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What Are Elohim Angels?

What Are Elohim Angels?

From the first verse in the Bible, God established Himself as the Creator. Recent and dangerous teaching, however, presents a very different view. The concept of Elohim Angels is controversial because some suppose them to be mighty angelic beings who have contributed to the creation process since its beginning. Therefore, they conclude these beings may be seen as agents of creation, also being called the Creator Angels or God’s right hand. Said belief is unbiblical.

Angels in the Bible

First, let’s look at who and what angels are according to the Bible. Noted Bible scholar Wayne Grudem defines them as “created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies” (Systematic Theology, 1994 edition). They have not always existed; they were created by God (Colossians 1:16). Angels are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), yet at times God has allowed certain persons to see them “behind the veil” (Numbers 22:31; 2 Kings 6:17; Luke 2:13). 

Angels also have been manifested by God as physical beings for His purposes (Matthew 28:5; Hebrews 13:2) and were created to serve and worship God with varying roles and ranks within their company (Jude 9; Daniel 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). They are not omnipresent in their service as “messengers” of God, and various angels are mentioned in the Bible, including Michael (Jude 9; Revelation 12:7-8), Gabriel (Daniel 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:19), Lucifer/Satan (Job 1:6, Isaiah 14:12), and the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 16:7, 22:11; Exodus 3:2, etc.). 

Since angels have high intelligence, they too make choices. The devil and his fallen hoard of angels rebelled against Almighty God and are to be relegated to hell and “pits of nether gloom” until the judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). Satan still holds sway over men, albeit only as our sovereign God allows (Job 1:6, 12:2 Corinthians 11:3). It is possible the devil has used his influence over men to cause the belief in and propagation of the idea of Elohim Angels (1 Corinthians 10:20-21; James 3:15 in a broader sense).

Elohim Angels

The conception of Elohim Angels revolves around the Hebrew term, Elohim. Psalm 82 demonstrates how incorrect hermeneutics can influence the misunderstanding of a passage of Scripture. Verse one begins, “God [Elohim] stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods [elohim, or mighty ones/ judges]. From this many deduce a mighty group of Elohim Angels. Right?  For a more accurate understanding, let’s look at the context and the Hebrew word/inflection.

The Hebrew language forms plurals of masculine nouns by the addition of "im" (such as cherub/cherubim or seraph/seraphim). The word, Elohim, as used for God, is an anomaly; according to Don Stewart, “the noun, Elohim is plural but it is always used with a singular verb when it speaks of the true God.” Yes, God—Elohim—is a plural being as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 

Yet, the first usage of Elohim in this verse is singular—as in the God of Israel. The second use of Elohim in the psalm is plural, which indicates a different meaning. Author and Logos blogger, Michael Heiser, says of Psalm 82, “the singular Elohim of Israel presides over an assembly of Elohim.” In the Old Testament, other than the covenant name of God, Yahweh, Elohim is the name most used for God. The term is used in the first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning, God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Can "Elohim" Mean Angels?

Psalm 8:5a can be perplexing, for some translate the term, Elohim, as angels. It reads, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels (Elohim).” The ESV renders the term as beings. In Hebrew, the term is Elohim, and the Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, and Jewish traditions translate this term as “angels.” Heiser (Elohim hyperlink above) continues, “By any religious accounting, the attributes of those entities are not equal.” 

Further, the biblical writers denote six different beings with the term, Elohim:

-Almighty God (Genesis 1:1)

-The members of God’s council (Psalm 82:1)

-False gods (Exodus 20:23)

-Angels (Psalm 8:6)

-Human beings (Psalm 82:6)

-Demons (Deuteronomy 32:17)

3 Things to Know about Elohim Angels

1. Elohim Angels are not biblical. God does not nor has He ever used a creative agent to create (Hebrews 11:3). God alone holds the title of Creator (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2,5). Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (cf. Genesis 2:2). To ascribe creator status to a created being is an egregious error, for it robs God of His glory. As Christians, we must share the truth with those who have errant ideas involving angels, including but not limited to Elohim Angels.

The concept of Elohim Angels is the result of errant translations and Jewish tradition. The traditions of men are seductive when we cling to them instead of relying on the Scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we read them (Colossians 2:8). Although we know the term Elohim refers to God and at times either angels or people, etc., the exact meaning of the term, Elohim, is unknown, but it alludes to might and command.

2. Psalm 8:5 may be an origin for the term, Elohim Angels. In the NKJV, the verse and its contextual verses (4-6) are written, “…what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” The term, angels, here is written in the original Hebrew as Elohim. The context of the passage, however, is speaking about man and the dominion God gave him. 

The use of the term, Elohim, is one derived from the Hebrew by certain translations, most notably the Septuagint, which is the oldest translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into Greek. Through the study of the history of Bible translations, it appears the Septuagint translation is largely responsible for fostering the nuances that led to the belief in Elohim Angels. The history of the Septuagint is quite involved, and an exposition of this subject alone could encompass an entire article. Two good references which provide a more exhaustive study are Angels (What the Bible Really Says About God’s Heavenly Host) by Michael S. Heiser, and Systematic Theology (1994 version) by Wayne Grudem.

3. New Age philosophies promulgate the concept of Elohim Angels. Color rays emanating from created beings to guide others in creation? Created beings bestowing power? These beliefs are ignorant of the truth Scripture reveals, and they captivate peoples’ minds and sway them toward a wasteful life (Titus 3:9). It is dangerous to obsess over anything and everything—except Christ. When allowed to prevail in the church, believers can get sucked into a debate and distracted from their commission from the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20).

Scripture tells us “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). People can get caught up in ideas and philosophies which suit their emotional state when something looks or feels good. The light they see/feel is in fact, darkness (Ephesians 5:8-14). Thank God for Jesus, the Light of men (John 1:4-5; Luke 8:16-17; 1 Corinthians 4:5) who exposes false teaching and leads us to the Truth.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Lilian Dibbern

Lisa Baker 1200x1200Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis.