We all know that all the people on the earth came actually of 70 nations (even though lots of them became mixed recently).

And we all know that every one of these nations has an angel to guard it. Basically, Yishmael and Edom are not among these 70 nations (Or at least that's what the appendixes in the Artscroll English Tanach shows). But, from commentaries we know that Edom's angel is Satan and Yishmael has its own angel too (the case when its angel came to G-d saying that Yishmael also deserve a share in the holy land since his circumcision was higher than Yitzhak's).

SO how Yishmael and Edom has their own angels if they are not among the 70 nations ?

  • Perhaps you know. How do you know that we all know? Can you source this please? Aug 6, 2015 at 16:14
  • @GershonGold, in Artscroll English Tanach's appendixe, it shows no mention of Yishmael and Edom among the 70 nations. And I don;t know if I can put links of youtube videos here without being reported..
    – mil
    Aug 6, 2015 at 16:20
  • You do not need youtube here. I am sure there are sources in Sefarim that mention some of your assertions. Aug 6, 2015 at 16:21
  • @GershonGold, most of my knowledge about such things come from youtube videos of Rabbis unfortunetly
    – mil
    Aug 6, 2015 at 16:30
  • Bnei Yissachar Shabbos 1:10 says that 35 of the nations are under the jurisdiction of Yishmael and 35 of the nations are under the jurisdiction of Eisav. I do not understand your question. Why can't Eisav and Yishmael have a Malach if they are not from the 70 nations? Aug 6, 2015 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


Note that the definition of the seventy nations occurred in the Dor Hahaflagah (dispersion after the Migdal Bavel). As a result, the nations of Moav, Ammon, Yishmael, and Edom would not have been in existence at that time. I have seen references to the Vilna Gaon, such as in Nefesh Hachaim and this reference that the reference to ruling over 35 each, means that those two were not part of the seventy.

Similarly, we see at Ishmael, Esau, Keturah that Ammon Moav, Yishmael, Edom, and Bnai Yisrael as descendants of Terach would have been included in the "nation" that Terach was part of but were separated as completely "new" nations. Hashem would have given them a malach in order to allow them to exist as individual nations. The meforshim speaking of the "gifts" of bnai Keturah express this as the "spiritual" gifts.

When Hashem says that He is in charge of Bnai Yisrael, the implication is that He has appointed a malach for the other members of the family. We also see this, when Hashem says that He will send a malach with Bnai Yisrael in the midbar until Moshe Rabbeinu prays that He Himself will continue to guide them.

The implication to this is that no nation can exist unless it has a malach corresponding to that nation.

  • It would be very good to get a straight reference to such a comment by the Gaon. Very interesting.
    – MichoelR
    Feb 25, 2021 at 15:21

The Midrash Tanchuma gives the following statement of R' Levi on Chayei Soroh:

אָמַר רְבִי לֵוִי, הוּא שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וְנִבְרְכוּ בוֹ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ, שֶׁיָּצָא הַיָּם בְּדוֹר הַפְלָגָה וְהֵפִיץ מִבְּנֵי חָם שְׁלֹשִׁים מִשְׁפָּחוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּפֶץ ה' אֹתָם. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, מִמְּךָ אֲנִי מַעֲמִידָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְנִבְרְכוּ בוֹ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ. הֶעֱמִיד מִשְׁפָּחוֹת, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר נְשִׂיאִים שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד מִיִּשְׁמָעֵאל, וְשִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר מִכָּאן וּשְׁנֵי גוֹיִם בְּבִטְנֵךְ. הֱוֵי אוֹמֵר, וְנִבְרְכוּ בוֹ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ.

So, the answer is that they replaced nations from the 70 nations and would most probably be counted as such until today (or at least until Sancheiriv ruined it all but that's an answer to another question.)

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