In this post we will continue identifying other references to “angels” in scripture.
Seraphims – Only in Isaiah’s vision of God on His throne does scripture make reference to seraphim.
Isaiah 6:1–7 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
Not much is given to allow us to make comparison to the cherubim. We know that they stood above the throne and have six wings. Ezekiel described the cherubim as having four wings.
Ezekiel 1:6 “And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.”
If there is a distinction to be made between the seraphim and the cherubim, I think we could say that their focus is on praising God’s holiness and signifying the importance of holiness in God’s presence. The cherubim seem to have more extensive responsibilities in connection with events on earth.
hosts (of LORD/God; of heaven) – This term is first associated with angels in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 32:1–2 “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host….”
The term is also used specifically of angels in conjunction with the announcement of the birth of Jesus.
Luke 2:10–14 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
It is most often used in reference to the armies of the Lord—both in heaven and on earth.
Psalms 24:8–10 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.”
I think the following verses are definitely referring to the angels.
1 Kings 22:19 “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.”
1 Chronicles 12:22 “For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.”
Psalms 103:20–21 “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.”
Psalms 148:2 “Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.”
The term saints is also used to describe the armies of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 33:2 “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”
Jude 1:14–15 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
The following verses connect the saints mentioned above to the angels.
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”
2 Thessalonians 1:7–8 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
The angels are also depicted in battle as an army of chariots.
2 Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
Psalms 68:17 “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”
Isaiah 66:15–16 “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.”