Angels are supernatural beings who serve a variety of functions in biblical literature. The term most often used to denote angels in the Hebrew Bible,
mal’ak, means “messenger.” The Septuagint frequently translates mal’ak with the Greek angelos, from which the English word “angel” derives. While
angels are mentioned several times in the earlier writings of the Hebrew Bible, in the literature of the Second Temple period a veritable explosion of
interest in them is found. Jewish writings of this era exhibit a sustained interest in identifying the various ranks and orders of the angels as well as in
naming individual angels and delineating their specific functions. The extensive angelological speculation of this period deeply influenced later forms of
Judaism and as well as constituting an important element of the Jewish heritage of early Christianity.