“The Angel of the Lord”
“The Angel of the Lord”?
The Hebraic word for "angel" is malakh, simply meaning
“messenger”. The messenger could be human, terrestrial,
alien, material or immaterial being in other dimensions.
Names like Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are familiar to
us, but in most occasions they are simply referred to as
angels in the bible.
Yet there is one malakh who stands out from all the
rest. The Bible calls him, "The Angel of the Lord." In
the Talmud he is called Metatarsus, which derives from
two Greek words’ meta and thronos, meaning "one who
serves behind the throne of God." He is also known as
the "Prince of the Countenance" because of the close
relation between this Angel and God Himself. The Angel
of the Lord is one who is sent by God, the one who
represents God Himself. The name of God is in him.
Throughout the Old Testament, the Angel of the Lord
appeared in human form. We will take them one by one
and analyze them.
Hagar: The God who sees
7 The Angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it
was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.8 And he
said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come
from, and where are you going?" "I'm running away from
my mistress Sarai," she answered.9 Then the Angel of the
LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to
her."10 The angel added, "I will so increase your
descendants that they will be too numerous to count."11
The Angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now
with child and you will have a son. You shall name him
Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.
Hagar addresses the Angel of the Lord as God
13 She gave this name to
the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the
God who sees me,"
for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
Evidently Hagar spoke to the LORD and addressed him as
"You are the God who sees me". Of course we can argue
that since she refers only to the aspect of “God who
sees”, she saw only that aspect. This is true. But we
cannot perceive the entire aspects of God at any time
because of the infinite difference between God and the
cosmos as a whole.
In every experience of God, we get a new and fuller
revelation of God. Revelation is an unveiling process
because the complete picture is too large to see.
That is how revelation proceeds. At the Mount Sinai
God tells Moses he was not known earlier by the name
YHVH. The Old Testament Israel saw an emphasis of a
just God. In the New Testament we see a Merciful and
loving God and at Patmos John was dazzled by a
1Co 13:12 Now we see only a blurred
reflection in a mirror, but then we will see face to
face. Now what I know is incomplete, but then I will
know fully, even as I have been fully known.
2. Abraham Intercedes with God
1. The LORD appeared to Abraham near
the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the
entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.
2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his
tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There,
in the tent," he said.
One of them was the LORD
10 Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to
you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will
have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to
the tent, which was behind him...
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah
laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I
am old?'14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will
return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah
will have a son."
17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham
what I am about to do?18 Abraham will surely become a
great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will
be blessed through him.19 For I have chosen him,
so that he will direct his children and his household
after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is
right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for
Abraham what he has promised him."20 Then the LORD
said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so
great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down
and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry
that has reached me. If not, I will know."
Abraham intercedes with God
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but
Abraham remained standing before the LORD.23 Then
Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away
the righteous with the wicked?26 The LORD said,
"If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake."27 Then
Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as
to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and
ashes,28 what if the number of the righteous is five
less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because
of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said,
"I will not destroy it."
30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but
let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"
He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but
let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be
found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will
not destroy it."
The Lord went away while the two Angels proceeded to
33 When the LORD had finished speaking
with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
19:1The two angels arrived at Sodom in
the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the
So out of the three men whom Abraham received, one was
the LORD himself. The other two were angels. This
angel- who really was the LORD - was a localized angel -
who was limited in space and had the form of a man.
The fact that God appeared to Abraham
is confirmed by Stephen before the Sanhedrin.
"The God of glory appeared to our
father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he
dwelt in Haran, and said to him, "Get out of your
country and from your relatives, and come to a land that
I will show you."” (Acts 7:2).
3. God who stayed a Sacrifice
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built
an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his
son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the
wood.10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife
to slay his son.11 But the Angel of the LORD called out
to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he
replied.12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do
not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God,
because you have not withheld from me your son, your
Angel of the Lord identified himself as God
15 The Angel of the LORD called to
Abraham from heaven a second time16 and said, "I swear
by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done
this and have not withheld your son, your only son,17 I
will surely bless you…
Here the Angel of the Lord is talking from the Heaven
and speaks in first person as God and swears by his
person. Was this angel delivering a message from God in
the first person as a quotation? Was this Angel sent or
was God immanent in Him?
4. God who wrestles with Man face to face.
Jacob wrestled with a man who turns out to be God
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till
daybreak.25 When the man saw that he could not overpower
him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his
hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.26 Then the
man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob
replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."27
The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he
answered.28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer
be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with
God and with men and have overcome."29 Jacob said,
"Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you
ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.30 So Jacob
called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw
God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
Here again the wrestling man turns out to be God. At
Peniel Jacob saw the face of God as a man.
