The Archangel Uriel
“fire of God”, “flame of God” or “light of God”.

The Third Hierarchy - those closest to humanity

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

Uriel is not as well known as other archangels such as Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael but in most religious sources, whether canonical or non-canonical, he is considered to be one of the top four archangels that stands before the throne of God. The angels that are allowed to enter the presence of God are known as “The Angels of the Presence”.

He is the archangel of salvation and ministration representing purity of heart and true spiritual peace. He is always known as the “fire of God”, “flame of God” or “light of God”. He is in the first choir of angels, the seraphim which are called “the burning ones”.

In the Old Testament and Hebrew tradition he is the angel guarding the Tree of Life holding a flaming sword. This makes him a member of the cherubim since we know God placed a cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24).

According to The Revelation of Moses he is one of the angels at Adam’s repentance and along with Gabriel, Raphael and Michael helped bury Adam and Abel in Paradise.

Although he was considered one of the seven archangels in the early Christian church he is not actually named in the Bible. For this reason and the fact that the church was afraid there was to much of a tendency toward angel worship, the council in Rome in 745 CE demoted Uriel along with several other angels and they became known as the reprobated angels. But wouldn’t you know it, Uriel is now know as St. Uriel.

He is found in many Jewish, Kabbalist, Christian and Islamic traditions and is attributed with many of the same acts given to other archangels. For instance, he is said to be the angel who attacked Moses for neglecting to be circumcised although this same attack is attributed to Gabriel. It is at least agreed that it was Raphael, the archangel of healing, who healed Moses from the pain of the circumcision.

In The Legends of the Jews by Ginsberg V, 310 (The Prayer of Jacob) says: “When I was coming from Mesopotamia of Syria Uriel, the angel of God, came forth and spoke: “I have come down to the earth to make my dwelling among men, and I am called Jacob by name.” So was it Uriel that wrestled with Jacob and actually became him?

Genesis 32 suggests that after they wrestled all night to no avail the angel said let me go and Jacob said not until you bless me. The angel said what is your name and he said Jacob. The angel said Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince thou hast power with God and with men, and has prevailed. And Jacob asked him and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

Archangel Uriel, Greece
holding his fiery sword of justice in his right hand
and the keys to the gates of Hades in his left hand
So since Jacob’s name was changed to Israel maybe Uriel did take the name of Jacob that night. There are instances where profits became angels such as Enoch who became Metatron so why couldn’t an angel become a man? I can’t imagine why one would want to but I guess we will find out for sure when it is all over.

He is credited with delivering the Kabbalah to humankind and disclosing the heavenly mysteries of the arena (“divine discipline” or secret knowledge which was sought by alchemists in the Middle Ages) to Ezra. It is not unreasonable to believe God let one of his angels share some of the divine secrets because it is certain man did not come up with them all by themselves.

The Second Book of Esdras 4: 1-4 tells us that Ezra, the prophet, ask God a series of questions and it was Uriel that God sent to instruct him. He disclosed thru visions to the prophet Ezra a series of apocalyptic visions of the end of time. These visions are very similar to those found in the Book of Revelations in the New Testament and to other religious texts such as the second-century Christian text, The Shepherd of Hermes. The vision goes like this:

“Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered and said to me, “Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?” Then I said, ‘Yes, my lord.’ And he replied to me, ‘I have been sent to show you three ways, and to put before you three problems. If you can solve one of them for me, then I will show you the way you desire to see, and will teach you why the heart is evil.’”

Uriel presides over Hades and obviously holds the keys to the bottomless pit. It is not surprising since he is also known to be as pitiless as any demon ever thought about being.

In the second book of the Sibylline Oracles, a strange blend of early Christian, Jewish and pagan prophecies, He is one of the “immortal angels of the Undying God,” who on the Day of Judgment: will break the monstrous bars framed of unyielding and unbroken adamant of the brazen gates of Hades, and cast them down straightway, and bring forth to judgment all the sorrowful forms, yea, of the ghosts of the ancient Titans and of the giants, the Nephilim, an all whom the flood overtook…and all these shall he bring to the judgment seat…and set before God.

In the first Book of Enoch , perhaps the most influential apocalypse outside the Bible, the prophet Enoch is taken on a tour of the heavens by the archangels of which one of them is Uriel translated from Phanuel who is over repentance.

It also tells us that he was sent to warn Noah of the upcoming flood. Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: “Go to Noah and tell him in my name ‘Hide thyself’ and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it.

Just so there is no mistaking who Uriel is, he is in charge of the "destroying angels" and the "angels of punishment". He has many assistants to carry out God's orders.