10-7 ANGELS AND ASSYRIANS
THE ASSYRIAN INVASION
Much of the book of Isaiah has reference to the Assyrian invasion,
with its ultimate destruction by Angelic forces; hence the frequency
of Angelic-linked language like "Lord of Hosts", "Holy One" etc.
The frequent use of phrases like "Fear not,
I am with thee" in Isaiah recall the assurance to Joshua and Israel
that the Angel would be with them against other nations more powerful
Isaiah 37, for example, is packed with Angelic language, and clearly
shows how Hezekiah conceived of God in terms of an Angel:
v. 16 "O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel" -both Angelic titles.
"That dwellest between the cherubims"
The great Angel dwelling over the ark
"Thou art the God. . . of all the kingdoms
of the earth". The Angels control the Kingdoms of men.
"Thou hast made Heaven and earth" -
the Angels' work.
v. 17 "Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear"- language of Angelic
"Open Thine eyes and see"
Eyes = Angels.
"The living God" - 'God of the
living ones'- the Angel between the Cherubim.
The historical account emphasises that Rabshakeh continually reminded
them of the strength of the hand of the Assyrians; the phrase occurs
six times in 2 Chron. 32:13-15 alone. The hand of the Lord is an
Angelic title; as if he was really mocking the Angel of Israel.
There are also many references in Isaiah to the arm of the Lord
delivering Israel at this time, which is again an Angelic title.
Similarly, the latter day Assyrian will be destroyed by the arm
of the Lord, as manifest in Christ and the Angels with Him.
Hezekiah "went up to the house of the Lord, and spread (Sennacherib's
letter) before the Lord"- before the Angel dwelling over the ark
in the temple. What greater example to us, to have the Angels
fully in mind when we pray in an emergency?
Other prophets seem relevant to this same period, and it is interesting
to see the Angelic connections with the Assyrians in their writings.
Nahum provides a good example:
1:11 "One come out of thee that imagineth evil against the Lord,
a wicked counsellor"- Rabshakeh
1:3 "God is jealous. . slow to anger. . and will not at all aquit
the wicked"- these are the attributes of the Angel listed in Ex.
1:3,6,8 "Whirlwind. . clouds. . darkness. . fire"- all associated
with Angelic manifestation in the Cherubim and at Sinai.
1:4 "He rebuketh the Sea and maketh it dry"- alluding to the
Angel drying up the Red Sea.
1:5 "The mountains quake at Him. . the hills melt. . the earth
and all that dwell therein"- reminiscent of the description of
the Angels' work in leading Israel to Canaan (e. g. Hab. 3:4-15:
Ps. 68:7,8; Judges 5:4,5)
Thus when we read later in the prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh
by chariots with flaming fire (2:3-5), it is evident that the Medes
were but representatives of the Cherubim chariots with Angels made
as a flame of fire (Ps. 104:4); thus the "worthies" of 2:5 are the
Angels, and the work controlled overall by the "Lord of Hosts" (3:5)-
of Angels. There are several other examples of human armies being
described in Angelic language.
Perhaps it is to the seven Angel-spirits of Revelation and Zechariah
that Micah refers: "When the Assyrian shall come into our land.
. . shall we raise against him (in warfare, the Hebrew implies-
cp. Obadiah 1) seven shepherds, and eight princes of men" (Mic.
5:5). The only beings to fight the Assyrians were the Angels who
slew them, seeing that the Jews scarcely fired an arrow in anger
at them. Both "shepherd" and "prince" are Angelic titles (see
Ps. 80:1; Is. 63:9-11 and Josh. 5:14; Dan. 10:13;12:1 respectively).
The Angels could be "princes of men" as those in Daniel were both
princes of Heaven and also of human nations, e. g. Persia.