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MADAN-An angel mentioned in The Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels, the 1635 treatise on angels by Thomas Heywood. According to that quite imaginative account, Madan the patron or guardian of the planet Mercury.

MAHANAIM-The Hebrew name, meaning "two armies," used by the Old Testament figure Jacob (in Genesis 32) to describe the vast double host of angels who met him during his journeys. Upon seeing them, Jacob is said to have exclaimed, "This is God's army!" naming the place occupied by the hosts Mahanaim. In the legends of the Jews, the numbers of each grand angelic army was placed at six hundred thousand.

MALACHY-Also Malachi, one of the many members of the heavenly host who have earned the name angel of the Lord, although in this angel's case it is especially apt: his name means "angel of God" in the sense of being "my messenger." The last book of the Old Testament is that of Malachi; although there is nothing in the work or tradition to support any possibility that the author was the angel.

MALA'IKAH-The Arabic word for angels and hence the name used for them in the traditions, teaching, and lore of Islam. Mala'ikah is often interpreted as meaning "messenger" and is said to be derived from the word alk, meaning "to send." Some say, however, that the name is actually taken from malaka, or "he controlled," denoting the control or power exercised by the angels over the elements and the physical world. Both possible meanings are still consistent with the Muslim conception of angels as spiritual beings sent by God to intervene or bring the message of the Lord into the lives of humans.

MALAK-The Arabic word meaning "angel" (pl. mala'ikah).

MALAKIM-One of the ancient (Hebrew) names for the angelic order or choir known as the virtues. Also called the tarshishim, the malakim (as virtues) are generally placed as the fifth choir-of the nine-in the second triad of the angelic hierarchy. Nicknamed the shining ones, although malakim means "kings" or "rulers," the choir is traditionally said to be ruled by the angelic princes Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Tarshish, Bariel, and Michael; Satan before his mighty Fall from heaven, was also counted as one of their chiefs.

MALIK-In Islamic lore, a righteous but nevertheles truly frightful angel who has authority over all of the damned souls in hell and who guards and watches over the infernal land suffering (the name means "master" or "king"). Malik and his able companions torment the damned souls and respond to their pleas of mercy by observing.


MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN-An angel appearing in the Old testament, in particular the Book of Ezekiel, which features the account of the prophet of the exiles, who predicts the wrath of the Lord toward the Jewish people. The identity of the "Man Clothed in Linen" has been the subject of much speculation, although most agree that he was most likely an angel.

MAN OF MACEDONIA-A person, most often described as an angel, who appeared to St. Paul in a dream and beseeched that famed evangelist to cross into Europe to preach, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

MANNA-By tradition, the food of the angels and the blessed in heaven; it is best known as the food sent to the Israelites as they fled from Egypt and wandered in the desert under the leadership of Moses. Meaning in Aramaic "What is this?" manna was described in the Book of Exodus as "like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey." This is generally accepted meal of the angelic hosts, although there is naturally some question why angels, being entirely spiritual creatures, might have need for substantial food.

MANY-EYED ONES-The impressive title or nickname given to the angels belonging to the choir or order of the thrones Called in Hebrew the ophanim or the galgallim), also known as the "wheels." There is, however, a tradition that the "many-eyed ones" may be said to represent the cherubim, although this is probably the result of the frequent jumbling over the years of angelic descriptions and attributes. the name is derived from the number of writings, two of the most interesting being the Second Book of Enoch, and the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel.

MARIOKH-Also Mariuk, one of the two angels, with Ariukh ( or Oriokh), supposedly named to serve as a guardian over the family of the great patriarch Enoch to preserve them from the impending flood (Noah) so that his line might endure and his writings might last forever; these writings are said to be the useful-if not somewhat unreliable-source on angelic lore known as the Books of Enoch. In Jewish lore, as recorded in the famous collection The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Mariokh was the angel who protected Enoch while he wrote his works.

MASHIT-An angel appearing in Jewish lore, he is counted as one of the dread beings who bring misery or inflict punishment upon souls in hell. In some sources he is ranked as a demon or dark spirit, serving with the angels (or demons) Af and Hemah as a brutal torturer in Gehenna. (the Hebrew hell).

