Scriptures

The Angel Of Death!

Introduction

It never ceases to amaze me how people repeat ‘phrases’ they’ve heard and then they go on to teach others the same ‘phrases’. The problem with most of these phrases is that they completely mislead people and they lead to an erroneous understanding of God and His Word.

One of these phrases is, ‘the angel of death’ or ‘the death angel’ which implies God has an angel whose specific role is to go out and kill people.

No such angel

It may come as a surprise to some that there is no such angel mentioned in the Scriptures and the Scriptures no-where describes any of God’s angels as an ‘angel of death’ or ‘the death angel.’ There are a few Bible references which people use to back up their claim that there is ‘an angel of death’, however if these same people took the time to read the Scriptures properly and in their proper context, they would soon come to a different conclusion.

Examples

The main example given for proof of an ‘angel of death’ is found in Exodus when the final plague came upon Egypt, where the firstborn sons of the Egyptians would die. Please read the following carefully.

‘This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.’ Exodus 11:4-5

And when we go over to the next chapter, we see this promise coming to fruition.

‘At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.’ Exodus 12:29

Now notice in both of these passages there is no mention of any angel, never mind any mention of an ‘angel of death’ and if you read them carefully you can’t miss the fact that it’s God Himself, who carries out this judgement. The text says, ‘I (God) will go out’, ‘The Lord Stuck down’.

Another example that people use to claim that the ‘angel of death’ exists is found over in 2 Kings.

‘That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!’ 2 Kings 19:35

Again, we don’t need to be a Bible scholar to read that this text clearly tells us ‘the angel of the Lord’ carried out this act, but notice, there is no mention of the phrase, ‘angel of death’.

Another example that people use to claim that the ‘angel of death’ exists is found over in 2 Samuel.

‘So, the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, ‘Enough! Withdraw your hand.’ The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’ 2 Samuel 24:15-16

As with the other text, we see here that it is ‘the angel of the LORD’ which causes all these deaths, but nowhere is this angel ever called ‘the angel of death’.

Conclusion

I’ve heard too many sermons and sat in too many Bible classes where I hear this phrase being used over and over again but a careful reading of the Scriptures reveals to us that God has on a few occasions carried out His judgement on nations using angels but nowhere in the Scriptures are these angels or any specific angel referred to as ‘the angel of death’ or ‘the death angel’.

If we’re going to uses ‘phrases’, let’s use Biblical phrases, not phrases which are completely misleading, and unscriptural. Someone once said, ‘let’s call Bible things by Bible names’.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8

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