What is the title and rank of St. Michael amongst all the Angels and exactly what is or was his responsibility?

  • 2
    Which St. Michael? – Spencer Jan 12 at 3:19
  • @Spencer "amongst all the angels" would imply the OP is referring to Michael the "archangel." Perhaps the OP, or someone with a higher rep than us, can edit the question to make this clearer. – Dan Feb 23 at 11:19
  • @Dan when a question is unclear, I prefer to let OP tell us what they really mean than try to inject the guess I might make. – Spencer Feb 23 at 13:35
  • @Spencer Agreed. In fairness to the OP, "Michael" + "angel" without any other qualifiers doesn't leave much room for ambiguity. – Dan Feb 23 at 15:22

The most appropriate mythological title from a historical source POV would be "Jewish Prince of Heaven who was once the Babylonian King of Hell."

The Archangel Michael is copied in both name and attributes from sources around at least 1600 BCE, a thousand years before he is ever mentioned in Judaism. He found his way into Hebrew via the Babylonian Exile in the fifth century BCE, and through neighbouring West Semitic cultures where he was a prominent chthonic martial deity called Mikal.So like many angels, Michael is a holdover from polytheistic times.

Mikal’s name came from an Akkadian word for “red” which was a poetic name for the planet Mars. This name was a title for both the Sumerian god Nergal (with whom Mikal was syncretized) and got taken by the Babylonian god Marduk as a result of the conquest of Sumer. The name is distinctly Semitic and the deity follows distinctly Canaanite mythic tropes.

enter image description here

Mikal was a warrior god of thunder, portrayed in full battle gear much like Michael is today. Unlike Michael he had a consort; the warrior goddess of love and sex, Anat.

enter image description here

Mikal was the giver and taker of plague, and god of the underworld. He was the lord of the underworld and synonymous with the Babylonian god Nergal, who was the planet Mars, from whence Mikal got his name. The color red, especially in candles, is still canonically associated with the Archangel Michael to this day.

There are no explicit references to archangels in the canonical texts of the Hebrew Bible. In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have ranked amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed.

The New Testament makes over a hundred references to angels, but uses the word "archangel" only twice, at Thessalonians 4:16 ("For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first", KJV) and Jude 1:9 ("Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee", KJV).

However, further proof of the Babylonian origin of Michael can be found in the oldest surviving forms of Christianity, such as the Coptic church, where his name is Ramuel, meaning "Thunder of God".

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    There's some repetition before and after the pictures. – Spencer Jan 20 at 14:12
  • I upvoted this answer, as contains interesting information. But it's also a little bit off-topic; the second half of your answer mentioning biblical references to angels is presumably more the context the OP was considering. You might want to have lead with that part. ;) – Dan Mar 1 at 7:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.