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Don Stewart :: Who Is the Angel Gabriel?

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Don Stewart
Apart from Michael the archangel, the only other angel in Scripture who is specifically named is Gabriel. His name means "God is my strength," or "mighty one." Though he is not specifically called an archangel, he is a high-ranking angel. He stands in the presence of God and to him are given messages of the highest importance in relation to the kingdom of God.

References To Gabriel

The Bible gives the following references to the angel Gabriel.

And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision" (Daniel 8:16).

Gabriel explained to Daniel about the rule of the kingdoms of Medo-Persia and Greece. He also told Daniel about the premature death of Alexander the Great.

Prophecy Of Christ's Coming

In another appearance, Gabriel gave Daniel the explanation of the prophecy of Christ's coming.

while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen before in a vision, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice (Daniel 9:21).

It was a time of despair for the nation when Gabriel came to Daniel with the message of hope. His name, "God is my strength" or "mighty one," testified to the all-powerful God who was about to deliver His people from the of captivity, and bring them back into the land of promise.

Glorious Angel

It is possible that Gabriel is the unnamed, glorious, angel who interpreted the vision of Daniel in the third year of Cyrus.

I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen, with a belt of gold from Uphaz around his waist (Daniel 10:5).

Another unnamed angel interpreted the vision Daniel received during the reign of Belshazzar. This angel may also have been Gabriel.

I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter (Daniel 7:16).

Zechariah

The angel Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zechariah.

Then the angel of the LORD appeared to him there, standing at the right side of the altar of incense . . . . The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news (Luke 1:11,19).

Mary

The angel Gabriel also appeared to Mary.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:26-28).

Other Appearances

While there are only four times when Gabriel's name is specifically mentioned in the Bible, there are other occasions where he may have appeared as the angel of the LORD. A number of times in the New Testament, a personage called the angel of the LORD appeared. Though he is not named, it is probable that he is Gabriel - since Gabriel is designated as the angel of the LORD in Luke 1:11.

Summary

Gabriel is one of only two angels named in Scripture. His ministry seems to be that of mercy and promise. We know that he appeared to Daniel, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as well as to Mary, the mother of Jesus. He is called the "angel of the LORD" in Luke 1. He is probably the one who appeared to Joseph a number of times as the angel of the LORD. Other appearances of the angel of the LORD in the New Testament may be attributed to him.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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