A New Outlook On Death
In antiquity, Jewish thought held no concept of life after death aside from residing in Sheol . When you died, you went to Sheol, and done. This is one of the reasons that the Hebrew Bible has little to no discussion of Hell and eternal punishment, or Heaven and eternal rewards, as the New Testament does.
This theological pattern held until the fall of The First Temple. A change in the view of the afterlife was influenced by interactions with the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes, and Persians before, during, and after the Exiles. Because, when the excrement hits the air conditioning, theology changes. Late in Second Temple Judaism the change in afterlife theology can be seen in the rise and content of the apocalyptic literature of the era, including what made it into the Bible .
Beautiful And Loving Angels Of Death
Yeesh! All of that is awfully grim!
Lets end on a more positive note. As I said right at the beginning, the Bible never actually mentions angels of death. It speaks of evil angels and destroying angels, but not angels of death.
Maybe thats because the real angels of death are not evil spirits at all, but angels of the highest heavens. These are the angels who greet us when it comes our time to pass from this world of darkness and struggle into the higher world of light and love that God prepared for us long before we were born.
Thousands of people who have almost died, but have come back to tell the story, have encountered these wonderful angels. People who have had near-death experiences tell us that the angels, or beings of light, who greet them at the gateway to the other world fill them with such peacefulness, warmth, and love that words fail to express the beauty of the experience.
These are the true angels of death. And they are not evil destroyers, but the highest heavenly angels, whom God sends to gently usher us from our temporary life in this world to our eternal home in heaven.
This article is a response to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader.
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The Death Angel In Exodus
Q. Please comment on Exodus 11 and 12, where the death angel supposedly killed the firstborn of any families who didnt have blood sprinkled on their doorposts on the night of the Passover. Who was the death angel?
A. I remember as a child hearing and reading in Bible story books about the death angel, some ominous and mysterious angel that had the job of killing. However, as I study this passage in particular and Scripture in general, I do not find a specific angel in charge of death. Some passages do speak of angels being involved with death. For example, Genesis 3:24 reads, So He drove out the man and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Second Samuel 24:1217 records how an angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem until God told him to withdraw his hand. In 2 Kings 19:35, we read about an angel who put to death 185,000 Assyrians who had attacked Israel. But death is not necessarily the sole duty of these beings, and was an angel the instrument who carried out the deaths referred to in Exodus 11 and 12?
Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,Died for the sinner, paid all his due Sprinkle your soul with the blood of the Lamb,And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I See the Blood, John G. Foote
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Who Is The Angel Of Death In Islam
The Quran mentions the Angel of Death As-Sajdah 32:11 as:
The Angel of Death who is charged with taking your souls will take your souls then you will be returned to your Lord.
Angel Azrael is responsible to separate souls from the bodies after their death.
The Muslim Hadith conveys a story that demonstrates how adverse people can be to see the Angel of Death when he comes for them:
The Angel of Death was sent to Moses and when he went to him, Moses slapped him severely, spoiling one of his eyes. The angel went back to his Lord, and said, You sent me to a slave who does not want to die’ .
The Seven Bowls Of God’s Wrath
16 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.
2 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.
4 The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.5 And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say,
Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments.6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink.It is what they deserve!
7 And I heard the altar saying,
Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
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The Seven Angels With Seven Plagues
15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.
2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fireand also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you,for your righteous acts have been revealed.
5 After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened,6 and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests.7 And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever,8 and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.
Was There A Death Angel
On page 92 of the book ANGELS: ELECT AND EVIL, by C. Fred Dickason, under the subject of the Ministry of Angels, it is noted that angels are considered executors of Gods judgment. The book gives the following examples of angels being executors: Angels were involved in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah . God used angels in bringing the plagues on Egypt and sent the destroying angel to execute the firstborn in Egypt at the Passover .
In studying the passages referred to in Exodus 12, it seems to indicate that the direct act of execution of the firstborn was supervised directly by God Himself. On page 34 of BARNES NOTES on this passage, it states the following: This plague is distinctly attributed here to the personal intervention of the Lord but it is to be observed that although the Lord Himself passed through to smite the Egyptians, He employed the agency of the destroyer. In accordance with Hebrews 11:28, all the ancient versions, and most critics, recognize the destroyer as an angel .
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The Rider On A White Horse
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Who Is The Archangel Gabriel And What Does It Mean
The angel that appears in the ancient paintings, kneeling in front of the Virgin Mary and offering her a lily, is the Archangel Gabriel. His name means “God is my strength”, “the strength of God” or “man of God”. He is one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible and he only speaks to three people in it.
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In Quran & Its Exegesis
Surah 32:11 mentions an angel of death identified with Azrael. When the unbelievers in hell cry out for help, an angel, also identified with Azrael, will appear on the horizon and tell them that they have to remain. Other Quranic verses refer to a multitude of angels of death. According to exegesis, these verses refer to lesser angels of death, subordinative to Azrael, who aid the archangel in his duty. Tafsir al-Baydawi mentions an entire host of angels of death, subordinative to Azrael.
Several modern contemporary such as Wahbah al-Zuhayli, and scholars from Islamic University of Madinah, Indonesian religious ministry, Saudi Islamic affair ministry and Masjid al-Haram has compiled the classical exegesis from chapter Al-Anfal verse 50 Quran 8:50, that the angel of death has special tasks during the battle of Badr.
