[Milton-L] Re: the wings again

Jason Kerr aelfric at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 17:07:05 EST 2008

Thanks to Harold Skulsky for the clarification. I love how on this list even
a question with a fallacious premise can prompt a learned and educational

Much appreciated,
Jason A. Kerr

On Jan 3, 2008 12:37 PM, Harold Skulsky <hskulsky at email.smith.edu> wrote:

> "How did the Hebrew words 'seraphim' and 'cherubim' and so on come to be
> linked to the Greek word "aggelos"?"
> The premise of the question is fallacious. Heb. *saraph* (seraph) and
> *ch'ruv* (cherub)* are routinely linked in Rabbinic commentary with Heb.
> *mal'ach* (messenger; one who is SENT). Angelos* is simply the standard
> koiné rendering (in LII and NT) of *mal'ach*. (For 17th-c. scholarship,
> see, e.g., John Lightfoot's *Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae*.)
> As the supreme bearer of the *eu-ANGEL-ion* (Good News), Christ is,
> literally and innocuously, the Father's messenger or *angelos* or
> *mesites* (go-between)--the evangelist par excellence; the verb
> *eu-ANGEL-isasthai* ("bear the Good News") regularly describes his
> agency, as in his own announcement that "I must preach
> [*euangelisasthai*] the kingdom of God . . . for therefore am I SENT."
> The koiné for "SENT," by the way, is the root of "apostolos"; Christ is,
> quite literally, an apostle of the Father--again literally and
> innocuously. (Cf. also Eph. 2:17.)
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The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

          —Czeslaw Milosz, from "Ars Poetica?"
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