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Archangel Gabriel

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Archangel Gabriel

For other uses, see Gabriel (disambiguation).
"Gibril" and "Jibril" redirect here. For other uses, see Gibril (disambiguation) and Jibril (disambiguation).
Gabriel
Georgian National Museum
Archangel, Angel of Revelation
Honored in Anglican Communion, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy
Feast September 29 with Saints Michael and Raphael
Eastern Orthodox Church: November 8

In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel (; Arabic: جبريل, Jibrīl or جبرائيل Jibrāʾīl) is an angel who typically serves as a messenger sent from God to certain people.

In the Bible, Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament, he appeared to the prophet Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27). In the Gospel of Luke, Gabriel appeared to Zecharias, and to the virgin Mary foretelling the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, respectively (Luke 1:11–38). In the Book of Daniel, he is referred to as "the man Gabriel", while in the Book of Luke, Gabriel is referred to as "an angel of the Lord" (Luke 1:11). Gabriel is not called an archangel in the Bible, but is so called in Intertestamental period sources like the Book of Enoch. In the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel are considered saints.[1]

In Islam, Gabriel (Jibra'il) is considered one of the four archangels whom God sent with his divine message to various prophets, including last prophet Muhammad.[2]

Judaism

Gabriel is interpreted by the Rabbanim to be the "man in linen" in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Ezekiel. In the Book of Daniel, he is responsible for interpreting Daniel's visions. In the Book of Ezekiel, Gabriel is understood to be the angel that was sent to destroy Jerusalem.

In Kabbalah, Gabriel is identified with the sephirot of Yesod. Gabriel also has a prominent role as one of God's archangels in the Kabbalah literature. There, Gabriel is portrayed as working in concert with Michael as part of God's court. Gabriel is not to be prayed to; because only God can answer prayers and send him as his agent.[3]

According to Jewish mythology, in the garden of Eden there is a tree of life or the "tree of souls"[4] that blossoms and produces new souls, which fall into the Guf, the Treasury of Souls. Gabriel reaches into the treasury and takes out the first soul that comes into his hand. Then Lailah, the Angel of Conception, watches over the embryo until it is born.[5]

Intertestamental literature

The intertestamental period (roughly 200 BCE – 50 CE) produced a wealth of literature, much of it having an apocalyptic orientation. The names and ranks of angels and devils were greatly expanded, and each had particular duties and status before God.

In 1 Enoch 9:1–3, Gabriel, along with Michael, Uriel and Suriel, "saw much blood being shed upon the earth" (9:1) and heard the souls of men cry, "Bring our cause before the Most High." (9:3) In 1 Enoch 10:1, the reply came from "the Most High, the Holy and Great One" who sent forth agents, including Gabriel—

And the Lord said to Gabriel: "'Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have." —1 Enoch 10:9

Gabriel is fifth of the five angels who keep watch: "Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim." (1 Enoch 20:7)

When Enoch asked who the four figures were that he had seen: "And he said to me: 'This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel.' And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days." (Enoch 40:9)

Christianity

New Testament

First, concerning Aaron, while he ministered in the temple:

Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
(Luke 1:1-25)

After completing his weekLuke 1:21-25) of her pregnancy, Gabriel is mentioned again:

Luke 1:26 ¶ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:26-38)

Gabriel only appears by name in those two passages in Luke. In the first passage the angel identified himself as Gabriel, but in the second it is Luke who identified him as Gabriel. The only other named angel in the New Testament is "Michael the archangel" (in

Gabriel's horn

In English-speaking culture, a familiar trope is the image of Gabriel blowing a trumpet blast to indicate the Lord's return to Earth. It ranges from its first appearance in English in John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667)[9] to African-American spirituals: in Marc Connelly's play based on spirituals, The Green Pastures (1930), Gabriel has his beloved trumpet constantly with him, and the Lord has to warn him not to blow it too soon.[10] Four years later "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" was introduced by Ethel Merman in Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934). The mathematical figure given the modern name "Gabriel's Horn", was invented by Evangelista Torricelli (1608–1647); it is a paradoxical solid of revolution that has infinite surface area, but finite volume.

In Islamic tradition, though not specified in the Qur'an, the trumpeter sounding the trump of doom[11] is not Gabriel, but Israfil.

The earliest identification of Gabriel as the trumpeter that S. Vernon McCasland was able to trace was in an Armenian illuminated manuscript dated 1455, at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.[12]

Feast days


The feast of Saint Gabriel was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on March 24. In 1969 it was transferred to 29 September for celebration together with St. Michael and St. Raphael.[13] The Church of England has also adopted the 29 September date, known as Michaelmas.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite celebrate his feast day on 8 November (for those churches that follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 8 November currently falls on 21 November of the modern Gregorian Calendar, a difference of 13 days). Eastern Orthodox commemorate him, not only on his November feast, but also on two other days: 26 March is the "Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel" and celebrates his role in the Annunciation. 13 July is also known as the "Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel", and celebrates all the appearances and miracles attributed to Gabriel throughout history. The feast was first established on Mount Athos when, in the 9th century, during the reign of Emperor Basil II and the Empress Constantina Porphyrogenitus and while Nicholas Chrysoverges was Patriarch of Constantinople, the Archangel appeared in a cell near Karyes, where he wrote with his finger on a stone tablet the hymn to the Theotokos, "It is truly meet...".[14]

The Ethiopian Church celebrates his feast on 28 December, with a sizeable number of its believers making a pilgrimage to a church dedicated to "Saint Gabriel" in Kulubi on that day.[15]

Additionally Gabriel is the patron saint of messengers, those who work for broadcasting and telecommunications such as radio and television, remote sensing, and postal workers.

