Previous Verse Next Verse


Then I saw another mighty angel

coming down from heaven,

Go to footnote number

he was wrapped in a cloud,

over his head

was a rainbow,

Go to footnote number

his face

Go to footnote number


like the sun,

and his feet

Go to footnote number

were pillars of fire.

Go to footnote number


Then I saw another mighty one of God’s agents who was

commissioned by God,

surrounded by God’s glory,

and governed by

God’s promise of mercy;

inside and out,

he was full of glory

and his actions were founded on a commitment to protect God’s people.


1: “Coming down from heaven”

This means he was coming from the throne of God, sent by God for a specific task. His message is authoritative. All this is confirmed by the following word pictures which were not a description of what he looked like, but a description of his qualities and his connection to God.


This indicates that the rainbow held sway over his actions, since the head controls the actions of the body. Hence his use of authority was guided and controlled by mercy.


The face indicates bringing to the outside what is inside someone, and the sun is a symbol of God’s glory.


There were several symbolic uses for the word feet. Here it refers to the fact that the feet were a person’s foundation, or source of stability.


Fire usually meant punishment or purification, but in this case the power and ferocity used to punish will be used to protect, i.e. this power will be focused against all who attack God’s people (the ones being protected are assumed, not stated). This is another encouragement to believers facing persecution or strong opposition. The mention of the pillars would cause the Jews to recall how God brought them out of Egypt with a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day. The Israelites thought of those pillars as God’s feet—all they had to do was follow in God’s “steps” and He would guide them along. It is much like the sheep following a shepherd. As the sheep graze their heads are down, but they stay close enough to the shepherd that they can see his feet. (See Ray Vander Laan’s video segment on the 23rd Psalm, in the series That the World May Know.)