Sariel – Angel of Death
By James Donahue
Most of what is known about Sariel, sometimes spelled Saraqael, is found in the Book of Enoch. This and other Judaic-Christian
writings say Sariel is the angel of death. This is because some translations of Enoch give this angel the names Arazyal, or
Araziel and Asaradel, all strongly suggesting that he also bears the name Azrael.
If Sariel is Azrael, he is one of the four angels known in Islamic writings and listed in Muslim theology as the angel
of death, “forever writing in a large book and forever erasing what he writes. It is believed that what Azrael writes
is the birth of man. What he erases is the name of the man at death.
Sariel in Aramaic means “Command of God.” Some believe this is an archangel because, in addition to his
role as a death angel, he also decides the fate of angels that stray from God’s path. He also is believed to be a healer,
an angel of knowledge and one of the leaders in Heaven’s armies. Some say his name is written on the shields of one
of the fighting forces.
While the Christian Bible makes no mention of Sariel, this angel is well known in the ancient text. The Book of Enoch
is the best example. In this book he is identified as one of four holy archangels “of eternity and trembling.”
In the Kabbalistic lore is is listed as one of seven angels of the Earth.
It was Sariel that was dispatched to explain to Jacob the meaning of his dream about the ladder.
While Sariel appears as a very busy angel and a powerful servant of the Creator, there is a hint that he also has been
capable of mischief in the distant past. The Book of Enoch lists Sariel as one of the leaders of the band of angels that lusted
after the daughters of men. The story says they descended to the summit of Mount Hermon in the days of Jared to acquire wives
and lead men astray.
The Book of Genesis also speaks of this time, but does not name the angels involved in this event. The result of this
union between angels and women of the Earth were giants and “men of renown” who caused such a disruption of affairs
on Earth that God sent a flood to wipe the slate clean and start everything over.
Perhaps because of Sariel’s alleged misdeeds, two students of the esoteric, Gustav Davidson, author of A Dictionary
of Angels, and Leonard Ashley, The Complete Book of Devils and Demons, both list Sariel as a fallen angel.