Although many are familiar with the thought of an angel of death, this is not found in the Bible. There is no angel mentioned with the power to randomly take lives. There are a few portions from the Bible that are generally cited as referring to an angel of death. Let’s consider them closely.

THE DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN – Exodus 11:4-5, “And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I GO OUT into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.” Exodus 12:29, “And it came to pass, that at midnight THE LORD SMOTE all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.” Many seem to think there was a death angel that struck down those who did not properly prepare for this night by killing a lamb and putting its blood on the side posts and top of their door (Read Exodus 12:1-11). However, we can clearly see that it was the Lord, Himself who “smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt.

THE LORD’S PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL – 2 Samuel 24:15-16, “So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And THE ANGEL OF THE LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.” We see that it was the Lord that sent this pestilence among the Israelites. As the ‘angel of the Lord’ prepared to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord prevented him from doing so, stating that there had been enough punishment. Obviously this angel was sent by the Lord and controlled by the Lord.

THE KILLING OF THE ASSYRIANS – 2 Kings 19:35, “And it came to pass that night, that THE ANGEL OF THE LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” The Lord did use an angel on this occasion to strike down 185,000 of His enemies, but there is no mention of an ‘angel of death’ here. This ‘angel of the Lord’ was sent out by the Lord to accomplish His purpose.

In both of these occasions involving the ‘angel of the Lord’, he is not referred to as the ‘angel of death’ as if it was the work of this angel to cause or be present at every death. Who is this angel of the Lord? In many cases, it is obvious that he is the pre-incarnate Christ. For more about Him, please click on this ANSWERS FROM THE BOOK link: (262.4)