Monday, December 1, 2014




OK, well here we go again with this angel stuff.
This time how about an examination of the Angelic Hierarchy that I mentioned in the last post.  Also known as the Nine Angelic Choirs, it is believed that God established this hierarchy after Satan's rebellion (said to be on the second day of creation) and it is through this angelic hierarchy that the universe is ordered and maintained.

Certain powerful and highly placed angels are honored with the title of prince or ruling princes of heaven. The angelic princes are found especially in Jewish lore, with princes governing not only the seven heavens, but the angelic orders or choirs. Following are some of the princes of the individual choirs:
Seraphim: Michael, Metatron, Phanuel, Cassiel, Seraphiel
Cherubim: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Cherubiel, Zophiel, Raziel, and Jophiel
Thrones (Ophanim): Zaphkiel, Ophaniel, Orifiel, and Zabkiel
Dominions (Hashmallim): Hashmael, Zadkiel, Zacharel, and Muriel
Virtues (Malakim and Tarshishim): Tarshishael (Tarshish), Gabriel, Michael, Uzziel, Sabriel, Haniel, and Peliel
Powers: Camael, Gabriel, Verchiel, and Satan (before his Fall known as Sammael)
Principalities: Amael and Haniel
Archangels: Uriel, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Barachiel, Jehudiel, and Satan (before his Fall known as Sammael) among others before and after Satan's rebellion
Angels: Chayyliel, and Adnachiel

It is interesting to note that in the highest five choirs, there are angelic governors named after the order in which they inhabit:  Seraphiel in the Seraphim, Cherubiel in the Cherubim, Ophaniel in the Ophanim (Thrones), Hashmael in the Hashmallim (Dominions), Tarshishael in the Tarshishim (Virtues).  These are said to be the "chiefs" of these choirs.


It is also of note that several angels are categorized in several choirs such as Gabriel who is listed as a cherubim, a virtue, and an archangel or Michael who is a seraphim, a virtue, and an archangel, and Satan who was a Power (in fact, he was said to be the Prince of the Powers), an archangel, and possibly a seraphim or a cherubim depending on which source you read.


Also, only Chayyliel and Abnachiel are listed as angels but it should be understood that they are the "chief" angels and then there are millions of angels that act as the guardians of humanity.

The Angelic Hierarchy Explained:
Seraphim: these are the angels that come first and are closest to the throne of God.  They exist in the uppermost part of the hierarchy and their very name means ardor. They are said to encircle the throne, existing off the love emanated by God and unceasingly chant the Trisagion, "Holy, holy, holy...". This burning love keeps them ever close to God's Throne and they bear love and light to the lesser choirs of angels.  It is also this fiery love which gives them the term 'fiery serpents'.
In this form of fiery serpents, it is said that the light they give off is so intense, that not even other divine beings may look upon them. They are described as angels with four faces and six wings.
Cherubim: are second to only the seraphim and their name signifies "fullness of knowledge". Characterised by a deep insight into God's secrets, the cherubim hold the knowledge of God and they truly possess the fullness of the divine science of heaven. "It is also they who are often sent to earth with the greatest of tasks; the expulsion of Man from the Garden of Eden and the Annunciation of Christ were both performed by cherubim (Gabriel)". They enlighten the lesser choirs of angels and are to them the Voice of Divine Wisdom.
They are described as the charioteers of God steering the Ophanim. Contrary to paintings on greeting cards and new age book covers, the cherubim are not depicted as fat, winged babies. Instead they are described as sphinx like creatures and cherubims graced the lid of the Ark of the Covenant (as seen in the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Thrones: form the last choir of the first' hierarchy which is the closest to the Divine Majesty. They are also known as the Ophanim. The primary function of these angels is to be God's chariot but they are also noted as meting out God's judgement.  Their main characteristics are submission and peace, however they act with impartialness and humility to bring about the desires of God. Unlike the other choirs which consist of many angels, there are said to be only four Ophanim - Ophaniel (chief), Orifiel, Zaphkiel, and Zabkiel.
Having the most bizarre physical appearance of the celestial host, they are described as great wheels, covered with a great many eyes and glowing with light. One explanation given for this (besides them acting as God's chariot), is that they mark the end of the first Choir, where the emanations of God begin to take on more material forms and as such exist in a state of transition.

Dominions: are so called because "they rule over all the angelic orders charged with the execution of the commands of God." They are also known as the Hashmallim, whose purpose is to regulate the duties of the lower angels.  They act as a form of middle management between the upper choir and the lower. Receiving their orders from the seraphim and cherubim these bright spirits make known to us the commands of God and ensure the cosmos remains in order. Their main virtue is zeal for the maintenance of the God's authority.  Only on very rare occasions do they reveal themselves  to mortals, instead they quietly concern themselves with the details of existence.
Virtues: also known as the Malakim and the Tarshishim, carry out the orders issued by the Dominions, they also have two main tasks; to maintain the aspects of the natural world, and to bestow blessings upon the material world.  They are attributed with having strength and their assistance should be sought to combat the enemies of salvation.  Their primary duty is to: "preside over the movements of the celestial bodies as well as events of weather including rain, snow, wind and the like".  Their secondary duty is to: "take the orders given to them and in turn convert them into miracles for God's favored". It is through them also that God governs the seasons, the visible heavens and the elements in general, although angels of the lower hierarchy have charge of them."
Powers: are believed to be "the favorites among mortals"  They hold one of the most dangerous tasks, maintaining the border between Heaven and Earth. Constantly on guard for demonic attacks, the powers act like an elite guard. They are appointed in a special way to fight against the evil spirits and to defeat any wicked plans. 
Principalities: are the head of the final choir and preside over the third hierarchy.  They guide and protect the world's nations, towns and cities, directly watch over the mortal world and are executive in regard to the visible world of men.  Religion and of politics are also guarded by them and, "as such, they are assumed to be given more freedom to act than the lesser angels below them and are responsible for carrying out divine acts concerning their area of jurisdiction. Finally, they are given to the task of managing the duties of the angels."
Archangels: are normally described as important or special angels.  However, here the term is used as the second to last rank in the celestial hierarchy.  Archangels are entrusted with the more important missions to men. They act as the leaders in the divine army during battle and protect the Church under the leadership of Michael.  They serve as guardians of great personages, such as rulers of States, this includes others with special work to do for the glory of God upon Earth.  Finally they are charged with overseeing the duties of the angels. 
Angels: bring to a close the last choir in the hierarchy and they are ever ready to go wherever the will of God sends them.  They have two major tasks: Firstly they are the ordinary messengers sent to men to watch over mortals in a more direct manner than the principalities. They tend to mirror the goodness of God and direct it toward mortals. They help to protect and keep safe from demonic attack; households and individual souls, instead of entire nations.  Secondly they carry God's word to mankind and act as messengers and couriers to both God and the upper ranks of angelkind. With a true sense of values, they minister to all, this ranges from sinners to the good and just. "In Hebrew, they are called mal'akh, meaning "messenger".

So that may be a lengthy explanation of the Angelic Hierarchy but what can I say, I find this stuff pretty fascinating and I just wanted to share one of my interests and some cool pics and info.

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