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1 Thessalonians 4:16 ASV For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

What does "with the voice of the archangel" mean in this verse?

6 Answers 6

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Let's see the parallelisms in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 English Standard Version

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven   
    [1] with a    cry                    of command, 
    [2] with the  voice                  of an archangel, and        
    [3] with the  sound of the trumpet   of God. 
And the dead in Christ will rise first.

There are two parallelisms: cry || voice || trumpet-sound and command || archangel || God.

The verse alludes to Matthew 24:

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

The voice of the archangel will start the trumpet call to gather the elected dead in Christ.

Pulpit

"We are to recognize three particulars, following each other in rapid succession -
[1] the commanding shout of the King himself,
[2] the voice of the archangel summoning the other angels, and
[3] the trump of God which awakens the dead and collects believers" (Riggen-bach)

The voice of the archangel is step #2 in this fast-paced 3-steps calling procedure.

Is Jesus the archangel, or is he just using the archangel's voice?

of an archangel,
ἀρχαγγέλου (archangelou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 743: A ruler of angels, a superior angel, an archangel. From archo and aggelos; a chief angel.

In the Greek original, the definite article is not used here. In Matthew 24:31, the Greek word is plural: angels. One cannot conclude with 100% certainty but I suspect that the archangel is not Jesus himself. Whoever he is, he is doing the will of Christ.

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  • Please explain what "with the voice of the archangel" mean in this verse. Apr 6, 2021 at 20:35
  • I added. Ask me again if you have further questions.
    – user35953
    Apr 6, 2021 at 20:59
  • Is Jesus the archangel, or is he just using the archangel's voice? Maybe I 'am becoming slow, please number the "3 steps calling procedure" for easy understanding. Apr 6, 2021 at 21:36
  • I added again. Thanks for the question.
    – user35953
    Apr 6, 2021 at 22:02
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Re: the reference in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

A "shout" is often associated with a military victory in the OT.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary comments on Num. 23:21 that "the shout of the King should be understood as a militaristic threat implying that the King is a warrior leading his host to victory". In Josh. 6:5, the shout was used together with a trumpet to flatten Jericho. The presence of the Lord was accompanied by a trumpet when He descended on Sinai, indicating the presence of the King (Ex. 19:16-20), similar to Ps. 47:5. Trumpets are associated with war and/or victory, as in Ps. 47:1-5; 60:8; and Jer. 4:19.

Michael is called "The great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people" in Daniel 12. He is also the one who battled the "prince of Persia" so the angel who had be delayed 21 days could get through to give Daniel the message (Dan. 10:13) and the one who would stand with that angel to help him in his battles (Dan. 10:21). Michael is the one who disputed with Satan over the body of Moses (Jude 9).

So, since Michael is the archangel connected to Israel and given the rest of the material above, it makes sense that when Jesus returns for His Church and progresses to the judgments of the Tribulation, that we would here a shout and trumpet for the battle/victory and the Archangel would be the messenger to announce and participate in the return of the King.

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The problem with connecting Jesus to Archangel Michael are many.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:13)

Archangel Michael is not unique. There are many chief princes like him.

But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

Archangel Michael didn't dare to rebuke satan. It is contrary to our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 17:18-20

And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Angels cannot accept worship since they are created. It is idolatry.

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!” (Revelation 22:8-9)

Jesus accepted worship: "Those in the boat worshipped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'" Matthew 14:33 "He said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshipped him." John 9:38 and many more bible verses can be quoted here.

Also if Jesus is an archangel which means high ranked angel that contradicts the Book of Hebrews.

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Hebrews 1:5-6

The point Paul is making? To which angel Jehovah said, you are my son? To no one because Jesus is not a high-ranked angel.

Then you have logical issues. Every created being needs a place of dwelling. Humans dwell on Earth and angels dwell in the Heavens. But if Jesus created heaven and earth then where did he dwell before creating heaven? If you say he dwelled with Jehova then it proves that Jesus is eternal just like Jehova. And only God is eternal.

That is why Jesus cannot be Archangel Michael at least according to scriptures.

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What does “with the voice of the archangel” mean in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?

Archangel means "chief angel" and in this verse, the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as that of an archangel. This obviously suggests that Jesus is in fact himself the archangel.

While there is no statement in the Bible that categorically identifies Michael the archangel as Jesus, there is one scripture that links Jesus with the office of archangel. In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul prophesied:

1 Thessalonians 4:16?

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a [a]shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

It is, therefore, not without significance that the only name directly associated with the word “archangel” is Michael ​, Jude 1: 9

Jude1: 9 (NASB)

9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him an abusive judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Note, too, that he has the power to raise the dead.

Luke 7:14-15 (NET Bible)

14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and those who carried it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 Sothe dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

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  • 1
    If 'having the voice of the archangel' means that one is the archangel, then does 'having the trumpet of God' mean that that one is God? (It obviously does mean that that one is a trumpet!) Surely 'voice' and 'trumpet' are symbolic of things, not persons?
    – Anne
    Oct 31, 2021 at 11:32
  • Woops! I missed out a critically important word in my comment. I should have said, "It obviously does NOT mean that that one is a trumpet!"
    – Anne
    Dec 22, 2021 at 15:57
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This question is a thinly disguised question of, "Who is Michael the Archangel?"

