When I recently
tried to search on Google for “angels” I got some 475 million entries.
about three times as many as I received for Beyoncé and Justin Bieber together!
This not only
more people believe in angels than they do in Beyoncé or Bieber; it
that despite all the advances of technology in the 21st
pop music, pop culture, sex appeal, etc., angels still retain their
Who or what, then, are the angels?
They appear in
most religions in some guise or another, including, as we will see, the
religion. In the Old Testament the angels are mentioned 108 times, and
New Testament 175 times, altogether 283 times. Strangely enough, the
mention of an angel comes in Genesis 16, verses 7 to 11, and it is in
connection with Hagar, Abraham’s concubine:
And the angel of the Lord
found her by a fountain
of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And the angel
of the Lord said
unto her, Return to thy
mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
16:10) And the angel of the Lord
said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not
numbered for multitude.
(Gen 16:11) And
the angel of the Lord
said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and
call his name Ishmael; because the Lord
heard thy affliction.
Rembrandt van Rijn: Abraham and
Only after he
had dealt with the matter of Abraham’s illegitimate son, the messenger
would speak to the patriarch himself. Meanwhile, a pair of angels had
helped Lot and his two daughters out of the burning Sodom. Then:
22:11) And the angel
of the Lord
called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said,
According to the Kabbalistic
Abraham was the first man to have received the Kabbalah, though some
the first recipient was Adam. Abraham was also said to have received
Kabbalah from angels. So, who are the angels? Angels and their
from the Vedic literature and lore, known as devas (from
meaning shining one), are beings on a higher level
however they do not appear to have the same opportunities that men
experiencing the life in material conditions. Therefore, as some
their overall spiritual development might be somewhat limited in
those humans who have reached a similar level.
Angels do not
appear be born or die like humans do, neither do they marry or
seems that a certain (obviously very large) number of them were created
sometime early in the process, and it has stayed that way ever since.
Judged from the
many accounts, angels and devas must also have a rather limited fields
activity (or jurisdiction). They are confined to certain tasks, from
are not supposed to stray. These might be individual missions, like
certain people, or perhaps duties of a more permanent nature, such as
a certain realm, looking after a species of animals or plants, etc.
be concerned purely with the natural phenomena and forces of nature,
with the humans, while all angels or devas appear to be ranked
Stories about the guardian angels and their interventions in certain,
dangerous situations, abound throughout history, so it seems reasonable
assume that some angels at least might be looking after us, perhaps
even on a
full time basis. Other angels, perhaps those ranked higher, such as the
cherubim or seraphim, and the highest rank known to us as archangels,
be more closely connected with the moral or spiritual concepts.
All the above
would seem to indicate that angels couldn’t possibly have the same
free will such as we enjoy. Many people who have had some experience
spiritual life, such as the psychics or spiritualist media, will tell
they were either taught or protected by beings that are not of this
psychologists however insist that what we call the “angels” are in fact
of our personality that really belong to our higher selves.
some people insist that they have met angels in flesh, so to speak, and
look in the Bible there are such meetings described or at least hinted
three men that came to visit Abraham and were entertained by him are
example, and note that the “men” who came to see him were eating:
(Gen 18:8) And
he took butter, and milk, and the calf,
which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them
tree, and they did eat.
After this the
“men” walk with Abraham towards Sodom, with obvious intentions to
city, while he intercedes for Sodom with God, asking him to spare it
sake of fifty, forty, thirty, twenty and ten righteous people, all in
it turns out.
The angels of
the Book of Genesis appear to be men of flesh, or beings not of this
which nonetheless have the power to appear in human form, or at least
to convince those who they choose to appear to that they are meeting
this material level. However, the angel Jacob wrestled with certainly
appear to have been a creature of flesh and bone, at least temporarily,
managed to cause quite a severe injury to the patriarch.
to another question - are all angels good? At this point we might make
diversion to the so-called UFOs and the related phenomena. I do not
dwell much on this subject, as there is plentiful literature available.
wish to say however is that what is known from the Bible as angels,
might well be
a manifestation of the same or similar forces that are described by
those who have had the experience of encountering alien creatures, or
even abducted (or appeared to be) by them. Having read a fair amount of
literature, I am practically convinced of the existence of these
while I don’t believe that they are of an extra-terrestrial origin.
always been present in the realm of this planet; only the ways in which
humans perceive them might vary, depending mainly on the time in
technological development of mankind, as well as on the state of mind
individuals, and even on the collective unconscious. Some of the UFO
insist that the occupants of the UFOs mean no harm to us at all, and
they do is done for the future benefit of human race. However, there
who had found their methods evasive, painful, and menacing. Here we
to go far from the field of our original investigation, though. The
men-angels, who visited Abraham, as well as the two angels who
came to Lot in Sodom, to tell him that the city must be destroyed,
across as pussycats either.
If we have to
have some conclusion than we might perhaps define the angels as a
ever loyal to its cause, which might be mostly (but perhaps not
assisting mankind in its own development.
22. CREATION IN GENESIS 2
Distruction of Sodom by John Martin