The Messengers‎ > ‎

The Army of messengers

Before we leave the subject of messengers, there is one other term used for them that we need to investigate.

And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim. (Genesis 32:1,2, ASV)

We have previously examined this verse, but we want to look at it from a different perspective. The translation above says, "This is God's host," but the literal translation from the Hebrew is, "This is the camp of Elohim." As we have already determined above, messengers are frequently identified as Elohim, and couple that with the previous statement that Jacob was met by messengers (plural), we can conclude that the word Elohim is being used in a plural sense-"This is the camp of the Elohim (plural)."

Praise ye him, all his angels: Praise ye him, all his host. (Psalm 148:2, ASV)

Through a form of Hebrew poetry called parallelisms, the messengers in this verse are being equated with the word "host." The Hebrew word for host is tsava, which literally means force, or more concretely, army. As a collective, the messengers are called an army. This army is associated with Yahweh 245 times in the Hebrew Bible, but not in the way that you would expect. More on that when we get to identifying Yahweh.

Besides "army" there are several other names for the collective of messengers: Elohim, sons of Elohim and the Elim.