|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Exodus 12:23), the agent employed in the killing of the first-born; the destroying angel or messenger of God. (Comp. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Samuel 24:15, 16; Psalm 78:49; Acts 12:23.)
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) One who destroys, ruins, kills, or desolates.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
de-stroi'-er: In several passages the word designates a supernatural agent of destruction, or destroying angel, executing Divine judgment.
(1) In Exodus 12:23, of the "destroyer" who smote the first-born in Egypt, again referred to under the same title in Hebrews 11:28 the Revised Version (British and American) (the King James Version "he that destroyed").
(2) In Job 33:22, "the destroyers" (literally, "they that cause to die") = the angels of death that are ready to take away a man's life during severe illness. No exact parallel to this is found in the Old Testament. The nearest approach is "the angel that destroyed the people" by pestilence (2 Samuel 24:16, 17 parallel 1 Chronicles 21:15, 16); the angel that smote the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:35 = Isaiah 37:36 parallel 2 Chronicles 32:21); "angels of evil" (Psalm 78:49).
(3) In the Apocrypha, "the destroyer" is once referred to as "the minister of punishment" (Revised Version; literally, "him who was punishing"), who brought death into the world (The Wisdom of Solomon 18:22-25).
(4) In 1 Corinthians 10:10, "the destroyer" is the angelic agent to whose instrumentality Paul attributes the plague of Numbers 16:46-49.
In later Jewish theology (the Targums and Midrash), the "destroyer" or "angel of death" appears under the name Sammael (i.e. the poison of God), who was once an arch-angel before the throne of God, and who caused the serpent to tempt Eve. According to Weber, he is not to be distinguished from Satan. The chief distinction between the "destroyer" of early thought and the Sammael of later Judaism is that the former was regarded as the emissary of Yahweh, and subservient to His will, and sometimes was not clearly distinguished from Yahweh Himself, whereas the latter was regarded as a perfectly distinct individuality, acting in independence or semi-independence, and from purely malicious and evil motives. The change was largely due to the influence of Persian dualism, which made good and evil to be independent powers.
D. Miall Edwards
Destroyer (23 Occurrences)
1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and perished by the destroyer. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Hebrews 11:28 By faith, he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch them. (WEB WEY ASV DBY RSV NIV)
Exodus 12:23 For Yahweh will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 16:24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, "Our god has delivered our enemy and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us, into our hand." (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS)
1 Samuel 13:17 And the destroyer goeth out from the camp of the Philistines -- three detachments; the one detachment turneth unto the way of Ophrah, unto the land of Shual; (YLT)
Job 15:21 A sound of terrors is in his ears. In prosperity the destroyer shall come on him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Psalms 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. (KJV WBS YLT)
Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slack in his work Is brother to him that is a destroyer. (ASV DBY JPS YLT)
Proverbs 28:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, "It's not wrong." He is a partner with a destroyer. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Isaiah 16:4 Let my outcasts dwell with you! As for Moab, be a hiding place for him from the face of the destroyer. For the extortioner is brought to nothing. Destruction ceases. The oppressors are consumed out of the land. (WEB ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 21:2 A grievous vision is declared to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; attack! I have stopped all of Media's sighing. (WEB ASV YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 33:1 Ho! you who make waste those who did not make you waste; acting falsely to those who were not false to you. When you have come to an end of wasting, you will be made waste, and after your false acts, they will do the same to you. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 54:16 Behold, it is I who have created the smith that bloweth in the fire of coal, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the destroyer to ravage. (DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Jeremiah 4:7 A lion is gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations; he is on his way, he is gone forth from his place, to make your land desolate, that your cities be laid waste, without inhabitant. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 6:26 Daughter of my people, gird yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 15:8 Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas; I have brought on them against the mother of the young men a destroyer at noonday: I have caused anguish and terrors to fall on her suddenly. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 48:8 The destroyer shall come on every city, and no city shall escape; the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed; as Yahweh has spoken. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 48:15 Moab is laid waste, and they are gone up into his cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, says the King, whose name is Yahweh of Armies. (See RSV)
Jeremiah 48:18 You daughter who dwells in Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the destroyer of Moab has come up against you, he has destroyed your strongholds. (WEB ASV NAS RSV)
Jeremiah 48:32 With more than the weeping of Jazer will I weep for you, vine of Sibmah: your branches passed over the sea, they reached even to the sea of Jazer: on your summer fruits and on your vintage the destroyer is fallen. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 51:1 Thus said Jehovah: Lo, I am stirring up against Babylon, And the inhabitants of Leb -- My withstanders, A destroying wind, (See NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 51:56 for the destroyer is come on her, even on Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Yahweh is a God of recompenses, he will surely requite. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Joel 2:25 I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar, my great army, which I sent among you. (See RSV)