The REAL (Biblical) Meaning of Michael? - Origin, History & Stories

The REAL (Biblical) Meaning of Michael? - Origin, History & Stories


Michael is a masculine name with Hebrew roots that stems from the Hebrew name Mikha’el.

Mikha'el is a rhetorical question which means who is like God? The name Michael is featured both in the Old and New Testament with a number of Bible characters bearing the name.


Over the years, Michael has been one of the most popular names used for baby boys. Between 1954 to 2008 it ranked as one of the top two baby names in the United States.

Want to learn more about this biblical name or use it as a first or middle name for your baby boy?

Let's take a look at the Hebrew, biblical, and spiritual meaning of the name Michael and explore some verses and Bible stories about Michael.


What does Michael mean in Hebrew?


Michael is a gender-neutral name of Hebrew origin which stems from the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha’el).

The feminine form of this Hebrew word is Michaela which also means who is like God? Another translation of the name Michaela is who resembles God?


The origins of Michael in the Bible


The biblical origin of the name Michael points to a number of different characters in the Bible.

The father of Sethur, the leader from Manasseh, and the archangel Michael are three of the many Michaels mentioned in the Bible.


The father of Sethur


The first time the name Michael is mentioned is in the Old Testament book of Numbers.

He was from the tribe of Asher and the father of Sethur.

His son Sethur traveled with Joshua (Hoshea) son of Nun, Caleb son of Jephunneh, and the others who explored the land of Canaan.


“from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;” (Numbers 13:13 NIV)


The archangel Michael


In the book of Daniel, Michael, one of the chief angels, intervened on Daniel's behalf after he was detained for twenty-one days by the angel prince of Persia.


“The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia.” (Daniel 10:13 GNT)


Michael the leader of a thousand


Michael was among the commanders of Saul's army who joined forces with David at Ziklag.


“When David went to Ziklag, these were the men of Manasseh who defected to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, leaders of units of a thousand in Manasseh.” (1 Chronicles 12:20 NIV)


The biblical meaning of Michael


The name Michael has been around since ancient times and has deep biblical roots.

Chief, son of a king, and conqueror are some biblical meanings of this unique boy name.




Michael is a beautiful masculine name that represents authority, leadership, and carrying out special duties.

In 1 Chronicles 6:40, Michael was among the men that David put in charge of music.

In 1 Chronicles 12:20 Michael was a chief in biblical times who was in charge of warriors.

Naming your baby Michael is an acknowledgment that you see him as important, responsible, and able to fulfill leadership roles.


Son of a king


The son of a king is a special title that brings honor and demonstrates authority. As a display of his affection, Jehoshaphat gave Michael and his other sons many valuable gifts.


“Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 21:2 NIV)


Using Michael as a first name is a special way to let your child know that you love and value him.

It's also a subtle way to teach him that he is an important and valued son of the King of kings.


“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)




In the book of Revelation, Michael the archangel is described as the victorious conqueror of Satan.

Good will always triumph over evil and the name Michael is one of those Christian names that represents victory.

Use this amazing boy's name to remind your child that he is more than a conqueror.

He can be successful in any area of life if he places his trust in Jesus Christ.


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NIV)


The spiritual meaning of Michael


Though Michael is a common given name the spiritual name meaning makes it very powerful.

From a spiritual point of view, Michael is a mighty warrior, defender and advocate.


Mighty warrior


Naming your child Michael will help him to emulate Bible characters with this name.

He will approach each challenge in his life like a mighty warrior who is ready to conquer and claim victory.


“But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 20:11)


This is an excellent name for babies who are born in military families and it's a great way to build your child's faith and resilience.


“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV)




In the book of Daniel, Michael is seen as the protector of Israel and one who advocates for the people of the Lord in very difficult times.

One of the specific meanings of Michael is that he will not hesitate to advocate for his family members and friends because standing up for others is a part of who he is.




The archangel Michael will defend the people of the Lord and protect them from the one "who accuses them before our God"

Using the personal name Michael is a great way to complement your child's last name while adding meaning to his life.

He knows who is his defender and protector and he is not hesitant to defend the rights and needs of others.


“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7 NIV)


What Bible verses contain Michael?


Here are some Bible verses that contain the name Michael.


“These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz.” (1 Chronicles 5:14 NIV)


“The son of Uzzi: Izrahiah. The sons of Izrahiah: Michael, Obadiah, Joel and Ishiah. All five of them were chiefs.” (1 Chronicles 7:3 NIV)


“But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13 NIV)


“but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.” (Daniel 10:2 NIV)


“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” (Daniel 12:1 NIV)


“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9 NIV)


“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.” (Revelation 12:7 NIV)


Stories about Michael in the Bible

There are many stories about Michael in the Bible, here are three of these stories with biblical references.

In Daniel 10 Michael the chief prince helped Daniel.

Revelation chapter twelve gives an account of war in heaven between Michael and Satan.

Michael, who was one of the sons of Izrahiah was a chief as recorded in 1 Chronicles 7.


Final thought

Michael is a bay name of Hebrew origins that has been a popular choice for parents.

Chief, son of a king, and conqueror are important roles that represent the biblical meaning of Michael while mighty warrior, advocate, and defender are the spiritual meanings of the name