Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Theology

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Theology, ThD

First Advisor

William H. Shea

Second Advisor

Kenneth A. Strand

Third Advisor

Jerry Moon

Abstract

Problem. In the book of Daniel, The Michael figure, although mentioned only three times, occupies a prominent position in history and at the eschaton as the heavenly guardian prince of Israel. The Michael problem, although complex, may be understood as basically twofold: Who is Michael? What is Michael's function?

In the first question, a basic issue is whether Michael is a prominent angel, or a divine, messianic being. Another issue in this same question is the extent to which Michael is to be identified with other OT beings, within or outside the book of Daniel, such as the Son of Man, Prince of the Host, and Angel of the Lord.

In the second question, Michael's function in history in relation to the princes of Persia and Greece and his activity at the eschaton are considered. For example, is his function military, judicial, or both?

Method. This was an exegetical study of the Michael passages in their historical setting with a comparison also of Michael with other OT figures.

Conclusions. The conclusions reached are as follows: Michael is leader of the angelic hosts and of Israel, Daniel's people. He is Israel's patron, leader and. guardian, in history and at the eschaton. Michael appears to be more than an angel. With his own distinct identity, occupying a position of focus and attention more characteristic of the divine being and functioning as heavenly warrior who intervenes to save his people Israel, Michael is another depiction of God.

Michael is identified with the Prince of the Host of Yahweh, a veiled depiction of God and the messianic, divine Son of Man. The Angel of the Lord is a precursor of Michael, functioning as God's visier and Israel's guardian, as does Michael in Daniel. Michael is God in His role as divine warrior, acting in behalf of His people Israel in salvation and judgment.

The heavenly being who appeared in the fiery furnace is likely the divine Angel of the Lord, and is therefore probably Michael, Israel's guardian.

Michael struggles in history with the demonic prince of Persia to prevent him from influencing the Persian king(s) to stop favoring Israel.

Michael's eschatological functions are both judicial and military as he destroys the anti-God persecuting power, superintends the deliverance of Israel and the resurrection, and inaugurates the glorious new age.

Subject Area

Michael (Archangel), Bible. Daniel -- Criticism, interpretation, etc

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