|Archangel, Angel of Revelation, Commander of the Powers|
|Venerated in||Samaritanism |
All Christian denominations which venerate saints
and others[N 1]
|Attributes||Clothed in blue or white garments; Carrying a lily, a trumpet, a shining lantern, a branch from Paradise, a scroll, and a scepter.|
|Patronage||Telecommunication workers, radio broadcasters, messengers, postal workers, clerics, diplomats, stamp collectors, Portugal, Santander, Cebu, ambassadors|
In the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (// GAY-bree-əl)[N 2] is an archangel with the power to announce God's will to humans. He is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran. Many Christian traditions – including Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism – revere Gabriel as a saint.
In the Hebrew Bible, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27). The archangel also appears in the Book of Enoch and other ancient Jewish writings not preserved in Hebrew. Alongside the archangel Michael, Gabriel is described as the guardian angel of Israel, defending its people against the angels of the other nations.
In the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke relates the stories of the Annunciation, in which the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah and the Virgin Mary, announcing to each the births of John the Baptist / Yahya and Jesus / Isa, respectively (Luke 1:11–38).
Islam regards Gabriel as an archangel sent by God to various prophets, including Muhammad. The first five verses of the Al-Alaq, the 96th chapter of the Quran, is believed by Muslims to have been the first verses revealed by Gabriel to Muhammad.
The name Gabriel (Hebrew: גַּבְרִיאֵל, Gaḇrīʾēl) is composed of the first person singular possessive form of the Hebrew noun gever (גֶּבֶר), meaning "man", and ʾĒl, meaning "God". This would make the translation of the archangel's name "God is my man". In Arabic he is called Jibrīl (جبريل).
The Zoroastrian "holy immortal" (Amesha Spentas) Vohu Manah (or "good mind"), played a similar role to Gabriel in Zoroastrianism, appearing to Zarathustra and revealing the true nature of God and his covenant with man.
In the Hebrew Bible, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27). Later the angel Michael also appears to him (Daniel 10:13, 21, Daniel 12,1). These are the first instances of a named angel in the Bible. Gabriel's main function in Daniel is that of revealer, responsible for interpreting Daniel's visions, a role he continues to have in later traditions.
Gabriel, (Hebrew: גַּבְרִיאֵל, romanized: Gaḇrīʾēl) is interpreted by Talmudic rabbis to be the "man in linen" mentioned in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Ezekiel. Talmudic Judaism understands the angel in the Book of Ezekiel, who was sent to destroy Jerusalem, to be Gabriel. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Gabriel takes the form of a man, and stands at the left hand of God. Shimon ben Lakish (Syria Palaestina, 3rd century) concluded that the angelic names of Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel came out of the Babylonian exile (Gen. Rab. 48:9). Alongside the archangel Michael, Gabriel is described as the guardian angel of Israel, defending this people against the angels of the other nations.
In the Kabbalistic tradition, Gabriel is identified with the sephirah 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 sends Gabriel as his agent.
According to Jewish mythology, in the Garden of Eden there is a tree of life or the "tree of souls" 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.
Gabriel's first appearance in the New Testament, concerns the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist. John's father Zacharias, a priest of the course of Abia, (Luke 1:5–7) was childless because his wife Elisabeth was barren. An angel appears to Zacharias while he is ministering in the Temple, to announce the birth of his son. When Zacharias questions the angel, the angel gives his name as Gabriel:
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 1:10-20
After completing his required week of ministry, Zacharias returns to his home and his wife Elizabeth conceives. After she has completed five months of her pregnancy (Luke 1:21–25), Gabriel appears again, now to Mary, to announce the birth of Jesus:
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 angels in the New Testament are Michael the Archangel (in Jude 1:9) and Abaddon (in Revelation 9:11). Believers are expressly warned not to worship angels in two New Testament passages: Colossians 2:18–19 and Revelation 19:10.[relevant?]
Gabriel is not called an archangel in the canonical Bible. However, the intertestamental period (roughly 200 BC – 50 AD) produced a wealth of literature, much of it having an apocalyptic orientation. The names and ranks of angels and devils were greatly expanded in this literature, and each had particular duties and status before God. This was the period when Gabriel was first referred to as an archangel.
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."
Gabriel is the 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.
