(Mi′cha‧el) [Who Is Like God?].
1. The only holy angel other than Gabriel named in the Bible, and the only one called “archangel.” (Jude 9) The first occurrence of the name is in the tenth chapter of Daniel, where Michael is described as “one of the foremost princes”; he came to the aid of a lesser angel who was opposed by “the prince of the royal realm of Persia.” Michael was called “the prince of [Daniel’s] people,” “the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [Daniel’s] people.” (Da 10:13, 20, 21; 12:1) This points to Michael as the angel who led the Israelites through the wilderness. (Ex 23:20, 21, 23; 32:34; 33:2) Lending support to this conclusion is the fact that “Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body.”—Jude 9.
Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. Michael is the only one said to be “the archangel,” meaning “chief angel,” or “principal angel.” The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular. This seems to imply that there is but one whom God has designated chief, or head, of the angelic host. At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel. This text depicts him as descending from heaven with “a commanding call.” It is only logical, therefore, that the voice expressing this commanding call be described by a word that would not diminish or detract from the great authority that Christ Jesus now has as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Mt 28:18; Re 17:14) If the designation “archangel” applied, not to Jesus Christ, but to other angels, then the reference to “an archangel’s voice” would not be appropriate. In that case it would be describing a voice of lesser authority than that of the Son of God.
There are also other correspondencies establishing that Michael is actually the Son of God. Daniel, after making the first reference to Michael (Da 10:13), recorded a prophecy reaching down to “the time of the end” (Da 11:40) and then stated: “And during that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [Daniel’s] people.” (Da 12:1) Michael’s ‘standing up’ was to be associated with “a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.” (Da 12:1) In Daniel’s prophecy, ‘standing up’ frequently refers to the action of a king, either taking up his royal power or acting effectively in his capacity as king. (Da 11:2-4, 7, 16b, 20, 21) This supports the conclusion that Michael is Jesus Christ, since Jesus is Jehovah’s appointed King, commissioned to destroy all the nations at Har–Magedon.—Re 11:15; 16:14-16.
The book of Revelation (12:7, 10, 12) specifically mentions Michael in connection with the establishment of God’s Kingdom and links this event with trouble for the earth: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down . . . On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea.’” Jesus Christ is later depicted as leading the heavenly armies in war against the nations of the earth. (Re 19:11-16) This would mean a period of distress for them, which would logically be included in the “time of distress” that is associated with Michael’s standing up. (Da 12:1) Since the Son of God is to fight the nations, it is only reasonable that he was the one who with his angels earlier battled against the superhuman dragon, Satan the Devil, and his angels.
In his prehuman existence Jesus was called “the Word.” (Joh 1:1) He also had the personal name Michael. By retaining the name Jesus after his resurrection (Ac 9:5), “the Word” shows that he is identical with the Son of God on earth. His resuming his heavenly name Michael and his title (or name) “The Word of God” (Re 19:13) ties him in with his prehuman existence. The very name Michael, asking as it does, “Who Is Like God?” points to the fact that Jehovah God is without like, or equal, and that Michael his archangel is his great Champion or Vindicator
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