Who are the angels of the Bible, and what are their names? We know quite a bit about angels as they are referenced roughly 300 times from Genesis to Revelation in various ways.
We see them called “angels of God” (Luke 12:8), “sons of God” (Job 1:6), “sons of the mighty” (Psalm 89:6), “heavenly host” (Psalm 148:2; 1 Kings 22:19), “holy ones” (Psalm 89:5), “holy watchers” (Daniel 4:13), “rulers” (Daniel 10:13), and “heavenly beings” (Psalm 29:1). Yet very few are ever called by name.
The Four Names of Angels Given in the Bible
In fact, out of the hundreds of angelic references, only four have names that are shared, with one whose name is implied.
1. The Angel Gabriel
Gabriel appears in four passages of Scripture. With each encounter, he comes with a message.
Twice to the prophet Daniel, then to the priest Zechariah (father-to-be of John the Baptist), and lastly, to Mary (mother-to-be of Jesus the Messiah).
In these passages, we learn that Gabriel is an angel who appears in human form, but may have a look about him that causes trepidation.
He admits to standing in the presence of God, by whom he is sent to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary. We also see a demonstration of supernatural power as he comes in flight and is able to make a man mute.
While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision” (Daniel 8:15-16).
While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding” (Daniel 9:21-22).
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him… When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.”
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time” (Luke 1:11-13,18-20).
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be (Luke 1:26-29).
2. The Archangel Michael
He is also referred to as a chief prince, one who works to protect God’s people.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back (Revelation 12:7).
In Daniel chapter 10, he is spoken of by another angel, one who is not named. He talks of coming to Daniel sooner but is delayed. He says, “Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia” (Daniel 10:13).
And again, in chapter 12, this same angel is sharing with Daniel the things to come. He references Michael once again, “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise” (Daniel 12:1).
3. The Angel Lucifer
But before this, he was a beautiful, wise, guardian cherub, in the Garden of Eden.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; ...Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God… You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth (Ezekiel 28:12-19).
4. Abaddon (Apollyon)
The angel Abaddon is only mentioned once, he appears to be a fallen angel, ruling over the Abyss (bottomless pit).
At the same time, he is an instrument of judgment, used by God during the End Times, so there is some debate as to where his allegiance falls.
And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon that is, Destroyer (Revelation 9:1-3,11).
A Name Implied: The Angel of the LORD
There are quite a few instances that an angel is called “an angel of the Lord,” but upon closer inspection, we see that sometimes, the angel of the Lord, is God, Himself — Yahweh — showing Himself in the Old Testament. Some believe this can be a pre-incarnate Jesus, but that is never made clear.
So, while the name of this angel is never given directly, we can know he is God, based on what is said. In Genesis 16:7-13, for example, this angel says they will increase Hagar’s descendants. And to whom she says, “You are the God who sees me.”
And in Exodus 3:2-6, we see verses like this:
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
This angel also appears a few times throughout the book of Judges.
The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you...’” (Judges 2:1).
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” (Judges 6:12,22).
He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.” When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” (Judges 13:18, 21-22).
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Amy Swanson resides in Connecticut where she has recently discovered a passion for Bible study and writing. By God's continued grace, she now enjoys helping others better understand their Bibles, while also being an advocate for biblical church integrity. As a mother of three and a wife of 13 years, she blogs less than she'd like to but shares Scriptural insights, encouraging truth, resources, and musings more regularly at Beloved Warrior.
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