From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Holman Bible Dictionary [1]

archangelos mal'ak

The thrust of the term “angel” in the Hebrew Bible is that of a messenger sent from God. Its primary significance has to do with the function of this agent of God, rather than expressing concerns of the nature or being of an angel. However, a clear distinction between God and the messenger/angel is not easily determined. For example, Hagar encountered an angel, but she referred to the Lord who spoke to her ( Genesis 16:7 ,Genesis 16:7, 16:13;  Genesis 21:17 ). God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but eventually Abraham is addressed by “the angel of the Lord” ( Genesis 22:1 ,Genesis 22:1, 22:11 ,Genesis 22:11, 22:15 ). To further complicate the subject, mal'ak can also refer to a human messenger (  1 Kings 19:2;  Haggai 1:13;  Malachi 2:7 ).

The general circumstances for angel references have to do with a messenger or envoy who is sent to perform specific tasks and speak for God. They include declaring edicts of God to a specific audience ( Genesis 22:11-13 ), announcing special events ( Genesis 16:7-12 ), protecting the faithful (individuals and groups;  Exodus 14:19-20;  Exodus 23:20;  Psalm 91:11 ), and angels also serve as envoys of punishment against the wicked and unfaithful ( Psalm 35:5-6 ). Frequently, they are set within a wider class of celestial beings that include “sons of God” ( Genesis 6:2 ,Genesis 6:2, 6:4;  Psalm 29:1 ,  Psalm 89:6;  Job 38:7 ), “holy ones” ( Deuteronomy 33:2;  Psalm 89:5 ,Psalms 89:5, 89:7;  Job 15:15;  Zechariah 14:5 ), and “sons of the most High” ( Psalm 82:6;  Luke 6:35 ). On occasion, they are associated with a heavenly court ( Joshua 5:13-14;  1 Kings 22:19 ).

In religious texts dating from the post-exilic period, there appears to be substantial change in perception of angels. Hierarchies emerge in the literature that stressed particular groupings headed by archangels [that is, chief angels] who were counted among number designations such as seven ( Tobit 12:15;  4 Ezra  5:20 ), four (Enoch 4; 87:2-3; 88:1), three (Enoch 90:31). The archangels Michael ( Daniel 10:13;  Daniel 12:1; Enoch 9:1; 10:11), Gabriel ( Daniel 8:16; Enoch 9:1; 20:7; 40:9), Raphael ( Tobit 3:17;  Tobit 12:15; Enoch 10:4; 40:9) and Uriel (Enoch 9:1; 19:1; 20:2) gain particular hero status. These special archangels function as mediators between God and humans, and frequently there is a perceptible character that stands in contrast (but not necessarily in opposition) to the messenger function. The archangels are interpreters of the message. Although angels generally represented a “guardian role,” common to the ancient near eastern world, archangels seem to be of a superior category. In particular, Michael ( Daniel 10:13 ,Daniel 10:13, 10:21;  Daniel 12:1;  Jude 1:9; Assumption of Moses 12:7-9), Gabriel ( gabriel , “hero of God”;  Daniel 8:16;  Daniel 9:21;  Luke 1:19 ,Luke 1:19, 1:26 ), and Raphael ( rapael “God has healed”; a chief figure in the book of Tobit, see   Tobit 3:16-17 ) were cast as important interpreters, advocates, and intercessors.

The New Testament continues the idea of angels as messengers of God. Among the numerous references, an angel advises Joseph of Jesus' birth ( Matthew 1:20 ), and warns of the advisability of the flight into Egypt ( Matthew 2:13 ,Matthew 2:13, 2:19 ). The archangel, Gabriel, is the messenger who speaks of the birth of John in  Luke 1:11 ,  Luke 1:19 , and tells Mary of the birth of Jesus ( Luke 1:26 ). The Book of Revelation appears to reflect tradition of archangels found in Enoch (although the term archangelos is found only in   1 Thessalonians 4:16 and   Jude 1:9 ) that have holy creatures waiting on the throne of God, presiding over the corners of the earth, and are part of the cosmic reordering at the end of time ( Revelation 1:4;  Revelation 4:5;  Revelation 7:1;  Revelation 12:7; Enoch 9:1; 10:1; 40:2; 90:21).

