10-7 Angels and Assyrians
THE ASSYRIAN INVASION
Much of the book of Isaiah has reference to the Assyrian invasion, with its ultimate destruction by Angelic forces; hence the frequency of Angelic-linked language like "Lord of Hosts", "Holy One" etc. The frequent use of phrases like "Fear not, I am with thee" in Isaiah recall the assurance to Joshua and Israel that the Angel would be with them against other nations more powerful than they.
Isaiah 37, for example, is packed with Angelic language, and clearly shows how Hezekiah conceived of God in terms of an Angel:
v. 16 "O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel" -both Angelic titles.
"That dwellest between the cherubims" The great Angel dwelling over the ark
"Thou art the God. . . of all the kingdoms of the earth". The Angels control the Kingdoms of men.
"Thou hast made Heaven and earth" - the Angels' work.
v. 17 "Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear"- language of Angelic limitation
"Open Thine eyes and see" Eyes = Angels.
"The living God" - 'God of the living ones'- the Angel between the Cherubim.
The historical account emphasises that Rabshakeh continually reminded them of the strength of the hand of the Assyrians; the phrase occurs six times in 2 Chron. 32:13-15 alone. The hand of the Lord is an Angelic title; as if he was really mocking the Angel of Israel. There are also many references in Isaiah to the arm of the Lord delivering Israel at this time, which is again an Angelic title. Similarly, the latter day Assyrian will be destroyed by the arm of the Lord, as manifest in Christ and the Angels with Him.
Hezekiah "went up to the house of the Lord, and spread (Sennacherib's letter) before the Lord"- before the Angel dwelling over the ark in the temple. What greater example to us, to have the Angels fully in mind when we pray in an emergency?
Other prophets seem relevant to this same period, and it is interesting to see the Angelic connections with the Assyrians in their writings. Nahum provides a good example:
1:11 "One come out of thee that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor"- Rabshakeh
1:3 "God is jealous. . slow to anger. . and will not at all aquit the wicked"- these are the attributes of the Angel listed in Ex. 34.
1:3,6,8 "Whirlwind. . clouds. . darkness. . fire"- all associated with Angelic manifestation in the Cherubim and at Sinai.
1:4 "He rebuketh the Sea and maketh it dry"- alluding to the Angel drying up the Red Sea.
1:5 "The mountains quake at Him. . the hills melt. . the earth and all that dwell therein"- reminiscent of the description of the Angels' work in leading Israel to Canaan (e. g. Hab. 3:4-15: Ps. 68:7,8; Judges 5:4,5)
Thus when we read later in the prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh by chariots with flaming fire (2:3-5), it is evident that the Medes were but representatives of the Cherubim chariots with Angels made as a flame of fire (Ps. 104:4); thus the "worthies" of 2:5 are the Angels, and the work controlled overall by the "Lord of Hosts" (3:5)- of Angels. There are several other examples of human armies being described in Angelic language.
Perhaps it is to the seven Angel-spirits of Revelation and Zechariah that Micah refers: "When the Assyrian shall come into our land. . . shall we raise against him (in warfare, the Hebrew implies- cp. Obadiah 1) seven shepherds, and eight princes of men" (Mic. 5:5). The only beings to fight the Assyrians were the Angels who slew them, seeing that the Jews scarcely fired an arrow in anger at them. Both "shepherd" and "prince" are Angelic titles (see Ps. 80:1; Is. 63:9-11 and Josh. 5:14; Dan. 10:13;12:1 respectively). The Angels could be "princes of men" as those in Daniel were both princes of Heaven and also of human nations, e. g. Persia.