The heretical Christian movement of Gnosticism paid special attention to angels as beings belonging to a pantheon of spiritual forces involved in the creation of the world. According to one ancient Gnostic manuscript, the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, Gabriel is a divine being and inhabitant of the Pleroma who existed prior to the Demiurge.
Archangel Gabriel at the façade of the Cathedral of Reims, late 13th century
Archangel Gabriel. A fresco from the Tsalenjikha Cathedral by Cyrus Emanuel Eugenicus. 14th century.
In a famous early work, the "four homilies on the Missus Est", Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153 AD) interpreted Gabriel's name as "the strength of God", and his symbolic function in the gospel story as announcement of the strength or virtue of Christ, both as the strength of God incarnate and as the strength given by God to the timorous people who would bring into the world a fearful and troublesome event. "Therefore it was an opportune choice that designated Gabriel for the work he had to accomplish, or rather, because he was to accomplish it therefore he was called Gabriel."
The feast day of Saint Gabriel the Archangel was exclusively celebrated on 18 March according to many sources dating between 1588 and 1921; unusually, a source published in 1856 has the feast celebrated on 7 April for unknown reasons (a parenthetical note states that the day is normally celebrated on 18 March). Writer Elizabeth Drayson mentions the feast being celebrated on 18 March 1588 in her 2013 book "The Lead Books of Granada".
One of the oldest out-of-print sources placing the feast on 18 March, first published in 1608, is "Flos sanctorum: historia general de la vida y hechos de Jesu-Christo...y de los santos de que reza y haze fiesta la Iglesia Catholica..." by the Spanish writer Alonso de Villegas; a newer edition of this book was published in 1794. Another source published in Ireland in 1886 the Irish Ecclesiastical Record also mentions 18 March.
The feast of Saint Gabriel was included by Pope Benedict XV in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on 24 March. In 1969, the day was officially transferred to 29 September for celebration in conjunction with the feast of the archangels St. Michael and St. Raphael. The Church of England has also adopted the 29 September date, known as Michaelmas.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite celebrate his feast day (Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers) 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:
Saint Gabriel the Archangel is commemorated on the vigil of Annunciation (24 March) by Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate and ROCOR Western Rite.
The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates his feast on 13 Paoni, 22 Koiak and 26 Paoni.
The Ethiopian Church celebrates his feast on 18 (in the Ethiopian calendar) December, with a sizeable number of its believers making a pilgrimage to a church dedicated to "Saint Gabriel" in Kulubi and Wonkshet on that day.
In the Lutheran Churches, Gabriel is celebrated on the Feast of the Archangels on 29 September.
Additionally, Gabriel is the patron saint of messengers, those who work for broadcasting and telecommunications such as radio and television, postal workers, clerics, diplomats, and stamp collectors.
See also: Gabriel's Horn (Geometric figure)
A familiar image of Gabriel has him blowing a trumpet blast to announce the resurrection of the dead at the end of time. However, though the Bible mentions a trumpet blast preceding the resurrection of the dead, it never specifies Gabriel as the trumpeter. Different passages state different things: the angels of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:31); the voice of the Son of God (John 5:25-29); God's trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:16); seven angels sounding a series of blasts (Revelation 8-11); or simply "a trumpet will sound" (I Corinthians 15:52). Likewise the early Christian Church Fathers do not mention Gabriel as a trumpeter; and in Jewish and Muslim traditions, Gabriel is again not identified as a trumpeter.
The earliest known identification of Gabriel as a trumpeter comes from the Hymn of the Armenian Saint Nerses Shnorhali, "for Protection in the Night":
The sound of Gabriel's trumpet on the last night, make us worthy to hear, and to stand on your right hand among the sheep with lanterns of inextinguishable light; to be like the five wise virgins, so that with the bridegroom in the bride chamber we, his spiritual brides may enter into glory.
In 1455, in Armenian art, there is an illustration in an Armenian manuscript showing Gabriel sounding his trumpet as the dead climb out of their graves.
The image of Gabriel's trumpet blast to announce the end of time became was taken up in Evangelical Christianity, where it became widespread, notably in Negro spirituals. An early example occurs in John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667):
Betwixt these rockie pillars Gabriel sat
Chief of the Angelic guards (IV.545f)...
He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd, he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. (XI.72ff).
