Angel of Yahweh

Angel of Yahweh 

Who Was Angel of the LORD? 

Old Testament Theophanies

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Section One

Introduction

1.1  Theophany. Many people offer different definitions of the term theophany (Greek: God Manifest). In this article, I define the term to mean that God appeared to someone through one or more of their senses. So, God could speak to someone, He could appear to someone visually, or He could manifest Himself in some way that normal human senses could identify. This article does not cover all Theophanies in the Old Testament, but only ones related to Angel of Yahweh. Before we review some Old Testament Theophanies, we can see that Jesus referred to Theophanies. In this case, because Jesus has always been God, I will not distinguish a Christophany (appearance of Jesus) from a Theophany (appearance of God). 

1.2  Hebrew Constructs. The term Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) appears as a Hebrew construct chain. Constructs may indicate possession, association, relationship or other functions. I have chosen to translate the construct with the word “of” (Angel of Yahweh), and this translation would be somewhat parallel to the translation of the genitive to describe Jesus as the Son of God (“υἱὸς θεοῦ”) in the New Testament. Because the exact relationship of Angel of Yahweh to Yahweh remains at issue in the verses below, I will let the context decide the meaning and relationship. Notice that no article (“the”) appears in the construct. In contrast, Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים“) appears with the article in construct. Likewise, I employed the same form for Man of the Elohim (“אִ֣ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִ֞ים“). By using the term “of,” I seek to describe the construct relationship, not necessarily possession. Some people distinguish between “Angel of Yahweh” and “the Angel of Yahweh” in English translations, but do so without concern for the original Hebrew autographs lacking such a distinction.

1.3  Yahweh. In Psalm 110:1,  we read that Yahweh (“יְהוָ֨ה“) said to “my Adoni” (“לַֽאדֹנִ֗י“) that Adoni should sit until Yahweh makes Adoni’s enemies a footstool for His feet. In that case, Yahweh is God the Father and Adoni is God the Son. The Lord Jesus asked how David, in the Holy Spirit, could refer to Adoni as his descendant, and also call Him “Lord”? The answer is that Adoni is eternal God, both the God of David and the physical descendant of David (Mark 12:36). Jesus is Adoni of Psalm 110:1 and God the Father is Yahweh. This use of “Yahweh” to refer to God the Father should cause us to be careful in identifying Yahweh, because the term may refer to God the Father or God the Son. Please remember that Jesus applied the I Am title of God in Exodus 3 to Himself in John 8:58. I prefer to use the term “Yahweh” and not LORD because Yahweh presents a much clearer understanding of the Hebrew term for English readers. God chose particular words to reveal Himself in Scripture, and the difference between LORD (“Yahweh”) and Lord (“Adoni”) can be enormous. The English words look very similar, but in Hebrew Yahweh (“יְהוָ֨ה“) looks nothing like Adoni (“אֲדֹנָ֗י“). To avoid confusion, transliterating the Hebrew terms brings far more clarity. 

1.4  Trinity. God exists eternally as three Divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We know that no one has seen God at any time, but God the Son took flesh and dwelt among men. God the Father sanctified God the Son and sent Him into the world, but Jesus was still God, with a human nature and a divine nature, with a human will and and divine will. At all times, God was immortal, indivisible and the only God. To see Jesus in the flesh was to see His Father. The baptism of Jesus illustrates the trinity of God in that Jesus was standing in the Jordan river on earth, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven and landed on Him, and the Father spoke from heaven, with all those events happening at the baptism. One God, three divine Persons, all manifested at the same time.  At times in the Old Testament, Angel of Yahweh appears to be the visible representation of Yahweh. Because the term “Yahweh” may refer to God the Father or God the Son, we must be careful to avoid jumping to conclusions. As we look through the verses below, please keep in mind the trinity of God and how each Person of the Godhead may manifest Himself to men. I find the issues very difficult to comprehend and I make no claim to understanding the depths of the trinity. 

1.5  Evidence. Believers should evaluate evidence to form beliefs. The best evidence comes from the Bible itself, and not the interpretations and opinions of other believers. Therefore, I have offered evidence in the form of Bible passages regarding the identity of Angel of Yahweh, Angel of the Elohim, and Man of the Elohim. Human opinions about the Bible should never be confused with revelation from God. The autographs of the Bible were inspired by God. While believers today have an anointing from God that teaches us all things, God teaches believers primarily through the prayerful reading of His revelations in the Bible. Only believers can understand the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit guides believers as they read the Bible. Believers may reach different interpretations of Bible passages, but the evidence must control the process of interpretation, and not the opinions of other believers. Therefore, I discuss the revelation from God and the evidence it provides for understanding various terms in the Bible. I have not discussed all the evidence concerning the terms Angel of Yahweh, Angel of the Elohim, and Man of the Elohim, but I have presented some evidence to stimulate discussion and application of revelation to our lives today, so that we may love God more. I urge everyone to review the evidence, and not focus upon any believer’s opinions, especially not mine.

Section Two

Jesus and Nicodemus

2.1  Nicodemus.  In John 3:13, Jesus told Nicodemus that the Son of Man ascended and descended from heaven. Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Therefore, what did Jesus have in mind when He said that He Himself had ascended and descended from heaven? Jesus obviously meant some time before Nicodemus came to Him that night. We can answer that question by looking at several Old Testament passages about Angel of Yahweh. Before we turn to the Old Testament, we can have a brief look at John 3:13. 

2.2  Ascended and Descended. In John 3:13, Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, what it meant for a person to be born again. Nicodemus had no idea what Jesus was talking about. He could not conceive of entering his mother’s womb a second time. Jesus then explained that being born from above meant spiritual birth, so that a person becomes a new spiritual creature. Jesus then explained further that Nicodemus had a hard time understanding earthly things, so he could not understand heavenly things. Nicodemus could not understand because Jesus was talking about spiritual things, which are spiritually discerned only by believers. Even so, Jesus told Nicodemus that no one had ascended (“ἀναβέβηκεν”–perfect, active, indicative) into heaven but He Who descended (“καταβάς”–aorist, active participle) from heaven.  Jesus used the perfect tense to describe ascended, indicating the result remained. Jesus used the aorist tense for the participle “descended,” indicating completed action in this case. So, Jesus ascended to heaven in the past and is now descended and taken flesh. All this leads to the question, just when did He ascend in the past? Plus the fact that He ascended implied that He first descended. Therefore, the Old Testament must have some record of Jesus descending to Earth and ascending. Several appearances of “Angel of Yahweh” (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) in the Old Testament show that Jesus descended to appear to people on earth, and then ascended.

Jesus said no one ascended into heaven but He who descended.

 The Son of Man ascended and descended from heaven, before He met Nicodemus.