Wayne McCready

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [2]

I should not have thought it necessary, in a work of this kind, to have noticed this name, but for the purpose of noticing at the same time an error, into which, as I humbly conceive, not a few have fallen. I cannot find in all the Bible, the name archangel but twice; once in  1 Thessalonians 4:16; and once in  Jude 1:1:9. And as for archangels, as if there were more than one, or many, the very name itself implies that it is an error. For arch-angel signifies the first, or prince of the order of angels, consequently, there cannot be many firsts, without making it necessary to altar the term. So that, what is said of angels and archangels, together in hymns of praise, seems to be founded in a misapprehension of Scripture in relation to one arch-angel only, for the word of God speaks of no more, and the name is not plural.

The question is, who is this archangel, twice, and but twice only, noticed as such in Scripture? if the reader will consult both places, he will find that of whomsoever it be spoken of it is only spoken of him in office. And if the reader will compare the passage, particularly in Jude, with what the prophet Daniel saith, ( Daniel 10:13-21) I conceive that both together will throw light upon the subject. "Lo!" saith the prophet, "Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me." And again, he calls the same person, ( Daniel 10:21) "Michael, your prince." In the passage of the apostle Jude's Epistle, he saith,"Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses." It should seem, therefore, pretty plain, that this Michael is one and the same person. In one he is called prince, in the other, archangel. But in both, it is evident, that the name is a name of office. For my own part, I do not hesitate to believe that it is Christ himself, which is meant by the name archangel in Scripture; and of whom it is said, in relation to his coming at the last day, that "he shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7) And elsewhere, the Lord Jesus describes this advent in similar words. ( Matthew 25:31;  Zechariah 14:5;  Matthew 16:27) And whether this appearing of Christ hath respect to his coming in his thousand years' reign upon earth, or to the universal judgment, the sense of the words (in reference to the subject of the archangel we are now considering) is the same. Some have thought that the archangel spoken of by Jude cannot mean Christ, because it is there said, that he durst not bring against Satan a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But this is not an objection in the smallest degree. The Lord Jesus durst not do it; not because he dared not, or had not the power, but because it belonged not to the Redeemer's character, "who, when reviled, reviled not again, but committed himself judgeth righteously." (See  Zechariah 3:1-4) Here we have a similar contest. Now that he who spake was the Lord, appears by his saying, "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment." Hence, therefore, it is plain from this passage, that the angel before whom Joshua, as a type of the church, stood, was Christ, who is elsewhere called the angel of the covenant; ( Malachi 3:1) the same as Jacob spake of. ( Genesis 48:16) So that both the angel of the covenant and the archangel are one and the same; and both spoken of in the nature of the office and character of Christ, for Christ "took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham." ( Hebrews 2:16)

From the whole view of this subject, I venture to believe, that, as Scripture speaks but of one arch-angel, and that officially, that archangel is Christ. For on the supposition, that it be not so, it becomes a matter of greater difficulty to say, who this arch-angel can be. If it be not Christ, it must be some created angel. And is there a created angel higher than Christ. If, while Jesus is called the angel of the covenant, is there an archangel also, above this angel of the covenant? I leave these questions with any one, not satisfied with my former observations, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the person spoken of twice in Scripture as the arch-angel.

