Destroying angel (Bible)
In the Hebrew Bible, the destroying angel (Hebrew: מַלְאָך הַמַשְׁחִית, malʾāḵ hamašḥīṯ), also known as mashḥit (מַשְׁחִית mašḥīṯ, 'destroyer'; plural: מַשְׁחִיתִים, mašḥīṯīm, 'spoilers, ravagers'), is an entity sent out by YHWH on several occasions to kill the enemies of the Hebrews.
These angels (mal'akh) are also variously referred to as memitim (מְמִיתִים, 'executioners, slayers'), or Angel of the Lord. The latter is found in Job 33:22, as well as in Proverbs 16:14 in the plural, "messengers of death". Mashchith was also used as an alternate name for one of the seven compartments of Gehenna.
In 2 Samuel 24:15-16, the destroying angel kills the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In I Chronicles 21:15, the same "Angel of the Lord" is seen by David to stand "between the earth and the heaven, with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out against Hebrews's enemies". Later, in II Kings 19:35, the angel kills 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.
In the Book of Enoch, angels of punishment and destruction belong to a group of angels called satans with Satan as their leader. First they tempt, then accuse and finally punish and torment, both wicked humans and fallen angels.
In Judaism, such angels might be seen as created by one's sins. As long as a person lives, God allows him to repent. However, after death, the angels of destruction are allowed to execute the sentence proclaimed in the heavenly court.
- Punishment of the Grave
- Dumah (angel)
- Death (personification)
- List of angels in theology
- ^ Foster, Charles. c. 1879. The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation Told in Simple Language for the Young. PA: Fifty Second Thousand.
- ^ Boustan, Ra'anan S.; Reed, Annette Yoshiko, eds. (2004). Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521121774.
- ^ Raphael, Simcha Paull. 2019. Jewish Views of the Afterlife. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-538-10346-3 p. 150
- ^ Caldwell, William (1913). "The Doctrine of Satan: II. Satan in Extra-Biblical Apocalyptical Literature". The Biblical World. 41 (2): 98–102. doi:10.1086/474708. JSTOR 3142425. S2CID 144698491.
- ^ Israel Meir Ha-Kohen. 2005. Above All Else: The Chofetz Chaim on Torah Study: Collected from His Writings, Volume 1. Feldheim Publishers. ISBN 9781583308004. p. 112