MASKIM-The name used in the Babylonian religion for the seven evil deities who reside in their hell. According to later custop, the terrible being Mephistopheles, a fallen angel, was one of their number.

MASTEMA-The so-called Accusing Angel, an evil angel who nevertheless is the servant of God, acting as the great tempter of humanity. He is ever working to tempt mortals as a means of testing their faith in the Lord.

MASTINIM-The Hebrew name for the angels who serve under the powerful angelic being (or devil) Samael.

MELKYAL-Also Melkejal, Malchidiel, and Machidiel, an angel whose name means the "fullness of God" and who is said to rise and rule at the beginning of the year for a total of ninety-one days. According to the First Book of Enoch, Melkyal gives the sign of his rule by the way the trees bear fruit, the leaves grow on a tree, the harvest is good, and the winter trees wither and die.

MEPHIStopHELES-See "Fallen Angels."

MERKABAH ANGELS-The collective name for those angels appearing in the lore and traditions of the mystical Jewish sect of the Merkabah. The Merkabah ( or Merkava)-meaning "Chariot"-flourished in Judaism from the time of the first century A.D. and continued in various centers throughout the early Middle Ages. Adherents of the sect believed in the necessity and desirability of using esoteric and mystical means to ascend through the great seven heavens or mansions, called hekhalot ( or hechaloth), to the glorious throne of God, which rests upon an in comparable chariot-the Merkabah. The seal-keeping angels are sometimes equated with the seven merkaboth, a group of angelic beings who stand as the corresponding figures of the seven heavens. They can perhaps also be identified as the virtual embodiment of the heavens themselves. Aside from these angels, the Merkabah accepted that there were groups of angels always surrounding the throne of God. These were said to include the seraphim, the galgallim, and especially the hayyoth.

MESSENGERS-One of the most important of all duties of angels, so much so that the very Hebrew word mal'akh and greek word angelos, denoting these beings, both mean "messenger." The angel stands as one of the central intermediaries or representatives of the Lord to humanity. Existing entirely at the will and in the service of God, the angel is frequently dispatched to earth to deliver some important revelation or declaration, usually having much impact upon the lives of the recipients. Aside from the other tasks given to them in relating to earthly affairs, angels are mentioned frequently in the Bible in the ministering role of messengers. While angels have many other duties in tradition, both in heaven and on earth, their role as messengers is still one central to their existence, serving to remind an often forgetful world that God loves all of his Creation and is concerned for its well-being.

MESUKIEL-See under Sefiroth

METATRON-One of the greatest of all angels, honored as the angel of the face, the angel of the presence, chief of the ministering angels, the chief recording angel, chancellor of heaven, the angel by whom the world is maintained, and a being so mighty that he possesses seventy-two other names. Few angels have been the source of such a wide-ranging body of legends and tales, but precious few of the celestial hierarchy are credited with such majesty and power. Also called Metatetron, Merraton, and Metaraon, he was supposedly once a humble mortal being, the antsdiluvian patriarch Enoch. According to widely reported lore, Enoch earned such merit in the eyes of the Lord for his goodness and abilities as a scribe that he was taken to heaven, an event noted in the Book of Genesis (5:24). One of Metatron most dramatic, not to to mention unlikely, achievements involved two evil Egyptian socerers who used their advanced knowledge of magic to ascend to heaven. Such was their strength that neither Michael nor Gabriel could expel them. Metatron, however, broke their spells and cast out the impudent Egyptians. For this reason, Metatron is considered by some to be superior to most of the angels, including Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel.

MICHAEL-Also St. Michael the Archangel and, in Arabic, Mika'il, perhaps the greatest of all the angels, whose name likely means "Who is like God?" He is captain of the hosts of the Lord and the most beloved of all residents of the heavenly host (with the possible exceptionof the archangel Gabriel). The figure of Michael probably originated in Chaldaea as a protective god or spirit. Accepted by the Jews, he emerged as so major an angel in Jewish lore that he was honored as the patron angel of the nations (out of seventy) who did not fall from grace, his bias entirely understood since it favored God's Chosen People.

