What Do Angels Look Like?

Angels are often imagined to be beautiful human-like winged creatures. Cupid has been reimagined as a cherub, which is another name for an angel found in the Bible.

However, these preconceptions aren’t completely correct. Biblical angels are described in the holy book as being rather odd.

Angels are unique creatures in the Bible. They come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own special role to play. While we may not always know what they look like, we can be sure that they are always there, watching over us and helping us when we need it most.

According to the Bible, there are several sorts of angels who surround God. Maimonides, a Jewish theologian from the 12th century, organized these beings in terms of importance in the celestial hierarchy. A description of four creatures from that hierarchy is produced as a result, and their genesis is summarized.

what do angels look like

Angels in the Bible

The first and highest angel is the seraphim. Seraphim are described as having six wings each and they fly around the heavenly throne praising God day and night, singing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3).

The second angel is the cherubim. Cherubim are strange creatures that have four faces–that of a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a human–and they also have four wings (Ezekiel 1:6). They guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden with flaming swords (Genesis 3:24).

The third angel is the thrones. These angels are very powerful and are responsible for carrying out God’s judgments (2 Chronicles 18:18, Colossians 1:16).

The fourth and final angel is the archangels. Archangels are God’s messengers (Daniel 12:1, Jude 9). The most famous archangel is Gabriel, who appeared to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38).

So, as we can see, angels come in all different shapes and sizes. And while they may not look like what we expect them to, we will know them when we see them.

Read more: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing


The Cherubim are the lowest in the ranking of the four. These creatures, who were half-human and half-animal, were assigned with watching over the garden of Eden to keep man out.

The angels in the Book of Ezekiel are described as having four faces: a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a human being. They have straight legs with bull hooves for feet that shine like polished brass. One set of wings covers their body while the other is used for flight.

The description we have now of the Cherub is quite different from how we think it should look. While biblical scholars point to Greek and Roman gods like Cupid as inspiration for today’s image, they attribute the detail in the Bible to cultural contacts with ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. The role of protecting holy places and the mixed appearance of the Cherub are comparable to those of the Babylonian Lamassu, Egyptian Sphynx, and Hittite Griffin.


The origin of the term Angel is from the Greek word Angelos, which comes from the Hebrew word for messenger, Mal’akh. The Malakim are God’s messengers and are most similar to humans among all of God’s angels. They have a lower rank than the Seraphim and Cherubim.

They were the messengers of God in the Old Testament, as was the angel of death in the Passover narrative or Michael, the archangel who guards heaven. They frequently functioned as messengers, such as Gabriel who informed Marry about her immaculate conception. These named angels are often what people think of when they’re asked to picture one.

However, while the Malakim appeared to be human beings, there is no record of them having wings in the Bible.

The first known Christian depiction of an angel was without wings from the mid-third century. It wasn’t until the late fourth century that artists reimagined angels with wings, according to some authorities. They were supposed to be beautiful, even though artists understood that scripture did not describe them as having wings.


The Seraphim, according to the prophet Isaiah, is an angelic being who surrounds God’s throne and sings “Holy, holy, holy” in unison as God approaches. They have six wings: two for flying and four for covering their heads and feet. According to Maimonides’s celestial hierarchy, seraphim are the second-highest rank of angels.

The name might be traced back to its origins. Seraphim comes from the Hebrew term “Seraph,” which means “to burn” in English. The word “Saraph” in Hebrew refers to a poisonous desert snake. In ancient Egypt, people referred to the cobra as “the blazing one.” Its image was known as the Uraeus, and it was commonly seen on Pharoah’s headgear.

The Old Testament authors may have drawn their Seraphim’s wings and flames from Egyptian symbols and ideas linked with the cobra, according to several historians.


The Ophanim, also known as “the wheels,” are the most unique being in the Bible. Ezekiel’s description of them in the Scriptures refers to entities created out of interlocking gold wheels with each wheel’s outside covered with many eyes. They glide through the sky by floating themselves. They are charged with guarding God’s throne as the highest member of Maimonides’ hierarchy.

The Ophanim has no concrete history. Josef F. Blumrich, a former NASA employee, believes that Ezekiel’s view of the wheels and other angels was a UFO sighting. He is however labeled as a conspiracy theorist by critics.

Other authors, on the other hand, assert that an ingested psychedelic drug gave the prophet his vision. Other experts have argued that the image was only a figure of speech for God’s enigma.

Archangel Michael

The Archangel Michael is one of the most widely known angels. He’s considered to be a warrior angel who protects God’s people and defeats evil forces. The name “Michael” comes from the Hebrew phrase Mikha’el, which translates to “Who is like God.”

The first angel reference in Scripture is found in the book of Daniel where Michael appears as “one of the chief princes.” (Daniel 10:13) In Jude 1:9, we read that Michael was contending with Satan over Moses’ body. And in Revelation 12:7-9, he leads God’s army against Satan and his followers.

While most Christians believe that there are seven archangels, only three are named in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

So there you have it: a brief overview of what the Bible says about angels. As you can see, they come in all shapes and sizes (or no shape or size at all), and their appearances vary depending on their purpose. So next time you’re wondering what an angel might look like, remember that the possibilities are endless!

what do angels look like

Final thoughts

It’s fascinating to consider the genesis of these beings from a non-religious perspective. Centuries of tradition, geography, and history have molded what we’ve collectively forgotten and re-imagined as angels.

These creatures’ otherworldly aspect is also remarked by believers in Christian and Jewish scripture. They’ll be spending an eternity in Heaven with God – alongside these strange beings – if they are good.

Read more: Types of Angels


What do angels look like in heavenly form?

In their heavenly form, angels are said to be incredibly beautiful. However, they can also take on human form when they need to interact with people on Earth.

What is the highest angelic ranking?

The highest angelic ranking is that of the Ophanim, also known as “the wheels.” They are charged with guarding God’s throne and are the most unique beings in the Bible.

What is the lowest angelic ranking?

The lowest angelic ranking is that of the Malakim, who are most similar to humans among all of God’s angels. They have a lower rank than the Seraphim and Cherubim.

Where do angels come from?

Angels are said to be created beings, and they are not eternal like God is. Though we don’t know exactly when or how they were created, we do know that they were created before the Earth was formed.

Why does it matter that we know what angels look like?

It might not seem like it matters what angels look like, but knowing what they look like can actually help us to better understand their role in the Bible. If we know that they often take on human form, for example, we can better understand how they interact with people in Scripture. Additionally, knowing the different ranks of angels can help us to understand their hierarchy and authority.

Does the bible say what angels look like?

The Bible does not give a clear description of what holy angels look like, but it does give some clues. For example, we know that they often take on human form and that they have wings. Additionally, we know that the highest angelic ranking is that of the Ophanim, or “the wheels.”


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