Kabbalistic Angelic Hierarchy

Maimonides was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages (1135 - 1204). He was a rabbi, physician and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt. Maimonides counts ten ranks of angels in the Jewish angelic hierarchy, beginning from the highest:

Chayot Hakodesh

Chayot Hakodesh - These are the angels which Ezekial saw in his vision of the Divine chariot or Merkabah in the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel.

Merkabah is the throne-chariot of God, the four-wheeled vehicle driven by four "chayot" (Hebrew "living creatures"), each of which has four wings and the four faces of a man, lion, ox, and eagle.

The word Merkabah is also found 44 times in the Old Testament.


Ophanim (singular Ophan) are a rank of angels that first appear in the Book of Enoch with the Cherubim and Seraphim as never sleeping, but watching (or guarding) the throne of God.

With regard to the Ophanim name itself, it is the ancient Hebrew word for wheel, a word that fits well with how these beings are described in the Old Testament of the Bible.

In the Book of Ezekiel Chapter Ezekiel 1:15-21, and again in Daniel 7:9, the Ophanim were giant eye-covered wheels of fire, which is often why they are sometimes referred to as the wheels of gagallin, (fiery flame" and "burning fire") of the four, eye-covered wheels , that move next to the winged Cherubim, beneath the throne of God.. The scripture states that there were four Ophanim around God's throne, and that these giant wheels are completely covered with eyes, which see all of God's truth. These are also referred to as the "many-eyed ones" in the Second Book of Enoch.


Aralim or Erelim, are a rank of angels in Jewish Kabbala and Christian religion and are the cabalistic equivalent of the Thrones. The name is seen to mean "the valiant/courageous". They are generally seen as the third highest rank of divine beings/angels below God.

In Midrash Konen, they are the angels described as the genius of foliage, impelling plant growth (2:25). Erelim apparently have the responsibility to retrieve the souls of the righteous dead.


Hashmallim (singular Hashmal) are an angelic entity in both Judaism and Christianity. They appear in the Hebrew Bible in Ezekiel 1:4 I saw, and behold, there was a stormy wind coming from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and a brilliance surrounding it.

Color of the Hashmal often translated electrum (naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver), from the midst of the fire, and in its midst there was the likeness of four Chayot (living creatures).

Seraphim Seraphim literally "burning ones" (singular Seraph) are a high ranking class of celestial beings. Many scholars prefer to derive it from the Hebrew noun saraph, "a fiery and flying serpent". Subsequent references to the Seraphim then appeared in further Hebrew religious scripture, where they became slightly more developed, and described as having a human like form.

In Isaiah 6:6, one of the seraphim is represented as carrying celestial fire from the altar to purify the Prophet's lips. Isaiah also uses the word in close association with words to describes snakes. Seraphim appear in the 2nd century B.C. Book of Enoch where they are designated as drakones (serpents).

During later Biblical periods the Seraphim also passed into Christian writings, where they would eventually be incorporated into the Christian angelic hierarchy, and listed as the highest order of angels, beings of pure light and have direct communication with God. They appear also in the Christian Gnostic text "On the Origin of the World", described as "dragon-shaped angels".

Malachim Malachim (singular Malakh) is a messenger of God, an angelic envoy or an angel in general is the most frequently mentioned Angels in the Hebrew Scriptures. They appeared to Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Jacob.

Isaiah speaks of the "Angel of God's Presence" (Malakh Panav), and Psalms, also speaks of the Malachim. In Modern Hebrew, it is now the accepted word for "Angel".
Elohim Elohim (singular Eloha) reflect a family of divine beings. Elohim have common etymological origin with word Allah. In the Bible the word for God in the Hebrew that is most often used is Elohim. The Book of Enoch has many instances where Elohim inquires of the angelic council concerning matters in the earthplane.

There are other beings in the Old Testament that are called elohim besides Yahweh and the gods of the divine council. Demons and the spirits of the human dead are also called elohim in the Hebrew texts (Samuel 28:13). "Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the other Elohim" (Exodus 18:11). "Yet you have made him (Man) a little lower than the elohim." (Psalm 8:5)
Bene Elohim

Bene Elohim is translated to the Sons of God, which up until the 4th century, was unanimously understood and known as the Angels.

The 3rd century BC Book of Enoch turns the "sons of God" into fallen angels, referred to as Watchers, who came to earth and had children with human women, resulting in a race of half-angel, half-human beings known as the "Giants" (Nephilim). In The Book of Jubilees and Book of Enoch, which are factually consistent with Genesis and with each other, describe the 'Bene Elohim as angelic beings lower in rank than Jehovah Elohim.

The more recent view which has been the majority position in the church since St. Augustine in the fourth century is that the Sons of God refers to the god-fearing line of Seth; and the daughters of men refers to the daughters of the unbelieving line of Cain.

Among the churches which teach that the "sons of God" were fallen angels today are Jehovah's Witnesses. Among the churches which teach that the "sons of God" were men are the Catholic Church and many Churches of Christ.


Cherubim (singular Kerub) are supernatural creatures associated with the throne of God. The word (kerub) is without root or equal in the Hebrew language. In Assyro-Babylonian language karĂ¢bu mean "to be near" or "one who intercedes".

Cherubim is also cognate with the Assyrian term karabu (great, mighty). In some regions the Assyro-Babylonian term came to refer in particular to spirits which served the gods, in particular to the "Shedu" or "Lammasu" (human-headed winged bulls)

The prophet Ezekiel describes cherubim as a tetrad of living creatures, each having four faces: of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. They are said to have the stature and hands of a man, feet of a calf, and four wings each.

Early Semitic tradition conceived the cherubim as guardians, being devoid of human feelings, and holding a duty both to represent the gods and to guard sanctuaries from intruders. In the book of Genesis cherubim are described as guarding the way to the Tree of Life armed with flaming swords (Gen 3:24).

In Catholic theology, the cherubim are the second highest rank in the angelic hierarchy, following the Seraphim.


Ishim or Ashim is the choir of Angels act as intermediaries between God and humanity. They are the celestial choir closest to humans who labor incessantly to guide and protect them. According to the cabala, they are "the beautiful souls of just men (the saints).

Guardian angels are those Ishim who are charged with being the protective spirits of creatures and nations. It is believed by some that each of us is assigned one or more guardian angels upon our birth. Asim is name of Arabic origin, which means "protector, guardian".

Tree Of Life Kabbalistic Angelic Hierarchy Sacred Geometry

Sandalphon Gabriel Michael Haniel Raphael Kamael Zadkiel Tzaphkiel Raziel Metatron