Who Are the Seven Angels in Revelation 8:2?

Revelation 8 introduce seven angels who will sound their trumpets in Revelation 8-9. After the seventh seal is opened, John sees these seven angels who stand before God. “Standing before” someone is an idiomatic expression for serving, so this could be translated as “served” the Lord. According to Jewish tradition the angels must be standing because they did not have knees. This is based on Ezekiel 1:7 (cherubim with straight legs).

The Seven Angels

Revelation 8:2 does not identify them. Are these the “seven archangels who occupy a very particular role in the angelic hierarchy,” as David Aune suggests? (2:509). On the other hand, Beale finds it “tempting to identify them with the seven guardian angels of the seven churches” (Beale 454). John may have intended these seven angels standing before God to be the seven spirits which were before the throne of God in Revelation 1:4 and 4:5.

Other Second Temple Period literature refer to seven archangels, Michael and Gabriel being among them. For example, in Tobit 12:15, the angel Raphael says, “I am Raphael, 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” (RSV). The tradition of seven archangels is present in the apocryphal book of Tobit. In Testament of Levi 8, Levi sees seven men clothed in white who prepare him to be a priest.

In 1 Enoch 20, the Greek text has seven angels: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remeiel (missing in the Ethiopic text, see OTP 1:23–24).

  • Suruʾel, one of the holy angels—for (he is) of eternity and of trembling.
  • Raphael, one of the holy angels, for (he is) of the spirits of man.
  • Raguel, one of the holy angels who take vengeance for the world and for the luminaries.
  • Michael, one of the holy angels, for (he is) obedient in his benevolence over the people and the nations.
  • Saraqaʾel, one of the holy angels who are (set) over the spirits of mankind who sin in the spirit. 7
  • Gabriel, one of the holy angels who oversee the garden of Eden, and the serpents, and the cherubim.

3 Enoch 17 says “There are seven great, beautiful, wonderful, and honored princes who are in charge of the seven heavens. They are, Michael, Gabriel, Šatqiʾel, Šaḥaqiʾel, Baradiʾel, Baraqiʾel, and Sidriʾel.:

However, in Revelation 8:2 the angels are not named nor are them described as special in any way except they are given the honor of announcing the judgements by blowing on trumpets. There is another series of angels in Revelation 15-16 as the final seven bowl judgements are poured out on the earth.

34 thoughts on “Who Are the Seven Angels in Revelation 8:2?

  1. It is interesting that John does not name the seven angels. It would seem like if these were Gabriel, Micheal,Raphael or the others named above then John would have named them. If these seven are specifically named in other texts then you would think theses names would have been known to John. The other argument could be John omitted the names to maintain the cryptic way Revelation was written. It would seem that most likely if you just read Revelation and take it for what it is that the seven angels are the angels of the seven churches that John writes the letters to. This could be the angels reporting to God the status of the churches and if they made the changes they were called to make.

  2. My guess has always been that it’s referring to the seven chief-messengers in Enoch (as you listed). But there are some that think it may be referring to Isaiah 11:2. It is interesting that Origen, who personally used the book of Enoch, may also believe that.

    Origen: Origenes: First Principles
    A similar method must be followed in treating of the (heavenly) messengers; nor
    are we to suppose that it is the result of accident that a particular office is
    assigned to a particular messenger: as to Raphael, e.g., the work of curing and
    healing; to Gabriel, the conduct of wars; to Michael, the duty of attending to the
    prayers and supplications of mortals.

    Enoch 17(20):5
    Michael, one of the holy messengers, the one who has been appointed over the
    good-things of the people.

    And Enoch 40:9:
    The first, who is merciful and long-suffering, is Michael. And the second, who is
    set over every sickness and every wound of the sons of the humans, is Raphael.
    And the third, who is set over every power, is Gabriel.

  3. Yeah, you would definitely think John would at least name the angels but I guess not. Of course it’s not inspired but 1 Enoch 20 makes mention of Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remeiel which definitely makes things pretty straight forward. This may seem like a naïve response, but there could be the chance that John saw the angels but didn’t know their names. The alternative as Jason said being “The other argument could be John omitted the names to maintain the cryptic way Revelation was written” (Rysdyk). This could also me true considering the seven angels could be symbolizing the seven churches.

    • But the seven messengers (angels) at the start of Revelation are human individuals who are over each assembly, not some sort of spiritual being. I wish translations would stop transliterating this Greek word altogether, and write it how any Greek reader would understand — “messenger” which can be used for humans or spiritual beings. Because each discourse is spoken to a messenger, in the singular (only the very end is spoken to the entire group), who is supposed to do something about the assembly he is over. Unless you are suggesting some sort of parallel between the seven human messengers over the assemblies and the seven spiritual messengers? Do you think that was intentional? I mean, there were many other assemblies throughout the world, each with a human messenger over them, which wouldn’t have been any different I would think. Yet Enoch makes it clear that there are only seven chief-messengers before God.