Section Three

Hagar

3.1  Abram and Sarai.  Abram (later known as Abraham) married Sarai (later known as Sarah), but she could not bear children. God made a promise that Abraham would be the father of many nations and the world would be blessed through him. Sarai gave her maid, Hagar, to Abram and she conceived a child. When Hagar saw that she had conceived, she despised Sarai. Sarai then treated Hagar poorly and removed her from the home. As Hagar fled into the wilderness, Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) appeared to her (Genesis 16:1-6).

3.2  Wilderness. Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness. He told her to return to her mistress and submit to her authority. Angel of Yahweh promised that He would greatly multiply her descendants,  so that they will be too many to count. Angel of Yahweh spoke with the authority of God and made promises in the name of God. Angel of Yahweh then promised that Hagar would bear a son, and she must name him Ishmael. Notice that Angel of Yahweh essentially swore by Himself as God, because no one is greater than God to swear by (Hebrews 6:13; Genesis 22:16). Then Hagar called name of Yahweh (“שֵׁם־יְהוָה֙“), Who spoke to her: “You are a God (“אֵ֣ל“) who sees.” She then asked: “Have I seen Yahweh and remained alive?” Therefore the well was named, Beer-lahai-roi (“בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִ֑י“) (Genesis 16:7-14).

3.3  Summary of Hagar. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh did not indicate He was speaking for Yahweh, but spoke as Yahweh to Hagar. Angel of Yahweh spoke with the authority of God. Angel of Yahweh made promises in the name of God. Angel of Yahweh displayed supernatural knowledge of the future. Hagar understood she had seen Yahweh and had spoken to Him. She was concerned that she would remain alive after seeing Yahweh. The well gained the name: “Well of the Living One Who Sees Me” (“בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִ֑י“). Hagar also believed that God had seen her.

Angel of Yahweh spoke with the authority of God.

Angel of Yahweh made promises in the Name of God.

Angel of Yahweh did not indicate He was speaking for Yahweh, but spoke as Yahweh to Hagar.

Angel of Yahweh displayed supernatural knowledge of the future.

Hagar understood she had seen God and spoken with God.

Hagar believed God had seen her.

Section Four

Abraham

4.1 Sacrifice. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, upon an altar. As Abraham held the knife poised to strike Isaac, Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֤ךְ יְהוָה֙“) called to Abraham from the heavens (“מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם“). Notice that in this case, Angel of Yahweh did not descend to earth, but called from the heavens. Angel of Yahweh commanded Abraham not to harm Isaac and said, “for now I know that you fear God (“אֱלֹהִים֙“), since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me (“מִמֶּֽנִּי“). Angel of Yahweh gave no indication He was only speaking for God; instead, Angel of Yahweh indicated that Abraham had not withheld his only son from “Me,” referring to God Himself (Genesis 22:9-14).

4.2 Summary of Abraham. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh commanded Abraham not to harm his son. Angel of Yahweh said that Abraham did not withhold his only son from “Me.” 

Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar, as God commanded him.

With his knife poised to strike Isaac, Angel of Yahweh directed Abraham not to harm Isaac.

Angel of Yahweh said that Abraham feared God, and that Abraham did not hold back his only son from “Me,” indicating Angel of Yahweh was God.

Section Five

Jacob

5.1 Bethel.  As Jacob returned to Canaan, Jacob related how Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים“) previously had spoken to him in a dream at Bethel (Genesis 31:11). In the original account, Yahweh Himself identified Himself as “I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (“אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֗ה אֱלֹהֵי֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם אָבִ֔יךָ וֵאלֹהֵ֖י יִצְחָ֑ק“) (Genesis 28:13). Later, when Jacob related that encounter to others, Jacob said that Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים“) spoke directly to him at Bethel in the first person (“I” and “Me”): “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me” (Genesis 31:11-13). Therefore, Angel of the Elohim appears to be Yahweh.

5.2 Peniel. Furthermore, in Hosea 12,  we read that Jacob in his maturity contended with Elohim. Jacob wrestled with a Man (“אִישׁ֙“–see also Rachel’s wrestling with her sister, producing Naphtali, in Genesis 30:8) until daybreak and Jacob prevailed. Jacob would not let the Man go, unless He blessed Jacob. The Man then said that Jacob’s name would be changed to Israel; for Jacob had striven with Elohim and with men and had prevailed. Then Jacob named the place Peniel, for Jacob said: I have seen Elohim face to face, yet my life has been preserved (Genesis 32:24-30). Therefore, comparing Hosea 12 with Genesis 32,  we know that God, Yahweh, Elohim of the Hosts (“אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַצְּבָאֹ֑ות”–see Captain of Hosts Yahweh in Joshua 5:15) were all present when Jacob wrestled the “Man.” Therefore, we know that Jacob wrestled with Elohim, Yahweh, Elohim of the Hosts; they are all the same Person.

5.3 Blessing. When Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph, Jacob said: “The Elohim (“הָֽאֱלֹהִ֡ים“) before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the Elohim (“הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙“) Who has been my Shepherd (“הָרֹעֶ֣ה אֹתִ֔י“) all my life to this day, the Angel (“הַמַּלְאָךְ֩“) Who has redeemed (“הַגֹּאֵ֨ל“) me from all evil, bless (“יְבָרֵךְ֮“–piel singular) the lads . . . .” Genesis 48:15-16. Please take notice that the singular verb “bless” means that The Elohim, My Shepherd, and the Angel are all covered by the singular verb, meaning they are all the same Person; if they were different Persons, then a plural verb would have been used to describe them. Therefore, “the Angel” is Elohim, the Shepherd and Redeemer of Jacob (consider Angel of His Presence saving the people of Israel, and the redemption of Israel in Isaiah 63:9). Only God has the power to redeem from all evil. Only God has been the Shepherd of Jacob.

5.4 Summary of Jacob. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of the Elohim. The Angel is the Elohim, the Shepherd, and the Redeemer of Jacob, the only God who can bless the boys. Originally, Yahweh identified Himself as Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. Later, Jacob related how Angel of the Elohim had spoken to him in a dream, apparently referring to the same person. 

♦ The Angel is the Elohim, the Shepherd, and the Redeemer of Jacob, the only God who can bless the boys.

Jacob related how Angel of the Elohim spoke to him in a dream at Bethel.

In that dream, Yahweh identified Himself as “I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham, and the God of Isaac.

Later, Jacob said that Angel of the Elohim spoke to him at Bethel: “I am the God of Bethel.”

Therefore, Angel of the Elohim appears to be Yahweh Himself speaking to Jacob at Bethel.

Jacob wrestled a Man until morning and prevailed.

The Man told Jacob that Jacob had wrestled with men and God and had prevailed.

