Four Archangels in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures
The Bible mentions four archangels by name – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. Each of these archangels plays a unique role in the spiritual realm, and their stories provide insight into the nature of God and the work of his angels.
Michael is the most well-known archangel, appearing in both the Old and New Testaments. He is often depicted as a warrior, and his name means “who is like God.” In the book of Revelation, Michael leads the armies of God against Satan and his fallen angels. He is also mentioned in the book of Daniel as the protector of Israel, and is believed to have been the one who defeated the prince of Persia in a spiritual battle.
Gabriel is another well-known archangel, who appears in both the Old and New Testaments. His name means “God is my strength,” and he is often associated with messages and announcements from God. In the book of Daniel, Gabriel appears to interpret a vision for the prophet, and in the Gospel of Luke, he announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus. Gabriel is also mentioned in the apocryphal book of Enoch as one of the four angels who will destroy the world.
Raphael is a third archangel who is mentioned in the book of Tobit, which is considered canonical by Catholics and Orthodox Christians but is not included in Protestant Bibles. In the book of Tobit, Raphael appears to accompany Tobit’s son Tobias on a journey, and helps him overcome various obstacles along the way. Raphael’s name means “God heals,” and he is often associated with healing and miraculous acts.
Finally, Uriel is mentioned in various apocryphal and pseudepigraphical texts, but is not mentioned in the Bible by name. His name means “God is my light,” and he is often associated with wisdom and knowledge. In the book of Enoch, Uriel is one of the four angels who are set over the four winds, and he is also said to have revealed the secrets of the heavenly bodies to Enoch.
Together, these four archangels provide a glimpse into the spiritual realm and the work of God’s angels. They remind us that God is powerful and merciful, and that his angels are actively involved in the affairs of humanity. Whether as protectors, messengers, healers, or guides, the archangels serve as examples of the many ways in which God works to bring about his purposes in the world.