Sandalphon means "co-brother," which refers to Sandalphon's status as the spiritual brother of the archangel Metatron
. Other spellings of his name include Sandalfon and Ophan (Hebrew for "wheel," which refers to ancient people's identification of Sandalphon as one of the living creatures with spiritual wheels from a vision recorded in Ezekiel chapter 1 of the Bible
Sandalphon is known as the angel of music
, as well as an angel of prayer
, like Archangel Selaphiel
. He rules over music in heaven. Sandalphon also receives the prayers of people on Earth when they arrive in heaven, and he then weaves the prayers into spiritual flower garlands to present to God, according to the liturgy for the Jewish
Feast of Tabernacles. People sometimes ask for Sandalphon's help to deliver their prayers and songs of praise to God, and to learn how to use their God-given talents to make the world a better place. Sandalphon is said to have lived on Earth as the prophet Elijah before ascending to heaven and becoming an archangel, just as his spiritual brother, Archangel Metatron
, lived on Earth as the prophet Enoch before becoming a heavenly archangel
. Some people also credit Sandalphon with leading the guardian angels
; others say that Archangel Barachiel
leads the guardian angels.
In art, Sandalphon is often depicted playing music, to illustrate his role as the patron angel of music. Sometimes Sandalphon is also shown as an extremely tall figure, since Jewish tradition says that the prophet Moses
had a vision of heaven in which he saw Sandalphon, whom Moses described as being very tall.
Role in Religious Texts:
Sandalphon rules one of the seven levels of heaven, according to religious texts -- but they don't agree on which level. The ancient Jewish and Christian non-canonical Book of Enoch says that Sandalphon rules over the third heaven, the Islamic Hadith
says that Sandalphon is in charge of the fourth heaven, and the Zohar (a sacred text for Kabbalah
) names the seventh heaven as the place where Sandalphon leads other angels.
Other Religious Roles:
Sandalphon is said to join the angelic armies that archangel Michael
leads to fight Satan
and his evil forces
in the spiritual realm. Sandalphon is a leader among the seraphim class of angels, who surround God's throne in heaven. In astrology, Sandalphon is the angel in charge of planet Earth. Some people believe that Sandalphon helps differentiate the gender of children before they're born.