Our Spirits and Guides: Archangel Gabriel
Archangel Gabriel prayer: O blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.
Overview: This article will serve as a didactic source that provides an in-depth, comprehensive examination of everything that the reader needs to know about Archangel Gabriel. It will set out to accomplish this by listing the references made to the celestial being from the various different religious theologies and sacred books ranging from Judah-Christian texts to Islamic records, illustrating the parallelisms that can be found in the major religions. Once this has been done, the document will then touch on some of the descriptions, characteristics, traits, duties, and responsibilities associated with Gabriel. From there, the audience will be given a list of signs and indications of the Archangel’s presence working in our daily lives. In addition, interesting facts and topics surrounding the divine entity will be detailed.
Gabriel as he Appears in the Sacred Texts Depending on who is asked, there are seven to nine divine heavenly hosts or chief angels known as Archangels working for God. In the Book of Enoch, there are seven named, and they are, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Sariel, Raguel, and Remiel. Others consider Archangel Metatron and Saldalphon, who were ostensibly supposed to be the only Archangels that were once human; Metatron being the angel of Enoch, and Saldolhon the angel of Elijah. Again, that is depending on who is being asked. Of these, only three are directly referenced in the Bible and other religious works, and they are Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. In this divine lineup, it is worth noting that the angels of heaven were structured after the Roman military hierarchy, what with their varying classes of angels ranging from thecCheribum, Nephilim, and the watchers, amongst others. This, of course, would have made sense at the time. This article will focus solely on Archangel Gabriel. Who is the divine being, and what exactly is his role or relationship with God as one of these heavenly hosts? Let’s start tackling this question by analyzing him as he appears in sacred texts around the world.
Considering the source, it is not surprising to note that the words angel, cherubim, Nephilim, and other related keywords are mentioned approximately 365 times. Of these, Saint Gabriel frequents the work on numerous occasions, especially in the case of Daniel and Luke where he is described at length. From these appearances, a clear image of Gabriel’s role emerges at the forefront of the readers’ minds. There is no questioning the fact that he is God’s heavenly messenger. Let’s take a glimpse at some of the verses he appears in, and see how this illustration is made clear. We will begin first by looking at the contents Daniel. What we will find is that in both chapters, there is a clear-cut pattern found in the message that is being delivered.
In Daniel 8:15–26, we read, “While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.” As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.” While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power. In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future. Let us pause here for a moment to consider several important takeaways from these verses.
To begin with, it is interesting to note that Gabriel appears to Daniel, not in angelic form, but what seems to be a mere man. It makes us recall other verses of the Bible which refer to the difference between heavenly and human bodies, and that we should be careful about how we talk to strangers because we never know who we are talking to. That God works through people, and that sometimes, even his angels may be upon us. That aside, we quickly see that Gabriel is delivering Daniel a message. The message; an interpretation of the prophetic visions he’s had about the end days. But let us look a bit further at Gabriel’s additional involvement.
We read further on in Daniel 9:21–27, “While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision: ‘Seventy sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’ and sixty-two ‘sevens’. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him,
Once more, the main point that should be reiterated is that Gabriel acting as a communicator between God and man. In the beginning lines, he is giving an interpretation of the prophetic vision of things to come in the distant future. We see this conveyed in such keywords as understanding and insight throughout his dialog. In the first instance, we see this demonstrated in his rendering of the meaning of the two horned ram, whcih represents the Princes of Media and Persia. We hear a voice, which is probably another angel. In addition, we get reference to abother coming Prince which some interpret to be the Christ especially in the context of the end times. However, this is not the only occasion in the Bible where Saint Gabriel acts as a divine deliverer of messages between God and man. For all intents and purposes, let us divulge deeper into the books of Luke, Jude, and Matthew where the Archangel graces the reader with his presence.
In looking at the content of the book of Luke, we find what is arguably Gabriel’s most important role and function for heavenly father. In it, we also find a common theme, which will become clear to the reader in the following rendering of the following verses from the Bible. The first case begins with Luke 1:11–18, which reads, “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was sstartled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an olld man and my wife is well along in years.”
To summarize, the Archangel Gabriel is presenting Zachariah with prophetic insights into the fact that he is and his wife are going to give birth to John the Baptist. It is interesting to observe how, in this instance, as can be found in others, that Zechariah is filled with fear in the presence of the angel, which is something that is not uncommon. Zechariah will go on to be somewhat punished for doubting the angels message, in that he would go on to not speak, and be as dumb, with the message being that it would have been better for him to keep his mouth shut. His doubt as the passage relates stems from the fact that both he and his wife are old in age. On a separate note, we will find Gabriel providing yet another prophetic insight of a birth to come, which is irrevocably the most important one.
