Angels

angel TOPICS :

Angels are Heavenly Beings.

The term “angel” is the standard translation of the Hebrew malakh, deriving from the root lakh—mission or service—that appears in Ugaritic, Arabic, and other Semitic tongues. The original meaning of malakh is messenger, and in the Bible the messenger referred to by this name may be a superhuman messenger , a human messenger of God such as a prophet , or a human messenger acting as the agent of another human.

In the Bible, then, not every malakh is an angel. Moreover, there are various synonyms for mortal as well as immortal messengers, so that not every angel is a malakh. In later eras, however, malakh became the term referring to superhuman creatures in the service of God and ceased to refer to other types of messengers.

Thus, in post-biblical usage, malakh is the near equivalent of the English “angel.” Angels appear in the earliest chapters of the Bible and in many books, and their existence is taken for granted in Jewish sources of practically every period. Nevertheless, angelology never became a central Jewish concern or even a systematically elaborated branch of Jewish thought.

In the Bible, the existence of angels is assumed. This does not detract from the uniqueness of the One God. Rather it is a function of His transcendence, which implies the need of created intermediaries between the Creator and His World. With the exception of the Book of Daniel (and perhaps Job), angels in the Bible have neither names nor an independent will. Mortals neither pray to nor serve angels in any way (this point is emphasized in Judges 13:16)…..

Last updated: October 14, 2014 at 14:47 pm

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