Michael appears twice in the Old Testament and is noted, with Gabriel (and Raphael in the book Tobit), as one of the few angels actually mentioned in the Bible: in Daniel (10:13), he is called "Michael, one of the chief princes," and later (12:1) is a "great prince." Besides from these specific references, he is declared the ruling prince of the archangels, chief of the choir of virtues, the prince of the presence, and an angel of mercy and repentance. He is also credited with being the angel who spoke to Moses in the burning bush (an honor often bestowed upon Zagzagel); the messenger who stayed the hand of Abraham before he sacrificed his sin; and the angel responsible for massacring the Assyrian army of Sennacherib, a deed normally attributed to an otherwise unnamed angel of destruction but perhaps accomplished by Uriel, Gabriel, or others. He is accepted in lore as well as being the special patron of Adam. Supposedly he was the first angel in all of the heavens to bow down before humanity. Michael than kept an eye on the first family, remaining vigilant even after the fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. In the apocryphal Book of Adam and Eve, Michael taught Adam how to farm. The archangel later brought Adam to heaven in a fiery chariot, giving him a tour of the blessed realm. After Adam's death, Michael helped convince the Lord to permit Adam's soul to be brought to heaven and cleansed of its great sin. Jewish legend also states Michael to be one of the three "men" who visited Abraham and one of the five angels, with Uriel, Metatron, Raphael, and Gabriel, who buried Moses. Apparently Michael had to fight with Satan for the body of the Lawgiver, an event mentioned in the New Testament Letter of Jude. Finally, in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the story "The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness," in which Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of good against the darkness of evil.

Michael was embraced enthusiastically by Christianity and honored as the leader of the angels whose very name was used as a war chant by the holy angels during the war in heaven. As commander of the heavenly host, he led the good angels in their successful conflict against Satan and the fallen angels. He is named in the book of Revelation, fighting against Satan, and at the end of the world will command the hosts of the Lord in final conflict.

The Catholic Church honors Michael with four main titles or offices. He is the Christian angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Last, he is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.

Michael has been the object of considerable examination on the part of theologians, especially regarding the apparent inconsistency of having an archangel-a member of the eighth and second-lowest choir of angels-lead the hosts of the Lord. Some, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, declare him to be the chief of the order of archangels. His high post is presumably explained by the fact that archangels are in the forefront of the fight in the world against evil, so Michael, as their chief, assumes the command of the angels by virtue of his experience. Others, most notably the Greek fathers such as St. Basil the Great, wrote that Michael was superior to all the angels; others appointed him the ruling prince of the seraphim, which would place him in the highest position in heaven.

Michael has been venerated by the Church from early time. His elevated position is made clear by his title of saint, by the number of churches dedicated to him, and by his many appearances in history. He supposedly visited Emperor Constantine the Great (d.337) at Constantinople, intervened in assorted battles, and appeared, sword in hand, over the mausoleum of Hadrian, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St. Gregory I the Great (r.590-604) that a plague in Rome should cease. In honor of the occasion, the pope took to calling the mausoleum the Castel Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Holy angel), the name by which it is still known.

The last visit certified one major aspect involving Michael, namely his role as an angel of healing. This title was bestowed at Phrygia, in Asia Minor, which also propagated the cult of angels and became a leading center for their veneration. Michael is reputed to have caused a healing spring to flow in the first century at Colossae, and his churches were frequently visited by the sick and lame. The angel is invoked additionally as the patron of sailors in Normandy (the famous monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel on the north coast of France is named after him) and is especially remembered in France as the spirit who gave Joan of Arc the courage to save her country from the English during the Hundred Years' War) 1337-1455). Perhaps his most singular honor was given to him in 1950 when Pope Pius XIII (r. 1939-1958) named him patron of policemen. Michael is also said to have announced to the Virgin Mary her impending death, declaring himself to be "Great and Wonderful."

Among the Muslims, Michael is one of the four archangels (with Azrael, Isfrafel, and Gabriel), and one of the two angels, with Gabriel, named in Qur'an. He resides in the seventh heaven and is popularly believed to have wings of emerald green.