This is confirmed by the prophet Hosea:
Hosea 12:2 The LORD has a charge to bring
against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his
ways and repay him according to his deeds.3 In the womb
he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled
with God.4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel
and talked with him there– 5 the LORD God Almighty, the
LORD is his name of renown!
Hosea thus confirms that the Angel of the Lord who
fought with Jacob was indeed God himself. Now how do we
explain the fact that Jacob overcame God? Remember that
this was the night before Jacob was going to meet his
brother Esau whom he tricked. Jacob still had a second
chance to make the choice between right and wrong - to
concede that he had tricked his brother. He was
reluctant to do that. Finally the Angel of the Lord had
to touch him and make him a weakling. The next day we
meet Jacob appearing before his brother Esau limping.
Then he fell down and gave the honor due to his elder
Every one of us struggles with God. We still can make
choices against God and prevail. But it will lead to
disaster. God in his mercy may touch and make us limp
just to humble ourselves to choose the right from the
The 'angel of the LORD' who visited the patriarchs was
God Himself, not any creature masquerading as God. God
himself authenticates it thus:
Ex. 6:2 God also said to Moses, "I am the LORD. 3 I
appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God
Almighty, but by my name the Yhvh I did not make myself
known to them.
Thus wherever YHVH appears in a human form we could call
Him “the Angel of the Lord”, because that is a theophany
of God Himself. God has to limit himself to communicate
5. God who appeared in the Burning Bush
Moses meets the Angel of the Lord in the flames of fire
and identifies himself as God.
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire
from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was
on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will
go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does
not burn up."4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over
to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses!
Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."5 "Do not come any
closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place
where you are standing is holy ground."6 Then he said,
"I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid
his face, because he was afraid to look at God.7 The
LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people
in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their
slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I,
that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out
of Egypt?"12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this
will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you:
When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will
worship God on this mountain."13 Moses said to God,
"Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The
God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask
me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"14
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are
to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"15
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The
LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.'
This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be
remembered from generation to generation.
God gives proof that Moses actually saw God
4:1 Moses answered, "What if they do
not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did
not appear to you'?"2 Then the LORD said to him, "What
is that in your hand?” "A staff," he replied.3 The LORD
said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the
ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.4 Then
the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it
by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the
snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.5
"This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that
the LORD, the God of their fathers--the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has appeared to
you."6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your
cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when
he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.7 "Now put it
back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand
back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was
restored, like the rest of his flesh.8 Then the LORD
said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to
the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.9
But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to
you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the
dry ground. The water you take from the river will
become blood on the ground." 10 Moses said to the LORD,
"O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past
nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of
speech and tongue."
Moses was speaking to the creator of man
11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man
his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him
sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?12 Now
It was this Angel of the Lord who met with Moses who
identified himself as the great “I AM” that is more
fully and visibly expressed in the following two cases.
6. God who Presided over the Covenant Dinner
They saw God
There is one occasion when we have God appearing in the
form of man (?) in the sight of seventy two elders.
Ex 24:9. Moses and Aaron, Nadab and
Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and
saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like
a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.
God of Israel has hands
11 But God did not raise his hand
against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God,
and they ate and drank.12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come
up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give
you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I
have written for their instruction."
This theophany is an extra-ordinary event when
seventy-two elders of Israel saw God. What did they
see? From the way it is expressed they presumably saw a
human form – a person localized in space with hands - to
celebrate the covenant dinner. In this case God
revealed himself in human form (in a glorious
environment) so that he can communicate with his people
to confirm the covenant. Malachi 3:1 refers to the
messenger as the Angel of the Covenant. From the
description it is assumed that he had human form. He
talks exactly the way the Lord spoke to Moses from the
burning bush and is evidently a continuation of the same
manifestation through the Angel of the Lord. The
formless God takes on a form – this is the Angel of the
Lord. Why does he do it? So that he can communicate
7. Moses sees the Back of God.
Ex 33:18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."19 And the LORD said,
"I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you,
and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will
have compassion on whom I will have compassion.20 But,"
he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me
and live."21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near
me where you may stand on a rock.22 When my glory passes
by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you
with my hand until I have passed by.23 Then I will
remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face
must not be seen."
This again is a follow up of the previous case where
Moses sees the back of God. Strangely God makes the
statement that “but my face must not be seen”, because
“no one may see me and live.” Hence Moses saw only the
back. Then what did they say in the covenant ceremony?
