XXXII:3I); to the pestilence (2 Sam, xxiv:1(,, 17; 2 Kings XIX:30); to the winds ('who maketh the winds his angels,' Ps. eiv:4); so. likewise, plagues generally are called 'evil angels' (Ps. lxxvin:49), and Paul calls his thorn in the flesh an 'angel of Satan' (2 Cor, xii:7; Gal, iv:13, LB.
(1) Spiritual Beings. But this name is more eminently and distinctively applied to certain spiritual beings or heavenly intelligences, on ployed by God as the ministers of Ills will and usually distinguished as angels of God or angels of Jehovah. In this case the name has respect to their official capacity as 'messengers,' and not to their nature or condition. The term 'spirit,' on the other hand (in Greek, pncuma, in Hebrew mach ), has reference to the nature of angels, and characterizes them as incorporeal and invis ible essences. But neither the Hebrew mach nor the Greek pneunia, nor even the Latin spirit us, corresponds exactly to the English spirit, which is opposed to matter, and designates what is immaterial ; whereas the other terms are not opposed to matter, but to body, and signify not what is immaterial, but what is incorporeal. The modern idea of spirit was unknown to the an cients. They conceived spirits to be incorporeal and invisible, but not immaterial, and supposed their essence to be a pure air or a subtile fire. The proper meaning of palm, pitelinia (from P(eo,I blow, I breathe) is air in motion, wind, breath.
(2) Spiritual Bodies. The Hebrew mach is of the same import ; as is also the Latin spiritus, from spiro, 1 blow, I breathe. When, therefore, the ancient Jews called angels spirits, they did not mean to deny that they were endued with bodies. When they affirmed that angels were incorporeal, they used the term in the sense in which it was understood by the ancients—that is, as free from the impurities of gross matter. The distinction between 'a natural body' and 'a spiritual body' is indicated by St. Paul ( t Cor. xv :44), and we may, with sufficient safety, as sume that angels are spiritual bodies, rather than pure spirits in the modern acceptation of the word.
It is disputed whether the term E/ohini is ever applied to angels, but the inquiry belongs to an other place. (See It may suffice here, per haps, to observe that :Jodi in Ps. viii:5 and xcvii:7 the word is rendered by angels in the Sept. and
other ancient versions; and both these texts are so cited in Heb. i :6; ii :7, that they are called Beni-Elohirn, Sons of God.
(3) Spiritual Intelligences. In the tures we have frequent notices of spiritual intel ligence, existing in another state of being, and constituting a celestial family, or hierarchy, over which Jehovah presides. The Bible does not. however, treat of this matter professedly and as a doctrine of religion, but merely adverts to it incidentally as a fact, without furnishing any details to gratify curiosity. It speaks of no obli gations to these spirits, and indicates no duties to be performed towards them. A belief in the existence of such beings is not, therefore, an es sential article of religion, any more than a belief that there are other worlds besides our own ; but such a belief serves to enlarge our ideas of the works of God, and to illustrate the greatness of his power and wisdom (Mayer, Am. Bib. Repos. xii :360). The practice of the Jews, of referring to the agency of angels every manifestation of the greatness and power of God, has led some to contend that angels have no real existence, but are mere personifications of unknown powers of nature; and we are reminded that, in like man ner, among the Gentiles, whatever was wonderful, or strange, or unaccountable, was referred by them to the agency of some one of their gods. Among the numerous passages in which angels are mentioned, there are, however, a few which cannot, without improper force, be reconciled with this hypothesis (Gen. xvi :7-12 ; Judg. xiii : 1-21; Matt. xxviii :2-4), and if Matt. xx :3o stood alone in its testimony, it ought to settle the ques tion. Christ there says that 'in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God.' The force of this passage cannot be eluded by the hypothesis (see ACCOMMODATION) that Christ mingled with his instructions the erroneous notions of those to whom they were addressed, seeing that he spoke to Sadducees, who did not believe in the exist ence of angels (Acts xxiii :8). So likewise, the passage in which the high dignity of Christ is established, by arguing that he is superior to the angels (Heb. i :4, sqq.), would be without force or meaning if angels had no real existence.