A favorite angelic subject in art, matched only by Gabriel, Michael is most often depicted as a proud, handsome angel in white or magnificent armor and wielding a sword, shield, or lance. In some paintings he is shown with a banner or holding scales. Quite often he is seen, like St. George or some Madonnas, in conflict with a dragon or standing upon a vanquished devil. Of him was declared in Milton's Paradise Lost (Book VI).

MIDAEL-An angel mentioned in the occult works The Magus by Francis Barret (1801). Midael is described as a member-even an officer-in the army of heaven, He is also supposed "angel of the Lord." noted in two of the Psalms (34 and 35).

MIK'AIL-The Arabic name for the great archangel Michael.

MINISTERING ANGELS-The name given to a special group or body of angels, called in the Hebrew malache hashareth, who appear frequently in Jewish lore and legend. It is unclear exactly how many ministering angels exist, although one tradition declares them to be the most numerous of all the species or orders of angels and hence the least important in the celestial hierarchy. In the legends surrounding the Talmud, ministering angels are created every day, born once a day with the task of singing a great hymn of praise to God before being absorbed back into the divine essence. It is possible to equate the ministering angels with the guardian angels.

MITHRA-See Yazatas.

MOAKIBAT-Properly al-Moakibat, another name used in Islamic lore for the set of angels-known also as the hafaza-who accompany and protect each living person. These angels also perform the extremely important task of recording each and every act performed by the person, whether good or evil. These recording angels, as they are known, then read their books at the time of Judgment, an event mentioned in the Qur'an (surah 82:10-14).

MOON, ANGEL OF THE-The title borne by several angels, each of whom is credited with possessing authority and guardianship over that celestial body. The angel most consistently declared angel of the moon is Ofaniel (Ophaniel), who was described as such by Longfellow in a later edition of his The Golden Legend, although in the work Ofaniel is spelled Onafiel. In an earlier version Longfellow had named instead the archangel Gabriel, one of a host of offices, titles, and powers attributed to that angel of the Annunciation. Qafsiel is also honored as an angel with some dominion over the moon. Another commonly named angel is Yahriel. (See also Planets, Angels of the.)

MORONI-The angel who, according to the teachings of the Mormon Church, appeared on September 22, 1827, to Joseph Smith (d. 1844), founder of Mormonism. The angel-or perhaps the resurrected spirit-is said to have claimed to Smith that he (the angel) had once been the last of the prophets, the final leader of the nephites. He is also believed by the Mormons to have given to Smith on Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, New York, a set of gold plates containing details on the prophets in ancient America. From these Smith was able to compose the Book of Mormon. Once this had been completed, Moroni retrieved the gold plates. The plates were supposedly covered with arcane hieroglyphics, similar to ancient Egyptian. Smith was apparently able to translate the words.

MUHAMMAD, ANGEL OF-The angel reportedly beheld by the prophet Muhammad when he was taken to heaven. He described this angel as the most enormous of all beings, possessing 70,000 heads, each possessing 70,000 faces; each face had 70,000 mouths, each mouth 70,000 tongues, and each tongue spoke 70,000 languages. Every word spoken was devoted to singing the endless praises of God. Another angel eligible for the title is the beloved archangel Gabriel, who is honored in Islamic lore as the angel who brought to the Prophet the Qur'an.

MUNKAR AND NAKIR-Two angels appearing in Islamic lore. Described in some traditions as demons, Munkar (also Monker) and Nakir are sent throughout the world to visit the souls of the recently deceased while they are still in the freshly buried corpses. The two will seize the body and examine the soul as to its worthiness to be admitted into paradise. The believers will naturally respond to their queries concerning Muhammad by declaring that Muhammad is the prophet and the messenger of God. Deemed worthy, they will be permitted to enjoy a peaceful rest in anticipation of their entry into paradise following the Day of Judgment. The unbelievers-the infidels-will not respond properly and will be tortured in their graves by the two angels until their final damnation at the end of the world. Munkar and Nakir are described in tradition as being black in color with piercing blue eyes. (See also Ruman.)

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