God puts on a form as necessary to reveal Himself as man
explains the need for the incarnation. Heb 1:1-2: God,
having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the
prophets by diverse portions and in diverse manners,
hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his
Angel of God in the Pillar of Cloud
Ex 14:18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory
through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen."19 Then
the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of
Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar
of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them.
The Angel of the Lord was in the pillar of cloud guiding
the Israelites through the wilderness. This Angel says
"I am the Lord".
9. Joshua meets God
Joshua 5:13 Now when Joshua was near
Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of
him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to
him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"14
"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of
the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell face down to
the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message
does my Lord have for his servant?"15 The commander of
the Lord's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the
place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did
That the Commander of Yahweh's army is the Angel of the
Lord who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, becomes
clear when He commands Joshua, "Take your sandal off
your foot, for the place where you stand is holy"
Bible makes it abundantly clear that worship belongs
only to YHVH. In Revelation 22:8, the Apostle John "fell
down to worship before the feet of the angel", who had
shown him visions of things to come. But the angel
refused to accept worship saying: "See that you do not
do that, for I am your fellow servant, and of your
brethren the prophets and of those who keep the words of
this book. Worship God".
In accepting the worship of Joshua, the Angel declared
himself as God.
10 Balaam sees the Angel of the Lord
The Angel of the Lord appears to Balaam, a non -Hebrew
Num 22:21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his
donkey and went with the princes of Moab.22 But God was
very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood
in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his
donkey, and his two servants were with him.23 When the
donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road
with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road
into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the
road.24 Then the angel
of the LORD stood in a narrow path
between two vineyards, with walls on both sides.25 When
the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close
to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he
beat her again.26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on
ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no
room to turn, either to the right or to the left.27 When
the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under
Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28
Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth,
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes,
and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road
with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell face
down.32 The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you
beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here
to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before
me.33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these
three times. If she had not turned away, I would
certainly have killed you by now, but I would have
spared her."34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I
have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the
road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go
back."35 The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with
the men, but speak only what I tell you." So
Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
Balaam was a Midianite. Midianites
were descendants of Abraham by his second wife Keturah:
"Then again Abraham took a wife, and
her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and
Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and
Shuah." Gen. 25:1-2
therefore reasonable to assume that God was always
dealing with all the people of the nations, even when
they have gone astray and the Angel of the Lord was the
person who was involved in the redemptive process.
11. Gideon meets the Lord
Angel of the Lord Appears to Gideon
Judg. 6:11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah
that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son
Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it
from the Midianites.12 When the angel of the LORD
appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you,
14 The LORD turned to him and said,
"Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of
Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
16 The LORD answered, "I will be with
you, and you will strike down all the Midianites
Meeting God face to face
17 Gideon replied, "If now I have
found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is
really you talking to me.18 Please do not go away until
I come back and bring my offering and set it before
you." And the LORD said, "I will wait until you
return."19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and
from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast.
Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he
brought them out and offered them to him under the
oak.20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and
the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour
out the broth." And Gideon did so.21 With the tip of the
staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD
touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared
from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the
angel of the LORD disappeared.
22 When Gideon realized that it was
the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign
LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"
23 But the LORD said to him,
"Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die."
12. Manoah meets God
Angel of the Lord appears to Manoah and his wife
2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the
Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained
childless.3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and
said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going
to conceive and have a son.
8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: "O
Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come
again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be
born."9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came
again to the woman while she was out in the field; but
her husband Manoah was not with her.10 The woman hurried
to tell her husband, "He's here! The man who appeared to
me the other day!"11 Manoah got up and followed his
wife. When he came to the man, he said, "Are you the one
who talked to my wife?" "I am," he said.12 So Manoah
asked him, "When your words are fulfilled, what is to be
the rule for the boy's life and work?"13 The angel of
the LORD answered, "Your wife must do all that I have
told her.14 She must not eat anything that comes from
the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented
drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I
have commanded her."15 Manoah said to the angel of the
LORD, "We would like you to stay until we prepare a
young goat for you."16 The angel of the LORD replied,
"Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your
food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to
the LORD." (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel
of the LORD.)
What is the name of the Angel of the
Lord? – A Name beyond Understanding.
17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel
of the LORD, "What is your name, so that we may honor
you when your word comes true?"18 He replied, "Why do
you ask my name? It is beyond understanding."
The Angel of the Lord proves himself to be the Lord
19 Then Manoah took a young goat,
together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a
rock to the LORD. And the LORD did an amazing thing
while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame
blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the
LORD ascended in the flame.
Manoah and his wife worshiped the Angel of the Lord
Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell
with their faces to the ground.
