by Matt Slick
God does not tell us why angels appear as male in the Bible and not female. Angels do not have gender since gender is a biological function, and angels are not biological. The only angels that are named in the Bible include Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer, who are referred to in the masculine. Other angels are referred to in the masculine sense even though they are not named.
- Judges 13:21, "Now the angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah or his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD."
- 1 Chronicles 21:27, "The Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath."
- Zechariah 1:19, "So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."
- Revelation 14:17, "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle."
One of the possible reasons angels could be referred to only in the masculine is that of the issue of authority and strength. Generally, the male gender is associated with authority and strength more than the female gender.
Some people refer to Zechariah 5:9 as evidence that angels can be female. Let's take a look.
Zechariah 5:9, "Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens."
The context of Zechariah 5 is a series of visions. It is the sixth vision in which verse nine is delivered.
- Verse 1, a flying scroll
- Verse 2, its dimensions are 20 cubits long and its width 10 cubits
- Verses 3-4, the scroll represents a curse upon those who steal and those who swear falsely by God's name
- Verse 5-8, a woman is personified as wickedness
- Verse 9, two women coming out with the wind in their wings
- Verse 10-11, the women are going to build a temple
So, contextually the figures spoken of in verse 9 are not angels. They are representative of wickedness and are not dealing with angels. Therefore, we can see that universally in Scripture angels are referred to in the masculine and not the feminine even though the Bible does not tell us why this is so.