Gabriel is the name of one of the Archangels, considered by many to be one of the most senior angels. In Muslim belief, one of his main responsibilities was to take divine revelation from God (or Allah in Arabic) and deliver it to his prophets and messengers, like Jesus, Moses and Muhammad -- the unifying aspects of these revelation being that God is One. In Arabic, his name is written Jibreel. There are different beliefs about Gabriel held by Jews and Christians.


The angel Gabriel was given the rank of archangel in post-biblical lore and was also one of the three principal angels of Christianity. Gabriel is prominent in Judaic, Christian and Islamic angelology. The name Gabriel means "hero of God" or "the mighty one" in Hebrew. He is the angel of revelation, wisdom, mercy, redemption and promise. He sits at the left hand of God.

Gabriel is mentioned 4 times in the Bible, and always with important news. In the Old Testament he is named as Daniel's frequent visitor, bringing prophetic visions of apocalyptic proportion (Daniel 8:16, 9:21). Angelic attribution of the visions, which were treasonous at the time of the writing of the book of Daniel, might explain Gabriel's prominent presence.

In the New Testament, Gabriel's name is given to Zechariah: "I am Gabriel who stand in God's presence" when he announces the coming birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19). Gabriel is once again cited in the annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26) of the coming birth of Jesus.

Gabriel's role in the Old Testament may have inspired his roles later in Genesis and secondary Hebrew literature, like his appearing to Abraham, and being present at the time of the fallen angels.

g-file = G = gag

gabriel /gay'bree-*l/ n.

[for Dick Gabriel, SAIL LISP hacker and volleyball fanatic] An unnecessary (in the opinion of the opponent) stalling tactic, e.g., tying one's shoelaces or combing one's hair repeatedly, asking the time, etc. Also used to refer to the perpetrator of such tactics. Also, `pulling a Gabriel', `Gabriel mode'.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, this entry manually entered by rootbeer277.

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