[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest-angels

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Tue Sep 12 17:18:29 EDT 2006

Dear Harold

We will have to agree to disagree about angels.  I will trust what 
the written and oral Torah teach - that angels do not have free 
choice, and cannot rebel, that they are not comparable in any way to 
human beings, they are spiritual beings that exist only to do a job 
and when the job is done they cease to exist.

I don't see any evidence at all of your view of angels, anywhere in 
the Torah, not even in any of the verses that you quote.


Dear Shoshanna,

>He's just always doing his job.
>The proverbs you cite clearly relate to man, not angels.
>Because angels do not have free will and were not given the Torah and
>613 mitzvot.
>And the serpent in Genesis, the consensus of our commentators is that
>it was a real serpent, they just differ as to who he represents - the
>Angel of Death, or Satan.  At any rate he did the same thing -
>enticed Chava to disobey G-d.

HH: A text that could suggest what you are saying is 1 Kings 22, but
this text is dealing with the angelic system as it is now, not the way
it was before the angels sinned. You do not admit that Satan is a fallen
angel, so you do not see that God uses even the wrath of angels (cf. Ps.
76:10, which talks about the wrath of man bringing him praise).

HH: Angels are creatures more glorious than human beings. Certainly they
have free will, and many have rebelled against God. They have a certain
place in heaven now, but will one day be thrown out. God uses even
rebellious angels to accomplish His ultimate purposes. The evil spirit
that afflicted Saul and the spirit that lied through Ahab's false
prophets to entice Ahab into war are examples of God's sovereignty over
the rebellious angels. There were angels who left their own estate and
have been imprisoned in the underworld until the day of judgment. The
"sons of God" in Genesis 6 are understood to be such angels by ancient
Jewish exegesis. The king of Tyre is compared to Satan in Ezekiel 28.
Isaiah 14:12-14 probably compares the king of Babylon to angelic
rebellion in heaven.

HH: It is not right to lie or to tempt others to sin. It is not right to
accuse too harshly (Zechariah 3). It should be obvious that a holy God
does not want anybody to do such things:

Psa. 92:15 showing that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

HH: If God commands the angels so that they have no free will, and he
commands them to lie, then it is as though God were lying. But God does
not lie:

1Sam. 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his
mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.î

HH: It is only in the context of a fallen world, with fallen angels and
fallen men, that he allows angels to tempt and lie.

Harold Holmyard

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