♦ Jacob named that place Peniel, because he had seen God face to face and lived.

Hosea indicated that Jacob wrested with Elohim, Yahweh, and Elohim of the Hosts.

Section Six

The Burning Bush

6.1 Burning Bush. One day Moses saw a bush burning, but it was not consumed. Moses drew closer to the bush and Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֨ךְ יְהֹוָ֥ה“) appeared to Moses from the heart of the bush (Exodus 3:2). Moses looked, and behold, the bush was burning, but the fire did not consume the bush. When Yahweh (“יְהוָ֖ה“) saw that Moses turned aside to look, Elohim (“אֱלֹהִ֜ים“) called Moses from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses.” Then Elohim identified Himself, “I am the Elohai (“אֱלֹהֵ֧י“) of your father, the Elohai (“אֱלֹהֵ֧י“) of Abraham, the Elohai (“אֱלֹהֵ֧י“) of Isaac, and the Elohai (“אֱלֹהֵ֧י“) of Jacob.” Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon the Elohim (“הָאֱלֹהִֽים“). While Angel of Yahweh certainly appeared in the burning bush, and then Yahweh appeared in the burning bush and spoke to Moses, can we be sure that Angel of Yahweh was indeed Yahweh? (Exodus 3:4-18; compare John 8:58). In my mind, the evidence in Exodus 3 remains inconclusive, but favors identifying Angel of Yahweh as the visible manifestation of Yahweh Himself. Even so, with absolute certainty we can be sure that God descended to rescue the people of Israel. In Acts 7:34 where Stephen recalled the burning bush passage, we read, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down (“κατέβην”–compare John 3:13) to rescue them; Come now, and I will send you to Egypt.” Therefore, we know that Yahweh “came down” and appeared in the burning bush, and Yahweh identified Himself as the Elohai (“אֱלֹהֵ֧י“) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6). In Acts 7:35 Stephen described Moses as both a ruler and deliverer with the help of the Angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. The Angel at the thorn bush spoke as Yahweh, but, more significantly, that Angel would help Moses be a ruler and deliverer. By implication, that Angel would provide continuous help for Moses as he ruled and delivered the people of Israel. the counter argument runs that all angels are ministering spirits and help believers. This type of help and the abiding presence favor the identification at Yahweh, rather than an angel. On balance, the factors favor identifying the Angel as Yahweh, but again are not conclusive in my mind. Later in Exodus 3, Yahweh commanded Moses to tell the people of Israel that “I AM” (“אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה“) had sent Moses to rescue them (Exodus 3:14). Therefore, Yahweh also identified Himself to Moses as “I AM” (“אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה“).  

6.2 I AM. Jesus applied the “I AM” (“ἐγὼ εἰμί”) title of God to Himself, infuriating the Jews who immediately sought to stone Him (John 8:58-59). The Jews understood that Jesus boldly proclaimed that He was the “I AM” God Who existed before Abraham. Therefore, Jesus identified Himself as Yahweh, Elohim present in the burning bush. Further, in Exodus 3:14, God in the burning bush said that His name was “I AM” (“אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה“). Therefore, we know that Jesus was present in the burning bush, appearing as the I AM God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the memorial name of God to all generations. Jesus later explained that He is the God of the living, not of the dead, meaning that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all live in Him eternally (Matthew 22:32). 

6.3 Summary of the Burning Bush. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. “I AM” God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared to Moses at the burning bush. Angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses from the heart of the burning bush. Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at Elohim in the burning bush. Jesus identified Himself as the I AM God who existed before Abraham was.

The “I AM” God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob appeared to Moses at the burning bush, where Angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses from the heart of the burning bush.

Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at Elohim.

God descended from heaven into the midst of the burning bush and spoke to Moses.

Jesus identified Himself as the “I AM” God of Abraham, and said He existed before Abraham in the New Testament.

Section Seven

The Guarding Angel

7.1 Angel of the Elohim. When the people of Israel left from the captivity of Egypt, Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים“) at first went before the camp of Israel, but later went behind them; Angel of the Elohim came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel.  There was a pillar of cloud along with darkness, yet it gave light at night. The one did not come near the other at night (Exodus 14:19-20). Interestingly, Yahweh (“יְהוָה֙“) looked through [(“יַּשְׁקֵ֤ף)”– Hiphil–see also Abraham looked down on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:28); Abimelech looked out through a window (Genesis 26:8); Aruanah looked down and saw the king and the servants)] the cloud on the camp of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud (“בְּעַמּ֥וּד אֵ֖שׁ וְעָנָ֑ן“) and brought the Egyptian army to confusion (Exodus 14:24).

7.2 My Angel. “Yahweh, your Elohim” (“יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֔יךָ“) promised to send an Angel before the people of Israel to bring them into the place prepared by Yahweh. “Yahweh, your Elohim” warned the people of Israel that they keep watch before Him (“הִשָּׁ֧מֶר מִפָּנָ֛יו“) and obey His voice (“וּשְׁמַ֥ע בְּקֹלֹ֖ו“). Furthermore, they should not be rebellious toward Him (“אַל־תַּמֵּ֣ר בֹּ֑ו“), for He will not pardon their transgression (“כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יִשָּׂא֙ לְפִשְׁעֲכֶ֔ם“), since “My name is in Him” (“כִּ֥י שְׁמִ֖י בְּקִרְבֹּֽו“) (Exodus 23:20-23). We should note that this Angel has special divine powers.

7.3 The Pillar of Cloud and Fire. People have heard that Yahweh was in the midst of His people. He was seen eye to eye, while His cloud stood over them. Yahweh went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night (Numbers 14:14; consider Isaiah 63:10, 11, 14 concerning the Holy Spirit’s activity with the people of Israel). While the Exodus passages may be somewhat ambiguous about the Angel of the Elohim, Numbers 14:14 specifies that Yahweh is in the midst of His people, and He goes before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Therefore, by comparing Exodus 23 with Numbers 14, Angel of the Elohim was Yahweh.

7.4 Summary of the Guarding Angel. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of the Elohim separated the people of Israel from the Egyptian army pursing them. Yahweh looked through the cloud and pillar of fire and saw the Egyptians and brought them to confusion. Yahweh, your Elohim, promised to send an Angel before the people of Israel to lead them. Yahweh, your Elohim, warned the people of Israel to watch before the Angel and obey His voice. That Angel apparently has the divine power to forgive sins, but will not forgive trespasses if they rebelled against Him. Yahweh’s name was in that Angel. Likewise, Yahweh was in the cloud and the pillar of fire, just as Angel of the Elohim was also. 

Angel of the Elohim stands in the midst of His people; Yahweh chose Israel as His people.

The people of Israel were to listen to Angel of the Elohim and obey Him.

