I know the seraphim, cherubs, and thrones have 3 sets of wings:

According to Isaiah 6:1-8, the Seraphim are described as fiery six-winged beings.

From the angelology wiki page.

But, I've been reading about Michaelmas and found a picture of Michael, the Archangel:


from here, and the wikipedia article here

I think, I see 6 wings on Raphael and 6 on Michael but as we all know Archangels only have 1 set of wings?

  • 1
    Could you clarify what sort of reference you'll accept? Based on a Biblical search I don't find any statement of how many wings Michael has.
    – JDM-GBG
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 1:35
  • Define what a set of wings is. Perhaps there are six to a set.
    – 007
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 2:22
  • Part of the problem here may be a conflation of two different meanings of "archangel". Quoting from a dictionary, one meaning is "an angel of high rank", which certainly describes St. Michael. The other is "a being of the 8th order of the 9-fold celestial hierarchy", i.e., at the next-to-lowest rank, which does not describe St. Michael, the "prince of the heavenly host" (in the words of a familiar Catholic prayer). Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 23:57
  • Another part of the problem may be the idea that angels have physical bodies, including wings. They may appear to us in physical form, with or without wings, but they are really pure spirits. (Incidentally, most of the Biblical appearances of angels that occur to me just now don't mention wings, although a few do.) Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 0:00
  • While I'm listing possible parts of the problem, I might as well also include the idea that artists' depictions of angels actually resemble angels. Compare, for example, the nice angels pictured in the question with Rilke's "Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich. ... ich verginge von seinem Stärkeren Dasein" [from Duineser Elegien]. Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


I was completely unaware that Archangels only have one set (one pair) of wings. Where in the Bible does it say that? As for Seraphim, the Bible informs us that they have three pairs of wings:

NLT Isaiah 6:2: Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.

As for the mighty cherubim, the Bible does not mention multiple pairs of wings:

NLT Genesis 3:23-24: So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

NLT Exodus 25:17-22: Then make the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—from pure gold. It must be 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. Then make two cherubim from hammered gold, and place them on the two ends of the atonement cover. Mold the cherubim on each end of the atonement cover, making it all of one piece of gold. The cherubim will face each other and look down on the atonement cover. With their wings spread above it, they will protect it. Place inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, which I will give to you. Then put the atonement cover on top of the Ark. I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.

Another biblical reference to a mighty angelic guardian (NLT) or a guardian cherub (NIV and ESV) or anointed cherub (KJV and YLT) is found in Ezekiel 28:14, but no mention is made of wings.

Regardless of how many pairs of wings the various angelic spirt creatures have, if the Bible doesn’t say then you can be sure we do not need to know. What is important is their function:

Holy angels fall into special classes, and certain individuals are named and mentioned. Michael the archangel is likely the head of all the holy angels, and his name means "who is like unto God?" (Daniel 10:21; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7-10) Gabriel is one of the principal messengers of God, his name meaning "hero of God," and was entrusted with important messages such as those delivered to Daniel (Daniel 8:16; 9:21), to Zechariah (Luke 1:18-19), and to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). Most holy angels are not named in the Bible but are described only as "elect angels" (1 Timothy 5:21). The expressions "principalities" and "powers" seem to be used of all angels whether fallen or holy (Luke 21:26; Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22). Some angels are designated as "cherubim," which are living creatures who defend God's holiness from any defilement of sin (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:18, 20). "Seraphim" are another class of angels, mentioned only once in Scripture in Isaiah 6:2-7, and are described as having three pairs of wings. They apparently have the function of praising God, being God's messengers to earth, and are especially concerned with the holiness of God. - What are the different types of angels?

Furthermore, human attempts to depict the holy angels will never come close to reality.


Cherubim are described in great detail in Ezekiel 10:21:

Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.

I do not see any biblical scripture that supports to winged the Angels.

  • Verse 21 21 Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings
    – Kat S
    Commented May 18 at 18:57

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