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What Does The Bible Say About Angels?

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angel statue

There are references to angels throughout the Bible, and even more in popular culture. When we turn to Scripture, what does the Bible say about angels? These 76 Bible verses about angels give us a picture of angels as messengers of God, tasked with protecting and guiding human beings, carrying out God’s judgements, and fighting against Satan and demonic forces. Angels are created beings who declare the glory of God in the heavenly realms. They answer to, and they worship, Jesus Christ. Here is what the Bible says about angels.

What does the Bible say about angels?

The word “angel” in the Bible comes from the Hebrew word malach and the Greek word angelos, both of which mean “messenger.” Angels, in the Bible, are messengers of God.

  • Angels are messengers, sent to protect and proclaim how people can live in harmony with God.
  • Angels carry out God’s judgements.
  • Angels are not to be worshipped.
  • Angels fight for us against demonic forces.
  • Angels will accompany Christ when he returns and separate the wicked from the righteous.
types of angels in the Bible

Types of Angels in the Bible

The two most famous angels in the Bible are the angel Gabriel, who announces both John the Baptist’s birth to Zechariah and Jesus’ birth to Mary (Luke 1), and the angel Michael, who fights against Satan and the enemies of God (Revelation 12:7). These are the only two angels in the Bible that are given proper names.

Another angel that we find mentioned often in the Bible is “the angel of the Lord,” who appears frequently in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament to announce Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:18-21) and to roll away the stone at his tomb (Matthew 28:2).

Overall, there are four types of angels explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but later thinkers identify other types of angels based on interpretations of various passages of Scripture.

Here are the ten types of angels explicitly mentioned in the Bible and added based on later interpretations (to see more on the types of angels explicitly mentioned in Scripture, keep reading):

  • Cherubim are keepers of celestial records, they hold the knowledge of God, and they guard his sacred space.
  • Seraphim, “the fiery ones”, encircle God’s throne and worship him continuously.
  • “Living creatures” appear within a vision of God or the throne of heaven and have a fantastic appearance.
  • Thrones are a type of angel that function as the actualy chariots of God, based on an interpretation of Daniel 7:9.
  • Dominions are considered heavenly governors who deliver God’s justice (as in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah), and act as channels of his mercy and his love.
  • Virtues, according to The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville (written by the Bishop of Seville in the 6th century), are known for their control of the elements, their assistance in miracles, and their encouragement of humans.
  • Powers, according to The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, are angels who have power over evil forces and who restrain those forces in order to protect humans.
  • Principalities, according to The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, are angels who guide and protect nations and groups of people.
  • Archangels are guardians of people and all things physical. They engage in spiritual warfare against demons and bring messages from God. They are named “archangels” because they lead other ranks of angels.
  • Angels are guardians of people and all things physical, and they are messengers from God. These are perhaps the most common type of angel.

There are numerous references in the Bible to angels as messengers, and as protectors and guardians. And Hebrews 13:2 tells us, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” This suggests that some angels look like everyday people (perhaps these are the “regular angels”).

These are the four types of angels explicitly mentioned in the Bible:

  • Cherubim
  • Seraphim
  • Living creatures
  • Archangels

Cherubim are described in the Bible as formidable creatures who rest at the throne of God’s presence and relentlessly guard his sacred space. Choosing to enter God’s space means choosing to unite with God’s will and instruction.

Cherubim first appear in the third chapter of Genesis. After Adam and Eve are exiled from the Garden of Eden, God places heavenly cherubim to protect the garden’s east end, guarding the way back in (Genesis 3:24). The presence of the cherubim at the entrance to the garden sends a crucial message that resonates throughout Scripture: the Garden of Eden is a place where heaven and earth are one, and where human will and God’s will are in harmony. Any attempt to act against God’s will in this space results in exile from the garden and eventually death.

  • Two golden figures of cherubim sit above the Ark of the Covenant, where God promised to dwell among his people (Exodus 25:22). God says that he will speak to his people from this position, between the two cherubim.
  • Cherubim are embroidered onto the curtain that blocks the entrance to the tabernacle’s most holy place, the “holy of holies” (Exodus 26:31-33).
  • The sound of cherubim wings are like the sound of God’s voice when he speaks (Ezekiel 10:5).
  • God is enthroned above the cherubim (Ezekiel 10:1–22).
  • God is said to ride on cherubim (Psalm 18:10).

Seraphim are only mentioned once in the Bible, in Isaiah 6:2-7, where they continually worship God. The word “seraphim” means “the fiery ones”. Isaiah describes them as flying around the throne of God, proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” The seraphim are described as having six wings and they are God’s agents of purification: one of the seraphim picked up a burning coal “with tongs from the altar,” brought the live coal to Isaiah, and touched it to Isaiah’s lips, which took away his guilt and atoned for his sins.

