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Two passages both emphasize the angels as being in Heaven

“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:30‬ ‭

‭ “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:25‬ ‭

Does this have anything to do with angels not in heaven? is this possibly what Jesus is contrasting by emphasizing angels in Heaven? And did these angels (not in Heaven) marry and have children?

I am alluding to Genesis 6 and Jude 6

“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:4

“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,” ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ ‬ ‭

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  • The scriptures were not exactly written in minimalist times; repetitions and pleonasms abound.
    – Lucian
    Oct 15, 2021 at 5:36
  • I don’t know how important it is to the big picture here, but the Genesis quote could refer to individuals who did not marry at all, but had multiple sex with the daughters of men. Thus, multiplying to a great degree, rapidly filling the earth with their own offspring. In contrast to the linage of Set that developed a lot slower, but had spiritual qualities over the other’s carnal ones. Oct 16, 2021 at 0:19
  • My understanding is that Heaven is so much better than sex that people won't waste time with it. Oct 17, 2021 at 18:50

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I would say it's because the term "angels" does not always refer to Holy or "Good" spiritual beings. Also there are specific scriptures that reference spiritual angels leaving their heavenly domain and doing evil things God had not ordained them to do. These beings essentially then became what we would call "fallen angels" or "demons".

See Genesis 6:4 which speaks of the Nephilim produced by angels who rebeled having sexual relations with women - something angels were not permitted to do. And also Jude 1:6 which speaks of angels who left their heavenly domain to do evil and were punished by God and are now held in darkness.

Jude 1:6

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day

The Epistle of Jude also quotes directly from another scripture - The 2nd book of Enoch. It is a non canonical scripture but one well known by Jewish authors of Jesus time and referenced in numerous places in both the old and new testament (Genesis 5:18-24, 1 Chronicles 1:3, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5-6, Jude 1:14-15, 2 Corinthians 12:2). This scripture speaks extensively of the "fallen angels" and goes into detail describing the places they are held and punished. It also goes on to describe the different "levels" of heaven - 10 in total. (Paul references this when he says he ascended to the 3rd heaven - which 2 Enoch describes as "Paradise/Eden". 2 Enoch describes the 7th heaven as the holy place - here Angels live in holy light and are able to observe God's throne from a distance, and finally the 10th heaven is essentially the "inner sanctuary" the Holy of Holies God's throne room. (The pattern seems to match that of the Jewish temple construction)

With this context in mind, it seems clear Jesus is emphasising that they will become like the "good" Holy Angels who do Gods will and reside in the heavenly places in Holy light and not those which dwell in darkness.

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  • So Jesus is essentially contrasting the angels of Heaven who do not marry with the angels that left their place (in Heaven) and did marry. Which then points to the fact that Gen6 is speaking about angels and not humans (from the linage of Seth). Oct 15, 2021 at 2:57
  • Yes - Essentially contrasting Angels in the Kingdom of God - with those that dwell in darkness and committ evil. It is interesting that marriage is specifically mentioned (Which Jesus equates with sexual relations in his teaching on marrage) and that is specifically the sin the fallen angels committed in Genesis 6. So it does seem crystal clear that once a person dies and ascend to heaven in angelic form - sexual relations no longer take place / are permitted.
    – Marshall
    Oct 15, 2021 at 3:12
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    The "nephilim" were not angels, nor descendants of angels. To conclude that they were is to abandon proper hermeneutical principles.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 15, 2021 at 7:15
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    @Polyhat it's not an error - and I was being very generous by saying there was debate about who the "sons of God" refer to. This is a term that refers to beings who are of the spirit of God. Thus it can refer to an Angel from God or a "born again" human who has received the holy spirit. The context in which it is used shows which of these it refers to. In this case almost all scholars say it refers to angels. This can be seen from the text making explicit reference to them having sex with "women of men" showing the sons of God were not human.
    – Marshall
    Oct 16, 2021 at 1:54
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    @Polybat additionally both Jude 1:6 and 2 Peter 2:4 refer directly to Genesis 6:4 and both apostles call them by the specific word "angels". Jude actually directly quotes word for word entire verses in his epistle from another scripture called "The book of Enoch". 1 Enoch 6 which he quotes from provides and extended version of Genesis 6:4 and also calls them angels and even provides the names of the angels.😂 So if you believe these sons of God to be men .... You are in the very small minority and disagree with both the apostle Peter and the Apostle Jude and basically all of Jewish tradition
    – Marshall
    Oct 16, 2021 at 1:57
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Douay-Rheims Bible Matthew 11:

7 And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? 8But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings. 9But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea I tell you, and more than a prophet.