How Does The Death Angel Affect The End Times
Because there is no one death angel, we can know that God will allow for either peoples or fallen angels to exercise limited power. As we see in the cases of Revelation 9 and the four horsemen, they will have the ability to cause famine, death, or division, but they cannot destroy everything.
After all, the subjects of Revelation 9 can only wipe out one-third of humanity, not the entirety of it.
We can know that as we approach the last days, if we have not entered them already, that we will witness a great deal of death and judgment. But we also know that such are signs that the Lord is coming soon.
Hope Bolinger is a multi-published novelist and a graduate of Taylor Universitys professional writing program. More than 1,200 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writers Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in November of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.
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Which Angel Escorts Souls To The Afterlife
The angel of death accompanies the souls of people to the afterlife also known as the other dimension, where theyll live on.
However, it might be either one angel that escorts everyone or numerous angels working under the supervisor of one angel.
The Muslim culture believes that Azrael is the angel of death that accompanies souls to the afterlife, taking it from the body of the person right after death.
Judaism has numerous understandings of what happens to someone when they die including the concept of reincarnation.
These include angels like Samael, Gabriel, Jeremiel and Sariel that help in the easy translation of the soul from the Earth to the other dimension.
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The Luke 16 story told by Jesus Christ about 2 men who died i.e. the poor man who trusted God and the rich men who didnt.
As per Luke 16:22, the poor man went to heaven by the death angel giving him ultimate rejoice and pleasure.
While the rich man went to hell where his soul suffered pain and agony for his remaining time.
One Michael accompanies the souls after the death, it reaches the God where he judges their earthy lives and doings.
In Hadiths & Its Exegesis
According to one Muslim tradition, 40 days before the death of a person approaches, God drops a leaf from a tree below the heavenly throne, on which Azrael reads the name of the person he must take with him.Al-Qurtubi narrated commentary from classical scholar, Ibn Zhafar al-Wa’izh, that Azrael, has a shape resembling a blue colored ram, has numerous eyes in numerous places, and according to Ikrimah Mawlâ Ibn ‘Abbâs , Tabi’un scholar, the size of Azrael were so huge that “if the Earth were put on his shoulder, it would be like a bean in an open field”. He also had 4,000 wings which consisted of two types, “wings of grace” and “wings of punishment”. The “wings of punishment” are made from iron rods, hooks, and scissors.Muqatil ibn Sulayman has recorded his commentary in his commentary work, as-Suluk, the angel possessed 70,000 foot limbs.
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, a caliph of Umayyad dynasty, has reported a narration that the angel of death has armed with flaming whip. Caliph Umar also reported a narration that the angel of death was so huge that even he dwarfed Bearers of the Throne, group of angels which are known as the biggest among angels.
The “Islamic Book of Dead” describes him with 4 faces, and his whole body consists of eyes and tongues whose number corresponds to the number of humans inhabiting the Earth.
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Who Is The Angel Of Death In The Bible
Some say the Archangel Michael plays some role in the process from passing from this world to the next as the “angel of death”, but no Bible verse or passage supports this notion. In Scripture, Michael appears to fight spiritual battles and carry out the commands of God, none of which seem to indicate a grim reaper role. The name Azrael never appears in the Bible as well.
- Hope BolingerAuthor
The idea of a grim reaper has not only pervaded popular cultures, such as in books like The Book Thief and Scythe, but it has also taken a featured spot in many religions. Judaism, for instance, attributes this role to Azrael, an angel of destruction. Islam has a name for this figure, Malak Almawt, as do other religions such as Hinduism.
Does Christianity have a similar figure by a different name? Does a sole Angel of Death exist, realizing the idea of the Grim Reaper?
Some say the Archangel Michael plays some role in the process from passing from this world to the next, but no Bible verse or passage supports this notion. In Scripture, Michael appears to fight spiritual battles and carry out the commands of God, none of which seem to indicate a grim reaper role. The name Azrael never appears in the Bible as well.
Although angels may appear to cause death in some cases in the Bible, we should make a note that no sole angel can do so without God willing it. Job makes it clear God has numbered our days, but He alone chooses when we reach the end of our life on earth .
Relationship Between Azrael And Death
Islam elaborated further narratives concerning the relation between Azrael and Death. Christian Lange mentioned that according to some scholars Azrael and Death were one entity other exegesis scholars opined Azrael and Death were different entities, with Death as some kind of tool used by Azrael to take life.:129
One account explains death and its relation to Azrael, representing Death and Azrael as former two separate entities, but when God created Death, God ordered the angels to look upon it and they swoon for a thousand years. After the angels regained consciousness, Death recognized that it must submit to Azrael. The identification of “Death” and angel Azrael as one entity were explained in a Hadith about the fate of “Death” entity itself after the judgment day, where classical hanafite scholar Badr al-Din al-Ayni has interpreted in that Hadith which compiled in Sahih Bukhari collection, that Death would take on the form of a ram, then placed between paradise and hell, and finally slaughtered by God himself, causing Death cease to exist, which followed by God to declare to both people of paradise and hell that eternity has begun, and their state will never end. Lange mentioned that according to some scholars, the ram in that Hadith narration is no other than the angel of death himself, while others assert, this to be death’s own form in the hereafter.