Online Encyclopedia

GABRIEL (Heb. SKns, man of God)

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 382 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GABRIEL (Heb. SKns, man of
See also:
God)
  , in the Bible, the heavenly messenger (see
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ANGEL) sent to Daniel to explain the vision of the ram and the he-goat, and to communicate the pre-diction of the Seventy Weeks (
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Dan. viii . 16, ix . 21) . He was also employed to announce the birth of John the Baptist to
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Zacharias, and that of the Messiah to the Virgin Mary (Luke i . 19, 26) . Because he stood in the divine presence (see Luke i . 19; Rev. viii . 2; and cf . Tobit xii . 15), both Jewish and Christian writers generally speak of him as an archangel . In the
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Book of Enoch " the four
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great archangels" are Michael, Uriel, Suriel or Raphael, and Gabriel, who is set over " all the powers " and shares the
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work of intercession . His name frequently occurs in the Jewish literature of the later
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post-Biblical period .

Thus, according to the

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Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, he was the man who showed the way to Joseph (Gen.
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xxxvii . 15); and in Deut. xxxiv . 6 it is affirmed that he, along with Michael, Uriel, Jophiel, Jephephiah and the Metatron, buried the
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body of Moses . In the Targum on 2 Chron. xxxu . 21 he is named as the angel who destroyed the
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host of Sennacherib; and in similar writings of a still later period he is spoken of as the spirit who presides over fire,
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thunder, the ripening of the fruits of the earth and similar processes .

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