21 When the angel of the LORD did not
show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah
realized that it was the angel of the LORD.22 "We are
doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen
God!"23 But his wife answered, "If the LORD had meant to
kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and
grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these
things or now told us this."
13. Elijah strengthened by the Angel of the Lord
1 Kin. 19:
1 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
5 Then he lay down under the tree and
fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said,
"Get up and eat."6 He looked around, and there by his
head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar
of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.7 The
angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched
him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too
much for you."8 So he got up and ate and drank.
Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days. and
forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of
14. Angel of the Lord destroys the Assyrian Army
2 Kings 19:20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to
Hezekiah: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel,
says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib
king of Assyria.
35 That night the angel of the LORD
went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five
thousand men in the Assyrian camp
15. Angel of the Lord selects the plot
to build the Temple
I Chronicles 21:18 Then the angel of the LORD ordered
Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the
LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite
This later became the site of the temple of
There is a dialectics in the Angel of the Lord. He is
the Lord God, yet he is a distinct personality -
distinct and comprehensible, visible, audible and in
human form. Look what Zachariah says:
"In that day the LORD will defend the
inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among
them in that day shall be like David, and the house of
David shall be
like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them." (Zechariah 12:8)
“The Angel of the Lord”
The expression ““the Angel of the Lord”” or ““the
Angel of God”” occurs more than 40 times in the Old
Testament. The following are some of the major
Gen. 16:7––14 appears to Hagar in the wilderness,
"I have now seen the One
who sees me."
Gen. 18:1- 19:1 appears to Abraham in company with two other
angels in Mamre and Abraham intercedes with the LORD -
man to Man.
Gen. 22:9-17; appears to Abraham as he is about to sacrifice Isaac.
Abraham hears only His voice.
Gen. 35:7-15; God appeared to Jacob at Bethel in what form we do
And the angel of God spoke to Jacob in a dream.
Gen. Gen. 32:24––32; cf. 28:10––15; Jacob wrestles with God at
Peniel. God had the form of man. (cf. Hosea 12:3––5
Gen. 48:16; The Angel of the LORD appears to Moses in
the burning bush. He speaks in first person as the “I
am that I am” thus identifying himself with YHVH.
Ex. 3; Ex 14:19 The Angel of the LORD goes before the
camp of Israel. Angel of God in the Pillar of Cloud
Ex 6:2, 3 Angel of the Lord identifies himself as YHVH
who appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Ex 23:20––25; “for my name
is in him”.
Ex. 24 “They saw the God” of Israel at the covenant
dinner in a human form.
mine Angel shall go before thee:
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a
man speaketh unto his friend.
Moses sees the Back of God.
Num. 22:22––35 The Angel of the LORD appears to Balaam.
Joshua 5:13––6:5 The Angel of the LORD appears to Joshua as Captain
of the Lord's host.
Judges 2:1––4 The Angel of the LORD comes to Bochim.
Judges 5:23 The Angel of the LORD curses Meroz.
Jude 6:11 The Angel of the LORD appears to Gideon,
Judges 13:2––5 The Angel of the LORD to Manoah and his wife,
2 Samuel 24:16, 17; 1 Ch. 21:15––30 When David had numbered
Israel, ““the Angel of the Lord”” stretched His hand
over Jerusalem to destroy it,
1 Kings 19:5––7 He appears to Elijah under juniper tree and sends
Elijah on the way to Horeb.
2 Kings 1:1––15 instructs Elijah to go to Ahaziah
1 Kings 19:35; 2 Ch 32:21; Is 37:36 smites 185,000 Assyrians,
David mentions Him in Ps. 34:7; 35:5––6;
Isaiah calls Him angel of God's presence, Is 63:9;
Zech. 1:8––21; 3; 12:8; He appears to Zechariah
Mal. 3:1 Malachi calls Him the Messenger, or Angel, of the
Could this be Jesus?
Zech 2:10 "Shout and be glad, O
Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among
you," declares the LORD.
And He did in the person of Jesus.
Jesus claimed to be the supreme malakh of God.
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John
Jesus claimed that "Before Abraham was, I am"
Abraham called the Angel of the Lord as the judge of
mankind; and in John 5:22 Jesus says, "The Father
judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the
6 Who, being in very nature God, did
not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the
very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a
man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the
highest place and gave him the name that is above
10 that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Since man cannot see his face of glory and live, he put
on a face so that everyone can look, see and be saved.