We once again see the Archangel Gabriel delivering the most important message of a birth to come in Luke 1:26:-38, which reads, “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to the town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said,” Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will nbe great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end. “How will this be,” Maary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
There are other instances of the Archangel, but these seem to be implied. Take for instance, the book of Matthew. While not directly named, it seems that Gabriel is the angel of God referenced in Matthew 1:20–21, which says, “But just when he had resolved to do these things, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He Himself will save His people from their sins.” We can make this deduction because of two simple facts. First, it would seem logical that having given Mary the message of the coming Christ, that he would also do this for Joseph. Secondly, one could come to this conclusion because we find once again that this angel is acting as divine messanger of revelation between God and man.
Characteristics, Traits, and Depictions of the Archangel Gabriel
Archangel Gabriel not only appears in the Bible, but many books of the Jewish tradition, the Book of Enoch, and even in the Islamic tradition, highlighting the importance of the divine message. Even in the case of the Islamic tradition, we see that this depiction of divine messenger is consistant. It is believed in their tradition that the celestial being carried the messsage of Allah to Muhammad, and that he was the being responsible for saving countless prophets. As we see, it seems his main function is that of a messager between God and his people. But it should be noted that Gabriel is constantly associated in terms of his strength or in how hard and harsh he is. These illustrations come from the belief that Archangel Gabriel was one of the angels that were responsible for the events of Sodom and Gamorrah and what happened to the Sodomites. Just as it is believed that, while not directly name, that it was most likely that the angel of the Lord that appeared to Jesus in the Garden of Gesemane was that of Saint Gabriel. Another common belief about the Archangel Gabriel is that he works closely with Archangel Michael. In terms of his descriptions and illustrations over the years, it is interesting to note the way that in multiple instances throughout the Bible, he comes in the form of a man, but while bearing the characteristics of man, he still strikes fear into those that he visits, having to assure them, ‘not to be afraid.’ It is beacause of this fact, that one might make the inference that it was Gabriel that was the mysterious man that Jacob ran into in the book of Gensis, which he later found out was an angel.
Interesting Facts about the Archangel Gabriel
There are a vast plethora a fascinating facts surrounding God’s heavenly messenger. There is the given that he seems to appear as a scary looking man, but it seems that there is so much depth attributed to the Archangel. Take for instance the way that, while Archangel Michael is associated with his sword of justice, Gabriel is thought to be known for his horn. It is widely believed that it is Saint Gabriel that blows the trumpet blast that signifies the Lord’s return to earth, and that also preceedds the resurrection of the dead on earth. The Armenian Nerses Shnorhali have a Hymn called, For Protection in the Night, to celebrate this fact, which goes, “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 his glory.” Just as Gabriel can be found in an Armenian manuscript in an illustration that depicts him sounding a horn, with the dead rising out of their graves. Gabriel even made an appearance in John Milton’s, Paradise Lost. It the Latter Day Saints theologies, it is believed that Archangel Gabriel is the angel is the prophet Noah. What’s more, is that there are several feast day and festivals that celebrate Saint Gabriel. Archanel Michael has Michaelmas which is celebrated in late September, but the Pope Benedict XV introduced the Feast of Saint Gabriel in 1921, which is to be celebrated on the 24th of March. In addition, it is a little known fact that each of the Archangels are associated with the seven main chakras, and Gabriel is related to the root chakra. Gabriel is also represented by the color white. As an Archangel, it is intriguing that he is not directly referrenced as one, as is the fact that he is depicted as a man without wings. What we find in an analyzis of his messenges is that the content all deals with the coming of the Messiah, and that he revealed the coming of two of the most important figures in Judah-Christian theology in John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. What we also find, which is also an important takeaway, is that Saint Gabriel stands in the presence of God, and that he was able to sense Mary’s feelings without her having to even say anything. It is also believed that Gabriel answers in response to, and hears our prayers.
How to Know the Archangel Gabriel is Working in your Life
There are a number of signs and indications that the presence of Archangel Gabriel is working in our daily lives. As the divine messenger and communicator it is not surprising to find that most of these have to do with receiving messsages. What we find is that, Gabriel may be working in our lives whenever we receive guidance that provides us valuable insights and clarity in terms of what to expect for our futures. Think of the way that each of his messages to the characters of the Bible had to do with visions of what was to come. These messages also deal closely with solving ones problems, in addition to their lives’ purpose. It is also believed that Gabriel speaks with us through our dream, and that his presence in our lives is associated with flahses of white and copper lights. We also see evidence of Archangel Gabriel in the presence of Gabriel’s in our waking life, along with white wings, trumpets, and other instruments that can be attributed to Saint Gabriel. Gabriel is also related to anything that has to do with writing, communications, and creativity.