Twelve Legions of Angels

Arrest of Jesus

When Peter tried to defend Jesus from the mob that came to arrest Him, Jesus responded, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53).

How big of a force did Jesus have at His disposal? Depending on which source you reference, a legion was made up of between 4,000 and 6,000+ men. Let us pick a number in the middle (5,000) as a point of reference. Jesus could have called twelve of these angelic companies of 5,000 to come to His aid.

We sometimes sing a song about how Jesus could have called 10,000 angels. Actually, according to the figures above, He could have called around 60,000 angels. How powerful would such a force be?

Think back to the time when the Assyrian army surrounded Jerusalem in the days of King Hezekiah: “Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead” (2 Kings 19:35).

This was the work of just one angel. One angel was able to kill 185,000 Assyrian soldiers overnight.

Knowing the power of one angel, what could the twelve legions of angels have done? At the same rate as the angel who killed the Assyrians, those angels could have slaughtered more than 11 billion people in one night.

Some people say that it was not God’s plan for Jesus to go to the cross, or that Jesus wanted to escape the cross. If either were true, mankind would have been obliterated by a mighty angelic army before Jesus ever reached Golgotha. All of this was God’s plan. Jesus willingly carried out His part. Now we have hope of salvation if we faithfully obey Him.


This article is one of the fifty articles included in the book Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years. Click on the link to read more about the book.


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