Temple for Jerusalem

Within the Merkavah, a hierarchy of Angels is found, positioned in relation to the Throne. The Merkavah is made up of 4 Major Angels with 4 subordinate Angels. The wearer of the Merkavah is the Great Angel, with 4 names related to the 4 directions.

As stated in the Koran, "8 Angels carry the Throne." These 8 make up the 4 upright creatures, 8 entry and exit points. The 4 Entry points are major Angels, the 4 exits are subordinate angels.


The Large Angel is 500 measurements greater than these, and governs the placing of the 12 entrances to the Holy City precinct.


Excerpts from Angelomorphic Christology

Charles A Gieschen

Copyright of Brill 1998


Principal Named Angels


The giving of a personal name to an angel is significant. It further distinguishes or separates the angel as an individual figure distinct from G-D.

Some texts exalted a particular angel over other angels. Indeed, an amazing number of angels in service to G-D were depicted (Dan 7:10 or 1 Enoch 71:8), a hierarchy of angelic leaders also depicted and labelled as "angels of the presence" or "Archangels. "


This hierarchy usually consists of 4-7 angels. Indeed, with one of them often identified as the highest of these leaders. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael are primarily associated with this group.


Uriel, (also known as Suru'el), Phanuel and others serve as leader of this elite group, but Gabriel appears to have held this position in earlier tradition.


Michael (1st Major Carrier)

Michael is the principal angel who is most widely mentioned in Jewish and Christian literature of 300 BCE to 200 CE. His name means, "Who is like G-D."


Michael's primary role is guardian, commander, and warrior for the nation of Israel.


In Daniel, he is called "One of the chief princes". (10:13)


Your (Israel's) prince (10;21) and the Great Prince standing over your people (Israel). (12:1)


1 Enoch details his role in binding the fallen watchers (10:11-16) and in carrying out the eschatological destruction. (54:6)

The QL testifies to the fact that he played a significant role in guiding the Dead Sea community and giving them victory.


Early Christians understood Him in similar roles.

The church, rather than Israel, was understood to be the benefactor of his warrior skills and guardianship.


At some point, Michael became identified as the Divine Name Angel of Ex 23:20-21. The evidence in 1 Enoch 69:15 is that Michael possessed the Divine Name has been noticed.


The Divine name was guardian or punisher of Israel and was linked ideologically with the manifestation of the angel of the Lord as "commander of G-Ds army" to Joshua. (Josh 5:13-15).


Gen. 32:25 identifies the man who wrestled with Jacob as Michael.


The primary man of the 3 men in Gen. 18, identified as YHWH is understood to be Michael by some later exegetes. Because some Jewish groups understood that Michael possesses the Divine Name, they assigned him cosmogenic (origin of the universe) and even demiurgic (maker of the world) functions.


Deut. 32:8-9 A text some exegeses found the appointing of angels to watch over the nations. "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, He fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of G-D".


Interpretation of Deut. 32 from Jubilees:

(15:31) And he sanctioned them and gathered them from all the sons of man because (they are) many nations and many people, and they all belong to Him, but over all of them he caused spirits to rule so that they might lead them astray to follow him.

(15:32) Over Israel he did not cause any angel or spirit to rule because He alone was their ruler and he will protect them and he will seek for them at the hand of the angels and at the hand of His spirits and at the hand of His authorities so that he might guard them and bless them and they might be heirs henceforth and forever.


Ben Sira (2nd CCE) "He appoints a ruler over every nation, but Israel is the Lords own portion." (17:17)


The second important role is that of intercessory angel. Although it appears that each of the archangels was evidently understood to be an intercessor for humans with G-D (Tob 12:5; 1 Enoch 9:1-3), Michael was probably considered principal intercessor because of his exalted status.


(T Levi 5:5) "I am the angel who makes intercession for the nation of Israel, that they might not be beaten."


(T Dan 6:1) "Fear the Lord, my children, be on your guard against Satan and his spirits. 2: Draw near to G-D and to the angel who intercedes for you, because he is the mediator between G-D and men for the peace of Israel. He will stand in opposition to the kingdom of the enemy."


