Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Uriel

Uriel is a Biblical Hebrew name (‘Uri'el) coming from the elements “uri” (light) and “el” (God) and so means "God is my light". The name shows up in the Bible inconsequentially (in Chronicles) twice while describing genealogies. More significantly Uriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Remiel and Saraqael. Like Raphael, Uriel doesn’t show up in the actual Bible, per se, but in the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is a collection of “hidden” ancient books which are published in some versions of the Bible depending on religious traditions (Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, etc). You might know some of these books such as Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Psalms, Maccabees and Enoch, for example. In the Second Book of Esdras (which is the Greek word for Ezra), the angel Uriel is sent by God to answer Ezra’s questions (most specifically – how could God allow the sacking of Judah by the Babylonians and the Jews subsequent forced exile?). Uriel says to Ezra: “Your understanding has completely failed concerning this world, and do you think you can understand the way of the Most High?” (2 Esdras 4:2). In other words, God works in mysterious ways and only He can understand the multifaceted and complex reasons for why tragedy is inflicted upon the Jews. In other traditions Uriel wears many different hats between sources. In the Book of Enoch, Uriel is an archangel who watches over the earth, sea and heavens. He is also credited with saving John the Baptist and his mother Elizabeth from the Massacre of the Innocents ordered by King Herod (1st century BC). He is an angel of Presence – i.e., one of the few allowed to enter the presence of God. He is often depicted as an Angel of Repentance, alternately standing at the Gates of Eden as well as presiding over Tartarus (hell). He is the Angel of Salvation and Wisdom as well as a patron of the Arts. Uriel, along with Gabriel and Raphael, stood before God to testify on behalf of Humankind. Uriel was given the task of informing Noah of the upcoming deluge. Uriel is one of those obscure Biblical names that has been adopted by non-conformists, but it is more commonly a Jewish name since it is through Uriel that God makes atonement and brings light to Israel.

All About the Baby Name – Uriel



The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.



Uriel first appeared on the U.S. male naming charts in 1985. This ancient Hebrew Biblical name has a very modern history in the states. In the past 25+ years, Uriel has risen from complete obscurity to relative low moderation. For such an off-beat Biblical name, and a lesser known archangel, this is pretty impressive. Most Americans would recognize Gabriel, Michael and even Raphael as the angels who stood close to God, carrying His many messages to mankind. But Uriel? Not so much. Much more prominent in Hebrew tradition, Uriel is probably more popular among Jewish people. However, this angel shows up several places in the “hidden” books as well as in literary references making him an appealing choice for non-conformist Christians as well. In any case, Uriel is definitely a name of religious significance and is most likely not being chosen by parents for its exotic “coolness” factor. The name’s etymology (“the light of God”) brings a certain undeniable brightness to Uriel. It’s also interesting that Uriel is a Number Eleven in numerology – a very spiritual number.

Quick Facts













God is my light; Flame of God




Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright



Cultural References to the Baby Name – Uriel

Literary Characters


An unemployed single mother opens a prosperous business. A pennypincher overcomes his stingy habits. A widow uncovers a creative talent that evolves into a profession. These and other true stories, recounted by Richard Webster in Uriel, demonstrate the impact this powerful archangel has had on countless lives. Known for transforming misfortunes into blessings, Uriel can heal emotional trauma, enhance creativity, enhance prosperity, develop intuition, and bring tranquility. Whether you need spiritual enlightenment, creative inspiration, or prophetic insight, the practical techniques in this book-involving meditation, color, music, and crystals-can put you in touch with the Angel of Salvation.

Uriel is the Archangel of the Sun in John Milton’s Paradise Lost (Book III) first published in 1667. Although not as prominent as the archangels Michael and Raphael, Uriel is the angel in charge of the Orb of the Sun and as such serves as the “eyes of God”. In order to get past this “watcher over the sun”, Satan disguises himself as a cherub and tells Uriel that he has just come from the heavens eager to see this newly created Earth. The archangel is unable to recognize the evil before him and unwittingly points Satan toward Paradise where Adam dwells with Eve. Eventually, Uriel, described as the "sharpest sighted spirit in all of Heaven", views Satan down on Earth and quickly concludes he is not what he said he was (mainly because cherubs have a permanent expression of joy marked on their faces, and Satan’s face is distorted). Uriel immediately warns Gabriel to watch out for this “fallen” one.

Uriel is a poem written in 1845 by Ralph Waldo Emerson which Robert Frost later called "the greatest Western poem yet". Emerson wrote “Uriel” as a commentary in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding a speech he delivered to The Divinity School at Cambridge (1838). His speech was considered non-conformist and subversive and therefore scandalized the elder clergy members. But Emerson was a philosopher and transcendentalist – a great thinker – who challenged the status quo. To him, Copernicus freed religion by pointing out that the Sun was the center of the universe and not Earth. Earth was nothing more than a tiny, insignificant planet. Emerson borrowed the Archangel of the Sun from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” as the poem’s brave protagonist. From the vantage point of the Sun, Uriel would have the best view of the ordered universe and their beautifully choreographed dance around the sun. Emerson was not an atheist; rather he did indeed see “God” in all of this order. He was bucking tradition in his poem, no doubt, by placing a higher value on Nature. From Emerson’s perspective, this was advancement in truth and there were those out there not ready to hear it. Uriel upsets his fellow gods in the poem by announcing relativism over absolutism. With “low tnes” and “piercing eye”, Uriel “Gave his sentiment divine / Against the being of a line.” In other words, Nature/God/Universe is round, eternal and progressive. Not stagnant and absolute. At the words of Uriel, “A shudder ran around the sky” and “the gods shook, they knew not why.” Emerson was a philosopher who believed that the universe was composed on Nature and the Soul – that all things were connected to God and therefore all things were divine. God reveals truth through Nature. Emerson’s religious views were considered radical and thus threatening to members of the Christian Church. “Uriel” is a poem that summarizes a decade of Emerson’s philosophical developments.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Uriel

Popular Songs


Uriel, The Flame Of God
a song by Domine

Famous People


Uriel Da Viega (soccer player)
Uriel da Costa (Portuguese philosopher and skeptic)
Uriel Crocker (19th century Bostonian publisher and philanthropist)
Uriel Nespoli (American music conductor)
Uriel Weinreich (Yiddish linguist)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Uriel

Historic Figures


We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Uriel