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Archangel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

12th century icon of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel(Saint Catherine's


Monastery, Mount Sinai)
This article is about the supernatural beings. For other uses,
see Archangel (disambiguation).
Archangels are members of the second choir of angels.
Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions,
including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. The
only archangel ever clearly named as being of the order in
the Bible is Michael. Gabriel, named in Luke, is considered to be
an archangel, as are Raphael (mentioned in the Book of Tobit)
and Uriel (mentioned in the Book of Enoch). The archangels
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are venerated in the Roman
Catholic Church with a feast on 29 September.
The word archangel derives from
the Greek αρχάγγελος archangelos.
The names of Archangels are commonly used as male first
names in various cultures.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 In Judaism
• 2 In Christianity
• 3 In Islam
• 4 Other traditions
• 5 References
• 6 Bibliography
• 7 See also

• 8 External links

[edit]In Judaism
See article Angel.
The Hebrew Bible uses the terms ‫( מלאך אלהים‬melakh Elohim;
messenger of God), ‫( מלאך יהוה‬melakh Adonai; messenger of the
Lord), ‫( בני אלוהים‬b'nai Elohim; sons of God) and ‫( הקודשים‬ha-
qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally
interpreted as angelic messengers. Other terms are used in
later texts, such as ‫( העוליונים‬the upper ones). Indeed, angels are
uncommon except in later works like Daniel, though they are
mentioned briefly in the stories of Jacob (who, according to
several interpretations, wrestled with an angel) and Lot (who was
warned by angels of the impending destruction of the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer
to individual angels by name.[1] It is therefore widely speculated
that Jewish interest in angels developed during the Babylonian
captivity.[2] According to Rabbi Simeon ben
Lakish of Tiberias (230–270 AD), all the specific names for the
angels were brought back by the Jews from Babylon.
There are no explicit references to archangels in
the canonical texts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In post-
Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular
significance and developed unique personalities and roles.
Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst
the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever
developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the
angels in Merkabah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as
a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,[3] and figures
prominently in Merkabah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a
warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13)is looked upon
particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in theBook of
Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud,[4] as well as
many Merkabah mystical texts. The earliest references to
archangels are in the literature of the intertestamental periods
(e.g., 4 Esdras 4:36).
Within the rabbinic tradition, the Kabbalah, and the Book of
Enoch chapter 20, and the Life of Adam and Eve, the
usual number of archangelsgiven is at least seven, who are the
focal angels. Three higher archangels are also commonly
referenced: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. There is confusion
about one of the following eight names, concerning which one
listed is not truly an archangel. They are: Uriel, Sariel, Raguel,
andRemiel (possibly the Ramiel of the Apocalypse of Baruch, said
to preside over true
visions), Zadkiel, Jophiel, Haniel and Chamuel.[5] MedievalJewish
philosopher Maimonides made a Jewish angelic hierarchy.
In addition, traditional homes often sing an ode to the angels
before beginning Friday night (Shabbos) dinner. It is
entitled Shalom Aleichem, meaning "peace unto you" (referring
to the angels as messengers of godly light, peace and love).

[edit]In Christianity
Gabriel, traditionally named as an archangel, delivering the Annunciation.
Painting byEl Greco (1575)
The New Testament speaks frequently of angels (for example,
angels giving messages to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds;
angels ministering to Christ after his temptation in the
wilderness, an angel visiting Christ in his agony, angels at the
tomb of the risen Christ, the angels who liberate the Apostles
Peter and Paul from prison), but makes only two references to
"archangels": Michael in Jude 1:9 and I Thessalonians 4:16, where
the "voice of an archangel" will be heard at the return of Christ.
The Protestant Bible provides names for two
archangels: Michael and Gabriel. In the Book of Tobit of the
Catholic Bible, a third name, Raphael;
sometimes Uriel or Phanuel is given as a fourth.
Eastern Orthodox Tradition mentions "thousands of
archangels"[6] but venerates only seven of them by name.[7]Uriel
is included, and the other three are most often
named Selaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (an eighth,Jeremiel, is
sometimes included as archangel).[8] The Orthodox Church
celebrates the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the
Other Bodiless Powers on November 8 of the Eastern Orthodox
liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the Julian
Calendar, November 8 falls on November 21 of the
modern Gregorian Calendar). Other feast days of the Archangels
include the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel on March 26 (April
8), and theMiracle of the Archangel Michael
at Colossae on September 6 (September 19). In addition, every
Monday throughout the year is dedicated to the Angels, with
special mention being made in the church hymns of Michael and
Gabriel. In Orthodox iconography, each angel has a symbolic
representation:[8]

Russian icon of the ArchangelJegudiel

 Michael in the Hebrew language means "Who is like unto


God?" or "Who is equal to God?" St. Michael has been depicted
from earliest Christian times as a commander, who holds in his
right hand a spear with which he attacks Lucifer, Satan, and in
his left hand a green palm branch. At the top of the spear
there is a linen ribbon with a red cross. The Archangel Michael
is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox
Faith and a fighter against heresies.
 Gabriel means "Man of God" or "Might of God". He is the
herald of the mysteries of God, especially theIncarnation of
God and all other mysteries related to it. He is depicted as
follows: In his right hand, he holds a lantern with a lighted
taper inside, and in his left hand, a mirror of green jasper. The
mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery.
 Raphael means "God's healing" or "God the Healer"
(Tobit 3:17, 12:15). Raphael is depicted leading Tobit (who is
carrying a fish caught in the Tigris) with his right hand, and
holding a physician's alabaster jar in his left hand.
 Uriel means "Fire of God", or "Light of God" (III Esdras 3:1,
5:20). He is depicted holding a sword against the Persians in
his right hand, and a fiery flame in his left.
 Selaphiel means "Intercessor of God" (III Esdras 5:16). He is
depicted with his face and eyes lowered, holding his hands on
his bosom in prayer.
 Jegudiel means "Glorifier of God". He is depicted bearing a
golden wreath in his right hand and a triple-thonged whip in
his left hand.
 Barachiel means "Blessing of God". He is depicted holding a
white rose in his hand against his breast.
 (Jeremiel means "God's exaltation". He is venerated as an
inspirer and awakener of exalted thoughts that raise a person
toward God (III Ezra 4:36). As an eighth, he is sometimes
included as archangel.)