It is unclear how the Armenian conception inspired Milton and the spirituals, though they presumably have a common source.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 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.
See also: Rūḥ
Gabriel (Arabic: جِبْرِيل, romanized: Jibrīl; also Arabic: جبرائيل, romanized: Jibrāʾīl or Jabrāʾīl, derived from the Hebrew: גַּבְרִיאֵל, romanized: Gaḇrīʾēl) is venerated as one of the primary archangels and as the Angel of Revelation in Islam. He is primarily mentioned in the verses , and of the Quran, although the Quranic text doesn't explicitly refer to him as an angel. In the Quran, the archangel Gabriel appears named in and , as well as in , where he is mentioned along with the archangel Michael (Mīkāʾīl).
Exegetical Quranic literature narrates that Muhammad saw the archangel Gabriel in his full angelic splendor only twice, the first time being when he received his first revelation. As the Bible portrays Gabriel as a celestial messenger sent to Daniel, Mary, and Zechariah, Islamic tradition holds that Gabriel was sent to numerous pre-Islamic Biblical prophets with revelation and divine injunctions, including Adam, whom Muslims believe was consoled by Gabriel some time after the Fall, too. He is known by many names in Islam, such as "keeper of holiness". In Hadith traditions, Jibril is said to have six hundred wings.
Muslims believe that Gabriel was mainly tasked with transmitting the scriptures from God to the prophets and messengers, as Asbab al-Nuzul or revelation when Muhammad was questioned which angel is revealing the holy scriptures revelation, and Muhammad told the Jews it is revealed by Gabriel who is tasked to it.
Muslims also revere Gabriel for a number of events predating what they regard as the first revelation, narrated in the Quran. Muslims believe that Gabriel was the angel who informed Zachariah (Zakariyyā) of Yaḥyā's (John's) birth, as well as Mary (Maryam) of the future nativity of Jesus; and that Gabriel was one of three angels who had earlier informed Abraham (ʾIbrāhīm) of the birth of Isaac (). Gabriel also makes a famous appearance in the Hadith of Gabriel, in which he questions Muhammad on the core tenets of Islam.
Gabriel is also believed to have delivered punishment from God to the Sodomite by leveling the entire Sodom city with a tip of his wing. According to a Hadith narrated by Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, which is compiled by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi, Gabriel has an ability to regulate Feeling or Perception of human, particularly a feel of happiness or sadness.
Gabriel is believed to have helped Muhammad overcome his adversaries significantly against a demon (ʻifrīt) during the Mi'raj. Gabriel is believed to have helped Muhammad overcome his adversaries during the Battle of Badr, where according to scholars and clerics of Islam, the various hadiths, both authentics and inauthentics, has mentioned that Gabriel, Michael, Raphael,[N 3][N 4] and thousands of best angels from third level of heaven, all came to the battle of Badr by impersonating appearance of Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, a Companions of the Prophet and bodyguard of the prophet.[N 5] This is deemed as Zubayr personal honor according to Islamic belief.[N 6] Meanwhile, Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri has recorded in his historiography works of Quran and Hadith revelation in Prophetic biography, that Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas testified he saw two unidentified warriors clad in white has protected Muhammad during the Battle of Uhud, That later being confirmed by Muhammad those two unidentified warriors were Jibril and Mikail in disguise.
Moreover, he is believed to have further encouraged Muhammad to wage war and attack the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. Another appearance of Gabriel in Islamic religious texts were found in numerous Hadiths during the Battle of Hunayn, where the Gabriel stood next to Muhammad.
Other Islamic texts and some Apocryphal literature also supported Gabriel's role as a celestial warrior. Though alternate theories exist, whether the occurrence of the Holy Spirit in the Quran refers to Gabriel or not, remains an issue of scholarly debate. However, a clear distinction between apocryphal and Quranic references to Gabriel is that the former doesn't designate him as the Holy Spirit in the First Book of Enoch, which narrates the story of Gabriel defeating the Nephilim.
Yazidis consider Gabriel one of the Seven Mysteries, the heptad to which God entrusted the world, and sometimes identified with the archangel Melek Taus.
