Who are the Biblical Angels? – A Critical Perspective, (#2)


We will begin this second part of our theme by citing the 1894 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 2, p. 25, under the title “Angel” [with some corrections in brackets] where it states in part:

ANGEL is a transcription of the Greek ang´-el-os, a messenger, but in signification corresponds to the special theological sense which the latter word assumed among the Hellenistic Jews [sic Judaeans] (and hence in the New Testament and in Christian writings), by being adopted as the translation of the Hebrew Mal’akh. Thus both name and notion of angel go back to the Old Testament.

The Old Testament belief in angels has two sides, being on the one hand, a particular development of the belief in special manifestations of God to man; and on the other hand, a belief in the existence of superhuman beings standing in a peculiar relation of nearness to God. These two sides of the doctrine are historically associated, and cooperate in the later developments of Biblical angelology, but are not in all parts of the Old Testament fused into perfect unity of thought.

The first side of the belief in angels is expressed in the word Mal’akh, a messenger or ambassador – more fully, messenger of Jehovah [sic Yahweh] (E.V., angel of the Lord) [sic Yahweh],Messenger of God. The whole Old Testament revelation moves in the paradox that God is invisible and inaccessible to man, and yet approaches man in unmistakable self manifestation. This manifestation takes place in various ways – in the priestly oracle, in prophecy, in the glory of God within the sanctuary (shekhina). But in particular the early history represents God as manifesting himself by his messenger. In special crises ‘the messenger of Jehovah [sic Yahweh]’ calls from heaven to Hagar or to Abraham (Gen. xxi., xxii.). Or if God seeks to commune more fully with a man, his messenger appears and speaks to him. The narratives of such angelophanies vary in detail. Generally there is but one angel, but Abraham is visited by three (Gen. xviii.). Sometimes the dignity of the heavenly visitor is detected while he is present, at other times he is mistaken for a prophet, and recognized only by something supernatural in his disappearance (Judges vi. 21, f., xiii. 20). Jacob wrestles all night with a ‘man,’ who at length with a touch dislocates his thigh (Gen. xxxii. 24, ff). At other times no human form is seen. It is the angel of Jehovah [sic Yahweh] who speaks to Moses in the burning bush, and leads the Israelites in the pillar of cloud and smoke (Exod. iii. 2, xiv. 19) ....” The term “angel” is first found in a passage at Genesis 16:5-11 thusly:

5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: YahwehH3068 judge between me and thee. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. 7 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because YahwehH3068 hath heard thy affliction.” And we shouldn’t overlook v. 12 which states:

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

This prophetic prediction by the “angel” concerning Ishmael is perfectly true of the arab tribes throughout history to our present day (although Ishmael himself was a white man). When Ishmael’s descendants became arabized (race-mixed) they became “wild” as all half-breeds do! Because the genetics of a halfbreed resist blending evenly together, but form in uneven splotches of random tissue (especially in the brain), they are trapped between two conflicting ways of thinking, and become mentally quite unstable like the proverbial loose cannon!

Secondly, “... his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him” is true. If the arabs are left alone, they will fight and kill each other, but should the White Adamic man fight against an arab tribe, the arabs will band together to kill the White man.

Thirdly, “... and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren ...” is true, for up until the time of Mohammed the arab tribes basically dwelt in the deserts of the Middle East. Later, with the religion of Islam, they spread through north Africa and southern Europe. Henry H. Halley in his Bible Handbook, quoting from pages 716-717:

Mohammed (A.D. 570-632), in Mecca, Arabia, declared himself to be The Prophet of God, and set out, at the head of an army, to propagate his religion by the Sword. Soon the world of Arabia was conquered. Mohammedan armies, under successive leaders, swept on in their conquest. Syria fell (A.D. 634), Jerusalem (A.D. 637) Egypt (A.D. 638), Persia (A.D. 640), North Africa (A.D. 689).

Asian and African Christianity, thus swept away, Mohammedans moved into Europe. Spain fell (A.D. 711). Then they headed on into France, where, at Tours, the Mohammedan Army was met and defeated (A.D. 732), by Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne.” Except for that victory, Christianity might have been entirely exterminated from the earth! That stopped the arab advance, in any great numbers, dead in their tracks into White Adamic lands until the late 1900s [although great wars against the turks and their arab co-religionists were fought in Central and Eastern Europe in the 14- and 1500’s]. Today, the arabs are swarming into our White Adamic lands, with other half-breeds and non-whites, in unbelievably huge numbers, gaining political, religious and monetary powers! We should see this as a mile-marker, pointing to the eventual coming of the Second Advent of Yahshua Christ! Actually, today those calling themselves “jews” are an arab mixture, and to a substantial degree are the satanic descendants of Cain who murdered the genetically pure Righteous Abel!

