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"Saint Michael" redirects here. For other uses, see Saint Michael (disambiguation).
Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) tramples Satan.
Michael (Hebrew: ??????, Micha'el or Mîkha'el; Greek: ???a??, Mikhaíl; Latin: Michael or Míchaël; Arabic: ????????, Mikha'il) is an archangel, one of the principal angels in Jewish and Christian tradition. He is viewed as the good Angel of Death (as opposed to Samael, the evil Angel of Death), and as the field commander of the Army of God.
He is mentioned by name in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation 12:7. In the book of Daniel, Michael appears as "one of the chief princes" (Daniel 10:13) who in Daniel's vision comes to the angel Gabriel's aid in his contest with the angel of Persia Dobiel, and is also described there as the advocate of Israel and "great prince who stands up for the children of your (Daniel's) people" (Daniel 10:21, 12:1).
The Talmudic tradition rendered his name as meaning "who is like El (God)". The name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.
Much of the late Midrashic detail about Michael was transmitted to Christianity through the Book of Enoch, whence it was taken up and further elaborated. In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with St George, became the patron saint of chivalry, and of the first chivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469. In the British honours system, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George. St Michael is also considered in many Christian circles as the patron saint of the warrior. Police officers and soldiers, particularly paratroopers, regard him as their patron saint. He is also a patron of England, Germany and one of the patron saints of the city of Brussels, Belgium.
Roman Catholics refer to him as "Saint Michael the Archangel" and also simply as "Saint Michael". Orthodox Christians refer to him as the "Taxiarch Archangel Michael" or simply "Archangel Michael".
1 Old Testament
1.1 Book of Joshua
1.2 Book of Daniel
2 Hebrew apocrypha
2.1 War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
2.2 Book of Enoch
3 Jewish tradition
3.1 Rabbinic traditions
3.2 Kabbalistic traditions
4 Christian tradition
4.1 Canonical New Testament
4.2 Christian legend
4.2.1 Latter-Day Saints theology
4.2.2 Jehovah's Witness belief
7 The Urantia Book
8 Anthroposophy and the occult
9 Literature and popular culture
9.2 Film and Television
10 See also
13 External links
 1 Old Testament
 1.1 Book of Joshua
The main icon of the Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin (ca. 1410s).
The numinous "captain of the host of the Lord" encountered by Joshua in the early days of his campaigns in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:13-15) has the character of Michael the Archangel, as the unnamed heavenly messenger is of supernatural and holy origin, likely sent by God:
Once when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, 'Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?' He replied, 'Neither; but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and he said to him, 'What do you command your servant, my lord?' The commander of the army of the LORD said to Joshua, 'Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.' And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13–15, NRSV)
There is some controversy about this passage, however. An orthodox Christian interpretation would be that this person is the pre-Incarnate Christ. In other places in the Bible, angels do not accept the worship of humans (see Rev. 22:9 for an example); the willingness of this person to accept Joshua's worship implies that he was divine. However, it is not clear whether the angel was the subject of Joshua's worship or merely instigated worship of God.
 1.2 Book of Daniel
The prophet Daniel experiences a vision after having undergone a period of fasting. In the vision, an angel identifies Michael as the protector of Israel (10:13, 21). Later in the vision (12:1), Daniel is informed that Michael will stand for Israel during the tribulation to come. There is no further mention of Michael in the Hebrew Bible.
 2 Hebrew apocrypha
 2.1 War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
In the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of good against the darkness of evil, who is led by Belial. He is described as the "viceroy of heaven", a title that is said to have formerly belonged to Satan.
 2.2 Book of Enoch
Michael is designated in the Book of Enoch, as "the prince of Israel" and the "archistratege" of God. He is the angel of forbearance and mercy (Enoch, xl:3) who taught Enoch the mysteries of clemency and justice (lxxi:2). In the book of Jubilees (i:27 and ii:1), the angel who is said to have instructed Moses on Mount Sinai and to have delivered to him the tables of the Law is most probably Michael.
 3 Jewish tradition
 3.1 Rabbinic traditions
According to rabbinic Jewish tradition, Michael acted as the advocate of Israel, and sometimes had to fight with the princes of the other nations (cf. Daniel 10:13) and particularly with the angel Samael, Israel's accuser. Michael's enmity with Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God (Midrash Pirke R. El. xxvi.).
The rabbis declare that Michael entered upon his role of defender at the time of the biblical patriarchs. Thus, according to Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob, it was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xliv. 16). It was Michael, the "one that had escaped" (Genesis 14:13), who told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive (Midrash Pirke R. El.), and who protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He announced to Sarah that she would bear a son and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom (Talmud B. M. 86b).
It is said that Michael prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place, and saved Jacob, while yet in his mother's womb, from being killed by Samael (Midr. Abkir, in Yal?., Gen. 110). Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob (Pirke R. El. xxxvi.). According to one source, it was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him (Targum pseudo-Jonathan to Genesis xxxii. 25; Pirke R. El. xxxvii.).
The midrash Exodus Rabbah holds that Michael exercised his function of advocate of Israel at the time of the Exodus also, when Satan (as an adversary) accused the Israelites of idolatry and declared that they were consequently d