Q: #74. How many angels are there?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: We are told in (Heb 12:22) there are innumerable (uncountable) companies of angels. The Bible generally uses a figurative kind of language to make this point. For example, we might say, "I raked a ton of leaves" or "The paint store had a million colors of paint." This doesn't mean we LITERALLY raked a ton of leaves or the paint store had 1 million colors of paint, it simply means there was a whole bunch of leaves or colors.

     Let me give you a good example of this. In (Mt 18:22), Jesus was asked how many times we should forgive someone and He said 70 times 7 times. Does this mean we should only forgive someone 490 times? No... it simply means we are to forgive an uncountable number of times.

     The Bible speaks in this same way in regards to angels. For example, in (Rev 5:11) it says "... and I heard the voice of many angels... and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." In (Mt 26:53), Jesus said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?"

     This doesn't mean there are exactly 100,000,000 angels (the total of ten thousand times ten thousand), nor does it mean that Jesus could only get 12 legions of angels (app. 6000) if He asked for them. It simply means myriads (from the Greek word "murias" used for innumerable in Heb 12:22) of angels. There are quite likely BILLIONS of angels!

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