Archangels and Archeias, what do we know about them?

What do we know about Archangels and Archeias?

(James Powell and Sons of the Whitefriars Foundry)

Mosaics of the four archangels in Anglican tradition in St John’s Church, Boreham Road, Warminster, Wiltshire, England.

What do we know about angels? The Bible names three categories of heavenly beings that appear to be types of angels: cherubim, seraphim, and “living creatures.”

Cherubim are mentioned in several places, noting that "they guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden" (Genesis 3:24), "God is enthroned above them" (Ezekiel 10:1–22), "God rides on them" (Psalm 18:10), and, "two golden figures of cherubim sit above the Ark of the Covenant, where God promised to dwell among his people" (Exodus 25:22, see also verses 18–21).

Seraphim, are only mentioned once in the Bible. They appear in Isaiah 6:2–7, where they continually worship the Lord, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Ezekiel and Revelation speak of other kinds of heavenly beings known as “living creatures” around God’s throne (Ezekiel 1:5–14, Revelation 4:6–8). They appeared like a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle, representing various parts of God’s creation (wild beasts, domesticated animals, human beings, and birds). They, too, worship God continually: “Day and night they never cease to sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Revelation 4:8). (

Angels in the Bible appear to have a rank and order. The angel hierarchy is supported by Jude 9, when the angel Michael is called an “archangel”—a title that indicates rule or authority over other angels. He’s also called “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13, and appears to lead God’s angelic army in Revelation 12: “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated” (Revelation 12:7–8). Paul also tells us that the Lord will return from heaven “with the archangel’s call” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Scripture doesn’t tell us if this refers to Michael, or if there are other archangels as well.

Only two angels are specifically named in the Bible. The archangel Michael is mentioned in Jude 9, Revelation 12:7–8, and Daniel 10:13 and 21. Gabriel is mentioned in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21 as a messenger who comes from God to speak to Daniel. He’s also identified as God’s messenger in Luke 1. He tells Zechariah, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). Then we read, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin . . . and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26–27). Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism, Islam and most Christians. Raphael is also considered highly.

The named archangels in Islam are Jibrael, Mikael, Israfil, and Azrael. Jewish literature also mentions Metatron as an archangel, called the "highest of the angels". Various religions have mentioned Uriel, Sariel, Raguel, Joel, Saraquel, Selaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, Sielteal, Jerameel, Suriel, Remiel, Zedekiel, Sarathiel, Phanuel, and Ananiel. In the Kabbalah there are twelve archangels, each assigned to a certain sephira: Metatron, Raziel, Cassiel, Zadkiel, Samael, Michael, Uriel & Haniel, Raphael & Jophiel, Gabriel, and Sandalphon.

The New Testament makes over a hundred references to angels, but uses the word "archangel" only twice, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ("For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first", KJV) and Jude 1:9.

Unlike God, who is omnipresent, angels are finite creatures, limited to one place at one time. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many angels God created. But apparently, there are a lot of them. On Mount Sinai, God “came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand” (Deuteronomy 33:2). Also, “the chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands” (Psalm 68:17 NIV). When we come to worship, we come into the presence of “innumerable angels” (Hebrews 12:22). John says, “I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11). Every biblical reference to the total number of angels suggests that they’re beyond counting.  (

The Bible clearly tells us that God sends angels to protect people: “He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11–12). Angels are called “mighty ones who do his word” (Psalm 103:20), “powers” (see Ephesians 1:21), and “dominions” and “authorities” (Colossians 1:16). They are certainly “greater in might and power” than humans (2 Peter 2:11, see also Matthew 28:2). Angels use their power to battle against Satan’s demonic forces (Daniel 10:13, Revelation 12:7–8, 20:1–3). Genesis 2:1 tells us that the angels were made at some point before the seventh day of creation: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (“host” here refers to the heavenly beings).

Angles patrol the earth as God’s representatives (Zechariah 1:10–11).

Archangels are both male and female, with the feminen aspect referred to as Archeias. Archangels and their Archeia were traditionally thought to have never incarnated as human beings. However, they have been known to appear in human form at crucial times, and there are many wonderful stories of them appearing to help a soul in trouble and then simply disappearing afterwards. It would appear that they are here to help and guide, but not to interfere.

In the Kabbalah there are twelve archangels, each assigned to a certain sephira: Metatron, Raziel, Cassiel, Zadkiel, Samael, Michael, Uriel & Haniel, Raphael & Jophiel, Gabriel, and Sandalphon.

(Antiquary Photo)

Seven Archangels, from left to right: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Chamuel (Camael), Raphael, Jophiel and Zadkiel. Stained glass made in 1862 at St Michael and All Angels Church, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

Hilary Stanley has provided the following list of names:

Archangels                 Archeias

Michael                       Faith

Jophiel (Iophiel)         Christine

Chamuel (Camael)     Charity

Gabriel                        Hope

Raphael                       Mary

Uriel                            Aurora

Zadkiel                        Holy Amethyst

Raguel                         Harmony

Sandalphon                 Cybele

Haniel                           Purity

Jeremiel                       Hosanna

Metatron                      Constance

Azrael                           Mercy

Traditional names for other angels:

Ariel, Asherah (wife of El), Cassiel, El Elyah, Ezekiel, Fanuel, Haniel, Israel (Israfil), Metatron, Raziel, Sammael, Sananda, Shekinah, Sophia, Uzziel, Zophiel.

Mikail, an angel who influences the decisions of monarchs, nobles and governors, also useful in uncovering conspiracies against states.

…you have come from many sources, from many times, from many races around the galactic universe.

(Jurgen Howalt Photo)

St. George and the Dragon sculpture, (1490), Broager Church, Denmark.

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