Joseph and Aseneth (1st C BCE - 2nd CCE)


14:2 Next to the morning star, the heaven was torn open, and a great and unutterable light appeared ... 4: and a man came to her from heaven; and the man said; "I am the chief captain of the House of the Lord and the commander of the whole host of the Most High."


(Chief of the House of the Lord, commander of the whole host of the Most High) places this account in the trajectory of Michael's tradition.


His physical description appears to be built upon a combination of traditions primarily the figure of the enthroned Glory in Ezekiel. 1:26 (a man .... from heaven". The angel in Dan 10:5-6 (face like lightening). Gen.1:3 (a great and unutterable light appeared).


Gabriel (2nd Major Carrier)

Meaning "Man of G-D" or "Power of G-D" or "G-D has shown himself mighty."


The last chapters of Daniel are central to the discussions of Gabriel. Although Michael is mentioned, it is Gabriel who is predominantly visible and active as the "angelus interpres" for the vision that Daniel receives. (7:16-18; 23-27; 8:15-26; 9:21-27; 10:4- 12:13)


Gabriel is not specifically identified in Dan 10 -12, the exalted description given of Him at the beginning of the vision deserves special attention:


10:4 On the 24th day of the 1st month ...


5: my eyes ... man clothed in linen, loins were girded with gold of Uphill.


6: Body of Beryl, face like the appearance of lightening, eyes... flaming torches, arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, sound of His words like the noise of the multitude.


One of the primary descriptions in Dan 10-12, is his linen clothing (10:5; 12:6-7). This is the distinguishing feature of the angelomorphic figure with the writing case in Ezekiel. 9-10, who supervises the six destroying angels. (9:2; 3:11; 10:2-6-7)


Gabriel is entrusted, however with unique activity according to 1 Enoch:


40:6 And the 3rd voice I heard interceding and praying on behalf of those who dwell upon the earth and supplicating in the name of the Lord of the Spirits.

40:9 The 3rd, who is set over all exercise of strength, is Gabriel...


Note: Gabriel is 3rd after two, namely Michael and the great angel Metatron.


Raphael (3rd Major Carrier)

Meaning "G-D healed." Tobit (2-3 CBCE), healer of Tobias' blindness.


Raphael appears in human form to Tobias and others, reveals himself and departs. (12:15)


(12:19) "Yet is nothing less than one of the 7 Archangels who stand before the Glory of the Lord." (12:12,15)


Uriel (4th Major Carrier)

Meaning "G-D is my light", who is often understood to be one of the 4 archangels (1 Enoch 9:1) receives His name from the dominant role he plays as commander over the celestial lights in the astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72-82).


He has an important role in this as "angelus interpres" for Enoch. (1 Enoch 72:1; 74:2; 75:3-4; 78:10; 79:6; 82:7)


Another portion of 1 Enoch assigns Him the role of guiding Enoch to the prison house of the rebellious angels. (1 Enoch 18:14-19; 21:5-69; cf Sib Or 2:215-35)


Angelus Interpres Par excellence. (4 Ezra 4:1; 5:20; 10:28)


John Ashton has noted that the indistinguishing between G-D and the angel in 4 Ezra is a pattern that is continued from the ancient angel of the Lord texts.


This indistinguishablilty is visible is Uriel's 1st person speech as G-D (5:40-42; 6:6; 8:47; 9:18-22) the exalted address given to Uriel (4:38; 5:41; 7:45; 58:75), Uriel responding to Ezra's prayers.


Israel (1st minor carrier)

The most vivid description is found in the prayer of Joseph. (1-2 CCE)


1: I, Jacob, who am speaking to you, am also Israel, an angel of G-D and a ruling spirit.

2: Abraham and Isaac were created before any work.

3: But I, Jacob who men call Jacob but whose name is Israel and he who G-D called Israel, which means "a man seeing G-D", because I am the first born of every living to whom G-D gives life.

4: And when I was coming up from Syrian Mesopotamia, Uriel, the angel of G-D, came forth and said that I had descended to earth and I had tabernacled among men and that I had been called by the name of Jacob.

5: He envied me and fought with me and wrestled with me saying that His name and the name that is before every angel was to be above mine.


Note: There are 1+4 superior angels to Israel. Metatron, the large angel, then Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. Israel is the 1st of the subordinate angels.


6: I told him his name and what rank he held among the Sons of G-D.

