Ithuriel

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The angel Ithuriel by Evelyn De Morgan, before 1900.

Ithuriel (Hebrew: "Discovery of God") is the name of a being mentioned in the writings of the Kabbala and in 16th century conjuring books. He is one of the three deputy sarim (princes) of the holy sefiroth serving in the ethnarchy of the angel Sephuriron.

The name Ithuriel occurs in the 16th-century tracts of Isaac ha-Cohen of Soria, where the term is interpreted as denoting "a great golden crown"; and in Moses ben Jacob Cordovero's work Pardes Rimmonim (Orchard of Pomegranates). Earlier sources may yet be found; the name appears also in the grimoires, as in the 1st pentacle of the planet Mars, figured in Mathers', The Greater Key of Solomon (1889), p. 63.

In the poem Paradise Lost IV, 778, 788, John Milton refers to Ithuriel as a cherub ("mistakenly," says Gershom Scholem) who, along with the angel Zephon, is dispatched by Gabriel to locate Satan; the "grieslie King" is discovered in the Garden of Eden "squat like a Toad close at the ear of Eve." By touching Satan with his spear, Ithuriel causes the Tempter to resume his proper likeness. This incident is illustrated in William Hayley's edition of Milton's works (London, 1794). In John Dryden's work The State of Innocence, Ithuriel is part of the cast of characters as one of 4 angels.

It is evident from the sources cited that Milton did not invent the name of Ithuriel (or the names of Abdiel or Zophiel, as certain Milton scholars have claimed).[1]


In popular culture[edit]

John Adams makes reference to the spear of Ithuriel as a source of inspiration for political philosophy[2] in his Discourses on Davila.


Representative J.S. Morrill addressed the US House of Representatives on April 20, 1858, in support the Morrill Land-Grant Acts that eventually resulted in the establishment of land-grant universities to educate the populace.

Spurious dogmas will be touched lightly with the spear of Ithuriel, and no longer squat around the ears of weary ploughmen.

—Hon. Justin S. Morrill[3]

Ithuriel is also mentioned in the poem The Hour of the Angel by Rudyard Kipling about final judgement; the poem refers to the hour of judgement, the "final hour", as "Ithuriel's Hour". Ithuriel's spear is also mentioned in his poem Dinah in Heaven, with the dog of the title "Storming against Ithuriel's Spear/That only proved her truth!."

Ithuriel appeared in Théophile Gautier's poem "Les Yeux Bleus de la Montagne", which referred the jewelry as joyaux tombés du doigt de l'ange Ithuriel ("jewels fallen from the finger of the angel Ithuriel"). Gautier also mentions Ithuriel in his 1832 poem "Notre-Dame". Once again, Ithuriel is evoked in the context of jewels, which here describe the colors of the sky as the sun sets in summer behind Notre-Dame cathedral: "Ce ne sont que saphirs, coralines, opales, Tons à faire trouver Rubens et Titien pâles; Ithuriel répand son écrin dans les cieux."

Ithuriel is mentioned in two poems by Victor Hugo. In "Oiseaux Enfant" he writes Colibri, comme Ithuriel, appartient à la zone bleue; and in "Floreal and Psyche" quel est le pont que l'esprit montre, la route de la fange au ciel, où Vénus Astarté rencontre à mi-chemin Ithuriel.

Ithuriel is referenced in Thomas Hardy's work The Return of the Native when Venn slaps Wildeve on the shoulder.

Ithuriel is referenced in Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, in Chapter 61. "Mirah's face, with a look of anger that might have suited Ithuriel."

In the Key of Solomon, Ithuriel, Eschiel, Madimiel, and Bartzachiah are the four angel-names on the First Talisman of Mars.

In Mark Twain's The Canvasser's Tale Ithuriel is the name of the uncle of the "sad-eyed stranger".

Ithuriel is also a fictional character, an angel, who had been summoned and tortured by Valentine in Book 3: City of Glass of the Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare, also appearing in Clockwork Princess, the conclusion of prequel series [The Infernal Devices] as a spirit entrapped within the clockwork angel locket belonging to Tessa Gray.

In Aleister Crowley's Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli Adumbratio Kabbalæ Ægyptiorum sub figurâ VII, the Holy Guardian Angel is described as "Ithuriel the strong".

Then said Ithuriel the strong; let Us also worship this invisible marvel!

— VII 3:27

The Spear is represented in Alan Moore's Watchmen comic book series by the Chrysler Building in New York City.[4]

In the 2007 Australian movie Gabriel, Ithuriel is one of the seven Archangels sent to reclaim light from the Fallen Angels and return it to Purgatory.

The Angel Ithuriel is featured in the TV-Series Shadowhunters, taken by Valentine Morgenstern and being tortured. Clary Fray also has a blood connection to Ithuriel, that she is able to create new runes that are not documented on the Gray Book, but sent to her as a vision from Ithuriel himself.

Ithuriel is an angel in the Shedim Rebellion series by Burke Fitzpatrick.

Ithuriel's spear is the common name of a native wildflower in California, Triteleia laxa.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert H. West, "The Names of Milton's Angels" in Studies in Philology (April 1950).
  2. ^ DISCOURSES ON DAVILA. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 6 (Defence of the Constitutions Vol. III cont’d, Davila, Essays on the Constitution) [1851]
  3. ^ Morrill, JS. Speech of Hon. Justin S Morrill on the bill granting lands for agricultural colleges delivered in the House of Representatives, April 20, 1858. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Globe 1858;8
  4. ^ Watchmen Unmasked. Accessed 28 May 2014.