There is a lot of information about this question and it is hotly debated with some sides taking almost hysterical positions. What is the Biblical evidence?

1 Thess 4:16 lists three things that will result in the raising of the dead all issued by the "Lord Himself", Jesus Christ at the time of His second coming:

  1. Loud command - compare John 5:28, 29 when the voice of God raises the dead
  2. Archangel's voice - "archangel" simply means "leader of angels" which is a description applied to Jesus in Matt 13:41, 24:31, Mark 13:27
  3. Trumpet of God, compare Matt 24:31

We must also observe that:

  • it is only Jesus who raises the dead and gives life, not a mere angel, however great.
  • Jesus appears to be often called a messenger in the OT - see appendix below
  • the pre-incarnate Jesus appears to be also called "Commander of the heavenly host" in Josh 5:13-15.

Thus, it appears that the three rapid-fire activities described in 1 Thess 4:16 are all from "The Lord Himself", especially when compared with the closely parallel passage in Matt 24:31.

APPENDIX - Angel of the LORD

The following passages make it clear that the “Angel of the LORD” is almost always, the LORD (Jehovah) Himself, probably Jesus in particular. Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-17, 32:24-30, 48:16, Ex 3:2-6, 32:34, Num 22:22-35, Josh 5:13-15, Judg 2:1-4, 6:11-23, 13:3-23, Isa 63:9, Dan 3:25, 28, Hos 12:4, 5, Zech 3:1-7, Mal 3:1, Rev 8:3-5, 10:1-10, 18:1, 20:1-4.

A closely related phrase, “Angel of God” who is clearly God as in Gen 6:13, 8:15, 9:8, 17, 15:13, 17:3, 4, 21:12, 16-21, 35:1, 10, Ex 4:3-8, 6:2, 23:20, 21, Deut 1:6, 1 Kings 12:22, etc. See also Acts 10:3, 4, Gal 4:14.

In Isa 63:9, “the Angel of His [LORD’s] presence saved them”, and is almost certainly a reference to the same being. The same is true of Ex 23:20, 21, Josh 5:13-15. In view of the clear statements in John 1:18, 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12 that no one has seen God the Father, and the numerous cases listed above of people seeing the LORD and the Angel of the LORD, etc, it appears that these epiphanies were of the pre-incarnate Jesus.

In other places we see that the LORD sends the LORD:

  • Zech 2:6-12 – the LORD (= YHWH) claims three times that He has been sent by the LORD.
  • Isa 48:11-16 – again, the LORD has been sent by the LORD. Thus, unsurprisingly, Jesus is the messenger to the human race and underlines the importance that the Godhead places upon such messages.

This is not to suggest that Jesus is an angel in the sense that He is less than God; far from it! However, the Greek and Hebrew word for “angel” simply means messenger and it is in this sense that Jesus is the messenger in the above passages.

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  • If the LORD (YHWH) is the angel of the LORD(YHWH) why do the verses identify him as an angel not YHWH or the LORD? What is the reason why (YHWH) the LORD is identified as an angel? Apr 7, 2021 at 0:57
  • 2
    @AlexBalilo - "Angel" simply means "messenger". In other places we see that the LORD sends the LORD: - Zech 2:6-12 – the LORD (= YHWH) claims three times that He has been sent by the LORD. - Isa 48:11-16 – again, the LORD has been sent by the LORD.
    – Dottard
    Apr 7, 2021 at 1:17
  • So how de we know when "angel" mean messenger, The LORD (=YHWH) or Jesus? Where can we find in the bible that God is called an angel? Please clarify your statement " This is not to suggest that Jesus is an angel in the sense that He is less that God; far from it! However, the Greek and Hebrew word for “angel” simply means messenger and it is in this sense that Jesus is the messenger in the above passages". Apr 7, 2021 at 3:51
  • 2
    @AlexBalilo - "Angel" always means messenger. Whether the messenger is a human, or a heavenly angelic being or the LORD Himself is another matter. I have quoted above instances where the LORD delivers messages and is addressed and worshipped as LORD God.
    – Dottard
    Apr 7, 2021 at 20:27
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Jesus is Michael. Michael is Jesus' heavenly name and he sits at God's right hand until war breaks out in heaven and Michael, who is Jesus Christ, casts Satan and his angels out of heaven.

Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states:

The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice.

Thus the voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture, therefore, suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael.

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  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Dec 22, 2021 at 4:28
  • Yes, welcome, and do take the Tour. On this site, an answer such as yours would be improved if it faced up to the entire scripture text in question, not just the half-sentence in the question. The missing bit that indicates a different conclusion to yours is that Christ is also heard to have the trumpet call of God. So, if having the voice of the archangel makes him that archangel, does having the trumpet call of God make him God? (Obviously, it does not make him a trumpet!) Tony Chan's answer gives the sort of answer looked for on this site. Do have a read.
    – Anne
    Dec 22, 2021 at 16:03

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