Often Angels are depicted in art with male dress. The named angels also sound very masculine — Michael or Gabriel. Even the Greek word angelos (as well as the Hebrew word מֲלְאָךְ malak) are both masculine meaning a messenger from God. But is it really right to speak of angels as being masculine? Are angels gender neutral?
Man Was a Neutral Word for Centuries
The default to masculine names and male dress might have been influenced by the use of “man” as a gender neutral term (at least in English).
The proverb, man does not live by bread alone, refers more to humankind rather than just men.
Up until a thousand years ago, the word for a male person was “wǣpmann” and a female person was “wīfmann”. This root word, “mann” means a person.
Angels Are Spirits with No Form
Humans and other Earthly creatures were designed to breed, thus the male and female forms. Unless they breed asexually, that is. Yet angels are not related to these mortal creatures at all.
In Hebrews 1:14 (the New International Version) states this about angels:
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
God created the angels completely by scratch. They were never meant to reproduce, and thus have no need of genders.
Additionally, angels are constructs of pure thought. They have no physical form but are simply spiritual beings. Assigning them a gender is pointless.
Perhaps the reason we depict them as some form of gender speaks to our own limitations on how to perceive the divine. It makes it easier for our limited mortal brains to comprehend the angels. As spirits, they have no physical form at all.