces a new era in the ministrations of angels. They come with their Lord to earth to do him service while here. They predict his advent (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38), minister to him after his temptation and agony (Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43), and declare his resurrection and ascension (Matthew 28:2-8; John 20:12, 13; Acts 1:10, 11). They are now ministering spirits to the people of God (Hebrews 1:14; Psalms 34:7; 91:11; Matthew 18:10; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23). They rejoice over a penitent sinner (Luke 15:10). They bear the souls of the redeemed to paradise (Luke 16:22); and they will be the ministers of judgement hereafter on the great day (Matthew 13:39, 41, 49; 16:27; 24:31). The passages (Psalms 34:7, Matthew 18:10) usually referred to in support of the idea that every individual has a particular guardian angel have no such meaning. They merely indicate that God employs the ministry of angels to deliver his people from affliction and danger, and that the angels do not think it below their dignity to minister even to children and to the least among Christ's disciples.

 

The "angel of his presence" (Isaiah 63:9. Comp. Exodus 23:20, 21; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16) is probably rightly interpreted of the Messiah as the guide of his people. Others have supposed the expression to refer to Gabriel (Luke 1:19).

 

Nave's Topical Bible

ANGEL (a spirit):

A CELESTIAL SPIRIT

Called ANGEL OF THE LORD

Matthew 1:20,24; 2:13,19; 28:2; Luke 1:11; Acts 5:19; 7:30,35; 8:26; 12:7,23

Called MORNING STARS

Job 38:7

Hosts

Genesis 2:1; 32:2; Joshua 5:14; 1 Chronicles 12:22; Psalms 33:6; 103:21; Luke 2:13

Called PRINCIPALITIES, POWERS

Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 1:16

Created

Genesis 2:1; Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16

Of different orders

1 Samuel 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Peter 3:22; Judge 1:9; Revelation 12:7

Immortal

Luke 20:36

Worship God

Nehemiah 9:6; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:6

Not to be worshiped

Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10; 22:8,9

Do not marry

Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:35

Are obedient

Psalms 103:20; Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2; 1 Peter 3:22; 2 Peter 2:11; Judges 1:6

Have knowledge of, and interest in, earthly affairs

Matthew 24:36; Luke 9:31; 15:7,10; 1Timothy 5:21; 1Peter 1:12

[See FUNCTIONS OF ANGELS, below]

Men called angels

2 Samuel 19:27

Are examples of meekness

2 Peter 2:11; Judges 1:9

Are wise

2 Samuel 14:17,20

Mighty

Psalms 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11

Holy

Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:38

Elect

1 Timothy 5:21

Innumerable

Deuteronomy 33:2; 2 Kings 6:17; Job 25:3; Psalms 68:17; Hebrews 12:22; Judges 1:14

Aspects of

Judges 13:6; 1 Samuel 6:2; Daniel 10:6; Matthew 28:3

[See UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURE REVELATING TO ANGELS, below]

 

FUNCTIONS OF ANGELS

Guard the way to the tree of life

Genesis 3:24

Law given by

Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2

Medium of Revelation to prophets

2 Kings 1:15; Daniel 4:13-17; 8:19; 9:21-27; 10:10-20; Zechariah 1:9-11; Acts 8:26; 23:9; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2; Revelation 1:1; 5:2-14; 7:1-3,11-17; 8:2-13; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 22:6,16

Remonstrates with Balaam

Numbers 22:22-27

Announces the birth of Samson

Judges 13

Announces the birth of John the Baptist

Luke 1:11-20

Announces the birth of Jesus

Matthew 1:20,21; Luke 1:28-38; 2:7-15

Warns Joseph to escape to Egypt

Matthew 2:13

Ministers to Jesus after the temptation

Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13; John 1:51

Ministers to Jesus during his passion

Luke 22:43

Present at the tomb of Jesus

Matthew 28:2-6

Present at the ascension

Acts 1:11

Will be with Christ at his second coming

Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:38; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Judges 1:14,15

Will be with Christ at the Judgement

Matthew 13:39,41,49; 16:27; 24:31; 25:31; Mark 13:27

 

