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Coming from the Greek meaning “chief angel,” these angels seem to be at the top of the angelic hierarchy in terms of power. Created by God, these types of angels have a number of purposes they fill, lining the Old and New Testament of Scripture.
Who are the archangels we encounter in Scripture and outside of it? What purposes do they serve? What are some other angels in the hierarchy below them? This article will explore all of these questions.
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Archangels in the Bible
The Bible only attributes the rank of archangel to one angel: Michael. Although some wonder if we have a second angel, Gabriel, from the Bible, Scripture never labels him as an archangel.
We encounter Michael a number of times in the Old and New Testament. He makes an appearance twice in the book of Daniel. Gabriel mentions Michael stepped into a spiritual fight against the Prince of Persia so Gabriel could deliver a message to the prophet (Daniel 10). Michael appears again in Daniel 12:1, indicating he protected the Israelite nation from spiritual attacks.
He makes a personal appearance in Jude 1:9 when in a dispute with the devil, where Satan attempts to get him to blaspheme God as they argue about the body of Moses. He rebukes Satan.
Archangels in Other Ancient Texts
We need to make a certain distinction before we dive into this section.
Jude 1:9 seems to indicate only one archangel exists, but Daniel 10:13 labels Michael as “one of the chief princes.” For now, we can assume only one archangel exists to the best of our knowledge. Nevertheless, this section will explore other ancient texts and names they have ascribed to archangels.
Readers, keep in mind this article is concluding Scripture as the 66 books in the Protestant Bible. Those from a Catholic background may consider books listing these angels as canon.
- Raphael: A passage in Tobit 12:15-22 indicates seven archangels exist, including Raphael, who appears to Tobit and Tobias and encourages them to sing praises to God.
- Gabriel: As mentioned above, Scripture does not give him the label of archangel, but we can mention he makes an appearance to Daniel and to Mary the Mother of Jesus, each time proclaiming news that will affect the future of the Israelite nation.
- Jophiel: From Jewish and Kabalistic lore, she is linked often with beauty and positivity. No Scripture or extracanonical text seems to mention her by name.
- Ariel/Uriel: Although some people have attributed Uriel to several events that happen in the Bible (the angel who guarded the Garden of Eden, the angel who slew the Assyrian army, etc.), an extra-canonical book known as 2 Esdras mentions him (2 Esdras 4:1-8). Uriel presents three impossible riddles to show us how humans cannot fathom the ways of God.
- Azrael: Many have labeled Azrael as the Angel of Death in the tenth plague in Egypt, although Scripture never mentions an explicit name of that angel.
- Chamuel: Again, never mentioned by name in any text, Chamuel is associated with bringing peace.
Purpose of Archangels
Although not explicitly mentioned, archangels have a number of duties. As indicated in their name, they lead the other ranks of angels. It appears they engage in spiritual combat, as Scripture indicates Michael is known to do so.
If Gabriel falls under the label of an archangel, they also deliver God’s messages to His people.
Other Types of Angels
In addition to archangels, Scripture mentions a few other types:
- Cherubim: Angels associated with holiness and guarding against sin. Cherubim were placed at the entrance of the Garden of Eden after man sinned and on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18).
- Seraphim: Six-winged angels who sing God’s praises without ceasing (Isaiah 6:2-7).
- Principalities and Powers: Other ranks of angels, whether fallen or not fallen, mentioned in Scripture (Colossians 1:16).
Significance of Archangels
A spiritual war rages all around us, be we can rest assured God has placed angels throughout the world to protect us against spiritual harm. We can learn from the example of archangels to trust in God (Michael refuses to blaspheme him), and that even beings of great power fall under God’s dominion.
Often people try to say Satan is God’s rival, but they often forget Satan has limited power, and God is omnipotent. A better matching would be Satan and Michael. Rest assured, God has no match. Man stands just a little lower than the angels, even powerful ones like Michael (Psalm 8:5).
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 350 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column 'Hope's Hacks,' tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 5,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released June 2019 and the sequel “Den” releases a year from now. Find out more about her here.
Photo Credit: GettyImages/umbertoleporini
Who are the seven archangels and what do they do? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the archangels and how they can help you.
In this article:
Angels are interwoven within the culture of man. Regardless of religion or belief system, stories of angels are a part of our heritage, of the fabric that makes up human history. Recent surveys say that up to 85 percent of American adults believe in angels. Often references to angels refer specifically to an archangel.
Archangels are considered to very powerful spiritual beings that have captured our attention for centuries. The prefix ‘arch’ means ruling or chief in Greek. Religious texts refer to an archangel as being at a high level in the celestial hierarchy. While the exact number of archangels is unknown many traditions and faiths reference seven archangels. Who these seven are is also a source of debate varying from faith to faith. Many scriptures tell of the archangels great abilities as healers and guides, intervening with assistance in many of life’s challenging situations. Continue on to learn about seven well-known Archangels and their specialties.
