Angels in Scripture
Sometimes God sent His Angels as messengers; sometimes they came as guardians; at other times they appeared just in time to prevent something happening. On this page and the next are only a few of the events in Holy Scripture where an Angel was prominent.
ANGELS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
COMFORTS HAGAR [AGAR]: GENESIS 16, 1-6
Ismael closed his eyes, so as to shield himself from the haunted look on his mother's face. Agar's thoughts were now drifting to the past, she could picture Abraham's tents where she had lived. She had been a slave, captured and brought from Egypt. Sara, Abraham's wife, had purchased her, and by a special dispensation by God, she bore Abraham's son, for Sara was childless thus far. When Sara learned of the child, she became miserable to live with, so before the birth of Ismael, Agar had run away, determined never to return. As she reflected on these events she recognized her own transgression of pride over bearing a son when Sara was childless.
In the desert it was easier to see clearly now. Years before, when she was at the well between Cades and Basad on the road to Sur, an Angel appeared to her, telling her, "Go back to your mistress and be obedient to her." You are going to have a son and you must call him Ismael, which means 'God hears', because God has heard your cries of sorrow, and your son will be the head of a people so numerous that no one will be able to count them ..."
She had returned in accord with the message of the Angel, but Sara had once again driven her away by asking Abraham to send her off, which saddened him, but God told him that all would be well at last and Ismael would head a mighty nation.
Now days hence Agar lifted her head to looked once more at Ismael under the tree, dying. It was a terrible end, to watch your beloved son lying in hunger and thirst, while Sara had at last bore a son, Isaac. Suddenly Agar's tears surged up anew, spilling over her cheeks. A faint cry from the direction of the tree assured her that ismael was still alive. The she heard a voice calling her name; startled, she looked up.
"Agar, Agar, what is wrong? Do not be afraid. God has heard the crying of your son ... Rise up! Take your boy by the hand and lead him with you God has promised to make him the father of great nation."
A shiver ran through her; trembling she struggled to her feet, looking for the source of the voice: before her eyes she beheld a well! Running to it she drew water and gave some to Ismael. They would both live ...
THE ANGEL AT THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC: GENESIS 22
VIEW AN IMAGE FROM THE GALLERY
The faith and obedience of Abraham is proved in his readiness to sacrifice his son Isaac. He is stayed from the act by an angel. Former promises are renewed to him. His brother Nachor's issue.
 After these things, God tempted Abraham, and said to him: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.  He said to him: Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision: and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will shew thee.  So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass: and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son: and when he had cut wood for the holocaust he went his way to the place which God had commanded him.  And on the third day, lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off.  And he said to his young men: Stay you here with the ass: I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and after we have worshipped, will return to you.
 "God tempted"... God tempteth no man to evil, James 1. 13; but by trial and experiment maketh known to the world, and to ourselves, what we are, as here by this trial the singular faith and obedience of Abraham was made manifest.
 And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together,  Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust?  And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together.  And they came to the place which God had shewn him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it: and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood.  And he put forth his hand and took the sword, to sacrifice his son.
 And behold an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.  And he said to him: Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing to him: now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake.  Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son.  And he called the name of that place, The Lord seeth. Whereupon even to this day it is said: In the mountain the Lord will see.  And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying: By my own self have I sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake:  I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore: thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies.  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.
AN ANGEL COMES TO THE HELP OF ELIAS [ELIJAH]: 3 KINGS 19, 5
Like Hagar, an Angel came to the aid of the Prophet Elias when he was fleeing Queen Jezebel, who wanted him slain.
Worn out with sorrow and weariness, and in the depths of his grief, he lay down under the shade of a tree, asking God to allow him to die. In exhaustion he fell asleep.
In due time an Angel came to awake him, giving him a delicious bread to eat, and fresh water to slake his immense thirst.
The Prophet, renewed by the gifts of the Angel, once more fell asleep.
When he had rested sufficiently, the Angel awakened him again and bade him eat and drink once more, telling him what the Lord had sent him to him for, "A long journey still lies before you."
