Angel of the Lord — Tony Maritis

Archangels are concerned with the bigger picture issues that affect mankind. They are the guardians of the messenger Angels and assure God’s work be done on earth with respect to man. They directly intervene when Demons interfere with God’s will for man. They are the strongest in physical strength of all the Angels.

The Greek work for Archangel is “Archangelos” meaning Chief Angel. The first in rank and power, they are messengers though highly ranked. There are no Angels of higher rank than Jesus, although Jesus is called the Lord of Host, which all Angels are the Host of Heaven. Jesus Himself is not an Angel. Like the President of the United States, he is Commander in Chief, but he is not in the military. Only Michael is named as an Archangel expressly in the Bible’s 66 books (Daniel 10:13; Jude 9). In Daniel, Michael is referred to as “one” of the Chief Princes (one, meaning there are others).

The word Prince in Hebrew is “Sar” meaning head person, a chief, a general. Gabriel is thought to be an Archangel, but the scripture in the 1st Cannon of the Bible, does not support the assertion or designation. The name Gabriel means Champion of God, the word Archangel appears twice in the Bible, with the exception of the Apocrypha (1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9). The name Raphael appears in the book of Tobit, there he is referred to as an Archangel (Tobit 12:15). Tobit is Deuterocanonical, meaning second cannon, which books were included in the Bible prior to the mid-1600s. Tobit is still part of the Bible for Roman Catholics, Eastern and Western rites, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christians. It is also read by Anglicans and Lutherans, but not reformed Baptist.

In the book of Tobit, Raphael says to Tobias that He is one of Seven Archangels that stand before the Lord, Michael being one of them. A third Archangel in the Apocrypha is named Uriel, whose name means fire of God. Uriel’s name is the only name not mentioned in the Lutheran Bible. He is prominent with Anglican and Russian Orthodox Christians (2 Esdras; 4 Esdras, and in the Latin Vulgate). Gabriel is also referred to as an Archangel in the Apocrypha.

The Seven Archangels are also referred to as the seven Spirits of God, in the disputed Apocryphal book of Enoch, where Michael is called the protector of Israel.

Some stories involving Uriel identify him as the angel that guarded Eden (Genesis 3:24), one of the angels in charge of Tartarus, or the angel that slaughtered the Assyrians encamped against Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35). Jewish tradition lists Uriel as one of four angels overseeing the four quarters of the earth (Revelation 7:1) — the other angels being Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

God’s Word does not reveal much about angels, and no archangel named Uriel is ever mentioned. We know little of the angels’ rankings, names, or abilities. If God had given us more details about angels, the temptation to focus our hearts on them rather than on God would be even more pronounced. People naturally tend to worship the creatures rather than their Creator (Colossians 2:18; Romans 1:25). We are never told to speak to an angel, pray to an angel, or in any way attempt to have angels mediate for us. That is idolatry (2 Kings 21:3; Revelation 22:8–9).

The names of angels is typically a secret to men.. “And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.” Judges 13:17–19

While there are many factual errors in non-canonical books such as First and Second Esdras, such books may still contain some accurate information. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Uriel is actually the name of an archangel. Psalm 147:4 implies that God names every star, so we can logically assume that He also names the angels He creates. What we can know for certain is that, if knowing the name of another archangel were important, God would have included that name in inspired Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21).



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Tony — Antonakis Maritis

Tony is an Executive Consultant for Research on Biblical Antiquities for and is published by WIPF and Stock Publishers, Amazon and Barnes & Noble