Islam

Main article: Gabriel in Islam
According to the Quran, Quran expressly narrates:
"Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this scripture) to thy heart by God's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers."

Gabriel makes a famous appearance in the Hadith of Gabriel, where he quizzes the Prophet Muhammad on the core tenets of Islam.

In Muslim tradition, Gabriel is considered one of the primary archangels. Exegesis narrates that Muhammad saw Gabriel in his full angelic splendor only twice, the first being when he received his first revelation.[18] Muslims also revere Gabriel for a number of historical events predating the first revelation. Muslims believe that Gabriel was the angel who informed Zachariah of John's birth as well as Mary of the future birth of Jesus[19] and that Gabriel was one of three angels who had earlier informed Abraham of the birth of Isaac.[20] These events of Zachariah and Mary can be found also in the Quran, mentioned in surah Maryam, below are some ayat from the Quran referring to the archangel Gabriel (interpretation of the meanings).

Mary 19:2 [This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah
19:3 When he called to his Lord a private supplication.
19:4 He said, "My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.
19:5 And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir
19:6 Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You]."
19:7 [He was told], "O Zechariah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be John. We have not assigned to any before [this] name."
19:8 He said, "My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?"
19:9 [An angel] said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.' "
19:10 [Zechariah] said, "My Lord, make for me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights, [being] sound."

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary:

19:16 And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east.
19:17 And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man.
19:18 She said, "Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah ."
19:19 He said, "I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy."
19:20 She said, "How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?"
19:21 He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.' "

Mormonism

In Mormon theology, Gabriel is believed to have lived a mortal life as the prophet Noah. The two are regarded as the same individual; Noah being his mortal name and Gabriel being his heavenly name.[21]

Arts and media

Visual art

See also Gabriel gallery in Commons

In chronological order (to see each item, follow the link in the footnote):[22]

Music

The eccentric English hagiographer and antiquarian, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834–1924), wrote the English lyrics to Gabriel's Message, which he translated from the Basque Christmas carol Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen, which was probably related to the 13th or 14th-century Latin chant Angelus Ad Virginem which itself is based on the biblical account of the Annunciation in the New Testament Gospel of Luke.

Literature

  • In his epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton made Gabriel chief of the angelic guards placed over Paradise
  • The Hebrew poem "Elifelet" (אליפלט) by Nathan Alterman, put to music and often heard on the Israeli Radio, tells of a heroic, self-sacrificing Israeli soldier being killed in battle. Upon the protagonist's death, the angel Gabriel descends to Earth, in order to comfort the spirit of the fallen hero and take him up to Heaven[23][24]
  • Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses has his main character be the modern incarnation of Gabriel
  • "End of the Beginning", an epic fantasy novel by Jon Snyder chronicles the final events of the angelic race's reign on earth and shows the main character, a humble Gabrius rise to become Gabriel, the angel of legend as he unravels the growing corruption of Lucifer

In popular culture

  • In "A Passage for Trumpet", a 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone, Gabriel acts as an adviser for recently killed trumpet player Joey Crown and encourages him to return from limbo to life
  • Gabriel is portrayed by Christopher Walken in the 1995 fantasy/horror thriller The Prophecy and its sequels
  • In the 2004 action/horror film Van Helsing, Hugh Jackman plays Gabriel Van Helsing, the Archangel Gabriel in the flesh
  • In the 2005 fantasy/horror thriller Constantine, Tilda Swinton portrays a character named Gabriel
  • The CW 2005 TV series Supernatural features Gabriel, portrayed as a man who initially appears posing as the pagan Trickster god Loki until his status as an archangel is revealed, after which he is killed by his brother Lucifer
  • Gabriel, a 2007 Australian religious action-horror film
  • Marina and the Diamonds' 2010 single "Shampain" has the lyric: "Drinking champagne made by the angel/who goes by the name of Glittering Gabriel"
  • In the film Legion, Gabriel is the main antagonist who fights the archangel Michael who is trying to save humanity.

See also

Saints portal

Notes

References

  • Bamberger, Bernard Jacob, (15 March 2006). Fallen Angels: Soldiers of Satan's Realm. Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 0-8276-0797-0
  • Briggs, Constance Victoria, 1997. The Encyclopedia of Angels: An A-to-Z Guide with Nearly 4,000 Entries. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27921-6.
  • Bunson, Matthew, (1996). Angels A to Z: A Who's Who of the Heavenly Host. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
  • Cruz, Joan C. 1999. Angels and Devils. Tan Books & Publishers. ISBN 0-89555-638-3.
  • Davidson, Gustav. ISBN 9780029070505
  • Dennis, Geoffrey. 2007. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism. Llewellyn LTD.
  • Graham, Billy, 1994. Angels: God's Secret Agents. W Pub Group; Minibook edition. ISBN 0-8499-5074-0
  • Guiley, Rosemary, 1996. Encyclopedia of Angels. ISBN 0-8160-2988-1
  • Kreeft, Peter J. 1995. Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them? Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-550-9
  • Lewis, James R. (1995). Angels A to Z. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
  • Melville, Francis, 2001. The Book of Angels: Turn to Your Angels for Guidance, Comfort, and Inspiration. Barron's Educational Series; 1st edition. ISBN 0-7641-5403-6
  • Ronner, John, 1993. Know Your Angels: The Angel Almanac With Biographies of 100 Prominent Angels in Legend & Folklore-And Much More! Mamre Press. ISBN 0-932945-40-6.


External links

  • Catholic Encyclopedia
  • Icons of Archangel Gabriel
  • Archangel Gabriel, Angelic & Planetary Symbols

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