  4. It is difficult to say if there is any special significance to these seven angels other than their specific duty of making these announcements for God. If anything, they are in fact most likely the seven spirits that are referenced in Revelation 1:4 and Revelation 4:5. While it is purely speculation as to whether or not these angels or spirits have knees, if they did not it would be not overly surprising. In Revelation 4:5 it states that the seven are like “burning torches of fire” before the throne of God. IF there are always present and ready before the Lord in this way, there would be no need for them to have knees understandably. Because such a large number of individuals are destroyed in this chapter of Revelation, namely a third of mankind, perhaps these seven spirits do indeed represent the cities mentioned in the previous chapters. It could be a warning to large groups here on earth to repent and seek the face of God before the end days are here and it is too late at that point to do so.

  5. Although these angels are mentioned quite in different places in the Book of Revelation and Enoch, that does mean they must represent something very significant. God might just be using them as a vessel to finish his plans. Whether or not
    “John may have intended these seven angels standing before God to be the seven spirits which were before the throne of God in Revelation 1:4 and 4:5,” one thing that is clear is that these seven angels are always ready to carry on the will of God as we see it in revelation 6 all the way through to 8. It is hard to understand them really, but I can’t wait to get to heaven and found out who these amazing creatures are.

  6. Actually it is Christ Jesus who wrote the 7 letters to the seven angel’s

  7. Very interesting to read about these 7 angels. My husband see all these 7 angels day and night he even knows what they look like and he’s all quiet about it except telling me all about them. He said one has a sword of fire and Hes very huge and very tall wearing warrior costume, one has a pen and a notebook and He write a lot of notes, other angels He sees them work day and night.
    He said He can’t share an amazing scene to people cz he knows most people won’t believe him at all but except just enjoying watching them doing their work. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. It is possible that John refrained from naming the seven angels in order to avoid any symbological connections with their identities in order to focus on their task at hand. The blowing of the trumpets was so much more important than their identity. Therefore it is likely that the names of these seven angels were deliberately unnannounced in order to reveal the importance of their role at the given moment. Their action being stronger than their identities.

    • Maybe…but he does not identify very many angels by name (really, none). He might be avoiding the traditional names since the are just that, traditions.

  9. hello Merita your husband has a gift and ive seen a few angels myself through out my years as early as 10 my name is jeffrey
    to me if we are to believe in God our creator then hopefully the eyes of Gods children will be open more and more to see the amazing side of life that we cannot see yet however when we are there in heaven with our Father we will see all the glorious and awesome things there anyways God Bless

  10. I’ve been having spiritual things happening with me on this topic, could use some help. 606-207-7677.

  11. John did not end up naming the seven angels which leads to the conclusion that it should be known. Or did John leave the names out for a different reason? The conclusion that I have made is similar to yours about the angels being from Enoch. 1 Enoch 20 mentions Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remeiel which is why people make the assumption that these were considered the seven angels. Did these angles have any special significance? These seven angels were to serve God. Professor Long states “John may have intended these seven angels standing before God to be the seven spirits which were before the throne of God in Revelation 1:4 and 4:5.” (Long, 2020) Enoch presents the seven angels above and then goes on to talk about them a little bit more. There are many different theories as to who these seven angels could be. Could it have been that John did not know them? I really enjoyed this article and it really brought a lot of question to surface from it.

  12. Although we don’t have much to go on within the Bible on who these 7 angles are, there is some more tradition and manuscripts that give more insight on how people in that time could have interpreted this passage. I thought it quite interesting what Beale thought about the seven angels being “guardian angels of the seven churches”. Although their’s no evidence I know of that allude to this thought, I thought it quite interesting to suggest that this might be a case where we see similar to Eph. 6:12, and where they’re cosmic beings and spiritual forces that happen behind scenes being revealed to us in a way that is personal to the seven church’s that this book is addressed to. But despite that interesting perspective, I think who these angels are, aren’t necessarily important, but are simply messengers of God “given the honor of announcing the judgements by blowing on trumpets” (Long, 2020).

  13. It is Jesus Christ. I agree. I also believe in a full preterist view. Seven meanings to the churches are desirable, Myrrh, Marriage, sacrifice,, escaping, Brotherly Love and People Ruling.

  14. What is the name of the Church of this painting of Jesus and His 7 archangels?

  15. I am reading of this it’s very hard to understand and follow but it’s absolutely wonderful but trying to understand it is hard

  16. thank you for pointing out that these could not be the seven messengers enoch wrote as the seven ekklesian of revelation is only a representation of all ekklesian then and for all of history which each are to have a messenger. i am of the understanding that these are spirits not humans as each ekklesia is supposed to have a plurality of leadership, not one over the others.

  17. So many of you speculate why John did or did not include the Angel’s names in his writing. This is simple, he wrote the inspired word of scripture as it was delivered to him. Revelation is God’s words, not John’s words. The only question is why GOD did not reveal their names.

  18. Merita.. please I have a photo. I don’t know if the messengers would look like human??? I have something very special to share, but like your husband.. I think it is too much for most to understand or believe and they only think I’m crazy which doesn’t help anything.

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