Who Is Grim Reaper?

Grim Reaper is an ancient being who travels the world and collects souls of people whose final hour has come. Most of the time Grim is invisible. However, the ones that are near death or in the veil between the world of the living and the dead are capable of seeing him. He carries scythe and hourglass wearing a black robe with a hood that covers his bare skeleton. Every culture in the world has its personification of death. Grim Reaper is the most endurant being present in many folklores.

Why is the Grim Reaper called the Grim Reaper?

The Grim part of Reaper’s name is there for the grim news that came with his appearance as the one who sees him is most probably going to die. Reaper ensued from his scythe. But there is more to his name than this simple explanation. Hourglass and scythe are symbols of religion that gave birth to the famous death skeleton.

Grim Reaper Costume

What Religion Is the Grim Reaper?

Grim Reaper is the true face of Greek god Chronos who is also known to be the father of the time. That sets him inside the domain of ancient Greek religion. However, we must give you a note of caution not to misplace Chronos for Kronos.

What is the difference between Chronos and Kronos?

Chronos is the god of Time while Kronos is Zeus’s titan father who ate his kids. His wife Rheia tricked him into regurgitating his kids back after which Zeus defeated him.

Chronos devouring one of his children

Chronos devouring one of his children

Is Grim Reaper Evil?

This is a philosophical question as old as humankind itself: is death evil? The brief answer is no. Grim Reaper is no representation of either god or evil but the natural order of events. According to myth, it is the duty of Grim to collect souls and regulate the stream of life. However, despite being present from the beginning, death does not share its age with Grim Reaper who is much younger.

How Old Is Grim Reaper?

The Grim Reaper is around 600 years old. During the period between 1347-1351, an outbreak of plague known as black death devoured a whole third of the European population. Everyone lived in constant fear of dying. The psychological effect the plage made on survivors was enormous. Even inspirational as people felt and implemented need to conceive some kind of a death embodiment. Skeleton was taken as the best representation of death because all of the deceased people were eventually going to turn into one. Scythe represented the harvesting of souls and the black cloak was there because of religious figures that conducted funerary services.

How many people did the Black Death kill?

Black Death, the mother of Grim Reaper, killed more than 50 million people. Black rats were the ones who carried it on the European soil. On merchant ships in 1346 rats reached the Crimea and wrote the greatest pandemic in the history of the world. What ended the pandemic was quarantine. One part of the survivors used to spend most of the time in their homes and went out only when it was necessary. Others moved to the isolated areas with little to no people.

Is the Black Death still around today?

The Black Plague still exists. Around 30% to 90% of infected people will die in not treated. With treatment, that number goes down to 10%. Globally, between 2010 and 2015, there were 3248 documented cases and 584 deaths.

What Powers Does Grim Reaper Have?

First and foremost, Grim Reaper is immortal as death cannot die. According to myth, the Grim Reaper has healing abilities. His scythe is also incredibly powerful as with only a single swing it is capable of taking a thousand souls. Another important feature is him carrying an hourglass with sand. When the sand leaks down Grim collects a soul. But is that hourglass part of his powers or limitations? This question is tightly related to the way the bible could be observing Grim.

What Does the Bible Say About Grim Reaper?

Samael, the angel of death from the Bible, wrestling with Jacob

Samael, the angel of death, wrestling with Jacob

According to the bible, the authority over life and death belongs to God. No angel decides when is man’s final hour going to arrive. However, there are some cases in which angels, instructed by God, take participation in human deaths. For instance, an angel killed 185,000 Assyrians. However, since Assyrians decided to be the enemies of God’s people, it was the creator’s will that an angle commits such destruction. Sometimes, Grim Reaper is considered to be one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. According to revelation, the chosen angel is given the right to wipe out one-fourth of the world’s population. But yet again, we see that he cannot do it on his own. Even Satan has to ask God for permission not just for killing but even for harming human beings. Such was the case in the story of Job and bet God and Devil made. After taking all these facts into consideration we can state that Grim Reaper does not exist in the Bible. Or does he? We have mentioned the hourglass. The last grain of sand needs to leak out in order for Grim to take action and collect a soul. This hourglass could very likely be an indicator that the one who created it and filled it holds the power over life and that death cannot act as it pleases. According to Jewish beliefs, Samael is the angel of death…

Where is Samael mentioned in the Bible?

Samael appears in the Second Temple Period. He is mentioned for the first time in the Book of Enoch together with other rebellious angels. The mere name Samael on Hebrew means the blindness of God or the poison of God. Many of his functions correspond to ones implemented by Satan as he is observed in light of accuser, seducer, and destroyer. However, he is not necessarily evil as some of his deeds, such as destroying sinners, tend to result in good. In Talmudic texts, he is considered to be part of the heavenly host with destructive duties. As it was already mentioned, Jews consider him to be the Angel of Death.

Interesting Facts About Grim Reaper

Here are some additional interesting facts about Grim Reaper:

  • Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics depict Death in the manner of a teen girl.
  • In Cartoon Network’s The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, the Grim Reaper had to hang out with title characters because of losing a limbo contest.
  • In Canada, there is an anti-smoking movement called the Grim Reaper Society.
  • There is a group of religious worshipers that observes the Grim Reaper as a saint and address him by the name of Santa Muerte. Despite seeking official recognition, the Catholic Church doesn’t approve of them.
  • Oscar, a cat in a New England nursing home, was nicknamed Grim Reaper because of his ability to predict patients’ deaths.
  • The symbolism of Grim Reaper is also used to prevent and discourage young people from drinking and driving. This is a part of a campaign initiated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Grim Reaper comes to school and removes kids from class to show how many lives are lost to drunk driving in a typical hour. The goal of the event is to make the number of dead students a sobering reminder not to drink and drive.
  • The Islamic version of the angel of death is called Azrael. He is so tall that his head cannot be seen from clouds and has eyes and tongues all over his body.

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