The Archangel Gabriel
God is my strength.

The Third Hierarchy - those closest to humanity

Principalities - the seventh choir
The Archangels - the 8th choir
Angels - the ninth choir

The Archangel Gabriel means “God is my strength.” He and Michael are the two highest-ranking angels in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are the only two angels mentioned by name in the Old Testament unless you include the Book of Tobit which mentions Raphael.

He rules over Paradise and sits on the left-hand side of God. He is the ruler of the Cherubim, the angel of the Annunciation, the Resurrection, Prince of Justice, and Trumpeter of the Last Judgment. He is also the angel of mercy, vengeance, death, revelation, purification, guidance and prophecy.

The Archangel Gabriel is the ruler of Monday, the month of January and the Moon.

Gabriels first appearance in the Bible is when he visited Daniel to explain a vision. Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of U-lai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

In the Talmud, one of the central texts of mainstream Judaism, they recognize four archangels familiar to Christianity, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael.

Two of Gabriels Errands of Death and Vengence

One of the more unpleasant errands the Archangel Gabriel was sent on by God was to deal death and destruction to Sodom and Gommorah.

These were two cities so full of sin that they were beyond redemption. Abraham pleaded that the cities be spared if only 10 righteous men could be found. The cities were destroyed.

Another unpleasant errand God sent Gabriel on, according to the Zohar, was to attack Moses for neglecting to observe the covenantal rite of circumcision with regard to his son Gershom. Gabriel came down in a flame of fire, in the form of a burning serpent with the purpose of destroying Moses for this sin. Lucky for Moses God changed his mind.

Gabriel Showing Mercy

I love the two following stories from Richard Webster’s Encyclopedia of Angels.

The first is about Gabriel and an angel named Dubbiel, who was the guardian angel of Persia.

God became annoyed with Israel and ordered the Archangel Gabriel to kill all the Jews by pouring burning coals onto them. Any survivors were to be killed by the Babylonians.

Gabriel felt sorry for the Israelites and asked the laziest angel in Heaven to pass the burning coals to him. This angel was so slow that the coals were almost cold when Gabriel threw them at Israel.

Gabriel then convinced the Babylonians that it was better to force the Jews into Babylon than it was to kill them.

God was furious at this action and demoted Gabriel from his position as “chief minister” in Heaven, replacing him with Dubbiel. Dubbiel wasted no time in helping the Persian people at the expense of every other country.

Twenty-one days later, when God was having a meeting with his leading angels, Gabriel popped his head into the room and made an astute comment (it doesn’t say what the comment was but I would sure like to know). God was thrilled with this and immediately restored Gabriel to his former position.

Is Gabriel male or female

Some sources try to convince us that the Archangel Gabriel is really Gabriella. I suppose it is possible. However, due to how highly the Archangel Gabriel is placed in Islam I believe you would have a hard time convincing them of that.

Angels or celestial beings are mentioned almost 300 times in the entire text of both the Old and New Testaments and they are always described as men, spirit men, or sons of God.

Sometimes they were mistakenly treated as ordinary humans, they ate, drank and were usually wearing white shining raiments.

One reason some sources suggest that Gabriel is feminine is that Gabriel always announces important births. Not just John the Baptist and Jesus Christ but in apocryphal texts he announces the birth of Samson and of the Virgin Mary. This naturally led to Gabriel being regarded as the angel that presides over childbirth. Others say that Mary was not afraid of the angel who visited her because she did not perceive her visitor to be a man.

This story is sweet and probably adds to the discussion as to whether Gabriel is a boy or girl.

The legend says Gabriel teaches unborn children about Heaven while they are in the womb. Just before they are born, he touches them above the upper lip so they cannot remember what he told them until they die. Gabriel’s touch created the philtrum, or cleft, between the upper lip and nose.

Isn’t that a great legend – I just love it. I guess we will find out when the time is right.

One more story from Jewish lore. Gabriel caused milk to flow from the infant Abraham’s right little finger. This enabled him to feed himself while abandoned in a cave.

What is it about the Middle East and caves?

Gabriel and Islam

In Islam he is Djibril (also Jibril or Jabril) the angel of truth. He is looked upon as a guardian angel with 600 pairs of huge green wings and bears the inscription “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God” between his eyes. It would seem in Islamic legend he also has the sun placed between his two eyes. He must have a really big head!

They also believe that Djibril presented himself to the prophet Muhammad on “the Night of Power and Glory”, Leilat al-Qadar, and dictated to him the sacred words of the Koran sura by sura or chapter by chapter.

He also led Muhammad to the Islamic shrine known as the Dome of the Rock where Muhammad ascended a golden ladder to the heavens. Along the way he passed by Isa and Idris (Jesus and Hermes), Adam, Abraham, Moses and the Archangel Michael. Muhammad later arrived at a vast sea of golden light where he was enlightened to divine truth and then He returned to earth.

One Legend from the Encyclopedia of Islam I, 502, Mohammed confused the Archangel Gabriel with the Holy Ghost. Not really a good thing but read the two versus below and see if you can see why Mohammed got Gabriel and God mixed up.

If you read Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the “Holy Ghost” and then read Luke 1:28

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.

I frankly don’t see where the confusion is?

Another story about the Archangel Gabriel is from the Koran, sura 20, 88 which says that when the dust from the hoof prints of Gabriel’s horse was thrown into the mouth of the Golden Calf, the Calf at once became animated. (You remember the story of the golden calf)

Islam does believe Gabriel’s primary task is that of messenger. This would not be disputed in Judaism or Christianity.

Gabriels Most Important Message

Archangel Gabriel The Annunciation
The Archangel Gabriel delivered two of the most important and profound messages that have ever been delivered or received.

One is when Gabriel appears to Zacharias to announce that his son will be called John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-19). This message was probably hard for Zacharias to grasp since his wife, Elizabeth, was way past her child bearing years. Unfortunately he indicated his disbelief to the messenger and for this he was struck dumb by either God or Gabriel until the child was born!

The most important message delivered by the Archangel Gabriel in Christianity is in Luke 1:26-31.

It is The Annunciation: "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 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. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."

Can you even begin to imagine how terrifying this must have been for Mary? Good Lord, certain parts of the world still stone women for less than pregnancy out of wedlock and they certainly would have back then.

The Archangel Gabriel’s words to Mary, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women,” became one of the most prominent prayers in Catholicism.

Some theologians believe that it was the Archangel Gabriel that tells the shepherds by night of the Savior’s birth at Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-11). This would seem logical since it was Gabriel who delivered the message about John the Baptist and then the news to Mary.

Gabriel as we can see is usually the angel sent to deliver messages.

Gabriel's Bodyguard

It is not uncommon for angels to appear in twos and Gabriel is usually with Michael.

The Archangel Michael appears to be Gabriel's bodyguard in Daniel 10:12-13 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were herd, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the King of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days

They are also together in verse 21: But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince

I think in reading the various texts on the Archangel Gabriel it shows that God has a bit of a temper and really dislikes disobedience but He is also forgiving.

Gabriel usually does as he is told but on a few occasions he risk the wrath of God in his sympathy and efforts to protect humans. I also believe it shows that angels and humans have free will.