A bodiless, immortal spirit, limited in knowledge and power, accepted in the traditional belief of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The three choirs of angels appear early in the Christian era; the classes are, from the highest:
seraphim, cherubim, thrones; dominations, virtues, powers; principalities, archangels, angels.
Angels appear in the Bible, often in critical roles, e.g., visiting Abraham and Lot (Gen. 18; 19) and announcing the Incarnation to Mary (Luke 1).
The cult of guardian angels who protect individuals or nations is especially strong in the West.
The angels of Hell, or devils, led by Satan, are viewed as initiators of evil temptations.
The cherubim are most often pictured as cute babies with wings, but they can take any form. The Bible says that two fearsome cherubim were charged with guarding the Garden of Eden, for example.
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