MINISTRANT TO THE RIGHTEOUS

Genesis 16:7; 24:7,40; Exodus 23:20,23; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16; 1 Kings 19:5-8; 2 Kings 6:17; 2 Chronicles 18:18; Psalms 34:7; 68:17; 91:11,12; 104:4; Ecclesiastes 5:6; 1 Samuel 63:9; Daniel 6:22; 7:10; Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10,11; 16:22; John 1:51; 5:4; Acts 5:19,20; 10:3-6; 12:7-10; Hebrews 1:7,14; 13:2

 

EXECUTE JUDGEMENTS UPON THE WICKED

Genesis 19:1-25; 2 Samuel 24:16,17; 1 Chronicles 21:15,16; 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; 1 Samuel 37:36; Psalms 35:5,6; 78:49; Matthew 13:41,42,49,50; Acts 12:23; 27:23,24; Judges 1:14,15; Revelation 7:1,2; 9:15; 15:1

 

UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES RELATING TO ANGELS

Numbers 22:35; Deuteronomy 33:2; 2 Kings 6:17; Job 4:15-19; 38:7; Psalms 8:5; 68:17; 103:20,21; 104:4; 148:2; 1 Samuel 6:2,5-7; Ezekiel 1:4-25; 10; Daniel 4:13,17; 8:13,14; 9:21-23; Zechariah 1:12-14; 6:5; Matthew 4:6,11; 13:41,42; 17:3; 18:10; 24:31,36; 25:31; 26:53; Mark 1:13; 8:38; 9:4; Luke 9:30,31; 12:8,9; 15:7,10; John 1:51; Acts 7:53; 8:26; Galatians 3:19; Ephesians 1:20,21; 3:10; Colossians 1:16; 2:10; 2Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:16; 5:21; Hebrews 1:4,5,7,13; 2:2,5,7,16; 12:22; 13:2; 1 Peter 1:12; 3:22; 2Peter 2:11; Revelation 4:8-11; 5:9-11; 7:9,10; 10:1-6; 14:10; 18:1-3; 19:10; 22:8,9

 

APPEARANCES OF

To Abraham

Genesis 18:2; 22:11-18

To Hagar, in the wilderness

Genesis 16:7

To Lot, in Sodom

Genesis 19:1-17

To Jacob, in his various visions

Genesis 28:12

To Moses

Exodus 3:2

To the Israelites

Exodus 14:19; Judges 2:1-4

To Balaam

Numbers 22:31

To Joshua, "the captain of the Lord's host,"

Joshua 5:15

To Gideon

Judges 6:11-22

To Manoah

Judges 13:6,15-20

To David, at the threshing floor of Araunah

2 Samuel 24:16,17; 1 Chronicle 21:15,16

To Elijah

1 Kings 19:5

To Elisha while he lay under the juniper tree

2 Kings 6:16,17

To Daniel, in the lions' den

Daniel 6:22; 8:16; 9:21; 10:5-10,16,18; 12:5-7

To Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace

Daniel 3:25,28

To Zechariah, in a vision

Zechariah 2:3; 3:1,2; 4:1

To Joseph, in a dream

Matthew 1:20; 2:13,19

At the transfiguration of Jesus

Matthew 17:3; Luke 9:30,31

To Mary, concerning Jesus

Luke 1:26-38

To Zacharias

Luke 1:11-20,26-38

To the shepherds

Luke 2:9-11,13,14

To Jesus, after His temptation

Matthew 4:11

In Gethsemane

Luke 22:43

At the tomb of Jesus

Matthew 28:2-5; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:23; John 20:12

At the ascension

Acts 1:10,11

To Peter and John, while in prison

Acts 5:19

To Philip

Acts 8:26

To Cornelius, in a dream

Acts 10:3,30-32

To Peter, in prison

Acts 12:7-11

To Paul, on the way to Damascus

Acts 27:23

To John, on the island of Patmos

Revelation 1:1; 5:2; 7:11; 10:9; 11:1; 17:7; 19:10; 22:8