Angels are described as pure spirits. The lack of a defined form allows artists wide latitude in depicting them. Amelia R. Brown draws comparisons in Byzantine iconography between portrayals of angels and the conventions used to depict court eunuchs. Mainly from the Caucasus, they tended to have light eyes, hair, and skin; and those "castrated in childhood developed a distinctive skeletal structure, lacked full masculine musculature, body hair and beards...." As officials, they would wear a white tunic decorated with gold. Brown suggests that "Byzantine artists drew, consciously or not, on this iconography of the court eunuch." Some recent popular works on angels consider Gabriel to be female or androgynous.
Archangel Gabriel in the church of St. Georg in Bermatingen
Archangel Gabriel in the church of St. Magnus in Waldburg
Archangel Gabriel at the façade of the Cathedral of Reims
Archangel Gabriel at the Liberty Square, Budapest
"Just as sure as we're living, just as sure as we're born
Look up, look up - seek your Maker - 'fore Gabriel blows his horn.
Daniel 8:15 describes Gabriel as appearing in the "likeness of man" and in Daniel 9:21 he is referred to as "the man Gabriel". David Everson observes that "such anthropomorphic descriptions of an angel are consistent with previous...descriptions of angels," as in Genesis 19:5.
Gabriel is most often portrayed in the context of scenes of the Annunciation. In 2008 a 16th-century drawing by Lucas van Leyden of the Netherlands was discovered. George R. Goldner, chairman of the department of prints and drawings at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, suggested that the sketch was for a stained glass window. "The fact that the archangel is an ordinary-looking person and not an idealized boy is typical of the artist", said Goldner.
In chronological order (to see each item, follow the link in the footnote):
The Military Order of Saint Gabriel was established to recognize "individuals who have made significant contributions to the U.S. Army Public Affairs community and practice." The medallion depicts St. Gabriel sounding a trumpet, while the obverse displays the Army Public Affairs emblem.
Artists like to show Gabriel carrying a lily, a scroll and a scepter.
He is the patron saint to telecommunication workers, radio broadcasters, messengers, postal workers, clerics, diplomats, and stamp collectors.
the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "Noah, who is Gabriel, … stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood;
Sahih Muslim 174b In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 338 USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 1, Hadith 331 (deprecated numbering scheme)
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Quoting Ibnul Mubarak from a book of az-Zuhd; ad Durr al-Manshur, chain narration from Ibnul Mubarak to Ibn Shihab (1/92)
[ يا آدم بر حجك ] " ما يروى عن آدم -عليه السلام- أنه لما حج قالت له الملائكة: «يا آدم بر حجك»: غير ثابت. " [من فوائد جلسة مع طلبة العلم /16/ذو الحجة/1432 ] __________________ " ... فهل يحسن بنا وقد أنضينا قرائحنا في تعلم هذه السنة المطهرة، وبذلنا في العمل بها جهد المستطيع، وركبنا المخاطر في الدعوة إليها؛ هل يحسن بنا بعد هذا كله أن نسكت لهؤلاء عن هذه الدعوى الباطلة، ونوليهم منا ما تولوا ونبلعهم ريقهم، وهل يحسن بنا أن لا يكون لنا في الدفاع عنها ما كان منا في الدعوة إليها؟ إنا إذن لمقصرون!..."
4488 - Narrated Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ya'kub, through Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Saadi , on the authority of Muhammad bin Khalid bin Athmah, on the authority of Musa bin Yaqub , who reported Abu Huwayrith , that Muhammad bin Jabir bin Mut'im, told him
Tafsir Al-Qurthubi, 7/20 (Maktabah Syamilah); At-Tadzkirah bi Ahwaalil Mauta wa Umuuril Akhirah, 1/488 (Maktabah Syamilah).; Fathul Baari 11/368 (Maktabah Syamilah); see Al-Imaan bimaa Ba'dal Maut, p. 112. ; Syarh Al-Ibanah: Al-Imaan bin Nafkhi Ash-Shuur, 5/33.; Syarh Al-'Aqidah Al-Washithiyyah, 1/59-60 (Maktabah Asy-Syamilah). while in another book: وذلك أن الله سبحانه وتعالى يأمر اسرافيل وهو أحد الملائكة الموكلين بحمل العرش أن ينفخ في الصور (Syarh Al-'Aqidah As-Safariyaniyyah, 1/467).
But Gabri-el is unique amongst an otherwise male or androgynous host, for it is almost certain that this great Archangel is the only female in the higher echelons.