Archangel Michael, whose name means 'he who is as God', is most often thought of as the angel of protection and the most powerful of all the angels. He is considered a leader within the angelic realm and a patron angel of righteousness, mercy and justice. As such, scriptural artwork depicts him as a warrior most often carrying a sword. Archangel Michael assists situations where you are afraid, confused or concerned for your safety. He helps to release fear and doubt, and supports us in making life changes and is often said to work closely with those who perform healing work or provide spiritual teaching. He can even fix mechanical and electrical problems! Additional areas where Archangel Michael can be of assistance include courage, direction, energy and vitality, all aspects of life purpose, motivation, space clearing, spirit releasement, worthiness and self- esteem.
Archangel Raphael, whose name means ‘God heals’, is the archangel designated for physical and emotional healing. In Hebrew the word “rophe” means 'to heal’. Archangel Raphael not only helps in healing individuals but also helps healers in their healing practice. He can help reduce addictions and cravings and is powerful in healing other injuries and illnesses, with cures often occurring immediately. Archangel Raphael aids in restoring and maintaining harmony and peace. He is also the patron of travelers, watching over them to ensure a safe and harmonious journey. Working in conjunction with Archangel Michael, Archangel Raphael helps to clear away fears and stressors that maybe adversely affecting your health.
Archangel Gabriel’s name means 'God is my strength'. One of the two archangels specifically named in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament, she is often portrayed holding a trumpet and as the only female archangel. As the patron of communications, Archangel Gabriel is the messenger angel, acting as a messenger of God. She helps writers, teachers, journalists and artists to convey their message, to find motivation and confidence, and to market their skills. She also assists in overcoming issues of fear and procrastination in communication as well as in all areas related to children, helping during conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.
The patron saint of artists, Archangel Jophiel’s name means 'beauty of God'. She helps us to see and maintain beauty in life and supports us in thinking beautiful thoughts and in staying positive as well as in creating and manifesting beauty in our surroundings and hearts. Archangel Jophiel watches over artists supporting in creating beautiful art, assists us in slowing down and bringing calm to our lives, and heals negativity and chaos, helps to tame your ego, and to bring organization to a place or situation. When seeking wisdom or a shift in perspective Archangel Jophiel is the archangel to call in to uplift you and help you see things from a different point of view.
The patron saint of animals and the environment, Archangel Ariel’s name means 'lion or lioness of God'. Her role is to protect the earth, its natural resources, ecosystems and all wild life and is always available with support and guidance for any activities that involve environmentalism and protecting, healing, rejuvenating, and/or maintaining our environment. Archangel Ariel assists in healing injured animals working closely with Archangel Raphael in these endeavors. It is believed she also works to oversee the order of the physical universe including all planets, the sun, the moos and the stars. When seeking to learn more about nature or connect more deeply while hiking or exploring, she assists in providing insights and opportunities to expand your awareness and experience. Given Archangel Ariel is watching over the earth’s natural resources, she can also be especially helpful in ensuring your needs for food, water, shelter and other supplies are met.
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Archangel Azrael's name means 'whom God helps'. However, he is often referred to as the 'Angel of Death'. Azrael meets souls and helps them in the transition of death, in addition to helping newly crossed over souls adjust. He also helps loved ones who are still on the earth plane in dealing with their grief and processing the loss. Archangel Azrael helps ministers and spiritual teachers from all belief systems and religions in their spiritual counseling and assists grief counselors to shield themselves from absorbing their clients' pain and to guide their words and actions. This archangel assists in all types of transitions and endings, not just those involving loss and death. He also helps with transitions related to relationships, career, addictions, etc., helping us to navigate as smoothly as possible through life’s changes.
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Archangel Chamuel's name means 'he who sees God'. This archangel and has been called by many names throughout history and therefore is sometimes confused with other angels. His mission is to bring peace to the world and as such he protects the world from fear and lowers vibrating, negative energies. He is believed to have all knowing vision seeing the interconnectedness between all things. Archangel Chamuel assists us in finding the strength and courage to face adversity when it seems we have none left. He can also help to find items that are lost, to find important parts of our lives such as life purpose, a love relationship, a new job, and supportive friendships, and to find solutions to problems. Lastly, Archangel Chamuel also helps to heal anxiety, bring peace, and to repair relationships and misunderstandings.
Various religions, cultures and belief systems have named archangels in addition to these seven, each with their own unique focus. Angels are a fascinating aspect of our history as a culture. Whether you believe in angels or are a skeptic, your archangel can assist you whenever you call on them. Angels are extensions of God, assisting us and carrying our prayers and messages back to The Source. They understand your life’s mission and want to help you to accomplish it. Many have found connecting with an archangel who specializes in the area of their life where they would like to see improvement has accelerated positive progress and changes. Incorporate a connection with the divine by connecting with the angelic realm to experience more peace and light in your life today.