Archangels

The term “archangel” is derived from the Greek word, “archángelos,” or “chief angel,” and is the title given to angels of the highest rank in God’s army.  Michael and Gabriel are the most recognized archangels, followed by Raphael and Uriel, whom the Bible also mentions by name.  Some branches of Christianity identify a group of seven archangels, although the names of the other three tend to vary depending on the source.  The Eastern Orthodox Church honors these seven archangels plus an eighth, Jeremiel.

Michael ~  The name in Hebrew means “Who is like God?” or “Who is equal to God?”  Michael is known as the commander of God’s army and the angel who cast Lucifer out of heaven.  In the Epistle of Saint Jude it says, “But when the Archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!'” (Jude 1:8)  Michael is often depicted wearing battle armor, holding a sword or a spear in one hand and a green palm branch in the other.

Gabriel ~  The name means “Man of God” or “Might of God,” and he is “the herald of God’s mysteries,” and especially of Jesus Christ’s incarnation.  In the Gospel According to Saint Luke it is Gabriel who announces the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary.  “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you.’  But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.'” (Luke 1:26-32)

Raphael ~  Raphael means “God’s healing,” or “God the Healer.”  In the Book of Tobit he appears to Tobias and accompanies him on his journey.  “So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone who was acquainted with the way.  He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him, but he did not perceive that he was an angel of God.”  Later Archangel Raphael tells Tobias’s father, Tobit, who is blind, “Take courage, the time is near for God to heal you, take courage.” (Tobit 5:4,10)

Uriel ~  The name Uriel means “Fire of God” or “Light of God.”  He appears to the Prophet Ezra in the Book of Second Esdras, rebuking him for a lack of wisdom.  “Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered and said to me, ‘Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?'” (II Esdras 4:1-4)  After Ezra responds wisely, Uriel says, “You have judged rightly, but why have you not judged so in your own case?  For as the land has been assigned to the forest and the sea to its waves, so also those who inhabit the earth can understand only what is on the earth, and he who is above the heavens can understand what is above the height of the heavens.” (II Esdras 4:20-21)  Archangel Uriel is often depicted with a sword in his right hand and fire in his left.

Selatiel ~  Selatiel means “Intercessor of God” or “Prayer of God.”  Some Christian traditions consider him to be the angel in the Book of Revelation who pours out the prayers of the people before God’s throne.  Selatiel is depicted in artwork with his head bowed and his hands folded in prayer.

Jegudiel ~  The name Jegudiel means “Glorifier of God,” and he is mentioned in the Book of Enoch.  In paintings and icons he is shown holding a crown, the reward for successful spiritual labors.

Barachiel ~  The name Barachiel means “Blessing of God.”  He appears in the Third Book of Enoch and is described as having charge over a large number of ministering angels.  In artwork he is often shown holding a white rose in his hand.

Jeremiel ~  The Hebrew name, Jerahmeel, translates to “God’s exaltation.”  He too appears in Second Esdras and speaks to the Prophet Ezra.  Archangel Jeremiel is referred to again in the Book of Enoch as well as in other apocryphal writings.  He is the eighth member of the group and is sometimes called an archangel.

*  It should be noted that the Books of Esdras and the Book of Tobit are Apocryphal Books, and along with the Book of Enoch are not included in many Bibles.  Thanks for reading, and thanks to Wikipedia.

4 thoughts on “Archangels

  1. Stephen Tremp

    Cool post! I use arch angels in a couple of my books, three good ones I call The Three Wise Men and one fallen arch angel. And thanks for participating in A to Z!

    Reply

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