THE angel of the Lord and AN Angel of the Lord


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I’ve been spending some time recently studying “the angel of the Lord” in the Scriptures. 

When reading Exodus a few weeks back, I realized in several places there were different articles used when describing angels.  In some verses, “an” angel is used and in others we see “the” angel of the Lord.  As I’m naturally curious why this would be, I decided to look more into it.  Before starting my investigation, I verified the Hebrew to see if there was actually an intended definite article used and it appears there is.

First, I looked at the definition of Angel:  Angel in both Hebrew (malak) and Greek (aggelos or angelos) means a messenger. 

Then, I made note that angels in Scriptures aren’t necessarily created angelic beings since it appears John the Baptist is referred to as an angel.  (Malachi 3:1)

And since I thought it might be relevant, and to see if my suspicion of the identity of this angel was indeed correct, I looked up the meaning of “Word” in reference to John 1:1.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”

The “Word” is actually translated from the word logos in Greek. Logos means the universal, divine ruling force governing and revealing through the cosmos to humankind

Here are a couple of things I found interesting about this specific angel (messenger) as opposed to AN angel of the Lord.

1)      THE angel of the Lord speaks in first person, identifying himself as God.  (Genesis 16:6-16, Genesis 21:17-18, Exodus 3:2, Judges 2 1:4, 2 Samuel 24:16)

2)      THE angel of the Lord is also perceived to be God by others (Gensis 16:6-16, Numbers 22:22-35)

3)      THE angel of the Lord, while mentioned multiples times throughout Scripture is never mentioned while the Word is incarnate as man.

4)      Jesus is referred to as a messenger of the covenant. (Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 63:9)

5)      The angel is a redeemer.  (Genesis 48:16, Isaiah 63:9)

6)      The angel of the Lord judges and avenges evil according to what the Father says (2 Samuel 24:16, 1 Chron 21:12, 2 Kings 19:35)

7)      When comparing Scripture with Scripture it appears the Angel of the Lord is the Lord Himself (Exodus 13:21, Exodus 14:19)

With this evidence, I’ve concluded that the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament Scriptures is actually a revelation of Christ (Christophany). Not a created being like the Jehovah Witnesses believe, but certainly a divine communication of God to man, THE Word, revealing the revelation of God through the cosmos to humankind, alive and active, before being born of a Virgin.

 Who's with me?











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  • Scott

    Scott June 29, 2010

    And who are the three visitors to Abraham (Genesis 18)? smile

  • Jessica

    Jessica June 29, 2010

    Ha!  Well now you’ve stumped me….

  • Scott

    Scott June 29, 2010

    No, I have not stumped you, you just need to think about it for a little bit: who could the three visitors be? No, I am not saying for sure it is, however, it is interesting that the number of visitors is three….

    I am working on the other thread too.

  • Scott

    Scott June 29, 2010

    Take some time and look at other Christophanys in the Old Testament. Especially in Ezekiel…

  • Scott

    Scott July 03, 2010

    Okay, Jessica, since you asked so nicely, look at Ezekiel chapters 8-10…

  • Jessica

    Jessica July 05, 2010

    smile  I know this creature is of heavenly origin, but the thought of an angel covered in eyes freaks me out a bit.  I want to do a Bible study on the angel with the 4 faces and how it relates to the angels seen in the Book of Revelation.

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    poxjdydg September 05, 2010

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