Refreshed in body and soul, the Prophet now walked for forty days and forty nights on the strength of this angelic food, finally reaching the goal he had set before him, namely Mount Horeb.
should learn from this account that our Guardian Angel will serve us in
every need of we call upon him with unbounded love and trust, although
he may not show himself to us. Let us not lose sight of the the
fact that we have an Angel with us night and day,
willing and able to console us in all our needs.
ST. RAPHAEL AND ST. TOBIAS: TOBIAS [TOBIT]
Before we tell the story of all that happened to young Tobias, we should say something about his father, the old Tobias, and his mother, Anna. They were Jews at the time they lived a long way from Jerusalem in exile, sent their by their captors. Many of the Jews thus forgot all bout their religion when living in an alien land among strangers. But not Tobias; he lived a good life, worshipping God as best he could, helping his neighbors, and being generous to all around him. God was pleased with him, but wishing to further test his loyalty, he let him go blind.
Chapter 3: The prayer of Tobias, and of Sara, in their several afflictions, are heard by God, and the angel Raphael is sent to relieve them.
 But this every one is sure of that worshippeth thee, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to thy mercy.  For thou art not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm thou makest a calm, and after tears and weeping thou pourest in joyfulness.  Be thy name, O God of Israel, blessed for ever.  At that time the prayers of them both were heard in the sight of the glory of the most high God:  And the holy Angel of the Lord, Raphael was sent to heal them both, whose prayers at one time were rehearsed in the sight of the Lord.
Chapter 4: Tobias thinking he shall die, giveth his son godly admonitions: and telleth him of money he had lent to a friend.
 Therefore when Tobias thought that his prayer was heard that he might die, he called to him Tobias his son,  And said to him: Hear, my son, the words of my mouth, and lay them as a foundation in thy heart.  When God shall take my soul, thou shalt bury my body: and thou shalt honour thy mother all the days of her life:  For thou must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for thee in her womb.  And when she also shall have ended the time of her life, bury her by me.
 And all the days of thy life have God in thy mind: and take heed thou never consent to sin, nor transgress the commandments of the Lord our God.  Give alms out of thy substance, and turn not away thy face from any poor person: for so it shall come to pass that the face of the Lord shall not be turned from thee.  According to thy ability be merciful.  If thou have much give abundantly: if thou have a little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little.  For thus thou storest up to thyself a good reward for the day of necessity.
 For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness.  Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it.  Take heed to keep thyself, my son, from all fornication, and beside thy wife never endure to know a crime.  Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind, or in thy words: for from it all perdition took its beginning.  If any man hath done any work for thee, immediately pay him his hire, and let not the wages of thy hired servant stay with thee at all.
 See thou never do to another what thou wouldst hate to have done to thee by another.  Eat thy bread with the hungry and the needy, and with thy garments cover the naked.  Lay out thy bread, and thy wine upon the burial of a just man, and do not eat and drink thereof with the wicked.  Seek counsel always of a wise man.  Bless God at all times: and desire of him to direct thy ways, and that all thy counsels may abide in him.
 I tell thee also, my son, that I lent ten talents of silver, while thou wast yet a child, to Gabelus, in Rages a city of the Medes, and I have a note Medes, and I have a note of his hand with me:  Now therefore inquire how thou mayst go to him, and receive of him the foresaid sum of money, and restore to him the note of his hand.  Fear not, my son: we lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is good. of his hand with me:  Now therefore inquire how thou mayst go to him, and receive of him the foresaid sum of money, and restore to him the note of his hand.
 Fear not, my son: we lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is good.
Chapter 5: Young Tobias seeking a guide for his journey, the Angel Raphael, in shape of a man, undertaketh this office.
 Then Tobias answered his father, and said: I will do all things, father, which thou hast commanded me.  But how I shall get this money, I cannot tell; he knoweth me not, and I know not him: what token shall I give him? nor did I ever know the way which leadeth thither.  Then his father answered him, and said: I have a note of his hand with me, which when thou shalt shew him, he will presently pay it.  But go now, and seek thee out some faithful man, to go with thee for his hire: that thou mayst receive it, while I yet live.  Then Tobias going forth, found a beautiful young man, standing girded, and as it were ready to walk.
