Archangel Jeremiel

The Hebrew name Jerahmeel, which appears several times in the Tanakh (see the article Jerahmeel), also appears in various forms as the name of an archangel in books of the intertestamental and early Christian periods.


Archangel Jeremiel holding a book, which is also the attribute of the archangel Uriel. Detail of a stained-glass window at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hughenden.
In the deuterocanonical book 2 Esdras, also known as 4 Ezra, which has come down to us in Latin and appears as an appendix to the Vulgate, as well as being canonical in the Russian and Ethiopian biblical canons. There is a reference in chapter 4 verse 36, to Jeremiel (in the Latin Ieremihel), which, however, does not occur in all the manuscripts. Other versions have Remihel, Oriel or Uriel.[1] In this passage the angel or angels (Uriel is also there) are answering Ezra's many questions about heaven and hell.

Jeremiel (under any of his name alterations: Eremiel, Remiel, Remihel, etc.) had a very dour yet comforting duty in the pre-Christian eras. He was set over Sheol (the underworld) in Abrahamic tradition, in particular the "Bosom of Abraham", a region of the underworld almost identical in concept to the Greek idea of Elysium. Here Jeremiel was responsible for placating the righteous souls awaiting the Lord who resided there. In the post-Christian world Jeremiel's duty evolved and is paired with St. Simon Peter as gatekeeper of Heaven. In both cases Jeremiel watches over and guides the holy deceased in their afterlife journey.

There are generally seven archangels venerated by the Orthodox Christians: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selathiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel. But sometimes they also add an eighth, Jeremiel, to this number.[2][3] He is depicted holding balance scales in Orthodox iconography.