By implication, Angel of the Elohim had the prerogative to forgive sins, reserved only for God.

Yahweh looked down from or through the pillar to see His people.

Yahweh looked at His people eye to eye, from the pillar of cloud and from the pillar of fire.

Yahweh promised to go before them.

Yahweh’s name is in Angel of the Elohim.

Section Eight

Joshua

8.1 Captain of Host of Yahweh. Near Jericho Joshua saw a man (“אִישׁ֙“) standing with His sword drawn in His hand. Joshua asked Him if He was for us or against us. He answered and said “No; rather I come to you as Captain of Host of Yahweh (“שַׂר־צְבָֽא־יְהוָ֖ה“). Joshua then fell on his face to the earth and bowed down before Him. Notice that Captain of Host of Yahweh accepted the gesture of honor and worship (compare Revelation 19:10–angel told John not to bow down and worship him, because he was not God; of course, people also fell down before Kings and others in authority). Joshua asked Captain of Host of Yahweh what words Adonai would speak to him. Captain of Host of Yahweh then told Joshua to remove his shoes, for he stood on holy ground (Joshua 5:13-16)

8.2 Summary of Joshua. The following evidence supports the deity of Captain of Host of Yahweh. Captain of Host of Yahweh accepting the posture of Joshua bowing before Him indicates that Captain of Host of Yahweh was indeed God. Joshua sought words from Him. Yahweh had already promised Moses to send His Angel before the people of Israel into the land before them (Exodus 23:20-23).

A Man appeared before Joshua.

Captain of Host of Yahweh appeared with sword drawn.

Captain of Host of Yahweh talked with Joshua.

Captain of Host of Yahweh identified Himself to Joshua.

Joshua fell to the ground and bowed down before Captain of Host of Yahweh.

Captain of Host of Yahweh did not stop Joshua from bowing down before Him or tell Joshua not to worship.

 Captain of Host of Yahweh told Joshua to remove his sandals, because he stood on holy ground.

Section Nine

Balaam

9.1 The Donkey. When Balak sent messengers to Balaam the prophet, Yahweh instructed Balaam not to go back with the messengers. Eventually, however, Balaam went with the messengers. Elohim became very angry with Balaam, and Angel of Yahweh took His stand (“וַיִּתְיַצֵּ֞ב מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“–niphal) in the way as an adversary against Balaam.  When the donkey saw that Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) stood in the narrow path, with His sword drawn in His hand, the donkey turned off the path, and Balaam struck the donkey. Then Angel of Yahweh stood in vineyards, in a narrow path with walls on either side. The donkey that time pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, and Balaam struck the donkey a second time. Finally, Angel of Yahweh stood in a place so narrow the donkey could not pass, and the donkey lay down. Balaam became very angry and struck the donkey again with a stick. The donkey then asked Balaam why he struck her three times. Balaam said the donkey made a mockery of him and he wanted to kill her. The donkey then reminded Balaam that she had always treated Balaam well (Numbers 22:22-30).

9.2 Eyes Opened.  Then Yahweh (“יְהוָה֮“) opened the eyes of Balaam and he saw Angel of Yahweh (“אֶת־מַלְאַ֤ךְ יְהוָה֙“) standing in the way with His sword drawn. Notice that Yahweh here may be distinguished from Angel of Yahweh. Then Angel of Yahweh explained to Balaam that He would have killed Balaam those three times, but the donkey saved his life each time; He would have let the donkey live. Angel of Yahweh stated that Balaam’s way was contrary to Me (“כִּֽי־יָרַ֥ט הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ לְנֶגְדִּֽי“). Angel of Yahweh used the term “Me,” indicating that Balaam was opposing God, and Angel of Yahweh was God (Numbers 22:31-33).

9.3 Words. Balaam acknowledged his sin, and Angel of Yahweh instructed Balaam to go with the men, but only speak the words Angel of Yahweh gave to him. Balaam later said that he could only speak the words that Elohim puts into his mouth. Therefore, this evidence points toward Angel of Yahweh being Elohim (Numbers 22:34-35).

9.4 Spirit of God. Balak tried several times to get Balaam to curse the people of God, but Balaam refused each time. He repeatedly said that he could only speak the words that Yahweh spoke to him. Finally, the Spirit of God (“ר֥וּחַ אֱלֹהִֽים“) came upon Balaam and he delivered the Oracle of Balaam, the Son of Beor, a man whose eyes were opened, and heard the word of God (“שֹׁמֵ֨עַ֙ אִמְרֵי־אֵ֔ל“), and knew the knowledge of the Most High (“וְיֹדֵ֖עַ דַּ֣עַת עֶלְיֹ֑ון“), and saw the vision of the Almighty (“מַחֲזֵ֤ה שַׁדַּי֙ יֶֽחֱזֶ֔ה“), and he blessed Israel, as he spoke the words of God. From the story of Balaam, we gain more insight into Angel of Yahweh. When Balaam delivered His oracle, He linked names for God with the experiences he has had with God, and spoke of Angel of Yahweh using various names of God (Numbers 23:1-27). It appears that Angel of Yahweh is a name for God, based upon the list of names for God in Balaam’s oracle and the way they correspond to Angel of Yahweh’s activities in Balaam’s life. Also, Angel of Yahweh at times may be distinguished from Yahweh, but Angel of Yahweh also refers to Himself as Yahweh (“Me” above).

9.5 Summary of Balaam. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh opposed Balaam three times, with sword drawn. Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam to see Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh described the way of Balaam as contrary to “Me.”  The “Me” indicated that Balaam was opposing God, and Angel of Yahweh was God. Balaam also confessed his sin to Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh commanded Balaam to speak only the words Elohim put into his mouth, indicating that Angel of Yahweh was Elohim. Balaam repeatedly testified to others that he could only speak the words of Yahweh. In the Oracle of Balaam, Balaam linked names for God with the experiences Balaam has had with God, and spoke of Angel of Yahweh using various names of God (Numbers 23:1-27). It appears that Angel of Yahweh is a name for God, based upon the list of names for God in Balaam’s oracle and the way they correspond to Angel of Yahweh’s activities in Balaam’s life. Also, Angel of Yahweh at times may be distinguished from Yahweh, but Angel of Yahweh also refers to Himself as Yahweh (“Me” above).

Yahweh opened Balaam’s eyes to see Angel of Yahweh. They were not the same in this passage.

Angel of Yahweh opposed Balaam’s action of going to the Moabites.

Angel of Yahweh said Balaam’s way was contrary to “Me.”  The term “Me” identifies Angel of Yahweh as Elohim with the same words.

Angel of Yahweh gave the words of Elohim to Balaam, and showed that Angel of Yahweh knew the words of Elohim.

