THE ESSENCE OF ANGELS IS FIRE

I found the following information on angelology as quoted the Jewish Encyclopaedia. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/

[ references are from the Bible,
various Apocryphilia & the Talmud (the central text of Rabbinical Judaism) ].

Quite an enlightening read ...

Love,
Ahava



" THE ESSENCE OF ANGELS IS FIRE ; 

They sustain themselves in fire;
their fiery breath consumes men;
and no man can endure the sound of their voices.
(Cant. R. v. 10; Pesiḳ. v. 57a; Ḥag. 14b, above; Shab. 88b, below; Tan., Yitro, xvi.).

"The angel of the Lord" in Judges, ii. 1, was Phinehas, whose countenance, when the Holy Spirit rested upon it, glowed like a torch (Lev. R. i.,beginning).

To Joshua b. Hananiah the emperor Hadrian said:
"You say that no portion of the heavenly hosts sings praise to the Lord twice, but that God daily hears new angels who sing his praise [based on Lam. iii. 23] and then go. Whither do they go?"

Whereupon Joshua replied: "To the stream of fire whence they emanated" (Dan. vii. 10).
H.: "What is the character of this stream?"
J.: "It is like the Jordan, which ceases not to flow by day or by night."
H.: "And whence comes the stream of fire? "
J.: "From the sweat of the living creatures of God's chariot, which drops from them under the burden of God's throne" (Gen. R. lxxviii., beginning, and parallel passages; compare Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 178).

Another theory is, that angels are half fire, half water, and that God makes peace between the opposing elements (Yer. R. H. ii. 58a).

They feed on the rays of God's majesty, for "in the light of the king's countenance is life"
(Prov. xvi. 15, Pesiḳ. vi. 57a).

A characteristic and well-known passage is the following:
(Ḥag. 16a and parallel passages)

"In three respects demons resemble angels;
in three others, mankind.
Like the angels they have wings, they move from one end of the earth to the other, and are prescient. Like men they eat and drink, propagate themselves, and die.

 In three respects men resemble the angels; in three others, the animals. Like animals they eat and drink, propagate themselves, and discharge waste matter ".

In order that Moses might become like the angels, all food and drink had to be consumed in his entrails (Yoma, 4b). The angels that appeared to Abraham only pretended to eat (Targ. Yer. Gen. xviii. 8, and in the Midrash).

The angels are generally represented as good, and as not subject to evil impulses
(Gen. R. xlviii. 11).
Hence the Ten Commandments are not applicable to them (Shab. 88b); they are called "holy," while men require a twofold sanctification to merit the epithet (Lev. R. xxiv. 8).

Having this character, they show neither hatred nor envy; nor does discord or ill will exist among them (Sifre, Num. 42). Nevertheless, they stand in need of mutual beneficence (Lev. R. xxi., beginning).

Although there is nothing hidden from the superior beings (Midr. Teh. xxv. 14), yet they do not know the day of Israel's redemption (Sanh. 99a); see also Matt. xxiv. 36, "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Though the Israelites, emerging from the sea, knew where God's glory resided, the angels were in ignorance of it (Ex. R. xxiii., end).

Adam's knowledge exceeded that of the angels (Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." iii. 125, note 1): not Adam alone, however, but all the pious rank above the ministering angels (Gen. R. xxi., Yer. Shab. vi., end).

Although they render God unfailing obedience, and are ready to serve Him before they hear His commands—in which regard they are imitated by Israel— they are nevertheless fallible.

There are fallen angels.

Two were expelled from heaven for one hundred and thirty-eight years on account of prematurely disclosing the decree of Sodom's destruction, or for presumption (Gen. R. l., lxviii.).

The angels appear at times standing; now in the shape of a man or of a woman, and now as wind or as fire (Ex. R. xxv., beginning).

Of the three angels that appeared to Abraham (Gen. xviii. 2), one was like a Saracen, one like a Nabatean, and the third like an Arab (Gen. R. xlviii. 9).

To Jacob (Gen. xxxii. 25) the angel appeared as a shepherd (Gen. R. lxxvii.), as a heathen, and as a learned man (Ḥul. 91a).

An angel assumed the shape of Moses in order to be captured by Pharaoh in Moses' place; another, taking Solomon's form, dethroned him (Yer. Ber. ix. 13a; compare Lev. R. vi., Yer. Sanh. ii. 20c).

Angels come from heaven on horses, with gleaming weapons (IV Macc. iv. 10); Gabriel smites Sennacherib's host (II Kings, xix. 35) with a sharpened scythe which had been ready since the Creation (Sanh. 95b).

The stone mentioned in Dan. vi. 18 was a stone lion into which an angel had entered (Cant. R., beginning).

A high priest was killed by an angel in the Holy of Holies; and the impress of a calf's foot (compare Ezek. i. 7; Ta'anit, 25b; Yoma, 21a) was found between his shoulders (Yoma, 19b).

Angels being generally conceived as endowed with wings, Akiba took the expression "fowls of the heaven" (Ps. civ. 12) to mean angels; but R. Ishmael refuted him (Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 324; compare Gen. R. lxv. 21; Pesiḳ. R. viii., beginning; Yer. Ber. vii., end).

Their bodies were supposed to be like the figure described in Dan. x. 6. Their size is variously given.

One angel extends from earth to heaven, where the ḥayyot stand; Sandalfon is taller than his fellows by the length of a journey of five hundred years (Ḥag. 13b).

According to one tradition, each angel was one-third of a world; according to another, two thousand parasangs (a parasang = 3.88 miles), his hand reaching from heaven to earth (Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." iii. 371, 547).

The angels do not, of course, always disclose themselves in all their size; they are visible to those only whom their message concerns; and their message is heard by none but those for whom it is intended (Ta'anit, 21a)."

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