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Raphael רפאל

(546 words)

Author(s): M. Mach
I. Name This name is based upon the Hebrew root rpʾ, to heal, hence rōpēʾ, physician etc. Raphael, then, might be translated ‘God healed’. The relation of this name to the Rephaim has not yet been studied. II. Identity The angel Raphael occurs in biblical literature for the first time in the book Tobit. He is apparently one of the four highest angels, known as the archangels in most of the old lists (four in most manuscripts of 1 Enoch 9, 10, 40:9; 54:6; 71:8–9, 13; 1QM. 9, 15; Apoc. Mos. 40; seven 1 Enoch 20). Most revealing is his short speech, Tob. 12.11–15, which shows that Raphael is one …

Jeremiel ירמיאל

(525 words)

Author(s): M. Mach
I. Name An angel bearing this name is attested in this form only in 4 Ezra (4.36), i.e. in a work that belongs only to a part of the Vg.-tradition. The name probably derives from the Hebrew root rûm, ‘to be high, exalted’. Since the ‘-el’ ending already includes the theophoric element, one should see in the beginning ‘ye-’ part of the conjugation of a Hebrew verb in the Hifil-clause. The meaning, then, would be ‘God will/may exalt me’. In 4 Ezra the angel is mentioned as the one who answers the questions of the dead concerning their future, i.e. the day of the last judgme…

Michael מיכאל

(2,250 words)

Author(s): M. Mach
I. Name The name Michael appears as a personal name in the Bible: Num. 13.13; Ezra 8.8; 7 times in 1 Chr and 2 Chr. 21.2. It is commonly interpreted as ‘who is like God?’ The guardian of Israel referred to in Dan. 10.13, Dan. 21; Dan. 12.1 is without doubt a heavenly figure. II. Identity Given the prominence of this angel in ancient Judaism, it has been supposed that the origins of his name and functions should be seen in the Canaanite deity Mikal, explaining the name as deriving from the root ykʾl, to be able etc. The ‘aleph’ would then be a later addition in order to bring this name i…

Uriel אוריאל

(765 words)

Author(s): M. Mach
I. Name The name appears in the OT as a personal name: 1 Chr. 6.9; 1 Chr. 15.5, 1 Chr. 11; 2 Chr. 13.2. In 4 Ezra, an angel of this name is mentioned as angelus interpres. The etymology depends upon the decision whether the root is Hebrew (light) or Aramaic (fire). T. Abr. A 13:11 knows an angel Purouel who has power over the fire (πὐρ). It is tempting to identify him with Uriel. II. Identity Among the four archangels (e.g. Gk. Apoc. Ezra 6:2; Mass. Hekalot, A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch II [Leipzig 1853] 43–44) Uriel is replaced by Phanuel in the book of similitudes ( 1 Enoch 37–71), though in genera…