Is the Angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament the Lord Jesus Christ? -- By: Daniel G. Finestone

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 095:379 (Jul 1938)
Article: Is the Angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament the Lord Jesus Christ?
Author: Daniel G. Finestone


Is the Angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament the Lord Jesus Christ?

Daniel G. Finestone

The Deity, in Old Testament times, revealed Himself to man in varied forms. There were occasions when He manifested Himself through the elements of nature, such as fire and cloud. At other times He was seen of men in the form of a created being, such as man or angel. Our study is concerned with the latter form of this self-revelation of God.

In the form of man, God appeared to Abraham upon the plains of Mamre; as He did also to Jacob at the Brook Jabbok. But perhaps the more frequent mode of theophany found in the Old Testament is seen in the appearances of “The Angel of Jehovah.”

The Angel of Jehovah is recorded to have appeared twice to Hagar (Gen 16, 21), once to Abraham (Gen 22), also to Balaam (Num 22), to Gideon (Judg 6), to Manoah and his wife (Judg 13). He was present at the judgment upon Israel, after David’s numbering of the people (2 Sam 24); and is the agent of destruction to Sennacherib’s army (1 Chron 21). In vision Zechariah sees Him as judging between Joshua, the High Priest of Israel and Satan their accuser (Zech 3); and as the One who intervenes in behalf of Israel’s restoration after their seventy years of captivity (Zech 1). The Psalmist refers to Him as the deliverer of His people and the antagonist of their enemies (Psalms 34, 35). This close relationship to the Covenant People of God, is perhaps the reason He is sometimes called “The Angel of the Covenant.”

Other designations of the Angel of Jehovah are found in

the names “The Angel of His Presence,” “Mine Angel,” “The Angel of God.” all doubtless referring to the same Divine Being.

It will be observed that without exception the appearances of the Angel of Jehovah are always in connection with Israel’s destiny. Other forms of theophanies have to do with crises in the history of the rebellion of man against the authority of God, as at the Garden of Eden and Sodom and Gomorrah. These appearances of the Angel of Jehovah, however, are linked with the guidance of the Chosen People in times of need, and with their protection in times of distress...

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