 And not knowing that he was an Angel of God, he saluted him, and said: From whence art thou, good young man?  But he answered: Of the children of Israel. And Tobias said to him: Knowest thou the way that leadeth to the country of the Medes?  And he answered: I know it: and I have often walked through all the ways thereof, and I have abode with Gabelus our brother, who dwelleth at Rages a city of the Medes, which is situate in the mount of Ecbatana.  And Tobias said to him: Stay for me, I beseech thee, till I tell these same things to my father.  Then Tobias going in told all these things to his father. Upon which his father being in admiration, desired that he would come in unto him.
 So going in he saluted him, and said: Joy be to thee always.  And Tobias said: What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?  And the young man said to him: Be of good courage, thy cure from God is at hand.  And Tobias said to him: Canst thou conduct my son to Gabelus at Rages, a city of the Medes? and when thou shalt return, I will pay thee thy hire.  And the Angel said to him: I will conduct him thither, and bring him back to thee.
 And Tobias said to him: I pray thee, tell me, of what family, or what tribe art thou?  And Raphael the Angel answered: Dost thou seek the family of him thou hirest, or the hired servant himself to go with thy son?  But lest I should make thee uneasy, I am Azarias the son of the great Ananias.  And Tobias answered: Thou art of a great family. But I pray thee be not angry that I desired to know thy family.  And the Angel said to him: I will lead thy son safe, and bring him to thee again safe.
 "Azarias"... The Angel took the form of Azarias: and therefore might call himself by the name of the man whom he personated. Azarias, in Hebrew, signifies the help of God, and Ananias the grace of God.
 And Tobias answering, said: May you have a good journey, and God be with you in your way, and his Angel accompany you.  Then all things being ready, that were to be carried in their journey, Tobias bade his father and his mother farewell, and they set out both together.  And when they were departed, his mother began to weep, and to say: Thou hast taken the staff of our old age, and sent him away from us.  I wish the money for which thou hast sent him, had never been.  For poverty was sufficient for us, that we might account it as riches, that we saw our son.
 And Tobias said to her: Weep not, our son will arrive thither safe, and will return safe to us, and thy eyes shall see him.  For I believe that the good Angel of God doth accompany him, and doth order all things well that are done about him, so that he shall return to us with joy.  At these words his mother ceased weeping, and held her peace.
Chapter 6: By the Angel's advice young Tobias taketh hold on a fish that assaulteth him. Reserveth the heart, the gall, and the liver for medicines. They lodge at the house of Raguel, whose daughter Sara, Tobias is to marry; she had before been married to seven husbands, who were all slain by a devil.
 And Tobias went forward, and the dog followed him, and he lodged the first night by the river of Tigris.  And he went out to wash his feet, and behold a monstrous fish came up to devour him.  And Tobias being afraid of him, cried out with a loud voice, saying: Sir, he cometh upon me.  And the Angel said to him: Take him by the gill, and draw him to thee. And when he had done so, he drew him out upon the land, and he began to pant before his feet.  Then the Angel said to him: Take out the entrails of the fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines.
 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes.  Then Tobias asked the Angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish?  And the Angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them.  And the gall is good for anointing the eyes, in which there is a white speck, and they shall be cured.  And Tobias said to him: Where wilt thou that we lodge?
 "Its heart"... The liver (ver. 19) God was pleased to give these things a virtue against those proud spirits, to make them, who affected to be like the Most High, subject to such mean corporeal creatures as instruments of his power.
 And the Angel answering, said: Here is one whose name is Raguel, a near kinsman of thy tribe, and he hath a daughter named Sara, but he hath no son nor any other daughter beside her.  All his substance is due to thee, and thou must take her to wife.  Ask her therefore of her father, and he will give her thee to wife.  Then Tobias answered, and said: I hear that she hath been given to seven husbands, and they all died: moreover I have heard, that a devil killed them.  Now I am afraid, lest the same thing should happen to me also: and whereas I am the only child of my parents, I should bring down their old age with sorrow to hell.
 "Hell"... That is, to the place where the souls of the good were kept before the coming of Christ.
 Then the Angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail.  For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.  But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her.  And on that night lay the liver of the fish on the fire, and the devil shall be driven away.  But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs.
 And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you.  And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.