RE: “... and recognized only by something supernatural in his disappearance (Judges vi. 21, f., xiii. 20):

Judges 6:20-22:20 And the angelH4397 of the AlmightyH430 said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 21 Then the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 departed out of his sight. 22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angelH4397 of YahwehH3068, Gideon said, Alas, O YahwehH3068 AlmightyH430! for because I have seen an angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 face to face ....”

Judges 13:5-22:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of the AlmightyH430 came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angelH4397 of the AlmightyH430, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: 7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to the AlmightyH430 from the womb to the day of his death. 8 Then Manoah intreated YahwehH3068, and said, O my LordH136, let the man of the AlmightyH430 which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. 9 And the AlmightyH430 hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angelH4397 of the AlmightyH430 came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. 11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. 12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? 13 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe. 15 And Manoah said unto the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. 16 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 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 YahwehH3068. For Manoah knew not that he was an angelH4397 of YahwehH3068. 17 And Manoah said unto the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 18 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? 19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto YahwehH3068: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. 21 But the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angelH4397 of YahwehH3068. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen the AlmightyH430....”

From these last two passages it is paramount that we take special notice of the following excerpts:

Judges 6:21: “... Then the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 departed out of his sight ...”

Judges 13:20-21: 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 ascended in the flame of the altar ... 21 But the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife.”

These two excerpts are very similar to Acts 12:10 where an angel delivered Peter from prison, and then simply disappeared, probably into a different metaphysical dimension beyond our own three-dimension perception of height, width and depth:

When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angelG32 departed from him ...”

RE: “At other times no human form is seen. It is the angel of Jehovah [sic Yahweh] who speaks to Moses in the burning bush, and leads the Israelites in the pillar of cloud and smoke (Exod. iii. 2, xiv. 19) ....”

Exodus 3:2-6:

2 And the angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when YahwehH3068 saw that he turned aside to see, the AlmightyH430 called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the AlmightyH430 of thy father, the AlmightyH430 of Abraham, the AlmightyH430 of Isaac, and the AlmightyH430 of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon the AlmightyH430.”

In order to comprehend who the “...angelH4397 of YahwehH3068 ...” is at verse 2, we must go to Exodus 3:11-15:

11 And Moses said unto the AlmightyH430, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve the AlmightyH430 upon this mountain. 13 And Moses said unto the AlmightyH430, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The AlmightyH430 of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And the AlmightyH430 said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And the AlmightyH430 said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YahwehH3068 AlmightyH430 of your fathers, the AlmightyH430 of Abraham, the AlmightyH430 of Isaac, and the AlmightyH430 of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

I will again continue citing the 1894 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 2, p. 25, under the title “Angel” [with some corrections in brackets] where it states in part:

The question naturally arises; how the angel who possesses these high predicates stands related to angels who elsewhere appear not representing the whole self-manifestation of God to his people, but discharging isolated commissions. The Biblical data for the solution of this question are very scanty. An essential distinction between the ‘angel of the Lord [sic Yahweh]’, who speaks in all things with full divine authority, and subordinate angels, is sought mainly in Gen. xviii. and in Exod. xxxii. 30, ff., xxxiii. compared with Isaiah lxiii. 9.”

We have already commented on Genesis chapter 18, but it would be fitting here to make a general observation of both chapters 18 and 19, to place both chapters in a proper context. These two chapters are a warning against the sins of sodomy and incest, which could be elaborated on in several Biblical passages. However, with the Levirate law, commanding the nearest-of-kin to take to wife the deceased kin’s widow, keeping the family line intact. Also, Jacob married two identical sisters in Leah and Rachel, Gen. 29:16, and Yahweh never condemned it.

