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Archangel Michael: the wrathful aspect of Ba’al

Michael Ruark

The Archangel Michael is so ancient that you can trace his name back to around at least 1600 BCE, a thousand years before he is ever mentioned in Judaism. He appears to have found his way into Hebrew via the Babylonian Exile in the fifth century BCE, and through neighbouring West Semitic cultures where he was a prominent chthonic martial deity called Mikal. While the Michael-Mikal connection has been made before, I am proposing that Mikal’s name came from an Akkadian word for “red” which was a poetic name for the planet Mars. This name was a title for both the Sumerian god Nergal (with whom Mikal was syncretized), and got taken by the Babylonian god Marduk as a result of the conquest of Sumer.

What’s in a name?

The Archangel Michael is one of the most ubiquitous figures in Abrahamic cosmology, featured in even the most obscure and remote sects. While the…

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Published by Rowan

Recovering scholar. Trans-parent. Lokean, eclectic witch & maker.

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