The Messengers

We have already touched on the "messengers," But here we need to go a little deeper to understand who these "messengers" are. The Hebrew word mal'akh means "messenger" (malakhiym being the plural form). However, a translator will use the word "angel" when he interprets the mal'akh as a "divine being" but as "messenger" when he interprets its use is being applied to a "human." The following passages will demonstrate the problem with this type of translating.

And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him...  And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the field of Edom. (Genesis 32:1,3, ASV) 

In verse 1 Jacob encounters “angels,” and then in verse 3 he sends “messengers” ahead of him. From this translation we would never make the jump that the angels [Hebrew: malakhiym] Jacob encountered are the very same messengers [Hebrew: malakhiym] he sends ahead of him. The word angel comes from the Greek Septuagint, which uses the word angelos, which is the Greek word for a "messenger."

The problem with the word "angel," especially with our modern cultural influence, is that we assume that they are non-human, non-god, winged men wearing white robes. Unfortunately this concept of a "messenger" is fantasy and is nowhere supported in the Bible. Of course some one is going to point out that the angels on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:20), and the angels over the throne of God (Isaiah 6:2) have wings, but these are not angels, they are Cherubim and Seraphim, an entirely different animal, and I do mean "animal." Based on the Hebrew text, other ancient Near Eastern texts and archeology, the Cherubim are winged lions, and Seraphim are winged serpents.

Let's take another look at Deuteronomy 32:8.

When the Most High [Hebrew: Elyon] gave to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the children of men [Hebrew: Adam], He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. (ASV)

We already determined that the original reading of the end of this verse, based on the Dead Sea Scrolls, is "sons of Elohim." However, when we look at this verse in the Septuagint we find the phrase angelon theou, which is Greek for "messengers of God." The Septuagint apparently sees the "sons of Elohim" as the "messengers of Elohim."  Is it possible that the messengers are the sons of Elohim? Let's investigate further.