7 Biblical Facts about the Angel Gabriel

facts about the angel gabriel

The angel Gabriel is one of the prominent characters in the Nativity narrative. He’s remembered as the angel who told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. But what else can we know about him from the Bible?

In this video, one of our Logos Pros reveals facts about the angel Gabriel discovered using Logos Bible Software.

 

What does the Bible say about the angel Gabriel?

A quick check in Logos 6’s Factbook tool makes it easy to discover more about the angel Gabriel: I just look through the related verses and browse the Bible dictionaries the tool fetches for me.

  1. Gabriel is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. He’s known for bearing good news of Jesus’ coming birth, but his first biblical appearance is in Daniel 8:16, when he is told to explain a vision to the prophet.
  2. Gabriel stands in the presence of God. This is how he describes himself to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19). The Greek word for “stands” is paristánō, which means to wait before a superior. The Septuagint uses this word to describe how Joshua served Moses and how David assisted King Saul.
  3. Gabriel is one of only two angels explicitly named in the Protestant Bible. The other is Michael, a warrior archangel.
  4. The Bible doesn’t call Gabriel the “archangel.” The Book of Tobit (of Catholic and Orthodox canon) identifies the angels who stand in the presence of God as archangels, and so Gabriel has been called an archangel by tradition.
  5. Gabriel looks like a man (but see #6). The name Gabriel means “man of God” or “strength of God.” The second time Daniel encounters Gabriel (Daniel 9:21), he describes Gabriel as a “man [. . .] seen in the vision previously.” We don’t get any more details on Gabriel’s looks. Perhaps that’s because his messages are always so important.
  6. Gabriel scares people. When Daniel meets Gabriel, he is frightened and falls on his face. When Gabriel greets Zacharias, his first words are, “Do not be afraid.” Mary’s greeting is more celebratory, but Gabriel still follows up by telling her not to fear.
  7. Gabriel anticipates Jesus. Gabriel relays a prophecy concerning “Messiah the Prince” to Daniel. He tells Zacharias that John the Baptist will be a forerunner before the Lord. And most famously, he tells Mary that her son will be called “the Son of the Most High.”

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Comments

  1. I just wanted to point out one HUGE assumption that you made in this post. You have assumed that all of the mentions of Gabriel is of the same angle. What would happen if we assumed that all of the mentions of Mary was the same person? What would be the results if we assumed that all of the mentions of John was of the same person. Just because more than one scripture verse mentions an angle Gabriel we cannot assume it is the same angle IMHO.

  2. Jesus came to the world to bring peace and the good news of salvation.
    He is the Prince of Peace. He said, “Blessed are those who aren’t offended”. No one, especially me has it all right or knows everything except Our Lord. However, one thing I do remember reading is that right before Jesus ascended (after the resurrection) one of the things He said (I’m paraphrasing) as He was commissioning them was for them to have peace, He gave them The Comfortor (Holy Spirit) & said to forgive everyone & not hold onto unforgiveness. I can absolutely understand why the responses were made towards the initial comment. However, I’m just wanting to encourage you to respond with love, as this is His desire! He wants us to love each other. He provided Grace through His death on the cross. Shouldn’t we also allow for grace among other believers & be an example of Christ to them as well, through love?
    Just a thought.

    Awesome article, I’m excited about the activity going on in the Kingdom of Heaven & the role of Gabriel even now! Keep up the good work!

  3. I think it’s cool that Gabriel was here thousands of yeas before Jesus

  4. All angels look like human males (no wings, no halos). Also, when people are frightened by them, when they tend to say “Fear not” straight away, it seems to be due to their sudden appearance rather than their physical appearance.