The word archangel is derived from the Greek word for supreme messenger. In the Jewish-Christian tradition there are seven archangels. The most important are Gabriel, Michael and Raphael.

The number seven is mentioned several times in the book Revelation. In Tobit 12 Raphael introduces himself as "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels".

Opinions differ on the identity of the other four. Uriel, mentioned in the apocryphal book 2 Esdras, is usually also considered to rank as archangel.

Related topics: Gabriel | Michael | Raphael

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