Angels are believed to be celestial beings that are God's messengers and servants. "Angel" is a Greek translation of the Hebrew "mal'akh", which means "shadow side of God". Although that dark description calls into question many angleic stereotypes, it does demonstrate a direct relationship with God. Such a direct relationship with God has become appealing to many people who have become uninterested in the traditional, distanced positions offered by organized religions. Assuming the name of an angel then not only demonstrate one's spirituality and willingness of belief, it could also serve to demonstrate the type of relationship one wishes to have with God.
Although angels are mentioned in almost every book of the Bible, only two are assigned specific names. The first is Gabriel, the archangel that announced to Mary that she would mother Jesus (Luke 1, 26-38), and, according to Revelations, will blow the trumpet on Judgement Day. The second is Michael, the great prince of all angels and the leader of the celestial army.
In the Jewish Talmud, Gabriel is also the destroyer of Sennacherib's armies, one of the angels who buried Moses, and the one who showed Joseph the way. Finally, according to the Koran, Gabriel revealed the sacred laws to Muhammad.
There are five other holy angels if the Apocryphal books are considered; they include: Raphael, the angel of healing; Uriel, the angel who stood at the gate of the lost Eden with a fiery sword and who appears as an angel of repentence; Zadkiel, the angel of benevolence, mercy and memory; Jophiel, "God's spy"; and Chamuel, who supported Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel are all archangels. Traditionally there is believed to be seven archangels, who the remain three are varies depending on the text one examines. The possibilities include Metatron, Remiel, Sariel, Anael, Ragel, and Raziel.
Many angels are named in texts that were not formally accepted or canonized by the major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Although many of the texts are as old as some of the books that make up the Old Testament, many of the more contempporary texts are alchemical and Kabalistic. The following is a sampling of the names of angels and what they are associated with: Achaiah (patience), Af (anger), Akriel (barrenness), Arael (Birds), Azrael (ruler of Third Heaven), Barakiel (chance), Butator (calculations), Cassiel (ruler of the seventh heaven), Gagiel (fish), Dabria (one of the five angels who transcribed the prophecies of Ezra), Dara (rivers), Dina (wisdom and Law), Dubbiel (guardian of Persia), Ethan (one of Ezra's five transcribers), Farris (governs the second hour of the night), Geron (magic-based prayer), Hamal (water), Hariel (science and arts), Irin (exalted servant of God), Israfel (music), Javan (guardian angel of Greece), Kadi (Friday), Kasdaye (abortion), Laila (conception), Leliel (night), Liwet (inventions), Lucifer (dawn), Matriel (rain), Mehabiah (morals), Mumiah (health), Neria (moon), Nitika (precious stones), Och (alchemy), Oriel (destiny), Phanuel (hope), Rahab (guardian of Egypt), Ramiel (thunder), Rampal (mountains), Rashiel (earthquakes), Sabath (daytime ruler of the sixth heaven), Sachluph (plants), Sahaquiel (sky), Samuel (guardian of Rome), Sarea (one of Ezra's transcribers), Shalgiel (snow), Shamsiel (day), Shateiel (silence), Sofiel (vegetables), Suria (an angel-warden in the First Hall of the First Heaven), Tabris (free will), Talia (from Mesopotamian legend, one of the sun's escorts), Yael (attendent of God's throne), Yahriel (moon), Zaafdiel (showers), Zachriel (memory), Zarobi (precipices), Zebul (nighttime ruler of Sixth heaven), Zeruel (strength), and Zethar (immortality).
This page was last modified on 16 May 2003.
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