Who Is Gabriel?
is one of only two angels named in the Bible. His name means "strong man of God" or "God is my strength." He appeared by name four times: twice to Daniel to interpret the meaning of his visions (Daniel 8-9), once to announce John the Baptist's birth to his father Zacharias (Luke 1:11-20), and once to announce the birth of Jesus to Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
Who Is Michael?
means, "Who is like God?" He is mentioned several times in Daniel (10:13, 21, 12:1), once in Jude (1:9), and once in Revelation (12:7). Michael is an archangel.
In the book of Daniel, Michael is called a chief prince
. In Jude, a dispute is recorded between Michael the archangel and the Devil over Moses' body. And in Revelation, Michael commands the hosts of the Lord against the forces of the dragon (Satan) in a war in heaven:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven"
What About Other Angels?
The angels of God are innumerable (Psalm 68:17; Revelation 5:11), and He knows each of them by name (Isaiah 40:26)! Beware of modern angel literature that claims to reveal "secret knowledge" about angels. Hidden behind such appealing names as angel of healing
, angel of light
, and angel of comfort
could be demonic influences that seek to have us worship anything or anyone but God.
Besides Michael and Gabriel, apocryphal books and historical documents mention names of other angels. The Bible makes reference to seven angels in Revelation (1:20, 3:1, 4:5, 8:2, and 10:7)
who have been placed over the seven churches and also carry out the seven judgments on the earth. These may be the seven archangels named in extra-biblical writings.
The Book of Enoch tells of seven powerful angels (20:1-8). Uriel, who is set over the world and over Tartarus;
Raphael, who is set over the spirits of men; Raguel, who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries;
Michael, who is set over the best part of mankind, over chaos, and over Israel; Saraqael, who is set over the evil spirits; Gabriel, who is set over Paradise, the serpents (seraphim), and the cherubim;
and Remiel, whom God set over those who rise.
What Is an Archangel?
The word archangel
is mentioned twice in Scripture. The Greek word is archaggelos
which is a combination of archo
(meaning "first" in political rank or power) and aggelos
An archangel by definition is the first or highest angel and leader of the angels. It denotes a definite distinction of rank for a special service, as in chief priest
or chief shepherd
The only angel mentioned to be an archangel in the Bible is Michael (Jude 1:9). The other Scripture that mentions an archangel is in reference to the coming of Christ:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first"
(I Thessalonians 4:16).
This event is described in detail in Revelation chapters 10 and 11.
Is There an Angelic Hierarchy?
The Bible does not reveal an angelic hierarchy. God is the commander of His heavenly host (Isaiah 45:12).
However, there are a few scriptures that infer delegated authority to some angels. Paul mentions "elect angels"
(I Timothy 5:21) and says that
"one star differeth from another star in glory"
(I Corinthians 15:41), implying that each star (and each angel) is unique in glory and in position.