Ezekiel and Revelation speak of other kinds of heavenly beings known as “living creatures” (Ezekiel 1:5-14, Revelation 4:6-8). They are described, in Ezekiel, as having four wings and four faces: the face of a human, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. Both Ezekiel and Revelation describes these “living creatures” as appearing within a vision of God, or the throne of Heaven.

Archangels are guardians of people and all things physical. They engage in spiritual warfare against demons and bring messages from God. They are named “archangels” because they lead other ranks of angels. The Bible only names one archangel: Michael. (Based on the Protestant Bible which considers 66 books to be part of the canon.) But Daniel 10:13 calls Michael “one of the chief princes,” which suggests that there are other archangels as well. The book of Tobit, in the Roman Catholic canon, names the archangel Raphael, and indicates that seven archangels exist.

76 Bible verses about angels

76 Bible Verses about Angels

There are many Bible verses about angels in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here are 76 Bible verses about angels.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. – Hebrews 13:2

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly. – Hebrews 12:22

Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” – Job 38:1-7

Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat. – Psalm 78:25

He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility— a band of destroying angels. – Psalm 78:49

…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. – 1 Peter 3:21-22

When God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” – Hebrews 1:6

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. – 1 Peter 1:12

And they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. – Luke 20:36

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” – Revelation 4:8

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. – Revelation 5:11

In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” – Revelation 5:12

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. – Revelation 14:6

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. – Matthew 22:30

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. – Luke 15:10

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. – Matthew 4:6-11

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. – John 20:11-12

You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor. – Hebrews 2:7

Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! – 1 Corinthians 6:3

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. – Colossians 1:16

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. – Colossians 2:18

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” – Revelation 19:10

Bible Verses about the Archangel Michael

In Jude 1:9, the angel Michael is called an “archangel”, denoting that he has rule or authority over other angels. He is also called “one of the chief princes”, and appears to lead God’s angelic army, elsewhere in Scripture. Here are some Bible verses about the archangel Michael.

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” – Jude 1:9

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. – Daniel 10:13

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. – Revelation 12:7

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. – Daniel 12:1

How Angels are Described in the Bible

Angels are described in fantastic imagery in the Bible, especially in the prophetic books like Isaiah and Ezekiel, and in Revelation. In other places, angels sometimes seem to appear like regular human beings.

Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. – Isaiah 6:2

…and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. – Ezekiel 1:5-6

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. – Matthew 28:2-3

In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” – Hebrews 1:7

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. – Revelation 10:1

Bible Verses about the Power and Duties of Angels

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
– Psalm 103:20

 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. – 2 Peter 2:11

Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. – Acts 12:23

 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. – 2 Samuel 24:16

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. – Revelation 20:1-3

Bible Verses about Angels as Messengers

Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.” And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.” – Zechariah 1:10-11

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  – Luke 1:11-13

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” – Luke 1:30-33

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  – Luke 2:8-10

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:18-21

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” – Acts 8:26

 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ – Acts 27:23-24

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. – Revelation 1:1

Bible Verses about the Angel of the Lord

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. – Exodus 3:2

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. – Numbers 22:31-32

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” – Judges 6:11-12

That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! – 2 Kings 19:35

And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. – 1 Chronicles 21:15-16

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. – Psalm 34:7

On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. – Zechariah 12:8

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. – Luke 2:9

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. – Matthew 28:2

On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.  They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”  Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. – Acts 12:21-23

What does the Bible say about guardian angels?

Bible Verses about Guardian Angels

The Bible is ambiguous on the existence of “guardian angels”. It is clear that there are angels assigned and sent to protect and watch over human beings. What is not clear is whether there are individual guardian angels (each person having a specific guardian angel), or whether there are angels in general who watch over and protect human beings. Regardless of how specific guardian angels are in the Bible, it is clear that Scripture tells us that God will send angels to protect and guide us.

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. – Exodus 23:20

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. – Psalm 91:11-12

My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty. – Daniel 6:22

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. – Matthew 18:10

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? – Matthew 26:53

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:14

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” – Genesis 19:15

Then [Elijah] lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”  He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” – 1 Kings 19:5-7

My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. – Exodus 23:23

Bible Verses about Fallen Angels

How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
– Isaiah 14:12

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. – Matthew 25:41

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. – 2 Corinthians 11:14

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment… – 2 Peter 2:4

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day – Jude 1:6

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. – Revelation 12:9

Angels at the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgement

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. – Matthew 16:27

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. – Matthew 25:31

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels. – Mark 8:38

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 13:41-42

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. – Matthew 13:49

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16

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