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People's Dictionary of the Bible

Angel

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Angel. Genesis 24:7. The word for angel, both in the Greek and Hebrew languages, signifies a messenger, and in this sense is often applied to men. 2 Samuel 2:5; Luke 7:24; Luke 9:52. When the term is used, as it denotes the office they sustain as the agents by whom God makes known his will and executes his government. Our knowledge of such beings is derived wholly from revelation, and that rather incidentally. We know, from their residence and employment, that they must possess knowledge and purity far beyond our present conceptions, and the titles applied to them denote the exalted place they hold among created intelligences. Christ did not come to the rescue of angels, but of men. Comp. Hebrews 2:16. The angels are represented as ministering spirits sent forth to do service to the heirs or salvation. Hebrews 1:14 They appear at every important stage in the history of revelation, especially at the birth of Christ, Luke 2:9-13; in his agony in Gethsemane, Luke 22:43; at his resurrection, Matthew 28:2; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4, and at the final judgment, Matthew 13:41. Of their appearance and employment we may form some idea from the following passages, viz., Genesis 16:7-11. Compare Genesis 18:2; Genesis 19:1, with Hebrews 13:2; Judges 13:6; Ezekiel 10:1-22; Daniel 3:28; Daniel 6:22; Matthew 4:11; Matthew 18:10; Matthew 28:2-7; Luke 1:19; Luke 16:22; Luke 22:43; Acts 6:15; Acts 12:7; Hebrews 1:14; Hebrews 2:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 10:1-2; Revelation 10:6. Of their number some idea may be inferred from 1 Kings 22:19; Psalms 68:17; Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Luke 2:9-14; 1 Corinthians 4:9; Hebrews 12:22. Of their strength we may judge from Psalms 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11; Revelation 5:2; Revelation 18:21; Revelation 19:17. And we learn their inconceivable activity from Judges 13:20; Isaiah 6:2-6; Matthew 13:49; Matthew 26:53; Acts 27:23; Revelation 8:12-13; but the R. V. reads "eagle" in verse 13. There is also an order of evil spirits ministering to the will of the prince of darkness, and both active and powerful in their opposition to God. Matthew 25:41. Though Scripture does not warrant us to affirm that each individual has his particular guardian angel, it teaches very explicitly that angels minister to every Christian. Matthew 18:10; Psalms 91:11-12; Luke 15:10; Acts 12:15; Hebrews 1:14. They are the companions of the saved. Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 5:11. They are to sustain an important office in the future and final administration of God's government on earth. Matthew 13:39; Matthew 25:31-33; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. But they are not proper objects of adoration. Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10. Angel of his Presence, Isaiah 63:9, by some is supposed to denote the highest angel in heaven, as Gabriel, who stands "in the presence of God," Luke 1:19; but others believe it refers to the incarnate Word-Angel of the Lord, Genesis 16:7, is considered, by some, one of the common titles of Christ in the Old Testament. Exodus 23:20. Compare Acts 7:30-32; Acts 7:37-38. Angel of the church. Revelation 2:1. The only true interpretation of this phrase is the one which makes the angels the rulers and teachers of the congregation, so called because they were the ambassadors of God to the churches, and on them devolved the pastoral care and government.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Angel'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/a/angel.html. 1893.

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