Lying in cover pages of some spiritual books are the drawings of human beings with wings to be believed as angels. Cherub, mentioned in the bible, had been imagined to be the image of cute babies with wings.
People had created a fantasy about the look of angels and had made others believe in the beautiful imagery. Angels are from God, so why won’t they look cute?
However, these ideas of the look of angels are wrong. The bible did not record any specific structure of angels. In Ezekiel, the angels that appeared in his vision were looking bizarre and horrific. Angels that appeared to Sarah were looking like men.
Which brings the question, what do angels look like?
Angels are spiritual beings that could appear in any form. Sometimes like a glowing sun and sometimes like normal human beings who could dine with you.
They may appear in physical form but still do not have physical bodies. Angels are real, no doubt about that but not how we have imagined it to be.
What does the bible say about the looks of angels?
Some bible verses had recorded what the angels were like when they made their appearance to people.
Daniel 10:5-6; 15
After three weeks of fasting, Daniel stood at the bank of the mighty river Tigris and had a vision. He saw someone who was wearing linen clothes and a belt of fine gold.
His body shone like a jewel, his face was as bright as a flash of light, and his eyes blazed like fire. His arms and legs shone like polished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a great crowd.
In verse 15, Daniel made it known that the angel looked like a human being and touched his lips.
Ezekiel’s Description of Angels (Ezekiel 1:15-16, 10:8-17)
Ezekiel, a priest, and son of Buzi had a vision of God and his angels. According to him, Angels looked like four living creatures in human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings.
They had straight legs and hoofs like those of a bull, and they shone like polished bronze. They also have four wings, and they each had four human hands, one under each wing. Two wings from each creature spread out so that they form a square with their wingtips touching.
While the other two wings folded against their bodies, the creatures faced all four directions, and they moved together without turning.
Each creature had four different faces; a human face in front, a lion’s face at the right, a bull’s face at the left, and an eagle’s face at the back. They also had four wheels touching the ground, one beside each of them.
These four wheels were alike, and each one shone like a precious stone. Each of those wheels had another wheel intersecting it at right angles so that the wheels could move in any of the four directions.
The rims of the wheels were covered with eyes, and so are their bodies, backs, hands, and wings. The appearance of these living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like the torches. Fire moved to and fro among the creatures.
And the fire was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. And the creatures swiftly moved to and fro like flashes of lightning.
Angel at the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24)
After God drove out Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, he placed Cherubim on the east side of the garden, and a flaming sword that swirled back and forth to guard anyone from the tree of life.
Balaam, the donkey and the Angel (Number 22:23)
Unlike other verses we have previously read, this verse indicates that angels are invisible. Only the donkey could see the angel standing in their way.
The donkey saw the angel standing in their way with a sword. It was God who allowed Balaam to see the angel standing there with a sword.
Elisha’s vision of Chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17)
Elisha prayed that his servant could see the spiritual realm, and he did. Elisha’s servant looked up and saw the hillside covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
These horses and chariots of fire are believed to be angels of God protecting Elisha from his enemies.
An Angel appeared to Manoah’s wife (Judges 13:6-21)
An angel appeared to Manoah’s wife to share the good news of her getting pregnant. When she told her husband of what she heard, some bible versions described the angel as frightening. Another version says terrible and fearful look, while another said the angel looked awesome.
Angels appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18:1-2)
The angels appeared to Abraham to declare the end of Sarah’s childlessness. These angels appeared as men at the sacred trees of Mamre when Abraham sighted them from the entrance of his tent. Abraham offered them great hospitality, and they ate the food he served them.
Mary Magdalene met two Angels at Jesus’ tomb (John 20:11-12; Acts 1:10)
The two angels Mary Magdalene met in Jesus’ tomb were on a white cloak, and they appeared to be as men as Mary did not quiver in fear or excitement when she saw them.
According to Acts, two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside the apostles and asked why they were still looking at the sky for Jesus has been taken to heaven.
Isaiah’ Vision of the Lord’s throne and creatures with wings (Isaiah 6:1-3)
In Isaiah’s vision, he saw the Lord sitting on his throne and round him were flaming creatures standing. Each of which has six wings.
Each creature covered its face with two wings and its body with two while the remaining two were for flight. They were praising God, and the sound of their voice made the foundation of the temple shake, and the temple was saturated with smoke.
An Angel appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:2)
In this verse, the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses as a flame, coming from the middle of a bush. The bush was on fire, but it was not burning up.
Hierarchy of Angels
From the bible passages written here, angels do not take a specific form. They are God’s messengers and appear like normal human beings to people and dine with them.
And sometimes, appear in visions in horrific or terrible forms. According to the history of yesterday, a Jewish scholar called Maimonides said these angels are described in four beings;
- Seraphim, and
The cherubim, which is shortened for cherubs, are the lowest in rank among the four. They are described as animal-human hybrids in the bible.
They were given the task to guard the garden of Eden against anyone who wishes to get the fruit of life. They equally appeared to Ezekiel in his vision.
The description of Ezekiel of cherubim is far different from what we had seen before (the cupids).
They are the messengers of God and are very close to humans. They are third in rank before cherubim. They always acted on God’s behalf like Angel Gabriel in the new testament and the angel of death in Passover night.
These angels were not mentioned in the bible to have wings as some artists had put on board.
From the vision of prophet Isaiah, the angels he saw with six wings around God on his throne are called the seraphim. They are the second-highest in rank.
They can also be the wheels. It is believed to be horrific of them all. In Ezekiel’s account of angels, they had eyes on their wheels. And the wheels are made out of interlocking gold.
Historically, this category of angels does not have an origin as others. Some scholars claimed that Ezekiel’s vision must have been a psychological problem or a metaphor for God’s mystery.
You should think out of the box and unmake a convention others had made us believe. With few passages mentioned from the bible, angels can appear like chariots of fire, ordinary men, or creatures with multiple wings and eyes. In all, they still work for God.
They are messengers of God, his warriors, and they also fight for God’s people. They are spirit beings that can take a human physical form. Perhaps, it’s time you stop envisaging them as cute cupids.