In James 2:25 we read, “Was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she took in the spies (ἀγγέλους) and sent them out by another way?”
BDAG defines ἄγγελος as referring to both humans and divine powers.
- a human messenger serving as an envoy, an envoy, one who is sent
- a transcendent power who carries out various missions or tasks, messenger, angel
Under #1 they list Luke 9:25 (human messengers going before Jesus), Luke 7:24 (John’s disciples), prophets (specifically John the Baptist, Mt 11:10; Mk 1:2; Lk 7:27), and our passage.
Under #2 they list angels and demons.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the idea of a Bible being “literal” and even of a word having a “literal” meaning. I just published a video on this topic on YouTube. What is the “literal” meaning of ἄγγελος? It doesn’t have one. It has a general idea of someone (or something) sent, but does it “literally” mean “messenger” or “angel”? No, but it depends totally on context. Note that I had to say “someone” and “something” (assuming demons are an “it” and not a “he” or “she”). I couldn’t even give a “literal” definition in this context.