Destroying angel (Bible)

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The Hebrew Bible, and then Christian and later Jewish sources, make frequent mention of one or more destroying angels, which in Proverbs 16:14 are termed the "angels of death" (malake ha-mawet) and also archangels of death "The wrath of a king [is as] messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it."

Hebrew Bible[edit]

The Hebrew Bible includes the Destroyer (ha-mashḥit) who at the Passover in Exodus killed the firstborn of Egypt. Later a "destroying angel" (mal'ak ha-mashḥit or mashḥitim) kills many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 24:15. While in the parallel passage 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 Jerusalem." Later the angel of the Lord kills 185,000 men of Sennacherib's Assyrian army, thereby saving Hezekiah's Jerusalem in II Kings 19:35. A different term for "destroyer" (memitim) is found in Job 33:22.[1]


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