ANGELS. From a Greek word meaning " messenger." The Hebrew word martikh has the same meaning. In English the word denotes messengers of God, superhuman beings. Angels are mentioned frequently in the Bible (Old and New Testament), but the idea of them developed gradually. In the earliest portions of the Old Testament, though mention is often made of superhuman beings with whom Jehovah took counsel, they are very rarely called " angels." The expression " angel of Jehovah " is common, but this means Jehovah himself in his human manifestation. In course of time, however, when it was no longer believed that Jehovah himself visited the earth in human form, the "angel of Jehovah " came to be re garded as an intermediary between God and men, a messenger sent by God to men (cp. Zechariah 1. 11 f.). In the New Testament we hear of angels visiting men and women and bringing them divine messages (Matthew i. 20, ii. 13; Luke i. 19; Acts x. 3, 30). With this development came the idea of an inner circle of angels. Certain special messengers of Jehovah are distinguished from the general host of angels as chiefs, and are called " archangels " (cp. Daniel x. 13. xii. 1; Tobit xi!. 15; Enoch xl.; and see I. Thessalonians iv. 16; Jude ix.). The number of these is sometimes given as seven. In Tobit xii. 15 one of these "chief princes" (Daniel x. 13) says " I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and go in before the glory of the Holy One." In Revelation viii. 2 it is said : " And I saw the seven angels which stand before God: and there were given unto them seven trumpets." In Enoch (viii. 2) the seven angels " which stand before God " are said to be Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Urfa Chamuel, Jophiel. and Zadkiel. Seven, of course, is a sacred number, and the growth of an angelic hierarchy is a natural one. At the same time it is not unlikely that later Hebrew ideas of angelology and demonology were influenced by Persian ideas. Prof. Cheyne thinks that " manifestly this highest class of angels was sug gested by the Zoroastrian Amesha Spentas or Am shaspands (' immortal holy ones '), who (like the coun sellors of the king of Persia, Ezra 7, 14) are seven: and this seems to be confirmed by the reference to the arch angels in the Book of Tobit, which also mentions the Zend name of the chief demon " (see AMESHA SPENTAS; ASMODEUS). The tendency to distinguish between beneficent and maleficent angels might also be due to outside influence; but, as Prof. G. B. Gray says, " the Old Testament nowhere lays stress on the moral character of angels, or knows anything of their fall '; consequently, angels were divided, not into good and bad, but into those who worked wholly, and those who worked only partly, in obedience to God " (cp. Romans viii. 3S;
I. Corinthians xv. 24 f.). The idea of fallen angels first becomes prominent in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch (cp.
xiv. 4-7, xv. 2). In the Gospels and in the Epistles of St. Paul, angels begin to lose their importance as inter mediaries of revelation. While Jesus himself is with his disciples, he reveals to them the Father: and before leaving them he promises to send the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort them. St. Paul condemns the worship of angels; and it was one of the peculiarities of the Sad ducees that they disbelieved entirely in the existence of angels. The existence of what are called " guardian angels" has been widely believed in, and the idea has been used by poets and painters. God, it is supposed, has appointed a special angel to take care of every believer. In support of this idea appeal has been made to Matthew xviii. 10 and Acts xii. 15. In Matthew xviii. 10 it is said : " See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Another passage which is referred to sometimes is Luke xv. 10: " Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." According to the Protestant Dictionary, the invocation of angels " detracts from the unique glory of our ascended Lord, who is the alone Mediator between God and men; and sends the suppliant to seek other inter cession than His." But there is, of course—without regarding the matter from the point of view of a High Churchman—something to be said on the other side. The Roman Catholic Church, we are told for instance, " shows to the angels that veneration or inferior honour which is their due, and, knowing from Christ's words that they are acquainted with things which pass on earth, she begs their prayers and their kind offices. It is true that St. Paul condemns the epqa-Kela, or religion of angels, in writing to the Colossians (i. 16), but every scholar is aware that he is warning them against the Gnostic error which regarded angels as the creators of the world; and with equal reason, the same passage might be alleged as in condemnation of humility " (Cath. Diet.). See Encycl. Bibl.; Prot. Diet.: Cath. Diet.