Michael and the Angel of the Lord
There are several bible scholars who consider that the
Angel of the Lord as mentioned in the Old Testament is
the Archangel Michael who is the pre-incarnate form of
Jesus. The proof texts quoted are given below:
1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise
The shout of the Lord is equated with the voice of the
archangel. It is Jesus who raises the dead with his
voice as indicated in:
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the
hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves
shall hear his voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done
good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have
done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Hence they believe that Jesus must be an Archangel. But
it does not identify Him with Michael.
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with
the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not
bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The
Lord rebuke thee.
This passage is an echo of:
Zec 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the
high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and
Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke
thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem
rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the
While Michael is called the Archangel it does not
identify him with Jesus. On the other hand a one on one
conflict with Jesus and Satan would make Satan the equal
opponent with Jesus. Satan is a created being and only
a created similar angel will be the fair equal. There
is no evidence that Jesus contended for the body of
Moses anywhere in the scripture.
The major danger in this identification lies in the fact
that the equal adversaries in these passages are Satan
and Michael. Both are Archangels by species and must be
both created beings. This equal and opposite somehow
echoes the ideas of Gnostic and Zoroastrian idea of Good
and Evil Gods. As long as we have no clear evidence it
will be safer not to tread that road.
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia
withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one
of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained
there with the kings of Persia
The prince of the kingdom of Persia is a reference to
Satan, and Michael is called one of the chief Princes.
Unless the “Princes” refer to Trinity it is a far
fetched argument. Are there other princes? It is more
appropriate to assume that Michael is one of the many
Princes of the Heavenly host.
Dan 10:21 But I will show thee that which is noted in
the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth
with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Here the understanding of the scripture is given to
Gabriel along with Michael. Again the equation is with
a created angel Gabriel with Michael and that cannot
establish Michael as Jesus. Michael is the Angel in
charge of Israel. But Jesus is for all mankind.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his
angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought
and his angels, ..
Who leads the angelic host of heaven, who is their
Josh 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by
Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and,
behold, there stood a man over against him with his
sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and
said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Josh 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host
of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face
to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What
saith my lord unto his servant?
Josh 5:15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto
Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place
whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
The name Michael means “who (is) like God?”. It is
doubtful that we can determine the identity of the
person from the name given to the person.
On the basis of these correlations some believe that
Michael is just another title for the Son of God, the
pre-incarnate Jesus. However the argument rests on
slender parallels. The conclusive evidence of Lordship
and worship is totally missing in the specific cases
related to Michael.
Among those who believe that Michael is Jesus is the
Jehovah Witness who do not believe that Jesus is God.
It fits their theology very well. The Jehovah witnesses
say "Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael
is applied to God’s son before he left heaven to become
Jesus Christ." (Aid to bible understanding) "Michael the
Archangel, the first creation of Jehovah, before He came
to earth and returned to the identity of Michael after
his resurrection." (Aid To Bible Understanding, p.
Royce Bilusack in arguing against the Jehovah Witness
thesis collected 12 facts from proof texts referring to
Michael from the Bible as follows:
What do the Scriptures reveal about ‘MICHAEL’?
The SCRIPTURES (in 5 verses) only reveal 12 Facts about
Michael the Archangel.
According to the HEBREW Scriptures, MICHAEL:
is "ONE OF (echad) the foremost (rishown)
princes (sar)". Dan. 10:13
"came to help"
another angel. Dan. 10:13
is "the prince (sar) of you people".
is "the great (gadowl) prince (sar)".
"during that time... will stand up
(amad) in behalf of the sons of your people".
According to the GREEK Scriptures, MICHAEL :
is an "archangel". Jude 9
"had a difference with the Devil & was disputing about
"did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive
terms". Jude 9
"said: 'May Jehovah rebuke you.'"
was there when "war broke out in heaven".
"& his angels battled with the dragon... & its angels"
& won. Rev. 12:7
These references will only identify Michael as one of
the foremost princes among the Angelic group (usually
referred to as Arch Angel) who is in charge of Israel
and stands for their protection. It also indicates that
Michael was present during the War in Heaven when He
fought against the dragon and the evil angels. But those
characteristics in themselves are insufficient to
identity Michael as Jesus.
But consider the following verses:
Heb.1:4 "having become so much better
than the angels." Heb.1:5 "For to which of the angels
did he ever say "you are my Son today I have begotten
These definitely indicate that Jesus was not a created
angel, he was the begotten son. Because the Son has
the same nature as Father and it was Jesus who created
angels (Col.1:14-17, Jn.1:3)
Above all, Michael never received worship directly, nor
was he ever called as LORD anywhere. On the otherhand
the Angel of the LORD receives worship and was directly
addressed as the LORD through out His appearance. As
such the proof texts are insufficient to establish a
direct identification of Michael with Jesus.