събота, 25 февруари 2012 г.
Uriel, whose name means “fire of God,” is one of the leading angels in
noncanonical lore. He is identified variously as a seraph, cherub,
regent of the sun, flame of God, angel of the presence, presider over
Tartarus (hell), archangel of salvation, and, in later Scriptures, as
Phanuel, “face of God.” The name Uriel may be derived from Uriah
the prophet. In apocryphal and occult works Uriel has been equated
with Nuriel, Uryan, Jeremiel, Vretil, Sariel, Puruel, Phanuel, Jehoel,
He is often identified as the cherub who “stands at the Gate of
Eden with a fiery sword,” or as the angel who “watches over thunder
and terror” (1 Enoch). In the Apocalypse of St. Peter he appears as the
Angel of Repentance, who is graphically represented as being as pitiless
as any demon. In the Book of Adam and Eve Uriel is regarded as
the spirit (i.e., one of the cherubs) of the third chapter of Genesis. He
has also been identified as one of the angels who helped bury Adam
and Abel in Paradise, as well as the dark angel who wrestled with
Jacob at Peniel. Other sources depict him as the destroyer of the hosts
of Sennacherib, as well as the messenger sent by God to Noah to warn
him of the impending Deluge.
According to Louis Ginzberg, Uriel represents “the prince of
lights.” In addition, Uriel is said to have disclosed the mysteries of the
heavenly arcana to Ezra, interpreted prophecies, and led Abraham out
of Ur. He is considered one of the four angels of the presence in later
Judaism. He is also the angel of September and may be invoked ritually
by those born in that month.
It is asserted that the divine discipline of alchemy was brought
down to earth by Uriel, and that Uriel gave the Cabala to man,
although this key to the mystical interpretation of Scripture is also
said to have been the gift of Metatron. Uriel is described by Milton as
“regent of the sun” and the “sharpest sighted spirit of all in Heaven,”
and Dryden, in The State of Innocence, depicts Uriel as descending
from heaven in a chariot drawn by white horses. Uriel was reprobated
at a church council in Rome in A.D. 745, but now he is St. Uriel, and
his symbol is an open hand holding a flame.
He is identified with the “benign angel” who attacked Moses for
neglecting to observe the covenantal rite of circumcision with regard
to his son Gershom, although the same role is identified with Gabriel
in the Zohar I, 93b, which reports that Gabriel “came down in a flame
of fire, having the appearance of a burning serpent,” with the express
purpose of destroying Moses “because of his sin.”
Uriel is also alleged to be the Angel of Vengeance pictured by
Prud’hon in Divine Vengeance and Justice, located in the Louvre.
Among the archangels, however, the least widely represented in art is
Uriel. As the interpreter of prophecies, he is usually depicted carrying
a book or a papyrus scroll.
In Milton’s Ontology, Cosmogony and Physics (1957), Walter Curry
writes that Uriel “seems to be largely a pious but not too perceptive
physicist with inclinations towards atomistic philosophy.” Uriel is
described in the second book of the Sibylline Oracles as one of the
“immortal angels of the Undying God,” who on the Day of Judgment:
will break the monstrous bars framed of unyielding and unbroken
adamant of the brazen gates of Hades, and cast them down
straightway, and bring forth to judgement all the sorrowful
forms, yea, of the ghosts of the ancient Titans and of the
giants, an all whom the flood overtook . . . and all these shall
he bring to the judgement seat . . . and set before God’s seat.
During the incident when Jacob wrestles with a dark angel there
is a mysterious merging of the two beings, and Uriel says, “I have come
down to earth to make my dwelling among men, and I am called Jacob
by name.” A number of the patriarchs supposedly became angels, such
as Enoch, who was transformed into Metatron. Uriel’s transformation,
however, is the first recorded instance of an angel becoming a man.