Some Protestants view Michael as the sole archangel, as the only


one explicitly described as such in the Protestant canon of the
Bible.[9](Jude 1:9) In their view, Gabriel is never called 'archangel'
in the Gospels. According to Origen, verse 1:9 of Jude is an
insertion that led to the writing of The Assumption of Moses.
Angelic Council (Ангелскй Собор).Orthodox icon of the seven archangels.
From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel,Selaphiel,
Michael, Uriel, Raphael,Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of
Christ Emmanuel are representations ofCherubim (blue)
and Seraphim (red).
The edition of the Bible used by Protestants, which excludes
the Apocrypha, never mentions a "Raphael" and he is therefore
not recognized by many of them. Raphael, however, is mentioned
in theBook of Tobit, one of the deuterocanonical books. In the
story, Raphael comes to the aid of Tobit, healing him of
blindness, and his son Tobias, driving away a demon that would
have killed him. Raphael also plays an important role in the Book
of Enoch.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Michael is one of the
names Jesus has in heaven.[10] In this view, Michael is the first and
greatest of all God's creatures, the chief messenger of Jehovah
that takes the lead in vindicating God's sovereignty, sanctifying
God's name, fighting the forces of Satan and protecting God's
people on earth. (Revelation 12:7; 19:14,16• Daniel 12:1) This
belief is held because of the prominence Michael has among the
heavenly sons of God in the Bible, the similarity of Michael’s and
Jesus’ mission and the connection of Jesus with the archangelic
office in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where it is said: "Because the Lord
himself will descend from Heaven with a commanding call, with
an archangel's voice." Taking also into account that the Bible
refers to one archangel only using a definite article (Jude 9),
Jehovah's witnesses have concluded that Michael and Jesus are
one and the same.[11]
A similar opinion is held by certain Protestants, such as Seventh-
day Adventists,[12] the Baptist evangelist Charles Spurgeon[13] and
the Presbyterian Commentary author Matthew Henry,[14] who
believe that the Archangel Michael is not an angel but is instead,
the divine Son of God. In this view "archangel" means "head of
the angels" rather than "head angel," and is a title similar to
"Prince or Leader of the host." (Daniel 8:11) While not all Baptists
hold to this view, Seventh-day Adventists generally do.

[edit]In Islam
In Islam, the named archangels include:
• Gabriel (or Jibraaiyl or Jibril or Jibrail in Arabic). Gabriel is the
Archangel responsible for revealing the Qur'an to Muhammad.
Gabriel is known as the angel who communicates with the
Prophets. He is mentioned specifically by name and as the Holy
Spirit in the Qur'an.
• Michael (Mikail or Mikaaiyl in Arabic). Michael is often depicted
as the Archangel of mercy who is responsible for bringing rain
and thunder to Earth.
• Raphael (Israfil or Israafiyl). According to the Hadith, Israfil is
the Angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day
by blowing a horn and sending out a Blast of Truth. It translates
in Hebrew as Raphael.
• Angel of Death, who is responsible for parting the spirit of the
human from the body at the time of departure from this earthly
realm. The Qur'an never uses this name, referring instead to
Malak al-Maut (which translates directly as Angel of Death). The
spirit is removed from the body from the same point it entered,
via the Latifa located between the eyebrows, known as the Khafi,
or the Hidden.
[edit]Other traditions
Occultists sometimes associate archangels in Kabbalistic fashion
with various seasons or elements, or even colors. In some
Kabbalah-based systems of ceremonial magic, all four of the
main archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel) are
invoked as guarding the four quarters, or directions, and their
corresponding colors are associated with magical properties.[15]
In anthroposophy, based on teachings by Rudolf Steiner, there
are many spirits belonging to the hierarchical level of archangel.
In general, their task is to inspire and guard large groups of
human beings, such as whole nations, peoples or ethnic groups.
This reflects their rank above theangels who deal with individuals
(the guardian angel) or smaller groups.[16] The main seven
archangels with the names given by Saint Gregoryare Anael,
Gabriel, Michael, Oriphiel, Raphael, Samael and Zachariel have a
special assignment to act as a global Zeitgeist ("time spirit" or,
"spirit of the times/age"), each for periods of about 380 years.
According to this system, since 1879, Michael is the leading time
spirit. Four important archangels also display periodic spiritual
activity over the seasons: Spring is Raphael, Summer (Uriel),
Autumn (Michael) and Winter is Gabriel. In anthroposophy,
archangels may be good or evil; in particular, some of their rank
are collaborators of Ahriman, whose purpose is to alienate
humanity from the spiritual world and promote materialism and
heartless technical control.
In the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram,[17] the invocation
includes the words "Before me Raphael; Behind me Gabriel; On
my right hand Michael; On my left hand Auriel [Uriel]..."
In art, archangels are sometimes depicted with larger wings and
many eyes. Some of the more commonly represented archangels
are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Metatron, Uriel, and Satanel.[18]
In the noncanonical 1 Enoch, Saraqael is described as one of the
angels that watches over "the spirits that sin in the spirit". (20:7,
8)