🔼The name Michael: Summary
- Who Is Like God?, What Is God Like?
- From (1) מי (mi), "who?", (2) כ (ke), "like", and (3) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Michael in the Bible
The name Michael is quite popular in the Bible. The most famous Michael is the archangel and angelic captain (Daniel 10:21) who battled satan over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9, spelled in Greek Μιχαηλ) and expels satan from heaven (Revelation 12:7). Other Michaels are:
- The father of the Asherite spy of the reconnaissance contingent that also includes Joshua (Numbers 13:13).
- Two Gadites (1 Chronicles 5:13,14).
- A Levite musician in service of the Davidic tabernacle (1 Chronicles 6:40).
- A son of Uzzi, son of Tola, son of Issachar, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (1 Chronicles 7:3).
- A Benjaminite (1 Chronicles 8:16).
- A captain from Manasseh (1 Chronicles 12:20).
- The father of Omri, the chief of Issachar during David's days (1 Chronicles 27:18).
- A son of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:2).
- The father of one of the returnees under Ezra, named Zebadiah (Ezra 8:8);
🔼Etymology of the name Michael
The name Michael consists of three parts:
1) מי (mi), the common inquisitive particle that seeks after identity, who?:
The interrogative pronoun מה (ma) asks "what?" Its counterpart מי (mi) asks "who?" The latter pronoun is spelled the same as the construct-plural form of מים (mayim) and thus also means "waters of ...". Its opposite, namely dry land, signifies certainty and mental footing. A similar particle מו (mo) combines with the usual prefixes to form poetic equivalents of these particles.
2) כ (ke), a common particle of comparison: like, as:
כ כי כה
The prefix כ (ke) means "as if" or "like." The particle כי (ki) means "in that," both in the sense of "because" and "when." The adverb כה (koh) means "thus."
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The name Michael is commonly translated with Who Is Like God?, but, more accurately, the name denotes an inquiry after the identity of God: Who's God? or What's God Like? As captain of the heavenly armies and expeller of satan, Michael's main mission is perhaps to inspire humans into seeking the identity of God:
Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?
All my bones will say, 'Lord, who is like thee, who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him and the afflicted and the needy from who robs him?'
For a meaning of the name Michael, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Who Is Like God? Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads a peculiar Who Is Like Unto God?