10 For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel [G32] before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.

Jesus explained to the people that John the Baptizer was an angel (ἄγγελος), i.e., a human messenger sent by God.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:

30‬ For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels [G32] in heaven.” ‭

Human angels/messengers did get married. To disambiguate, Jesus added "in heaven".

Why emphasize angels in heaven, why not just angels?

Jesus wanted to make his argument clearer, so there was no misunderstanding by the Sadducees.

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If Jesus did not specify heavenly angels, his meaning would have been far more ambiguous. The word "angel" means "messenger." It does not always refer to heavenly beings, but can refer to humans as well.

For example:

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. (Genesis 32:2, KJV)

וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֹֽום׃ (Genesis 32:3, TR)

The word "מַלְאָכִים֙" is the Hebrew word for angels, but is translated here as "messengers." Jacob could not have sent heavenly angels to his brother, right?

And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, (Deuteronomy 2:26, KJV)

וָאֶשְׁלַ֤ח מַלְאָכִים֙ מִמִּדְבַּ֣ר קְדֵמֹ֔ות אֶל־סִיחֹ֖ון מֶ֣לֶךְ חֶשְׁבֹּ֑ון דִּבְרֵ֥י שָׁלֹ֖ום לֵאמֹֽר׃ (Deuteronomy 2:26, TR)

Again, this is the word "angels" in Hebrew, which has been rendered as "messengers" in English. The original language did not distinguish between the two.

This usage of "angels" to reference "messengers" also occurs in Judges 6:35, 2 Samuel 3:26, 2 Kings 17:4, Nehemiah 6:3, and Jeremiah 27:3.

It is more often found in its singular form, however.

Strong's definition:

מֲלְאָךְ mălʼâk, mal-awk'; from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher):—ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

Translation counts in the AV (Authorized Version, i.e. KJV):

  • AV — angel 111, messenger 98, ambassadors 4, variant 1

The Greek word is the same story. For example:

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? (Luke 7:24, KJV)

ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων ἰωάννου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ ἰωάννου τί ἐξεληλύθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον (Luke 7:24, TR)

Strong's definition:

ἄγγελος ággelos, ang'-el-os; from ἀγγέλλω aggéllō (probably derived from G71; compare G34) (to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an "angel"; by implication, a pastor:—angel, messenger.

  • Translation counts for ἄγγελος: AV — angel 179, messenger 7

This shows that the word "angel" can mean simply "messenger" and be applied to the human variety quite regularly.

Jesus' specification of the angels as being "of heaven" or "in heaven" is a necessary clarification, because the word's meaning would not otherwise be limited to extraterrestrial (non-human) beings.

Conclusion

Both in Hebrew and in Greek, the word "angel" can refer to a human: it simply means a messenger. Jesus used the modifier "in heaven" to specify to which variety of messenger he was referring. The angels "not in heaven" might have been those of the human variety--which is why Jesus needed to be more specific.

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  • If Jesus would have just said ”For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like aggelos” no one would have been confused by what He meant because of context. Interesting interpretation no doubt but not very persuasive especially as it relies on a definition when it comes to the Greek rather than example passages/verses and you’re arguing mostly from the Hebrew to prove your point when this is in Greek. Oct 15, 2021 at 2:48
  • I provided one of the seven examples from the Greek where the word was translated as "messenger." Would you like all of them?
    – Polyhat
    Oct 15, 2021 at 7:13
  • Not necessary, the context for Jesus’ comment would not be lost on the hearer that He was referring to a heavenly being and not a human aggelos. Of the close to 200 times aggelos is used, three times does it refer to a human messenger. That alone bears thinking about. This is also partly because ἀπόστολος was the word for messenger too but it was used only if humans. So it doesn’t change anything. Thank you though. Oct 15, 2021 at 11:21
  • As I said, there are seven uses of ἄγγελος (in any of its forms) that refer to messengers--all of those being of the human variety. Where did you come up with the number three? Here are the texts: Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27 --> refers to John the Baptist; Luke 7:24 --> refers to John's disciples; Luke 9:52 --> refers to disciples of Jesus; 2 Corinthians 12:7 --> refers to an unidentified "messenger of Satan," possibly not a being at all, but a physical problem; and James 2:25 --> refers to the Israelite spies sent to Jericho.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 15, 2021 at 14:23
  • 3, 7(6) instances of human messengers compared to close to 200 heavenly messengers, most people would immediately think angels. That’s the point, even if I was not right about the 7 Oct 15, 2021 at 14:36

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