Angels in the BibleThe information on this page is not meant to be an exhaustive study on angels. The contents are a broad overview on the subject in the Bible.
All references to scripture are from KJV version.
Occurences of references to "angel" or "angels" in the Bible
How angels are referenced (names)
What is God's purpose of angels?There are many tasks that angels perform. They deliver messages, are sent to explain the meanings of visions, give direction and guidance, protect, warriors, worship and praise, and to carry out God's discipline.
An angel also appeared to Balaam's ass and not Balaam to get his attention! (Numbers 22:22)
Do angels have wings?In my search of the Bible using e-Sword Bible Software, (an EXCELLENT FREE program!) there is no reference to angels specifically having wings although they are said to fly. In many verses, it is said that an "angel appeared" not specifically "flew". If they can just appear, would they need wings?
However, cherubims and seraphims are mentioned as having wings.
Here are a few links that have information on the subject of cherubims and seraphims.
The Two Witnesses and the Cherubims
The Cherubims of Glory
How many angels are there?While searching for the answer to this question, I found that there were only a few scripture references about numbers of angels.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? ~Matthew 26:53
Dan 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. ~Psalms 68:17
In the first verse, after Jesus is arrested and one that was with Jesus cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. Jesus said that he could pray to his Father and he would send 12+ legions of angels. A legion is said to consist of 3,000 to 5-6,000 men---36,000 to 72,000 angels.
In the remaining verses, there are thousands upon thousands of angels - innumerable.
There are only 2 angels that are specifically called by name - Michael and Gabriel.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. ~Daniel 10:13
But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince. ~Daniel 10:21
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. ~Daniel 12:1
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. ~Jude 1:9
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, ~Revelation 12:7
From these few scriptures we can see that Michael is a warrior. In Daniel, a "messenger" was sent to Daniel to tell him of things to come. The messenger was delayed by the kingdom of Persia and Michael came to help him. Michael also fights against the "dragon" in heaven.
And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. ~Daniel 8:16
Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. ~Daniel 9:21
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. ~Luke 1:19
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, ~Luke 1:26
In the above scriptures in Daniel, Daniel had a vision and sought to know the meaning of it. Gabriel was sent to Daniel to tell him of the meaning of the vision. Gabriel came again to Daniel while he was praying to tell him of times to come. Gabriel flew swiftly away.
Gabriel also appeared to Zacharias to tell him of the great news that his wife Elizabeth will bear a child and they are to call him John. When Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant, Gabriel was sent from God to Nazareth to tell Mary of the most wonderful news! Jesus! He also told her of the great news of her cousin Elizabeth who was going to have a child also!
There is another occurrence in the Bible where there is a reference to an angel's name.
And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? ~Jdg 13:17
And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? ~Jdg 13:18
In the above scripture, an angel is sent to Manoah and his wife to tell them of the son they will conceive - Samson.
The response of the angel when Manoah asked of the angels name was that of a mystery! The word "secret" (Hebrew) means wonderful!
We are not to worship angels.
And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. ~Judges 13:16
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, ~Colossians 2:18
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. ~Revelation 22:8
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. ~Revelation 22:9
In the first verse, the angel that appeared to Manoah told him not to offer a burnt offering to them, but unto the Lord.
Paul writes a warning to the church at Colosse not to worship angels.
In Revelation, the angel tells John not to worship at their feet.
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In the Light of Angels