History of Religion
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Jewish tradition considers angels to be messengers of God, but holds that they must not be substituted for God. Isaiah 63:9 speaks of the angel of God's divine countenance—an important designation in Jewish mysticism that has variously been taken to mean the archangel Metatron, the Shekhinah (or immanent divine presence), or the redeeming angel and was understood by some to be an extension of God and a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The Talmud (Hagigah 13b) declares that each divine angelic legion is formed of a million members, but that the legions themselves are numberless.