Biblically Accurate Angels: Understanding the Spiritual Beings of the Bible

Updated on 2023-03-13
In this article, we will investigate biblically accurate angels, as well as what the Bible says about angels and other supernatural beings.


Angels are a recurring theme throughout the Bible, and they are portrayed in various ways depending on the context and message being conveyed. In this article, we will investigate biblically accurate angels, as well as what the Bible says about angels and other supernatural beings.

The Role of Angels

The Bible describes angels as spiritual beings created by God to serve Him and carry out His will. They are depicted as messengers, warriors, guardians, and worshipers. The term "angel" originates from the Greek word "angelos," which translates to "messenger." This origin reflects the angels' function as messengers sent by God.

The Appearance of Angels

Biblically accurate angels are often depicted as having wings, but contrary to popular belief, not all angels have wings. Only two types of angels are explicitly described as having wings in the Bible: cherubim and seraphim. In the Bible, cherubim are referred to as having four faces and four wings, but seraphim are depicted as having six wings. In contrast, most other angels are not described as having wings, although they are portrayed as being able to move quickly and effortlessly.


Cherubim are a type of angelic being mentioned throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. They are described as having multiple wings and multiple faces, with the appearance of a combination of different animals.

In the book of Genesis, it says that cherubim stood at the Garden of Eden's entrance after Adam and Eve were kicked out. The ark of the covenant, a holy artifact in Jewish and Christian tradition, was also said to be adorned with images of cherubim. In the book of Exodus, God commands Moses to construct the ark and cover it with pure gold, with two cherubim made of gold placed on top of the ark's cover, or "mercy seat."

In the book of Ezekiel, cherubim are given a detailed description, in which they are said to have the faces of humans, lions, oxen, and eagles respectively. They also have four wings, with two of them used for flying and the other two covering their bodies. These cherubim are described as having a "wheel within a wheel" that moves alongside them, which is often interpreted as a symbol of God's power and sovereignty.


Cherubim are also linked to worshiping God. For example, Psalm 80:1 says, "Listen up, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who sit on the cherubim, let your light shine." This verse suggests that God is enthroned among the cherubim and that they are involved in the worship of God.

In Christian art and iconography, cherubim are often depicted as small, chubby, winged babies or children, but this depiction is not accurate to the biblical description. The cherubim described in the Bible are majestic and powerful beings, with a combination of animal and human features.

In conclusion, cherubim are a type of angelic being mentioned in the Bible, known for their multiple wings and faces. They are associated with guarding holy places and artifacts, and with the worship of God. While their appearance may be mysterious and beyond human understanding, they serve as a reminder of God's power and sovereignty over all things.


The Bible talks about seraphim, which are a type of angelic being, in the book of Isaiah. They are said to have six wings, two of which help them fly, two of which cover their faces, and two of which cover their feet. Their name comes from the Hebrew word "seraph," which means "burning" or "hot."

In Isaiah 6, the prophet describes a vision he had of God seated on a throne, with seraphim flying around Him and calling out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" This vision is often interpreted as a depiction of the heavenly throne room and the worship of God.


Like other angelic beings, seraphim are associated with the worship of God and the proclamation of His holiness. Their fiery appearance is often interpreted as a symbol of their intense passion for God and His glory. Some theologians have also suggested that the covering of their faces and feet represents their humility and reverence in the presence of God.

In Christian art and iconography, seraphim are often depicted with three pairs of wings, arranged in a triangular shape. They are typically shown flying around the throne of God or surrounding Him in worship.

While seraphim are mentioned only once in the Bible, their depiction as powerful, fiery, and devoted to God has captured the imagination of Christians throughout history. Their presence in the heavenly throne room serves as a reminder of God's holiness and the importance of worshiping Him with reverence and passion.


Ophanim, also known as "wheels within wheels," is a type of angelic being mentioned in the book of Ezekiel. They are described as having a complex and mysterious appearance, with a wheel within a wheel and covered in eyes. Some translations of the Bible refer to them as "living creatures."

In Ezekiel's vision, the ophanim are described as being closely associated with God's throne. They are said to move alongside the cherubim, with the wheels and wings of the ophanim making a loud and tumultuous noise. The ophanim are also described as being covered in eyes, both on the wheels and on the rims around them. This detail has been interpreted as representing God's all-seeing and all-knowing nature.

The Hebrew word "ofan," which means "wheel," is where we get the word "ophanim." The ophanim are often interpreted as a symbol of God's divine providence and control over the universe. The wheels within wheels are seen as a depiction of God's sovereignty and the intricate ways in which He works in the world.


While the ophanim are not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, their appearance in Ezekiel's vision has captured the imaginations of many Christians throughout history. Some theologians have even suggested that the ophanim represent a unique type of angelic being, distinct from other types like cherubim and seraphim.

The ophanim are frequently portrayed as wheels with a number of eyes in the artwork and symbolism of Christians. They are sometimes shown in depictions of the heavenly throne room, alongside the cherubim and seraphim.

In conclusion, ophanim are a type of angelic being mentioned in the book of Ezekiel, known for their complex and mysterious appearance. They are closely associated with God's throne and have been interpreted as a symbol of His divine providence and sovereignty. While much about them remains a mystery, their presence in the Bible serves as a reminder of God's power and the intricate ways in which He works in the world.

The Hierarchy of Angels

Angels are also depicted as having different levels of authority and responsibility. For example, the archangels, Michael and Gabriel, are mentioned by name in the Bible and are described as having significant roles in carrying out God's plans. Michael is often referred to as a warrior angel, while Gabriel is known as a messenger angel.

The Characteristics of Angels

Another important aspect of biblically accurate angels is their appearance. Although angels are often portrayed as having a human-like appearance, the Bible suggests that they may have unique features. Ezekiel says that cherubim have the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle. This description suggests that angels may have characteristics that are beyond our human understanding.

The Emotions and Actions of Angels

In addition to their physical appearance, angels are also portrayed as having a range of emotions and actions. Angels, for example, can feel joy, as Jesus says in Luke 15:10, "There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who turns back to God." They are also capable of expressing anger and judgment, as seen in Revelation 16:1 when an angel pours out a bowl of God's wrath on the earth.

The Worship of Angels

Finally, biblically accurate angels are portrayed as beings who serve and worship God. In Revelation 7:11, angels are described as standing around the throne of God and worshiping Him day and night. They are also depicted as serving God by carrying out His will and protecting His people, as seen in Psalm 91:11-12, which says, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

Furthermore, biblically accurate angels are not to be worshipped or prayed to, as they are not divine beings. In Colossians 2:18, Paul warns against worshiping angels, saying, "Don't let anyone who likes to act humble and worship angels get in the way of you. This kind of person also talks in great detail about what they have seen. Their mind is not spiritual, so they are full of silly ideas." 

Also, it's important to remember that not every supernatural being is an angel. The Bible also mentions demons, which are fallen angels who rebelled against God and now serve Satan. Demons are portrayed as evil and destructive, seeking to harm and deceive humanity.


In conclusion, the Bible contains descriptions of various types of angelic beings, each with their own unique characteristics and roles in the heavenly realm. From the powerful and protective cherubim to the fiery and passionate seraphim, these beings are depicted as playing a vital role in worshiping and serving God.

The mysterious and complex ophanim, with their wheels within wheels and eyes all around, represent God's sovereignty and providence over the universe. While much about these beings remains a mystery, their presence in the Bible serves as a reminder of God's power, holiness, and love for His creation. As Christians, we are called to join with the angels in praising and worshiping God, and to seek to serve Him faithfully in all that we do.