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Archangel Raziel, Circle of Zurbarán, circa 1650.

Raziel (Hebrew: רַזִיאֶל‎ "secret of God") is an angel within the teachings of Jewish mysticism (of the Kabbalah of Judaism) who is the "Keeper of Secrets" and the "Angel of Mysteries".[1] He is associated with the sephirah Chokhmah (the second of ten) in Beri'ah, one of the Four Worlds of Kabbalistic theory.[2]

Mysticism and tradition[edit]

Various teachings assign Raziel to diverse roles, including that of a cherub,[3] a member of the Ophanim,[4] and chief of the Erelim.

Raziel, under the alternate name Galizur "Revealer of The Rock" is described as the "-ruling prince of the 2nd Heaven.-" He is said to expound the "Torah's divine wisdom" and protects the ministering angels from the living creatures that uphold the universe.[5][6]

Authorship of Sefer Raziel HaMalakh[edit]

The famous Sefer Raziel HaMalakh ("Book of Raziel the Angel") attributed to this figure is said to contain all secret knowledge, and is considered to be a book of magic. He stands close by God's throne, and therefore hears and writes down everything that is said and discussed.[3] He purportedly gave the book to Adam and Eve after they ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil (that resulted in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden) so the two could find their way back "home" and better understand their God. Raziel's fellow angels were deeply disturbed by this, and thus stole the book from Adam and threw it into the ocean. God Himself decided not to punish Raziel, but instead retrieved the book by means of the angel Rahab and returned it to Adam and Eve.[2] Bertie considers this story - not attested in the Bible - to be a variant of the story of Prometheus in Greek mythology [7]

According to some sources, the book was passed on through the generations to Enoch (In 3 Enoch believed to have later become the angel Metatron), who may have incorporated his own writings into the tome. From Enoch, the archangel Raphael gave it to Noah, who used the wisdom within to build Noah's Ark.[8] The Book of Raziel was said to have come into the possession of King Solomon,[9] and a number of texts claiming to be this volume have recently appeared.

In fiction[edit]

In The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Raziel appears as the patron angel of the Shadowhunters, a society of Nephilim he created to hunt demons.

Magdalena Lazarus, a descendant of the Witch of Endor in Michele Lang’s urban historical fantasy trilogy Lady Lazarus, is the only one capable of summoning the angel Raziel to stop Hitler’s war machine, and sets out on a quest to locate his lost book.

Raziel and his lost book are also mentioned in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey.

He is a recurring character Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, and is the titular character of The Stupidest Angel, in which his efforts to grant a child’s Christmas wish go awry.

Lily Crussell’s Of Darkness and Light (Shadow of the Nephilim #1), Raziel appears as the angelic love interest of the book’s main character, a high school student named Elora.

In Joseph Robert Lewis’ novel Angels and Djinn, Book One: Raziel’s Shadow, Raziel comes to earth to impart the secret of life, but is murdered by his own disciples, who unleash a demonic horde upon the world. The books follow Prince Zerai and a band of magi’s quest to defeat the demons and resurrect the angel.

Raziel appears as an archangel in the Siewca Wiatru (The Wind Sower), a novel by Polish fantasy author Maja Lidia Kossakowska.

Raziel is a character in Jen Archer Wood’s Point Pleasant.

In the first-season episode Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions of the American television series Millennium, Raziel is referred to in the quote, “By Uriel, and by Raziel, powers, principalities, thrones and dominions, I bind and command you: Stand!”

Raziel is the leading male character in the video game series Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Raziel is depicted as a female supporting antagonist and collectible unit in the mobile RPG game Age of Ishtaria.

In Percival Constantine's Luther Cross series of urban fantasy novels, Raziel is an angel who acts as an ambassador to Heaven and provides assistance to the main character.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davidson, Gustav (1967), A Dictionary of Angels, Including The Fallen Angels, Entry: Raziel, Free Press, pp. 242, 243, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-19757, ISBN 9780029070505
  2. ^ a b Lewis, James R., Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy, Sisung Kelle S. (Editor) (1996), Angels A to Z, Entry: Raziel, pp. 346, 347, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
  3. ^ a b "Archangel Raziel". Sarah's Archangels. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007.
  4. ^ Scarborough, Samuel (2002), "The Tree of Life", Filing Cabinet of the Western Mystery Tradition and Methods to Recall the Information, Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 3, Vol 1. Autumnal Equinox 2002
  5. ^ Davidson, Gustav (1967), A Dictionary of Angels, Including The Fallen Angels, Entry: Galizur, Free Press, p. 120, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-19757, ISBN 9780029070505
  6. ^ Hebrew Visions of Hell and Paradise (1893), Journal of The Royal Asiatic Society, London, The Royal asiatic Society, at sacred-texts.com
  7. ^ Peter Bertie, "The Transmutation of Myth, Ch. 5, P. 172, 178.
  8. ^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909), The Legends of the Jews, Volume 1, Chapter IV, at sacred-texts.com
  9. ^ Raziel, Book of at jewishencyclopedia.com

External links[edit]