|12th-century depiction, Georgian National Museum|
|Anglican Communion, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy,Islam|
|September 29 with Saints Michael and Raphael Eastern Orthodox Church: November 8|
|Archangel; Clothed in blue or white garments; Carrying a lily, a trumpet, a shining lantern, a branch from Paradise, a scroll, and a scepter.|
|Telecommunication Workers, Radio Broadcasters, Messengers, Postal Workers, Clerics, Diplomats, and Stamp Collectors|
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel (Hebrew: גַּבְרִיאֵל, Modern Gavri''el Tiberian Gaḇrîʼēl, God is my strength; Arabic: جبريل, Jibrīl or جبرائيل Jibrāʾīl) is an archangel who, according to several religions, typically serves as a messenger sent from God to certain people.
In the Bible, Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, he appeared to the prophet Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel''s visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27). In the Gospel of Luke, Gabriel appeared to Zecharias, and to the virgin Mary foretelling the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, respectively (Luke 1:11–38). In the Book of Daniel, he is referred to as "the man Gabriel", while in the Gospel of Luke, Gabriel is referred to as "an angel of the Lord" (Luke 1:11). Gabriel is not called an archangel in the Bible, but is so called in Intertestamental period sources like the Book of Enoch. In the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel are also referred to as saints.
In Islam, Gabriel (Jibra''il) is considered one of the four archangels whom God sent with his divine message to various prophets, including Muhammad. The 96th chapter of the Quran, sura Al-Alaq, is believed by Muslims to be the first surah revealed by Gabriel to Muhammad.Contents
Gabriel is interpreted by the Rabbanim to be the "man in linen" in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Ezekiel. In the Book of Daniel, he is responsible for interpreting Daniel''s visions. Gabriel''s main function in Daniel is that of revealer, a role he continues in later literature. In the Book of Ezekiel, Gabriel is understood to be the angel that was sent to destroy Jerusalem. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Gabriel takes the form of a man, and stands at the left hand of God. Simeon ben Lakish (Palestine, 3rd century) concluded that the angelic names of Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel came out of the Babylonian exile (Gen. Rab. 48:9).
In Kabbalah, Gabriel is identified with the sephirot of Yesod. Gabriel also has a prominent role as one of God''s archangels in the Kabbalah literature. There, Gabriel is portrayed as working in concert with Michael as part of God''s court. Gabriel is not to be prayed to; because only God can answer prayers, and sends Gabriel as His agent.
According to Jewish mythology, in the garden of Eden there is a tree of life or the "tree of souls" that blossoms and produces new souls, which fall into the Guf, the Treasury of Souls. Gabriel reaches into the treasury and takes out the first soul that comes into his hand. Then Lailah, the Angel of Conception, watches over the embryo until it is born.Intertestamental literature
The intertestamental period (roughly 200 BCE – 50 CE) produced a wealth of literature, much of it having an apocalyptic orientation. The names and ranks of angels and devils were greatly expanded, and each had particular duties and status before God.
In 1 Enoch 9:1–3, Gabriel, along with Michael, Uriel and Suriel, "saw much blood being shed upon the earth" (9:1) and heard the souls of men cry, "Bring our cause before the Most High." (9:3) In 1 Enoch 10:1, the reply came from "the Most High, the Holy and Great One" who sent forth agents, including Gabriel—
And the Lord said to Gabriel: "''Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy the children of the Watchers from amongst men : send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have." —1 Enoch 10:9
Gabriel is fifth of the five angels who keep watch: "Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim." (1 Enoch 20:7)
When Enoch asked who the four figures were that he had seen: "And he said to me: ''This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel.'' And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days." (Enoch 40:9)Christianity New TestamentArchangel Gabriel. A fresco from the Tsalenjikha Cathedral by Cyrus Emanuel Eugenicus. 14th century
First, concerning John the Baptist, an angel appeared to his father Zacharias, a priest of the course of Abia, (Luke 1:5-7) whose "barren" wife Elisabeth was of the daughters of Aaron, while he ministered in the temple:
Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. (Luke 1:10-20 KJV) (other versions: Luke 1:1-25)Gabriel on the southern deacons'' door of the iconostasis in the Cathedral of Hajdúdorog, Hungary.
