By Nancy M. Tischler
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Extra info for All Things in the Bible: An Encyclopedia of the Biblical World Volume 1 A-L
8:11). The ﬁnal dove did not return. To celebrate the salvation from the ﬂood over all the earth, Noah built an altar and offered up a burnt offering of “every clean animal and every clean bird” (Gen. 8:20), indicating that humankind had already selected “clean” creatures as suitable for food, probably based on the experience of the animals’ eating habits (scavengers were particularly dangerous), as was their effect on humans. From the days of Abraham until the Hebrews were forced from their land, taken captive to the great cities of the Babylonians and the Assyrians, they had animals in their households.
They were also celebrants of the birth of Christ, appearing to the shepherds in the ﬁeld and singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:14). On some occasions, they looked like men, recognized only by special people chosen by God to receive speciﬁc messages—sometimes to encourage, sometimes to warn. Abram did not immediately recognize his angelic visitors as supernatural (Gen. 18). Lot served as host to these same visitors and thereby saved himself and part of his family from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.
In Enoch 20, the writer listed the archangels: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remiel—or Jeremiel. This visionary writing encouraged the Jewish scholars to embellish their own understanding, ranking the angels into seven categories, naming many of them, and generally expanding on the hints given in Scripture. Cherubim (noted in Ezekiel’s visions) had also been mentioned in connection with the Holy of Holies and seraphim by Isaiah (chapter 6). These angels were thought to guard the throne of God.
All Things in the Bible: An Encyclopedia of the Biblical World Volume 1 A-L by Nancy M. Tischler