Bible Question:

Are the two women in Zechariah 5:9 angels?

Bible Answer:

Most angelic sculptures and figurines sold in stores and illustrated in books appear as female. It is rare to find male figurine angels available for purchase. But is that consistent with Scripture? Do angels appear as both males and females? Are the two women in Zechariah 5:9 angels? Therefore, let’s discover what the Bible says about the two women in Zechariah 5:9.

Are the two women in Zechariah 5:9 angels?

Are the Two Women in Zechariah 5:9 Angels?

In order to understand who the two women are in Zechariah 5:9, we must understand that the paragraph in which they are mentioned is about the seventh vision in the book of Zechariah. It is found in Zechariah 5:5-11 and is about a vision of a woman in a basket.

Then the angel who was speaking with me went out and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth.” I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah going forth.” Again he said, “This is their appearance in all the land (and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah.” Then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening. Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the ephah?” Then he said to me, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal.” Zechariah 5:5-11 (NASB)

At first it would seem that the two women carrying the basket might be angels because two angels appeared as men in Genesis 18:2, 16, 22, but we are told they were angels until later in Genesis 19:1. Also, Hebrews 13:2 says that we can entertain angles not know it. So, are the two women in Zechariah 5:9 also angels? There are three facts to be considered:

Zechariah 5:9 Is Part of a Vision — The first fact is that Zechariah 5:9 is part of a vision. This vision is not the real world. Zechariah contains eight visions (Zechariah 1:7-17, 18-21; 2:1-13; 3:1-10; 4:1-14; 5:1-4, 5-11; 6:1-8). Most them begin with a statement about lifting up the eyes. This visions starts the same way. This is a vision about a future prophecy. Even if the women appeared as angels in the vision, that does not mean the women were real angels. 

Storks Were Unclean Birds — The second fact is that these two women had “wings of a stork.” A stork was considered to be an unclean bird in Leviticus 11:13-19 and Deuteronomy 14:11-20. That immediately reveals these two women represent evil. If we are supposed to understand them to be angels, then they would be evil angels, but it is not a clear statement that they are. 

Prophecy About Babylon — The third fact is that these two women take the woman in the basket to the temple in the land of Shinar. Shinar is an old name for Babylon. Babylon was a wicked empire. Zechariah 5:5-11 is a prophecy about the events in the future Babylon (Revelation 17-18) at the end of the tribulation (Revelation 19). If we are supposed to understand that these two women are angels, then again they would be evil angels or demons. But there is not enough evidence in the vision to identify them as angels.

Angels Appear as Males in Scripture

Scripture universally refers to angels with male names (Luke 1:19, 26; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7) and with male pronouns (Daniel 9:21-22).  When they appear, they are referred to as men. Compare Genesis 18:2, 16, 22 to Genesis 19:1. Also, Luke 24:4, 23 refers to two angels as men.

No angels are referred to as women or with feminine names. There are no angels appearing as females in the Bible. This means that we should not understand these two women in Zechariah 5:9 to be female angels. It would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture.  But the way, it is doubtful that there are actually male angels.

Conclusion:

Zechariah 5:9 is about two women in a vision. The vision is actually a prophecy about Babylon during the last part of the tribulation (Revelation 17-18). The two women are most likely not angels but simply two women in the prophecy. The Bible always refers to angels using male names, male pronouns, and sometimes they are called “men.” Therefore, it is very doubtful these two women are angels. Even if they were angels, they appeared only in the vision and not in real life.

Suggested Links:

Book of Zechariah
Angels – Good and Evil
Does the Bible say there are male and female angels?
Are some demons more powerful than some holy angels?
Who were the sons of God? Are they angels or people?
Are we equal, lower, or higher than the angels?
Jesus is Superior to Angels
Will Christians be greater than angels in the future?