I will now quote a concise account from The International Bible Commentary, general editor, F.F. Bruce, p. 27:

... Promise and Warning (18:1-33)

Two distinct events are shown to be moving towards their foreordained climax: the birth of the promised son and the fall of Lot’s chosen home, Sodom. Why should such disparate events coincide? The reason is that the longawaited birth of Isaac, an event so full of joy and hope, stands in parallel and contrast to the birth – unheralded, unwanted and degrading – of the two ancestors of Moab and Ammon (19:30-38), and the conception of the latter two boys was a direct consequence of the fall of Sodom. Chapters 18 and 19 are full of notable contrasts – e.g., noon and night, righteousness and wickedness, generous hospitality and vicious ill-treatment of guests.

1-15. The impending events were heralded by a visit to Abraham of what he took to be three men (2) – in fact, the Lord [sic Yahweh] and two angels; cf. v. 33 and 19:1. Taken by surprise as he clearly was, he reacted with all the instinctive and gracious hospitality ... When the hospitality had been equally graciously accepted, the divine promise of the birth of Isaac was renewed. This time it was Sarah who laughed (12), her incredulity evidently more deep-seated than her husband’s. Thus the appropriateness of Isaac’s name is again stressed; and further, the miraculousness of his birth is emphasized, especially in the challenging question, Is anything too hard for the LORD [sic Yahweh]? (14). God not only predicted this birth but He alone made it possible.

16-21. The renewed promise of Isaac’s birth was intended primarily as a challenge to Sarah’s faith; as the spotlight now turns towards Sodom, the reader is given a new insight into the purpose of biblical predictions. Abraham was advised of the imminent danger to Sodom (vv. 20 f. must be addressed to him, as Good News Bible makes clear) for reasons which are detailed in vv. 17 ff. These reasons can be summed up in the single word ‘covenant’; the covenant established (chs. 15, 17) between God and Abraham had expressed promises and obligations which could be fostered and furthered if God now revealed His plans. A covenant, moreover, is much more than a contract; it betokens a close and warm relationship, expressed here in the phrase ‘I have chosen him’, literally ‘I have known him’. Their relationship is the basis for the description of Abraham as ‘the friend of God’ (Isa. 41:8; Jas. 2:23). The continuing efficacy of the promises and the continuing importance of the obligations for later generations are plainly recognized in [Gen. 18] v. 19. The same combination of the themes of friendship, obedience, and revelation is to be seen in Jn. 15:14 f.

23-33. Abraham’s concern for the welfare of his kinsman Lot was predictable, but he goes far beyond that in his pleading for the whole city of Sodom. In God’s will, a righteous group may have a saving or preserving effect upon an unrighteous community. Abraham stopped at the number ten (32) ....” [I absolutely do not endorse the Good News Bible! And, I had to cut F.F. Bruce short here, as he was about to drift out into the left field!]

For a different comment on “Angels”, I will cite the 3-volume The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 1, pp. 106-107 in part:

(6) In Human Form. In the Scriptures angels appear with bodies, and in the human form, and no intimation is anywhere given that these bodies are not real, or that they are only assumed for the time and then laid aside. It was manifest indeed to the ancients that the matter of these bodies was not like that of their own, inasmuch as angels could make themselves visible and vanish again from their sight. But this experience would suggest no doubt of the reality of their bodies; it would only intimate that they were not composed of gross matter. After his resurrection Jesus [sic Yahshua] often appeared to his disciples and vanished again before them; yet they never doubted that they saw the same body which had been crucified, although they must have perceived that it had undergone an important change. The fact that angels always appeared in the human form does not, indeed, prove that they really have this form, but that the ancient Jews [sic Judaeans] believed so. That which is not pure spirit must have some form or other, and angels may have the human form, but other forms are possible. We sometimes find angels, in their terrene manifestations, eating and drinking (Gen. xviii :8; xix :3), but in Judg. xiii:15, 16, the angel who appeared to Manoah declined, in a very pointed manner, to accept his hospitality. The manner in which the Jews [sic Judaeans] obviated the apparent discrepancy, and the sense in which they understood such passages, appears from the apocryphal book of Tobit (xii :19), where the angel is made to say, ‘It seems to you, indeed, as though I did eat and drink with you, but I use invisible food, which no man can see’ ....”

This last statement may, or may not, be true for the angels, but it is not true for us in this life, or the next, for Yahshua Himself requested food at Luke 24: 41-43, and He was given “fish and honeycomb” and He ate it in His resurrected body! So it is quite evident that we will be eating real food in the Kingdom!