After completing his week of ministry, Zacharias returned to his house (in Hebron) and his wife Elizabeth conceived. After she completed "five months" (Luke 1:21-25) of her pregnancy, Gabriel is mentioned again:
Luke 1:26 ¶ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 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. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38 KJV) (other versions: Luke 1:26-38)
Gabriel only appears by name in those two passages in Luke. In the first passage the angel identified himself as Gabriel, but in the second it is Luke who identified him as Gabriel. The only other named angels in the New Testament are "Michael the archangel" (in Jude 1:9) and "Abaddon" (in Revelation 9:11) . Gabriel is not called an archangel in the Bible. Believers are expressly warned not to worship angels (in Colossians 2:18-19 and Revelation 19:10).Gabriel''s horn
The trope of Gabriel blowing a trumpet blast to indicate the Lord''s return to Earth is especially familiar in Negro spirituals. However, though the Bible mentions a trumpet blast preceding the resurrection of the dead, it never specifies Gabriel as the trumpeter. Different passages say different things: the angels of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:31); the voice of the Son of God (John 5:25-29); God''s trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:16); seven angels sounding a series of blasts (Revelation 8-11); or simply "a trumpet will sound" (I Corinthians 15:52).
In related traditions, Gabriel is again not identified as the trumpeter. In Judaism, trumpets are prominent, but they seem to be blown by God himself, or sometimes Michael. In Zoroastrianism, there is no trumpeter at the last judgement. In Islamic tradition, it is Israfil who blows the trumpet, though he is not named in the Qur''an. The Christian Church Fathers do not mention Gabriel as the trumpeter; early English literature similarly does not.
The earliest known identification of Gabriel as the trumpeter comes in the year 1455 in Byzantine art, as an illustration in an Armenian manuscript showing Gabriel sounding his trumpet as the dead climb out of their graves. Two centuries later comes the first known appearance of Gabriel as the trumpeter in English culture, in John Milton''s Paradise Lost (1667):
Betwixt these rockie pillars Gabriel sat Chief of the Angelic guards (IV.545f)... He ended, and the Son gave signal high To the bright minister that watch''d, he blew His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps When God descended, and perhaps once more To sound at general doom. (XI.72ff).
Later, Gabriel''s horn is omnipresent in Negro spirituals, but it is unclear how the Byzantine conception inspired Milton and the spirituals, though they presumably have a common source.
In Marc Connelly''s play based on spirituals, The Green Pastures (1930), Gabriel has his beloved trumpet constantly with him, and the Lord has to warn him not to blow it too soon. Four years later "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" was introduced by Ethel Merman in Cole Porter''s Anything Goes (1934).Feast daysIcon of Gabriel, Byzantine, ca. 1387–1395 (Tretyakov Gallery)
The feast of Saint Gabriel was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on March 24. In 1969 it was transferred to 29 September for celebration together with St. Michael and St. Raphael. The Church of England has also adopted the 29 September date, known as Michaelmas.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite celebrate his feast day on 8 November (for those churches that follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 8 November currently falls on 21 November of the modern Gregorian Calendar, a difference of 13 days). Eastern Orthodox commemorate him, not only on his November feast, but also on two other days: 26 March is the "Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel" and celebrates his role in the Annunciation. 13 July is also known as the "Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel", and celebrates all the appearances and miracles attributed to Gabriel throughout history. The feast was first established on Mount Athos when, in the 9th century, during the reign of Emperor Basil II and the Empress Constantina Porphyrogenitus and while Nicholas Chrysoverges was Patriarch of Constantinople, the Archangel appeared in a cell near Karyes, where he wrote with his finger on a stone tablet the hymn to the Theotokos, "It is truly meet...".
The Ethiopian Church celebrates his feast on 28 December, with a sizeable number of its believers making a pilgrimage to a church dedicated to "Saint Gabriel" in Kulubi on that day.
Additionally, Gabriel is the patron saint of messengers, those who work for broadcasting and telecommunications such as radio and television, remote sensing, postal workers, clerics, diplomats, and stamp collectors.Latter-day Saint teachings
In Latter-day Saint theology, Gabriel is believed to have lived a mortal life as the prophet Noah. The two are regarded as the same individual; Noah being his mortal name and Gabriel being his heavenly name.IslamAn Islamic depiction of archangel Gabriel from book ''The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of Existence'', 14th century.Main article: Gabriel in Islam
According to the Quran, God sent the Quran to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through His angel Gabriel (Jibra''il) and sent a message to most prophets, if not all, revealing their obligations. Gabriel is named numerous times in the Quran (2:97 and 66:4 for example). In 2:97, the Quran expressly narrates:
Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this scripture) to thy heart by God''s leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers.
Gabriel makes a famous appearance in the Hadith of Gabriel, where he questions Muhammad on the core tenets of Islam.
In Muslim tradition, Gabriel is considered one of the primary archangels. Exegesis narrates that Muhammad saw Gabriel in his full angelic splendor only twice, the first being when he received his first revelation. Muslims also revere Gabriel for a number of historical events predating the first revelation. Muslims believe that Gabriel was the angel who informed Zachariah of John''s birth as well as Mary of the future birth of Jesus and that Gabriel was one of three angels who had earlier informed Abraham of the birth of Isaac. These events of Zachariah and Mary can be found also in the Quran, mentioned in surah Maryam, below are some ayat from the Quran referring to the archangel Gabriel (interpretation of the meanings).