See Malachi and Michael

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

according to some, means an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestial order or hierarchy; but others reckon it a title only applicable to our Saviour;  Judges 1:9;  Daniel 12:1;  1 Thessalonians 4:16 . On this point Bishop Horsley has the following observations:—"It has been for a long time a fashion in the church to speak very frequently and familiarly of archangels as beings of an order with which we are perfectly well acquainted. Some say there are seven of them. Upon what solid ground that assertion stands, I know not; but this I know, the word ‘archangel' is not to be found in any one passage of the Old Testament: in the New Testament it occurs twice, and only twice. One of the two passages is in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians; where the Apostle, among the circumstances of the pomp of our Lord's descent from heaven to the final judgment, mentions ‘the voice of the archangel;' the other passage is in the Epistle of St. Jude, where the title of archangel is coupled with the name of ‘Michael the archangel.' This passage is so remarkably obscure that I shall not attempt to draw any conclusion from it but this, which manifestly follows, be the particular sense of the passage what it may: since this is one of the two texts in which alone the word ‘archangel' is found in the whole Bible; since in this one text only the title of archangel is coupled with any name; and since the name with which it is here coupled is Michael; it follows undeniably that the archangel Michael is the only archangel of whom we know any thing from holy writ. It cannot be proved from holy writ, and, if not from holy writ, it cannot be proved at all, that any archangel exists but the one archangel Michael, and this one archangel Michael is unquestionably the Michael of the book of Daniel.

"I must observe by the way, with respect to the import of the title of archangel, that the word, by etymology, clearly implies a superiority of rank and authority in the person to whom it is applied. It implies a command over angels; and this is all that the word of necessity implies. But it follows not, by any sound rule of argument, that, because no other superiority than that of rank and authority is implied in the title, no other belongs to the person distinguished by the title, and that he is in all other respects a mere

angel. Since we admit various orders of intelligent beings, it is evident that a being highly above the angelic order may command angels.

"To ascertain, if we can, to what order of beings the archangel Michael may belong, let us see how he is described by the Prophet Daniel, who never mentions him by that title; and what action is attributed to him in the book of Daniel and in another book, in which he bears a principal part.

"Now Daniel calls him ‘one of the chief princes,' or ‘one of the capital princes,' or ‘one of the princes that are at the head of all:'

for this I maintain to be the full and not more than the full import of the Hebrew words. Now we are clearly got above the earth, into

the order of celestials, who are the princes that are first, or at the head of all? Are they any other than the three persons in the Godhead? Michael, therefore, is one of them; but which of them? This is not left in doubt. Gabriel, speaking of him to Daniel, calls him ‘Michael your prince,' and ‘the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people;' that is, not for the nation of the Jews in particular, but for the children, the spiritual children, of that holy seed the elect people of God; a description which applies particularly to the Son of God, and to no one else; and in perfect consistence with this description of Michael in the book of Daniel, is the action assigned to him in the Apocalypse, in which we find him fighting with the old serpent, the deceiver of the world, and

victorious in the combat. That combat who was to maintain? in that combat who was to be victorious, but the seed of the woman?

From all this it is evident, that Michael is a name for our Lord himself, in his particular character of the champion of his faithful people, against the violence of the apostate faction and the wiles of the devil."

To this opinion there is nothing irreconcilable in the "voice of the archangel" mentioned in  1 Thessalonians 4:16 : since the "shout," the "voice," the "trump of God," may all be the majestic summons of the Judge himself. At the same time we must feel that the reasoning of Bishop Horsley, though ingenious, is far from being conclusive against the existence of one or more archangels.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

1: Ἀρχάγγελος (Strong'S #743 — Noun Masculine — archangelos — ar-khang'-el-os )

"is not found in the OT, and in the NT only in  1—Thessalonians 4:16 and   Jude 1:9 , where it is used of Michael, who in Daniel is called 'one of the chief princes,' and 'the great prince' (Sept., 'the great angel'), 10:13,21; 12:1. Cp. also  Revelation 12:7 .... Whether there are other beings of this exalted rank in the heavenly hosts, Scripture does not say, though the description 'one of the chief princes' suggests that this may be the case; cp. also   Romans 8:38;  Ephesians 1:21;  Colossians 1:16 , where the word translated 'principalities' is arche, the prefix in archangel." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 142.] In  1—Thessalonians 4:16 the meaning seems to be that the voice of the Lord Jesus will be of the character of an "archangelic" shout.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Archangel, A Chief Angel, only twice used in the Bible.  1 Thessalonians 4:16;  Judges 1:9. In this last passage it is applied to Michael, who, in  Daniel 10:13;  Daniel 10:21;  Daniel 12:1, is described as "one of the chief princes," having a special charge of the Jewish nation, and in  Revelation 12:7-9 as the leader of an angelic army.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

