26 November, 2018

5. The Angel Armies

5. The Angel Armies

"Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?"
—Job 38:4, 7

Since the Bible states that the angels were witnesses to the creation, many Bible scholars assume they were created outside of time (before Day One). The Hebrew word for angel is Malak (the term I use for angels in CoT), which means messenger.

Over 200 times throughout the Bible, God is referred to as Yehovah tsaba', often translated "the Lord of hosts." According to Blue Letter Bible, hosts means: army, war, warfare, host of organised army. So Eugene Patterson's translation of the Bible, The Message, is spot on when it translates Yehovah tsaba' as God of the Angel Armies, a phrase in the popular CCM song:

Whom Shall I Fear? by Chris Tomlin
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side.

A few decades ago, angles were portrayed as little babies with wings. Today, angels are often portrayed as fierce warriors. And while this is a definite improvement, some of them are still not what we normally envision.

Biblical Classes of Angels:

1) Cherubim—examples include Lucifer, the two angels who guarded the entrance to the garden in Eden, and likely it is they that make up the armies as Michael and his angels fight Lucifer and his angels.

2) Seraphim—they possess 3 sets of wings and sing to God in the throne room (in CoT, these are female, though the Bible implies all angels are genderless).

3) "Locusts"—since the description of these locusts resembles that of winged centaurs with scorpion tails that is how I portray them in CoT.
4) Ophanim—though described in Ezekiel as the wheels of God's chariot, they are actual beings in the Book of Enoch (a book not recognized as scripture, but none the less a text held in high esteem by scripture writers, including Jesus' own brother, Jude, who quotes it in the Bible). The Bible tells us there are four angels from an unknown class chained beneath the Euphrates, so in CoT, I have deemed these four from the class of Ophanim.

No reason is given for this unusual punishment, but the Bible does tell us they lead an army of creatures which resemble a cross between the chimera and the manticore of mythology. More on them on our next post.

Photo Credit: 7 Angels: Adobe Stock / Chris Tomlin / Centaur © JC Lamont

Are you familiar with the song, Whom Shall I Fear?
Has this post (or reading Primordium) changed your perspective of the title, God of Angel Armies?
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