7: Are you not Uriel, the 8th after me, And I Israel, the archangel of the power of the Lord, the 1st minister before the face of G-D?

9: And I called upon G-D by the inextinguishable name.


Yahoel (2nd minor carrier -Apocalypse of Abraham 1-2CCE)

10:8 I am Yahoel and I was called so by Him who causes those with me on the 7th expanse, on the firmament, to shake, a power through the medium of His ineffable name in me.


9: I am the one who is charged, according to the commandment, to restrain the threats of the living creatures of the cherubim against one another, and to teach those who carry the song through the medium of the man’s night of the 7th heaven.

10: I am appointed to hold the leviathans, because through me is subjugated the attack and menace of every evil reptile.

11: I am ordered to loosen Hades and also to destroy those who wondered at the dead.

12: I am the one who ordered your father’s house to be burned with him, for he honoured the dead.


The Physical Appearance of Yahoel

Apoc. Ab 11:2 The appearance of his body was like sapphire, and the aspect of His face was like crysolite, hair like snow, and a Kidaris on His head, like the rainbow, and garments of purple, and a gold staff in his right hand.


Emeriel  (3rd minor carrier)

Called Jeremiel in 4Ezra 4:36 where he responds to Ezras question about the coming of the New Age. His duties in 4Ezra are to watch over the souls in Hades. In 2Baruch, He is identified as Ramiel, the angel who presides over true visions. (55:3; 63;6)

In one manuscript of 1 Enoch 20:8, he is said to be Remiel, "One of the Holy angels that G-D set over them that rise. (Sib. Or:2. 214-219)


In Apocalypse of Zephaniah (1st CBCE to 1st CCE) there is an angel who assists in judgement by showing Zephaniah his sins and declaring his triumph.


6:4: Then I (Zephaniah) thought that the Lord Almighty had come to visit me.

5: then when I saw... fell on my face.... to worship.

6-7: I cried out, saying "Eloe, Lord, Adonai, Sabaoth, I beseech you to save me from this distress because it has befallen me." (He then proceeds to see the accuser angel of Hades in 6:8-10)

6:11: Then I arose, and stood, and I saw a great angel standing before me, face shining like rays of the sun in its glory... like... face of a man perfected in its glory.

12: Looked like a golden girdle upon His breast, feet of bronze melted in a fire.

13: I thought... Lord Almighty has come to visit.

14: I worshipped.

15: He said to me: "Take heed, do not worship me. I am not the Lord Almighty, but the great angel, Emeriel, who is over the abyss of Hades."

The Angels Names, Sizes and Positions

8angels GreatAngel

Metatron is unequivocally identified here as the Divine Name Angel of Exodus 23:20-21. By virtue of His possession of G-Ds name, He is called (the lesser YHWH), a title of great status.

His common title in 3Enoch (The Prince of the Divine Presence), indicates that the functions that previously belonged to the 7 angels and the 4 angels of the presence are distilled into 1 angelic High Priest.


Note: 4 to 7 to 1 angels carrying the Throne. 4 Major carriers assisted by 3 minor carriers. The great angel wears the crown.


He is the sole conveyer of requests to G-D and His commands carry divine authority. (3 Enoch 10:1)

G-D places a royal robe and crown on Him that testifies to his exalted position. He even has his Glorious Throne patterned after the Throne of Glory. (3 Enoch 10:4-5)

After listing the names and duties of several significant angels, 3Enoch 14:5 relays their reaction to Metatron, especially to the crown on His head that bore the Divine Name:


"They all fell prostrate when they saw me and could not look at me because of the majesty, splendour, beauty, brightness, brilliance, and radiance of the glorious crown which was on my head."

Note: These are the elders, not the standing angels who cannot kneel.  Possibly the adoring angels dipping their wings.


Enoch had become very large in the process of His transfiguration into the Angel Metatron as in 3Enoch: 9:2 I, Metatron was enlarged and increased in size till I matched the world in length and breadth.


He made to grow on me 72 wings, 36 on one side, 36 on the other, and each single wing covered the entire world.


He fixed in me 365 000 eyes (jewels) and each eye was like the great light.

Note: Reference to the 1000 years of 365 days - the duration of the Kingdom of G-D.