Were All Angels Male?

angelsWere all angels male?

The Bible does not reveal that angels are either male or female in an anatomical sense. Jesus suggests that angels are without such gender in Matthew 22:30 when he says: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.” If angels do not marry one another, then that seems to imply that they are without gender. So why does the Bible refer to them with the masculine pronoun, “he” such as in Judges 6:22, which says: “Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face”?

The Bible was written in two main languages: Hebrew and Greek. The nouns of these languages are different than nouns in the English language in that they have gender; they may be either masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. When gender is associated with specific words, it has nothing to do with anatomy; it is simply a function of the language. Putting it simply, when translated, nouns with masculine gender can be referred to with the masculine English pronoun “he.” Nouns with feminine gender can be referred to with the feminine English pronoun “she.” The word for “angel” in both Hebrew and Greek languages is formed with a masculine gender, and so this means that when personal pronouns associated with angels are translated, they will be masculine in form. This gives the appearance in the English language that angels are males, but that does not mean that they are males in an anatomical sense. Rather, it simply means that the word for “angel” in Hebrew and Greek has masculine gender.

Having said that, it may very well be that Biblical angels are masculine without being anatomical males. One does not have to be male to be masculine. There are some women who are very masculine in their behaviors. There are also men who are feminine in their behaviors. The same could be said of angels that while they have no anatomical gender that nonetheless they are masculine in their behaviors: they have much power (Hebrews 1:7); they act with great authority (Revelation 18:1); they command (Matthew 1:24); they are decisive (Revelation 10:5-7); they communicate in an active way (Revelation 8:13); they are aggressive (Revelation 12:7), and even competitive (Jude 9). These are masculine type traits, and angels appear to have them. So while the Bible does not comment on the anatomical gender of angels, they are referred to in the masculine gender linguistically, and they also have masculine behaviors.