Balaam knew the knowledge of the Most High, because Angel of Yahweh disclosed that knowledge to Balaam.

Balaam saw the vision of the Almighty, apparently when Balaam saw Angel of Yahweh.

Balaam spoke the words of Elohim, which he received from Angel of Yahweh.

Section Ten

Gideon

10.1 Bochim.  Angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim. Angel of Yahweh spoke in the first person, using singular, first person verbs, because Angel of Yahweh was Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh said: (a) “and I brought up (“אַעֲלֶ֨ה“–hiphil singular) you out of Egypt”; and (b) I led you (“וָאָבִ֤יא“–hiphil singular) into the land; and (c) I have sworn (“נִשְׁבַּ֨עְתִּי֙“–niphal singular) to your fathers; and (d) I said (“וָאֹמַ֕ר“–qal singular); and (e) I will never break (“לֹֽא־אָפֵ֧ר“–hiphil singular) My covenant with you” (Judges 2:1). Angel of Yahweh also said: “you have not listened to My voice” (“בְּקֹלִ֖י“). Angel of Yahweh continued: “I will not drive them out” (“לֹֽא־אֲגָרֵ֥שׁ“–piel singular) (Judges 2:3). In all these ways, Angel of Yahweh used singular verbs to describe Angel of Yahweh’s actions as Yahweh, the Covenant God who delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and brought them into the promised land. Yet, the people of Israel did not obey Yahweh. So, Yahweh did not drive out the inhabitants of the land, but those inhabitants became thorns and their gods snares to the people of Israel. When Angel of Yahweh spoke those words, the people of Israel wept, and so named that place Bochim. There they sacrificed to Yahweh (Judges 2:1-5).

10.2  Curse. In the song of Deborah and Barak, Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה“) declared a curse upon Meroz and its inhabitants, because they did not come to the help of Yahweh, to fight against warriors (Judges 5:23). Angel of Yahweh spoke as if He was God, issuing curses against enemies.

10.3 Terebinth in Ophrah. Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֗ה“) sat under the Terebinth tree (“הָֽאֵלָה֙“) in Ophrah. In this case, Angel of Yahweh appears in bodily form. Angel of Yahweh then appeared to Gideon and said that Yahweh was with him, and called him “Valiant Warrior” (Judges 6:12). Yahweh may be distinguished here from Angel of Yahweh, but not necessarily. Gideon began a conversation with Angel of Yahweh. He told Angel of Yahweh that Yahweh had abandoned Israel into the hands of the Midianites. Notice that Gideon began by differentiating Angel of Yahweh from Yahweh. But then Yahweh Himself answered back to Gideon. Yahweh looked at him and spoke to him, indicating that Yahweh was apparently visible to Gideon and able to speak to Gideon through Angel of Yahweh. Then Gideon sought a sign from Yahweh (Angel of Yahweh). Gideon then brought an offering to Yahweh (Angel of Yahweh). Angel of Yahweh directed Gideon to lay out the offering on a rock.

10.4 The Rock. Angel of Yahweh directed Gideon to put the meat and unleavened bread on the rock, and pour out the broth. Gideon complied. This sacrifice would only be offered to God, and not an angel. Then Angel of Yahweh touched the offering with His staff and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then Angel of Yahweh vanished from his sight. When Gideon saw that He was Angel of Yahweh, Gideon declared: “Alas, O Adonai Yahweh (“אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה“)!  For now I have seen Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה“) face to face. Yahweh comforted Gideon with words of peace and the promise that he would not die. Then Gideon built an altar there and named it “Yahweh Shalom” (“יְהוָ֖ה שָׁלֹ֑ום“). That same night Yahweh spoke to Gideon and directed him to to destroy the altar of Baal which belonged to the father of Gideon, and build an altar “to Yahweh, your Elohim” (“לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ“). 

10.5 Summary of Gideon. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh spoke about how He had brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, as if He were Yahweh Himself. After Angel of Yahweh, the people sacrificed to Yahweh. Deborah and Barak sang that Yahweh would curse Meroz and its inhabitants because they did not come to help the people of Israel as they came into the promised land–Angel of Yahweh spoke as if He uttered the curse. Angel of Yahweh appeared to Gideon, and then said Yahweh was with Gideon. Gideon spoke to Angel of Yahweh, and Yahweh answered back to Gideon. Angel of Yahweh appeared in human flesh, spoke like Yahweh, accepted sacrifice from Gideon, and performed a sign of consuming the offering for the benefit of Gideon. Also, Gideon believed that he had seen Angel of Yahweh face to face. God comforted Gideon and Gideon built an altar there, Yahweh Shalom. 

At Bochim, Angel of Yahweh appeared to Gideon.

Angel of Yahweh spoke to Gideon as Yahweh, describing how He had delivered Israel from captivity in Egypt and brought them into the promised land.

Angel of Yahweh described Gideon as Valiant Warrior.

Angel of Yahweh told Gideon that Yahweh was with him.

After Gideon talked with Angel of Yahweh, Yahweh Himself answered Gideon.

Gideon sought a sign from Angel of Yahweh.

Gideon brought an offering and Angel of Yahweh directed Gideon how to prepare the offering.

Gideon obeyed and Angel of Yahweh consumed the offering with fire by touching it with His staff.

Angel of Yahweh vanished from Gideon’s sight.

Gideon realized he had seen Angel of Yahweh.

Gideon said he had see Angel of Yahweh face to face.

Yahweh comforted Gideon with words of peace.

Gideon built an altar there and named it Altar of Peace.

Section Eleven

Manoah

11.1 Manoah. Yahweh gave the sons of Israel into the hands of the Philistines for forty years, because they did evil in the sight of Yahweh. Near the end of that time lived Manoah, from Zorah, a Danite. He had a barren wife. Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַךְ־יְהוָ֖ה“) appeared to her and said He knew she was barren, but promised that she would conceive and give birth to a son. Angel of Yahweh also gave specific directions for raising the son as a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb. He will begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:1-5).

11.2 The Woman. The wife of Manoah (“the woman”–“הָאִשָּׁ֗ה“) came and told him that “Man the Elohim” (“אִ֤ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים֙“) came to her and His appearance was like the appearance (“כְּמַרְאֵ֛ה“) of Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֥ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים“), very awesome (“נֹורָ֣א מְאֹ֑ד וְלֹ֤א“); she did not ask where He came from and He did not tell her His name. Angel of the Elohim directed the woman how to raise the child as a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb to the date of his death (Judges 13:6-7).

