Archangel Gabriel

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The Last Supper
Archangel Gabriel
Picture by Carlos Quevedo

Picture courtesy of glofire.tv.

Moved from 24th March

Gabriel’s name in Hebrew means “man of God” or “God’s might has been shown”. Gabriel, Michael and Raphael are the only three angels mentioned by name in the Bible. Gabriel appears first in the book of Daniel, from the second century BC, he appears as a man and is the messenger of God who reveals details of the Day of Judgement. Gabriel explains to Daniel the meaning of the vision Daniel has had and gives wisdom and understanding.

The Book of Enoch is a book written by Noah's Grandfather, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18), this was left out of our Bible, as the academics, scholars, and theologians say that there is no proof Enoch was the author, but Jude in the New Testament quoted in his letter from the Book of Enoch and the last half of this book is very similar to the same vision the Apostle John wrote about in Revelations. Only in the Book of Enoch is Gabriel identified as an Archangel. Gabriel is mentioned in 1 Enoch as one of the four heavenly beings (the others are Michael, Raphael, and Phanuel) who stand in God’s presence. In 2 Enoch, Gabriel is described as one of the Lord’s glorious ones, who serve the Lord in the seventh heaven. Gabriel’s job in 1 and 2 Enoch is described as being in charge of all the powers, intercessor on behalf of the righteous, and the destroyer of the wicked, the one who will cast them into the furnace.

We know Gabriel best as a messenger Angel who In the New Testament, speaks to the father of John the Baptist, revealing his coming birth (Luke 1:11-20) and telling his father what he must be named (Names are important to God.) He also gets to announce to Mary (Luke 1:26-38), that she has been chosen to give birth to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and again that his name must be Jesus, for he will save the people from their sins. Gabriel’s role as intercessor is reflected in the assurance given to Zechariah that his prayer has been heard, and to Mary that she has found favour with God.

It is clear from Scripture that Gabriel’s appearance was not as it is depicted in most paintings and pictures. Daniel fell on his face at the sight of him. The Bible tells us, that Gabriel had to fight his way through to bring his first message to Daniel and had to get help from his brother Archangel Michael, to fight his way past the 'Prince of Babylon' to bring the message, so we are likely talking a armoured warrior, with weapon in hand, who has just come from battle. I don't think he would have wasted more time cleaning himself up, he had already been held up 3 weeks, his appearance was in fact rather terrifying.:-

So Gabriel started toward me. But as he approached, I was too frightened to stand and fell down with my face to the ground. “Son of man,” he said, “you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision will not take place until the end times come.” - Daniel 8:17.

Zechariah is likewise “startled and gripped with fear” (Luke 1:12). Mary he also had to tell not to fear, although the gospel of Luke states she was startled at his greeting. Gabriel spends most of his time in God's presence and that, as we know from what it did to Moses, can effect a person and probably also an angel, He likely radiates that light and quite a presence.