If you could imagine what an angel looks like, what would you see? Most people might say that they don’t know, but the prophet Ezekiel had a clear vision of angels thousands of years ago.
In his book, Ezekiel sees angels with four faces: that of a human, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. He also sees them with six wings—two covering their faces, two covering their feet, and two for flying. These angelic images have been interpreted and reimagined by artists for centuries, and they still hold power today.
In this article, we’ll explore the meaning behind Ezekiel’s angelic images.
Ezekiel’s Vision of an Angel
Have you ever seen an angel?
No, not the white-winged, halo-wearing kind of angels that you often see in paintings and on greeting cards. I’m talking about the real thing. Ezekiel, a prophet of the Old Testament, did. And he described them like this:
“As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side, and four had the face of an ox on the left side, their faces were turned around. As for their faces, they were each like the face of a human being. And each of them had four wings.” Ezekiel 1:10-12
In other words, they looked like beings with human faces—but with animal features on either side of their head.
Describing the Angel’s Physical Characteristics
Ezekiel described the angel’s physical characteristics in minute detail, providing us with a very clear image of what he saw. The angel had four faces, each one representing a different creature.
The first face was that of a lion, the second was that of an ox, the third was human, and the fourth was that of an eagle. The angel also had four wings, and his feet were like burning coals. His body was glowing with fire, and he had a sword in his hand.
Ezekiel’s description of the angel’s physical appearance is both unique and fascinating. It is clear that he was deeply affected by what he saw, and his description provides us with a rare glimpse into the world of the angels.
Recognizing the Angel’s Spiritual Authority
When Ezekiel sees the angel, he is overwhelmed by its glory. The angel’s face is so bright that Ezekiel can’t look at it directly. He falls to the ground in reverence, calling the angel “Lord.”
When we see images of angels, we often forget how awe-inspiring they are. We see them as sweet, gentle creatures who are always happy to help us out. But the Bible paints a different picture—of angels as beings of immense power and majesty, whose very presence can fill us with wonder and reverence.
Comparing Angelic Forms in Other Scriptures
When exploring what angels look like, it’s important to also consider other scriptures that discuss angels. One of the most popular references is found in Daniel 10:5-6.
Here, Daniel described the appearance of an angel as having “the likeness of a man” wearing “a robe of fine linen and a belt of pure gold around his waist.” This description is quite similar to Ezekiel’s vision, though details such as the specific garment and belt are different.
The imagery found in other scriptures helps us further explore this topic by contrasting the different images. Through comparing and contrasting these descriptions, we can gain a better understanding of what angels may look like, at least as they appeared in Ezekiel’s vision and Daniel’s dream.
What Are the Different Types of Angels?
When it comes to angels, there are several different types, each having its own unique qualities. The different types of angels mentioned in the Bible and seen through Ezekiel’s eyes include seraphim, cherubim, and the four living creatures.
The seraphim are described as having six wings and an incredible amount of knowledge. They stand closely surrounding the throne of God, protecting it in His presence. The cherubim have four faces – each with an amazing representation of divine power.
They often appear across literary works in symbolic form as guardians to God’s throne. Lastly, the four living creatures possess a unique combination of wings and animal attributes – this includes lion heads, oxen feet, and eagle wings.
All four living creatures are holy protectors of God’s glory, creating a powerful allegiance that is nearly indestructible.
By reading Ezekiel’s vision, we can gain insight into how these angelic images are intertwined with spiritual power and unrivaled power from God himself.
Exploring God’s Nature Through Angels
The images of angels that Ezekiel saw also give us insight into the nature of God. Ezekiel wrote of angels who had four faces, each with a different expression. This could represent the various ways in which God is revealed: His mercy and grace, His holiness and judgment, and all other aspects of His character.
The four wings associated with the angelic beings in Ezekiel’s vision can be seen as a representation of the speed and power with which God works in the world—His will is made known immediately and clearly.
The wheels within wheels could be symbolic of the complexity of God’s plan for humanity—His design and intent are beyond our understanding.
Finally, the burning coals could symbolize God’s zeal for justice and righteousness; He does not allow sin to go unpunished or exist in His presence. As we explore these images described by Ezekiel, we gain a greater understanding of who God is and how He works in our lives today.
So what do angels look like, according to Ezekiel? They have human features, but they’re much more majestic and beautiful than we are. Their wings are like those of a vulture, and they emanate light. They’re a powerful reminder of God’s presence and love.
When we see angelic images, whether in art or in real life, it’s a reminder that God is with us and loves us. We may not fully understand what angels look like, but that doesn’t matter–we can trust that they exist and that they’re working on behalf of God.