11.3 Entreaty. Upon hearing the report from his wife, Manoah entreated Yahweh, asking that Man the Elohim (“אִ֣ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִ֞ים“) whom Yahweh had sent would come again and teach us what to do for the boy to be born. Elohim listened to the voice of Manoah; and Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַךְ֩ הָאֱלֹהִ֨ים“) came again to the woman in the field and Manoah was not with her. Man the Elohim and Angel of the Elohim seem to be the same Person. The woman ran quickly and told Manoah that the Man (“הָאִ֔ישׁ“) appeared to her. Manoah went to the field with his wife, found the Man, and asked Him if he was the Man Who had spoken to the woman. The Man said “I” (“אָֽנִי“). Then Manoah asked about the child’s life and vocation. So Angel of Yahweh said that the woman should observe (“תִּשְׁמֹֽר“) the words He had spoken to her, regarding not eating anything from the vine, nor drinking wine (“וְיַ֤יִן“) nor strong drink (“וְשֵׁכָר֙“), nor eat anything unclean; let her observe (“תִּשְׁמֹֽר“) all that I commanded her (“צִוִּיתִ֖יהָ“) (Judges 13:8-14). Therefore, Angel of Yahweh, Man the Elohim, and Angel of the Elohim all appear to be the same Person.

11.4 Sacrifice. Manoah sought to prepare a young goat for Angel of Yahweh to eat. Angel of Yahweh replied that He would not eat their food, but if Manoah prepared a burnt offering, it would be for Yahweh. Manoah spoke as he did because he did not know that the Man was Angel of Yahweh. Manoah then asked Angel of Yahweh what was His name, so that they would honor Him when your words come to pass. Angel of Yahweh replied, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful (“פֶֽלִאי“–adjective–see Exodus 15:11 and Isaiah 9:6 for “wonderful” )? So Manoah offered the young goat with the grain offering on the rock to Yahweh, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on. As the flame ascended (“בַעֲלֹ֨ות“) from the altar to the heavens, Angel of Yahweh ascended (“יַּ֥עַל“) in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw, they fell on their faces to the ground.  Angel of Yahweh did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. (Judges 13:15-21). 

11.5 Die. Manoah knew then that it was Angel of Yahweh. Manoah said to his wife that they would surely die because they had seen Elohim. His wife said: If Yahweh had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a grain offering and a burnt offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear such things at this time (Judges 13:21-25). 

11.6 Summary of Manoah. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh means seeing Elohim and Yahweh, according to the testimony of Manoah and his wife. Furthermore, while they first saw a Man, that Man would not eat, but did accept sacrifice from them and performed miracles and made promises, indicating He was Yahweh, Elohim. Angel of Yahweh ascended back to heaven in the flame of the sacrifice. When Manoah and his wife witnessed the ascension, they fell with their faces to the ground. Manoah wondered if he would die, because they had seen Elohim. His wife replied that if Yahweh wanted to kill them, He would not have accepted the sacrifice and offering, nor would He have shown them all those things, nor would He have let us hear all those things. Wonderful was the name of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh, Man the Elohim, and Angel of the Elohim all appear to be the same Person.

Angel of Yahweh appeared to Manoah’s wife as a man.

Angel of Yahweh made specific promises to the woman about her son and how to raise him.

The wife of Manoah reported to Manoah that she had see Man the Elohim, and his appearance was like Angel of the Elohim, very awesome.

Angel of the Elohim told the woman that she would have a son, and that he would be a Nazirite to Elohim from birth. 

Manoah entreated Yahweh that Angel of Yahweh would appear again to instruct them about raising the son.

Manoah understood that Yahweh had sent Man the Elohim.

Angel of Yahweh made promises about the future of their son.

Angel of Yahweh’s name was Wonderful.

Manoah offered a young goat with the grain offering on the rock to Yahweh.

Angel of Yahweh performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on.

♦ Yahweh accepted the offering.

Angel of Yahweh ascended in the flames.

Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.

Manoah knew then that it was Angel of Yahweh.

Manoah said to his wife that they would surely die because they had seen Elohim.

His wife replied: If Yahweh had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a grain offering and a burnt offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear such things.

Angel of Yahweh, Man the Elohim, and Angel of the Elohim all appear to be the same Person.

Section Twelve

David

12.1 Wisdom. The woman of Tekoa said that David was like Angel of the Elohim (“כְּמַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים“), discerning good and evil (2 Samuel 14:17). She also said that David was wise, like the wisdom of Angel of the Elohim (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֔ים“) (2 Samuel 14:20).  Mephibosheth said that David could discern the slander against Mephibosheth because David was like Angel of the Elohim (“כְּמַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֔ים“) (2 Samuel 19:27). Therefore, Angel of the Elohim had a reputation for great wisdom in the time of David. Even Achish, King of Gath, described David as pleasing in his sight, like Angel of God (“כְּמַלְאַ֣ךְ אֱלֹהִ֑ים“) (1 Samuel 29:9).

12.2 PsalmsIn the Psalms, David wrote that Angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them (Psalm 34:7). He also prayed that those people who devise evil against him would be like the chaff of the wind, with Angel of Yahweh driving on. David continued praying that their way would be dark and slippery, with Angel of Yahweh pursuing them (Psalm 35:5-6). 

12.3 Census. David sinfully took a census of the tribes of Israel. God gave David a choice about punishments, and David chose punishment from God, not man. Yahweh sent forth Angel of Yahweh to strike down the people of Israel because of David’s sin. Yahweh sent a pestilence upon Israel from morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel (“הַמַּלְאָ֥ךְ“) stretched out His hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh relented from the calamity and said to the destroying angel (“לַמַּלְאָ֞ךְ הַמַּשְׁחִ֤ית“–Destroying–Hiphil participle), it is enough, relax your hand. Angel of Yahweh was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel (“אֶֽת־הַמַּלְאָ֣ךְ“) striking down the people. David built an altar and sacrificed to Yahweh and Yahweh was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel (2 Samuel 24:15-17). 

