Oxford Dictionary of the Bible

by W.R.F. Browning (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996)

On of the chief archangels, who first appears in the OT as a messenger from God (Dan. 8:15-26) and in the NT as the herald of the supernatural births of John and Jesus (Luke 1:19 and 1:26-36). Gabriel is also prominent in 1 Enoch, and his role in Christian apocalyptic imagery may have been to blow the trumpet to announce the general resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16.)

Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition [book review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms,, or

Gabriel, one of the archangels in Jewish and early Christian thought. In the ot, Gabriel appears only in Dan. 8:15-26 and 9:21-27, and, in the nt, only in Luke 1:11-20, 26-38. In these passages, Gabriel appears as a messenger (‘angel’) from God and an interpreter for the people to whom he is sent. In the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings, angels were organized into categories with specific duties and status before God. In Tob. 12:15, for example, ‘Raphael’ is mentioned as ‘one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One’ (cf. also Rev. 8:2). In 1 Enoch 40, Gabriel is considered one of the top four in rank, perhaps second only to Michael. Gabriel’s duties included intercession on behalf of God’s people (1 Enoch 9:1; 40:6) as well as being the instrument for destruction of the wicked (1 Enoch 9:9-10). Tradition associated Gabriel with the archangel whose trumpet blast would announce the return of Christ (cf. 1 Thess. 4:16; Matt. 24:31).

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