What is an angel?
What is an Angel?
Source: The Straight Dope
The most common Hebrew word for angel is malakh, really meaning "messenger." The plural is malakhim. NOTE: The -im ending, which you will see a lot in this report, pluralizes, so one cherub, two cherubim.
The Arabic word for angel is malak, derived from the Hebrew.
The English word "angel" derives from the Sanskrit angiras through the Greek angelos ("messenger").
However, there were several other terms used in ancient Hebrew to refer to heavenly beings, such as cherubim, elohim ("gods") and bene elohim ("sons of God" or "sons of gods") or metaphors like "chariots of God."
Angels are those souls who from the beginning of creation never lost contact with the Creator, never had physical lives, and seek only to fulfill the will of the Creator. Angels can vary in form, depending on the needs and expectations of those requesting help. They may appear as either male or female, but are neither. They are beings of light energy. They came into being as a link between the Creator and humanity. They bring us messages to guide and protect us during the spiritual transformation that is taking place now on the planet. Angels are different in many respects from Spirit Guides. They usually come with a frequency of unconditional love whereas spirit guides have personalities and are often humorous and talk a lot!
Source: Encyclopedia Mythica
In many religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is believed that between God and mankind there are intermediary beings, called angels. They are bodiless entities that perform certain tasks for God and are commonly thought of as the messengers of God. Angels are good spirits, unlike their counterparts the demons. They are usually portrayed as having a human form, being dressed in long, white clothes, surrounded by a bright light and with long, swanlike wings. They were portrayed thus by artists, often on Church command, to alert the faithful that angels are more than human. There are cases, however, where angels appeared as ordinary men and were mistaken as such (the story of Lot, for instance).
....Muslims say that angels were created from pure bright gems; the genii from fire, and man from clay.
Number of Angels
Source: The Straight Dope
The number of angels thought to exist has always been enormous--there were armies and legions. Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 5:11 both mention "thousands upon thousands." Depending on which authority you prefer, there were from 100,000 to 49 million angels.
Hierarchy of Angels
Seraphim - Angels closest to God who appear to humans with 6 wings and 4 heads. They are angels of love.
Cherubim - God's charioteers who have 4 wings and 4 heads. They are angels of knowledge.
Thrones - Huge, they are known as many-eyed ones. They make up God's chariot.
Dominions - Angels who oversee other angels to make sure they do their duties.
Virtues - Known as the shining ones, they are miracle makers.
Powers - The border guards between the first and second level of heaven. They are also the guardians of human souls.
Principalities - Angels in charge of Earth's nations and cities.
Archangels - Angels in charge of Earth's nations and cities.
Angels - The watchers who never sleep. Among these are the guardian angels who are assigned to every human at birth.
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