12.4 Destroying Angel.  In the parallel account in 1 Chronicles 21, David chose (1) three days of the sword of Yahweh (“חֶ֣רֶב יְהוָ֤ה“), even pestilence in the land, and (2) Angel of Yahweh (“וּמַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה“) destroying throughout the land of Israel as punishment for taking the census. Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel and 70,000 men died. Elohim sent an angel (“מַלְאָ֥ךְ“) to destroy Jerusalem. Notice that Yahweh sent the pestilence (the sword of Yahweh), and Elohim sent an angel (destroying angel–see Yahweh sent the destroyer in Exodus 12:23). As an angel was about to destroy Jerusalem, Yahweh felt sorry and spared Jerusalem. Yahweh said to the destroying angel (“לַמַּלְאָ֤ךְ הַמַּשְׁחִית֙“) to relax His hand and Angel of Yahweh (“וּמַלְאַ֤ךְ יְהוָה֙“) was on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. David lifted up his eyes and saw Angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, with His sword in His hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Notice that destroying angel was on the threshing floor, but David saw Angel of Yahweh between earth and heaven. Then David confessed that he had sinned, but the sheep of Israel died. David said: Yahweh Elohai (“יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהַ֗י“–Yahweh My God), please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued (2 Samuel 24:17). Then Angel of Yahweh (“וּמַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה“) said to the prophet Gad to say to David, that David should build an altar to Yahweh. So David went up at the word of Gad, who spoke in the name of Yahweh. Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons hid themselves. David purchased items for sacrifice from Ornan and built an altar to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. David called to Yahweh and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. Yahweh spoke “to the angel” (“לַמַּלְאָ֔ךְ“), and He put his sword back in its sheath. But David could not go before the tabernacle nor the altar at Gibeon because he was terrified by the sword of Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֥ךְ יְהוָֽה“) (1 Chronicles 21:18-29).  Angel of Yahweh may be the destroying Angel, but I remain uncertain.

12.5 Summary of David. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh was known for His wisdom in distinguishing right from wrong, and making good decisions. David chose the sword of the Lord, even three days of pestilence, and Angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the territory of Israel. Yahweh sent for Angel of Yahweh, distinguishing the two. Because God the Father is Yahweh, and God the Son is also Yahweh, we cannot rule out the divinity of Angel of Yahweh here–the Father may have sent the Son. In the alternative, Angel of Yahweh may be the visible representation of Yahweh. Yahweh sent the pestilence upon Israel in response to David’s sin. Elohim sent Destroying Angel to destroy Jerusalem. Yahweh directed Destroying Angel to withdraw His hand from Jerusalem. David saw Angel of Yahweh standing between heaven and earth with sword drawn. Angel of Yahweh was on the threshing floor of Ornan. Angel of Yahweh was Destroying Angel sent to destroy Jerusalem. David built an altar to Yahweh. Yahweh was moved by the prayer to stop the plague in Israel.

Angel of Yahweh was known for His wisdom in distinguishing right from wrong and making good decisions.

David chose to fall into the hands of God for punishment, rather than into the hands of men.

Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel and 70,000 men died.

Elohim sent an angel (“מַלְאָ֥ךְ”) to destroy Jerusalem.

Yahweh directed Destroying Angel to withdraw His hand from Jerusalem.

David saw Angel of Yahweh standing between heaven and earth with sword drawn.

Angel of Yahweh was on the threshing floor of Ornan.

Angel of Yahweh was Destroying Angel sent to destroy Jerusalem.

David built an altar to Yahweh and Yahweh was moved by the prayer to stop the plague in Israel.

Section Thirteen

Elijah

13.1 Juniper Tree. As Elijah fled from Ahab and Jezebel, he fled into the wilderness past Beersheba. He said: “It is enough; now, Yahweh, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” As he slept, an angel (“מַלְאָךְ֙“) was touching (“נֹגֵ֣עַ“–see also Daniel 10:16) him, and said: “Arise, eat.” He arose and ate food on hot stones near him, and drank water from a jar and laid down again. Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֨ךְ יְהוָ֤ה“) came again a second time and touched him and said: “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” Elijah arose and went forty days and forty nights in the strength of that food, to Horeb, the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:1-8). Notice that “Angel” and “Angel of Yahweh” are the same person. Angel of Yahweh was able to touch Elijah physically, and to speak audible words to him.

13.2 Ahaziah’s Messengers. Ahaziah fell and became ill. He sent messengers to inquire of Baal, but Angel of Yahweh (“וּמַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֗ה“) told Elijah to meet the messengers and speak to them that they should not inquire of Baal, but the God of Israel; he also said that Ahaziah would not come down from his bed, but would surely die (2 Kings 1:1-4). Later, Ahaziah sent two captains of fifty with their fifties to Elijah and fire from heaven consumed them. When the third captain of fifty with his fifty approached Elijah, and begged for his life, Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֤ךְ יְהוָה֙“) told Elijah to go down with that group to Ahaziah and deliver the message of death to Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:15).

13.3 185,000. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah and seized the fortified cities. When Sennacherib sent messengers to Jerusalem warning them to surrender, Hezekiah prayed about Sennacherib’s invading army, and Yahweh, God of Israel, heard him. Isaiah delivered news of deliverance to Hezekiah. Angel of Yahweh went out and struck (“וַיַּךְ֙“) 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians in one night and Sennacherib departed and was soon thereafter killed by his own children (2 Kings 19:35-37; see also Isaiah 37:36). In the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 32:21, Yahweh sent Angel (“מַלְאָ֔ךְ“) and He destroyed (“וַיַּכְחֵ֞ד“) every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria (2 Chronicles 32:21). Angel Who destroyed and Angel of Yahweh are the same Person.

13.4 Summary of Elijah. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. The Angel Who touched Elijah and spoke to Elijah was Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh provided supernatural food for Elijah, which sustained him for forty days and forty nights. Angel of Yahweh went out and killed 185,000 of the Assyrians in one night.

Angel touched Elijah.

Angel of Yahweh touched Elijah the second time.

Angel of Yahweh brought food and drink for Elijah that sustained him for forty days and nights.

Angel of Yahweh and Angel are the same in this passage.

Angel of Yahweh killed 185,000 Assyrians soldiers in one night.

Section Fourteen

Zechariah

14.1 Patrol. Zechariah at night saw a man (“אִישׁ֙“) riding a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees, with red, sorrel, and white horses behind him. Zechariah wondered who those men were. Angel (“יְהוָ֑ה“) speaking with Zechariah said he would show Zechariah. The man standing among the myrtle trees identified those riders as the ones whom Yahweh sent to patrol the earth. So they answered Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַךְ־יְהוָה֮“) who was standing among the myrtle trees and said they had patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet (Zechariah 1:1-11). Notice that the riders answered Angel of Yahweh, standing among the myrtle trees. Apparently, the riders called the rider of the red horse, standing in the myrtle trees, “Angel of Yahweh,” because he was the only man described as standing among the myrtle tress. Yet, Angel of Yahweh may be another man standing among the myrtle trees. The reason for caution in identification is that all the riders would know there was peace on earth, because they had returned from patrol of the earth. So, telling the rider of the red horse about the peace seems unnecessary, because he had been on that patrol. The reply may have been made to Angel of Yahweh, who was the Angel speaking with Zechariah. 

14.2 Indignation. Angel of Yahweh then asked Yahweh of Hosts (“יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאֹ֔ות“) how long will Yahweh of Hosts have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which He has been indignant for seventy years? Yahweh answered the Angel (“הַמַּלְאָךְ֙“) who was speaking with Zechariah with gracious words, comforting words. Then the Angel (“הַמַּלְאָךְ֙“) said to Zechariah that Yahweh of Hosts said He was exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion (Zechariah 1:12-14). Notice that Angel of Yahweh seems to be the same Angel that was speaking with Zechariah.

