Pictures of Angels According to the Bible

Even if you haven’t touched the Bible, you probably know what angels look like. Typically, they are depicted as glorious, beautiful, winged creatures that gracefully glide across the heavens. Humanoid in appearance and the epitome of physical perfection. Some come with halos; some come with wings. Or perhaps a tiny chubby baby with wings. It’s the kind of thing you might see on a Valentine’s Day card, except that’s not what angels look like in the Bible.

So, what do angels really look like? What is a biblically accurate description of an angel?

First, I want to clarify that our knowledge of angels as humans is minimal. Our idea of what they look like comes from visions that people had throughout the Bible. In short, we don’t have a definite description of angels, but we can use Scripture to image their appearance.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the Biblically accurate forms angels take and show some Pictures used to describe angels in the Bible.

The 9 types of biblical angels

There’s a hierarchy for the angels. The most influential Catholic angelic hierarchy was by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in his book De Coelesti Hierarchia. Dionysius described nine levels of spiritual beings, which he grouped into three orders.

First orders: Three angels (the first choir) exist in this tie. The purpose is to live within heaven and carry an axe immediately beside God. These are the angels that are closest to God. 

Second orders: This tier also contains three angels within it as well. These angels still exclusively exist within heaven; however, their actions affect people on Earth.

  • Dominions
  • Virtues
  • Powers

Third order: This tie again contains three different types of angels. These angels directly interact with humans and are on Earth with us.

  • Principalities
  • Archangels
  • Angels

To make this list more accessible, I’m going to break it down like this:

The top tier, or the first choir is godly servants; the second tier is the heavenly rulers, and the third tier is the earthly messengers.

How angels really look like, according to the Bible

Biblically accurate Seraphim

Seraphim is plural of seraph and refers to the angels that directly exist next to God’s throne. The translation of seraphim means the burning ones. The primary account that we see mentioned of them is in Isaiah chapter 6.

Whenever the prophet Isaiah has a vision of what God’s throne looks like. During this vision, he describes the Seraphim as creatures with human heads and six wings:

  • Two wings to cover their face.
  • Two wings to protect their feet.
  • Two other wings to fly.

They said “holy, holy, holy” and constantly gave God homage. These are the closest angels to God. They encircle his throne and radiate a flaming, passionate light that represents his love.

Many artists’ depictions of the Seraphim combine features from the other types of spiritual beings mentioned in this article (like giving them eyes all over or multiple faces).

Biblically accurate Cherubim

Cherubim, plural of a cherub, these angels manage celestial records and have access to God’s wisdom. They are dispatched to Earth with significant missions, such as removing humanity from the Garden of Eden. 

The cherubim are probably the most well-described angels in the Bible. It is also the worst interpreted throughout history. When everyone hears the word cherubim, they think of the plump infants with wings. This is not a Cherubim. It’s not even close. 

Our best description of a Cherubim comes from the book of Ezekiel. It describes them as living creatures, but they are later revealed in chapter 10 as Cherubim. 

It was something like four living creatures. Below was their appearance: there was a human form, and each had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like those of a calf’s foot. The four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on their right side, the face of an ox on their left side, and the face of an eagle. Their entire bodies are covered with eyes.

Biblically accurate Thrones

There are three pictures of thrones angels

The Thrones appear to have the weirdest appearance because they appear as great glowing wheels covered with many eyes. In Ezekiel. The passage reads like this: 

“As I looked at the living creatures [Cherubim], I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four were full of eyes”.

As Ezekiel described him, the thrones or wheels appeared as four wheels within wheels that were constantly spinning. The wheels had four wings on them, two to fly and two to cover part of itself.

When describing these wheels, he says that their height was such that it was pretty dreadful. He also talks about the parts of them beneath the sky. So these things may be as big as the sky.

For more information about the Angel of the Throne, click Thrones of Angels: Meaning, Origins, and Characteristics.

Biblically accurate Dominions angels

The dominions, also known as the dominations or lordships, regulate the duties of the angels under them. They have great power and autonomy over humans but do not come in close contact with us. If there is an emergency, the Dominions are the ones who can help us.

They are depicted as having a golden staff in their right hand and the seal of God in their left hand. They look like divinely beautiful humans with feathered wings, wearing long albs or gowns reaching to their feet.

Biblically accurate Virtues angels

Virtues are often described as the angels of nature on Earth. It is taken from examples outside of the Bible because it doesn’t talk about him much. The virtues give people courage and faith, hence the name virtue. 

In most depictions, they’re shown as having white lilies in one hand and red roses in another, the white lilies representing the perfection of God. and the red roses representing the blood or the love of Christ.

The prince of the Virtues is said to be Raphael; he has the power to heal and relieve pain. He is given the strength to encourage humans to have faith in God and given the capacity to intervene in humans’ affairs.

Biblically accurate Powers angels

Power angels are found in 1 Peter Chapter 3, verses 22, and Ephesians 1 and 21. Christ The Protestant translation is “mighty,” indicating the orderly nature of heavenly and rational authority. They are the first angels created by God, the vanguard in the war against demons. They are responsible for guarding the kingdom of heaven and preventing the invasion of demons. They are also responsible for protecting our souls from the evil deeds of demons. After we die, it is believed that there are forces that guide our souls in their transition to heaven.

They’re always depicted as being covered in armor and having swords, bows, or some form of weaponry.

Biblically accurate Principalities angels

The principalities, also known as the princes, are the angels that guide and protect nations, groups of peoples, and institutions such as the Church. 

They also must carry out the orders given to them by the upper sphere angels and bequeath blessings to the material world. They are said to inspire living things in many disciplines, such as art or science.

The Principalities are wearing a crown and carrying a scepter.

Biblically accurate Archangels

Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Archangels (Archangels List) are the guardians of humankind. And they are some of the most famous angels known to man. 

Archangels appear in human form with enormous wings set on their backs.

Micheal is said to be the only Archangel as he is the only Angel mentioned in the Bible, but some also believe that Gabriel is also an Archangel. In contrast, others believe there are three or even 7 Archangels.

Seven Archangels

Biblically accurate angels

These might just be called “regular angels.” They are guardians of people and all things physical and are the most common type of angels. 

The Bible mentions that every soul has an angel to watch over, which is the kind of Angel it refers to.

It’s also said that these angels can put on a physical form and appear as people, which means they’re so good at blending in and appearing as humans. Some people exist on Earth who are angels, and we’re never the wiser to it. The primary purpose of these angels is to serve and protect the Christians, or followers of God on Earth.

Angel pictures in the Bible


It’s hard to know what the Biblically accurate angels look like, especially when you try to paint together specific images of some of them. But knowing how these angel beings are in Christian Scripture does help to explain why angels always started with “be not afraid” when they appeared. Even the angels who looked like humans had a striking and otherworldly presence that astounded even the bravest men. Though we can’t be entirely sure of the proper form of angels, we can be sure that they are majestic, mysterious, and nothing like anything we experience in our everyday lives.

Additional biblical angel articles

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