And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you…
The name Gabriel signifies "The mighty messenger of God." The Bible knows of only two heavenly personages who are invested with a name: Gabriel (Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21), and Michael (Daniel 10:13; Jude 1:9, &c.). This latter name signifies, "Who is like God? "Here the critic asks sarcastically whether Hebrew is spoken in heaven? But these names are evidently symbolical; they convey to us the character and functions of these personalities. When we speak to any one, it is naturally with a view to be understood. When heaven communicates with earth, it is obliged to borrow the language of earth. According to the name given him, Gabriel is the mighty servant of God, employed to promote His work here below. It is in this capacity that he appears to Daniel when he comes to announce to him the restoration of Jerusalem; it is he also who promises Mary the birth of the Saviour. In all these circumstances he appears as the heavenly evangelist., The part of Gabriel is positive; that of Michael is negative. Michael is, as his name indicates, the destroyer of every one who dares to equal, i.e., to oppose God. Such is his mission in Daniel, where he contends against the powers hostile to Israel; such also is it in Jude and in the Apocalypse, where he fights, as the champion of God, against Satan, the author of idolatry. Gabriel builds up; Michael overthrows. The former is the forerunner of Jehovah the Saviour; the latter, of Jehovah the Judge.
(F. Godet, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.