14.3 Another Angel. Another angel (“וּמַלְאָ֣ךְ אַחֵ֔ר“) met the angel (“הַמַּלְאָ֛ךְ“) speaking with Zechariah. The first angel sends the second angel to speak with “that young man” (Zechariah). The first angel instructs the second angel to tell Zechariah that Yahweh will be a wall of fire around Jerusalem, and it will have no walls because of the number of men and cattle within it (Zechariah 2:3-6). 

14.4 Escape. Yahweh then speaks in the first person (“I”). He said flee from the land of the north, for He has dispersed them as the four winds. He then commanded those people living with the daughter of Babylon to escape (Zechariah 2:6-7).

14.5 Yahweh of Hosts. Yahweh of Hosts declared that after glory He has sent “Me” against the nations which plunder you, for He who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. Yahweh of Hosts continued that He will wave His hand over those nations so that they will become plunder for their slaves (the people of Israel will plunder their captors). “Then you will know” (“וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם“–masculine plural) that Yahweh of Hosts has sent Me. The “Me” at the end of Zechariah 2:9 may refer to either Yahweh, Zechariah, or someone else. In Zechariah 2:11, many nations will join themselves to Yahweh in that day and will become His people. Then Yahweh will dwell in “your midst” (“בְתֹוכֵ֔ךְ–feminine singular”) that “you will know” (“וְיָדַ֕עַתְּ“–feminine singular) that Yahweh of Hosts has sent Me (Yahweh) to them. The feminine singular refers back to a feminine noun, daughter of Zion (she (“יֹושֶׁ֖בֶת” feminine singular participle) who dwells with the daughter of Babylon). Therefore, it seems clear from the context that the “Me” in verses 9 and 11 refers to Yahweh (Messiah) dwelling in the midst of the daughter of Zion (Zechariah 2:8-12). The phrase “you will know that Yahweh of Hosts sent Me” occurs four times in Zechariah, with variations in the Hebrew text. Each occurrence emphasizes that Yahweh has taken action which reveals His divine presence with the people of Israel, and His divine activity for them. Zechariah 2:9 provides that Yahweh will wave His hand over the nations and they will be plunder for their slaves; “then you will know (“וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם”–masculine plural) that Yahweh of Hosts sent Me.” Zechariah 2:11 provides that many nations will join themselves to Yahweh in that day and will become My people. “Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know (“וְיָדַ֕עַתְּ“–feminine singular) that Yahweh of Hosts has sent Me to you.” Zechariah 4:9 provides that the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know (“וְיָ֣דַעְתָּ֔“–masculine singular) that Yahweh of Hosts has sent Me (Yahweh) to you (“אֲלֵיכֶֽם“–masculine plural). Zechariah 6:15 provides that those who are far off will come and build the temple of Yahweh. Then you will know (“וִידַעְתֶּ֕ם”-masculine plural) that Yahweh of Hosts has sent Me (Yahweh) to you (“אֲלֵיכֶֽם“–masculine plural). And it will take place if you completely obey (“אִם־שָׁמֹ֣ועַ תִּשְׁמְע֔וּן“–adverb + infinitive + masculine plural) Yahweh your Elohim (אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם–masculine plural). In these verses, God takes action so that people will know that Yahweh of Hosts has take specific action, related to His sending of Yahweh to take action for them. Yahweh of Hosts sent Yahweh after glory, the glory of God.

14.6 Joshua. Zechariah saw Joshua the high priest standing before Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֑ה“). Satan was standing at his right hand to accuse him. Yahweh said to satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, satan! Indeed, Yahweh Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Then Zechariah saw Joshua receive festal robes and a clean turban, while Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֥ךְ יְהוָ֖ה“) was standing by. Then Angel of Yahweh (“מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה“) admonished with words from Yahweh of Hosts (“יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאֹ֗ות“), saying if Joshua would walk in Yahweh of Hosts’ ways and perform Yahweh of Hosts’ service, then Joshua would govern Yahweh of Hosts’ house and have charge of Yahweh of Host’s courts, and Yahweh of Hosts would grant Joshua free access among the ones standing there (Zechariah 3:1-7). 

14.7 Angel of Yahweh. In the future, Yahweh will change the hearts of Israel so that they will look upon Me Whom they have pierced (Jesus) and mourn. Just before then, Yahweh of Hosts will make the clans of Judah consume the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. In that day, Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David like Elohim, like Angel of Yahweh (“כְּמַלְאַ֥ךְ יְהוָ֖ה“) before them. And in that day God will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:6-9). One of the themes associated with Angel of Yahweh is the power to destroy the enemies of Israel, as Yahweh of Hosts sends Angel of Yahweh to carry out the plans of God.

14.8 Summary of Zechariah. The following evidence supports the deity of Angel of Yahweh. Zechariah wanted to know the identify of riders standing in the myrtle trees. The man standing among the myrtle trees identified them as sent by Yahweh to patrol the earth. The riders then answered to Angel of Yahweh that the earth was peaceful. The Angel of Yahweh received a report of peace on earth from the horsemen sent to patrol the earth. Yahweh of Hosts has been indignant with the cities of Judah and Jerusalem for seventy years. The Angel of Yahweh asked Yahweh of Hosts when His indignation would end. So, Angel of Yahweh and Yahweh of Hosts appear to be different People. The Angel of Yahweh may be the Angel speaking with Zechariah, but I remain uncertain. Zechariah saw Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh admonished with words from Yahweh of Hosts. Angel of Yahweh is like Elohim.

The horsemen patrolling the earth reported to Angel of Yahweh.

Angel of Yahweh asked Yahweh of Hosts when His indignation towards the cities of Judah and Jerusalem would end.

Joshua the high priest was standing before Angel of Yahweh with satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 

Angel of Yahweh admonished Joshua with words from Yahweh of Hosts.

The house of David will be like Elohim, like Angel of Yahweh.

Conclusion

Angel of Yahweh speaks for Yahweh and appears to humans on earth. Because no one has seen God at any time, Angel of Yahweh appears to be the visible representation of God to some humans. Angel of Yahweh speaks with humans, listens to humans, and speaks as if He were Yahweh. Angel of Yahweh descended to earth to speak with people and also ascended in the flame of fire. Some people who saw Angel of Yahweh, spoke with Him, and saw his works thought they had seen God and were concerned they would die. We can praise God for our Marvelous Savior, who both ascended and descended in the Old Testament, appearing to various people from Genesis to Zechariah.

HALLELUJAH !