Mary 19:2 a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah 19:3 When he called to his Lord a private supplication. 19:4 He said, "My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy. 19:5 And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir 19:6 Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing ." 19:7 , "O Zechariah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be John. We have not assigned to any before name." 19:8 He said, "My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?" 19:9 said, "Thus ; your Lord says, ''It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.'' " 19:10 said, "My Lord, make for me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights, sound."
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary:19:16 And mention, , in the Book Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east. 19:17 And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. 19:18 She said, "Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, , if you should be fearing of Allah ." 19:19 He said, "I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you a pure boy." 19:20 She said, "How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?" 19:21 He said, "Thus ; your Lord says, ''It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed.'' "Military campaigns of Muhammad
According to Islamic Tradition. The Angel Gabriel (Jibrayil in arabic) was involved in many military campaigns of Muhammad helping, protecting and guiding him. The first was the Invasion of Dhi Amr. According to the Muslim scholar Sami Strauch, it is reported in Sahih Bukhari that it was raining, and Muhammad took his garments off and hung it on a tree to dry, while the enemy was watching, Ghwarath ibn al-Harith went to attack Muhammad. He threatened Muhammad with his sword and said "who will protect you from me on this day". Then according to Muslim Scholars the Angel Gabriel came and thumped Ghawrath in the chest and forced him to drop his sword. Muhammad then picked up the sword and said "who will protect you from me".
Ghawrath replied: "no one, and i testify there is no God worthy of worship but Allah" and he then converted to Islam. The Quran says regarding this incident:
|“||O ye who believe! Call in remembrance the favour of Allah unto you when certain men formed the design to stretch out their hands against you, but (Allah) held back their hands from you: so fear Allah. And on Allah let believers put (all) their trust.||”|
Muhammad spent 11 days on this expedition and then returned to Medina.
Islamic tradition states that Gabriel was also involved in the Invasion of Banu Nadir. Muslim scholars (like Mubarakpuri) claim, the Banu Nadir were attacked because the Angel Gabriel told Muhammad that some of the Banu Nadir wanted to assassinate him. Watt contends it was in response to the tribe’s criticism of Muhammad and doubts they wanted to assassinate Muhammad. He says "it is possible that the allegation was no more than an excuse to justify the attack".
He was also apparently involved in the Invasion of Banu Qurayza. According to The Sealed Nectar, a modern Islamic biography of Muhammad written by the Indian Muslim author Saif ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, the Angel Gabriel visited Muhammad while he was washing clothes at Umm Salama’s house, asking that he should unsheathe his sword and to go to the Banu Qurayza and fight them. Mubarakpuri claims Gabriel said that he with a procession of angels would go ahead the fort of Banu Qurayza and cast fear in their hearts. This is also mentioned in the Sunni hadith collections in Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:68.Baha''i Faith
The Bahá''í Faith sees Gabriel as a a messenger of God who delivered messages to Muhammad. He is mentioned in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, the primary theological work of the Baha''i religion.Arts and mediaThe Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner (1898)
Angels are described as pure spirits. The lack of a defined form allows artists wide latitude in depicting them. Amelia R. Brown draws comparisons in Byzantine iconography between portrayals of angels and the conventions used to depict court eunuchs. Mainly from the Caucasus, they tended to have light eyes, hair, and skin; and those "castrated in childhood developed a distinctive skeletal structure, lacked full masculine musculature, body hair and beards,....” As officials, they would wear a white tunic decorated with gold. Brown suggests that "Byzantine artists drew, consciously or not, on this iconography of the court eunuch". Some recent popular works on angels consider Gabriel to be female or androgynous.Visual art
See also Gabriel gallery in CommonsAngel of the Annunciation
Daniel 8:15 describes Gabriel as appearing in the “likeness of man” and in Daniel 9:21 he is referred to as “the man Gabriel.” David Everson observes that "such anthropomorphic descriptions of an angel are consistent with previous ... descriptions of angels," as in Genesis 19:5.
Gabriel is most often portrayed in the context of scenes of the Annunciation. In 2008 a 16th-century drawing by Lucas van Leyden of the Netherlands was discovered. George R. Goldner, chairman of the department of prints and drawings at New York''s Metropolitan Museum of Art, suggests that the sketch was for a stained glass window. “The fact that the archangel is an ordinary-looking person and not an idealized boy is typical of the artist", said Goldner.
In chronological order (to see each item, follow the link in the footnote):
The eccentric English hagiographer and antiquarian, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834–1924), wrote the English lyrics to Gabriel''s Message, which he translated from the Basque Christmas carol Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen, which was probably related to the 13th or 14th-century Latin chant Angelus Ad Virginem which itself is based on the biblical account of the Annunciation in the New Testament Gospel of Luke.Literature
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