Seeing Angels

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading


Are Angels Male or Female?

An angel is a pure spirit, in that it has no physical matter. Angels are spirit beings with personal spirit bodies. Martin Luther wrote, “An angel is a spiritual creature created by God without a body, for the service of Christendom and of the church.” If they choose to manifest in physical form, they can do so, but they are not limited by that physical form. Most often, in the Scriptures, we see angels mentioned as being male, but, again, since they are spirit beings, according to Scripture, they are without gender.

Gender is a biological function, and since angels do not have a biological function, there is no reason for them to have a specific gender identity. It is possible for an angel to manifest in either male or female form, and the way God allows them to present themselves often speaks of their spiritual assignment on earth. In general, the male gender is associated with aggression, strength, and authority, whereas the female gender is associated with nurture, love, and wisdom. 

The grammatical gender of the Hebrew word ruach (which means “spirit”) is feminine. So is the feminine word shekinah in rabbinic literature, which indicates “the visible glory of God.” The book of Proverbs references a spirit that many biblical scholars refer to as “Lady Wisdom” (see Proverbs 1:20–22; 8:1–9:3), and we see the two female angels in Zechariah 5:9, who are working for God. So, from this biblical evidence, we can conclude that there are both male and female representations in the spirit world, which needs to be understood metaphorically rather than physically, because, again, spirit beings are pure spirit.