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Gk. angelos, “messenger”

A spiritual being, subordinate to God, who serves at God’s command. In the OT, angels appear in the stories of the ancestors (Gen 16:7-14; Gen 19:1-22; Gen 22:11; Gen 15-18:11; Gen 28:12; Gen 31:11-13; Gen 32:1-2) and elsewhere (Exod 3:2; Exod 23:20-23; Exod 33:2; Judg 13:3-5; 1Kgs 19:5-7; 2Kgs 19:35; Isa 37:36; Ps 34:7; Ps 35:5-6; Ps 91:11). By the NT period, angels were understood as allied with God in opposition to Satan and his “angels,” the demons. In the Bible generally, angels praise God (Ps 103:20), serve as messengers to the world (Luke 1:11-20; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:9-14); watch over God’s people (Ps 91:11-12), and are sometimes instruments of God’s judgment (Matt 13:49-50).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.