This world is only twice used in the Bible,  1 Thessalonians 4:16   Jude 1:9 . In this last passage it is applied to Michael, who, in  Daniel 10:13,21   12:1 , is described as having a special charge of the Jewish nation, and in  Revelation 12:7-9 as the leader of an angelic army. So exalted are the position and offices ascribed to Michael, that many think the Messiah is meant.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [7]

According to some divines, means an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestial hierarchy; but others, not without reason, reckon it a title only applicable to our Saviour. Compare  Judges 1:9 . with  Daniel 12:1 .  1 Thessalonians 4:16 .

King James Dictionary [8]


1. An angel of the highest order an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestiai hierarchy. 2. The name of several plants, as the dead-nettle, or lamium a species of melittis and the galeopsis or hedge-nettle.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): (n.) A chief angel; one high in the celestial hierarchy.

(2): (n.) A term applied to several different species of plants (Angelica archangelica, Lamium album, etc.).

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Jude 1:9

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [11]

See Angel

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

Archangel . See Angel.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [13]

See Angel.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [14]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

( Ἀρχάγγελος , Chief Angel,  1 Thessalonians 4:16;  Judges 1:9). Those angels are so styled who occupy the highest rank in the celestial order or hierarchy, which consists, according to the apostles, of "thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers" ( Ephesians 1:21;  Colossians 1:16;  1 Peter 3:22). Of these there are said to be seven, who stand immediately before the throne of God ( Luke 1:19;  Revelation 8:2), who have authority over other angels, and are the patrons of particular nations ( Revelation 12:7;  Daniel 10:18). In  Matthew 26:53;  2 Thessalonians 1:7, hosts of angels are spoken of in the same manner as human armies. These the Almighty is said to employ in executing his commands, or in displaying his dignity and majesty, in the manner of human princes. These armies of angels are also represented as divided into orders and classes, having each its leader, and all these are subject to one chief, or: archangel. The names of two only are found in the Scripture Michael, the patron of the Jewish nation ( Daniel 10:13;  Daniel 10:21;  Daniel 12:1;  Judges 1:9;  Revelation 12:7); and Gabriel ( Daniel 8:16;  Daniel 9:21;  Luke 1:19;  Luke 1:26). The apocryphal book of Tobit ( Tobit 3:17;  Tobit 5:4) mentions one, Raphael; and 2 Esdras ( 2 Esdras 4:34) another, Uriel; while the book of Enoch names the whole seven (enoch 20:1-7). (See Angel).

The fathers are not agreed on the number and order of the celestial hierarchy. Dionysius the Areopagite admits but three hierarchies, and three orders of angels in each hierarchy. In the first are Seraphim, Cherubim, and thrones; in the second, dominions, mights, and powers; in the third, principalities, archangels, and angels. These titles of ranks are probably allusions to the customary order of the courts of the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Persian kings; hence Michael the archangel tells Daniel that he is one of the chief princes in the court of the Almighty. Extraordinary powers and functions were conferred on angels by the different Gnostic sects. They all held that angels were the fabricators or architects of the universe, and Cerinthus affirmed they were superior to Christ himself. These opinions were early entertained, and the Apostle Paul thought it necessary to warn the Colossians against such errors. "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind" ( Colossians 2:18). They also affirmed, according to Theodoret, that the law was given by angels, and that to one had access to God except through them. Hence we find on the Gnostic gems the names of numbers of their angels; on one are those of Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Ananael, Prosorael, and Chabsael. But the chief and most highly venerated was Michael, insomuch that oratories were erected in Asia Minor, where divine honors were paid to him. (See Michael).

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [16]

The oldest seaport of Russia, on the Dvina, near its mouth, on the White Sea, is accessible to navigation from July to October, is connected with the interior by river and canal, and has a large trade in flax, timber, tallow, and tar.