How Angels Are Described In The Bible

Angels are significant figures in numerous religious texts and religions, with the Christian Bible being no exception. Quite often, in Christianity, angels are regarded as messengers who are sent from God to provide warnings and guidance to mortals, or to perform other supernatural duties. Their presence is a sign of the power of the divine, and their role in the Christian faith has caused them to captivate both believers and non-believers, prompting an increased interest in understanding how they are described in the Bible.

As suggested by scholars, the first form of an angel in the Bible can be found in the Book of Genesis. In this book, angels are described as supernatural beings of immense power, sent by God to test Abraham. The first use of the Hebrew ‘mal’akh’ (angel), which is usually translated into the English “messenger”, can be found at this point in the Bible. This is an important reference, as it is the point from which angels are recognised as intermediaries between divine and human entities, carrying out the will of God.

As suggested by scholars, the angel Michael is one of the most important figures of the Bible in regards to how angels are described. The name ‘Michael’ is the Hebrew word for ‘Who is Like God?’ and with this, Michael is portrayed as the most powerful of angels, with the task of protecting God’s people from evil. He is also known to bring humans comfort in times of sorrow. Additionally, in the Bible, angels are associated with fire, particularly in the Book of Exodus, as they are described as a large fire that is surrounded by rainbows.

Several other references to angels can be found throughout the Bible, and they are almost always used in a positive manner. However, there are exceptions, such as the fallen angel Lucifer, who is known to be a deceiver and a source of evil. Moreover, in the Book of Revelation, the angels are used to bring judgement against the wicked, as well as to protect the righteous. This is explained through the use of imagery and graphic descriptions, including references to angels with swords drawn, releasing plagues over the earth.

From this, it is evident that how angels are described in the Bible is of great importance, and that it can provide an insight into the spiritual beliefs of the text’s authors. Angels are often depicted as powerful or threatening figures, usually with a direct connection to God, as they carry out tasks that are deemed too difficult to be completed by humans. Additionally, they are widely regarded as protectors of the righteous and enemies of evil, providing guidance and hope to those who require it.

Use of symbolism

The imagery of angels in the Bible is deeply symbolic, and this is perhaps best represented in how their wings are described. In Scripture, their wings are often portrayed as being covered in eyes, signifying the omniscience and omnipresence of angels. Additionally, angel wings also suggest protection and safety, as wings typically conjure images of a shelter from harm or danger. This can be found in the story of the burning bush, in which God’s angel is used to protect Moses from being engulfed in flames.

In addition, how the Bible describes angels is often used to symbolise strong feelings such as courage, hope and faith. This is particularly the case when angels comfort those who have endured difficult experiences such as loss or confusion, or when they assist in times of trouble. Angels are also closely associated with divine judgement, as they are often seen as punishing the wicked, while also protecting the innocent. This provides a strong moral message to those who read the Bible, that even when faced with darkness, there is always the presence of light.

Modern perception

Just as in the Bible, angels are a central figure in many modern faiths and religions. In Christianity in particular, their influence can be seen in religious practices, particularly in the form of angel figurines, or the inclusion of angel imagery in liturgies and prayers. A broader view of how angels are described in popular culture can also be seen in the portrayal of angels in literature, art, and theatre.

In recent decades, this fascination with angels has only grown. The film industry has provided numerous interpretations of angels, often represented through supernatural beings, with a penchant for saving the day. This has also been the case in the music industry, with many popular songs referencing angelic figures, typically as a source of hope and strength. Such images are also present in marketing campaigns and advertisements, in which they are used to promote a message of faith, hope, and love.


In light of these modern portrayals, it is worth considering how angels are described from a psychological perspective. Recent psychological study has suggested that angel imagery can act as a strong source of comfort for those who are dealing with difficult circumstances. By personifying hope, courage, and resilience, angel imagery can provide solace and healing to individuals who have suffered psychological trauma.

Moreover, it has been proposed that the belief in angels provides a sense of comfort, assurance and security, particularly in moments where people feel vulnerable. This hope-motivated approach to angelic figures has been linked to the concept of ‘spiritual bypassing’, where individuals may rely too heavily on external sources of hope, instead of looking inwardly to provide their own underpinning of peace.


The interpretation of how angels are described in the Bible is subjective, and can thus produce different meanings for different people. For some, the presence of angels can represent the will of God in wake of adversity, for others, it can be a source of hope and comfort. To some, the Bible symbolises an era of darkness, while to others, it provides a source of redemption and optimism.

Aside from those who identify as believers, the interpretation of how angels are described can also depend on a person’s cultural and religious background, as well as the context in which the figures of angels are experienced. Additionally, the nature in which angels are recalled by individuals can be influenced by their emotions at the time, with memories of angels being revisited when a person is in need of hope or salvation.

Relationship with God

In regards to the Bible, angels are primarily associated with the figure of God, acting as intermediaries between God and the faithful. According to Scripture, angels are commanded to speak on His behalf, and it is in the presence of angels that God is often said to answer prayers. Moreover, many stories in the Bible are said to have originated from a vision or dream sent to an individual by an angel.

Ultimately, the role of angels in the Bible is to serve as a reminder of God’s presence in times of need. As channels of God’s strength and guidance, angels are a tangible representation of His protection and mercy. This is why for many religions, the figure of the angel is of such importance, as its presence serves as a reminder of our belief in God’s power and eternal love.


In recent years, the figure of the angel has been further popularised in literature, with authors such as Stephenie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Goodkind exploring the Christian perspective of angels in novels and graphic novels. Through their works, angels are depicted as strong, benevolent characters, providing wisdom and insight to their human counterparts. This can often be seen as heroic, with angels being depicted as brave, selfless protectors of the innocent.

Moreover, this fascination with angelic figures in literature can be seen as a form of escapism, as readers seek comfort or redemption in the characters. This is particularly the case in fantasy-based works, where the figure of the angel is often explored in relation to conceptions of good and evil, as well as questions of morality.


In conclusion, the Bible has been a major source of inspiration for those who are interested in understanding how angels are described. From the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the figure of the angel is used to promote a range of themes, from hope and comfort, to courage and divine judgement. Moreover, the symbolism of angels has transcended the Bible, becoming a frequent figure in numerous religious practices and creative works.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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