The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Caricature of Rick Sawyer pointing to the paragraphPlease Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

Caricature of Professor Rick Sawyer pointing at the text“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout this website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture — both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings.  I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah, nor do I consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

The Angel of Yehovah

The literal translation of both the Hebrew (מֲלְאָךְ, malak) and Greek (ἄγγελος, angelos) words rendered “angel” in the Scriptures is “messenger” and is frequently used in conjunction with the Sacred name יְהוָ֖ה.[GN] Thus the phrase “יְהוָ֖ה מַלְאַ֣ךְ (malek YHVH)” can also be rendered as “messenger of Yehovah” (messenger of YHWH, Adonai, Lord) or, as pointed out in Baker’s article below, when used with the definite article (“the”) the Angel of Yehovah is recognized as Yehovah Himself by those to whom He speaks, and He accepts their worship. Created angels, on the other hand, always correct those who offer them worship (e.g., Rev. 19:10, Rev. 22:8-9).

In Zechariah 3:1-10 (for example) Joshua the High Priest is standing before the Angel of Yehovah and ha-satan“the accuser,” Satan[GN] is accusing him. Certainly ha-satan would not be accusing HaShem’s High Priest to another created angel. When the Angel of Yehovah then speaks both to HaSatan and to Joshua, the Scripture says that it is Yehovah Who is speaking.

When an angel of Yehovah (without the definite article) appears to men, there is no record of worship being offered by the person to whom God’s message is being delivered, without that person being corrected by the angel. While it is true that the rules of logic dictate that no conclusion should be drawn from the absence of evidence, I nevertheless conclude from the preponderance of scriptural evidence that when used with the definite article, the Angel of Yehovah is referring to the pre-incarnate Messiah, or God the Son.  

Appearances of The Angel of Yehovah

These are appearances not of angels, but of Yehovah Himself, so they are not considered “angelic” appearances.

  1. To Hagar in the wilderness (Gen 16:7-11; 21:14-21)
  2. To Avraham at the Binding of Yitz’chak on Mt. Zion (Gen 22:11-18)
  3. To Jacob in a dream (Gen 31:10-13)
  4. To Moshe in the Burning Bush (Exod 3:2-6)
  5. To Balaam and his Donkey (Num 22:22-35)
  6. To the People of Israel at the Red Sea (Exod 14:19)
  7. To the People of Israel at Bolchim (Judges 2:1-5)
  8. To Gideon at Ophrah (Judges 6:11-27)
  9. To the parents of Samson (Judges 13)
  10. To David at the Threshing Floor that would be the site of the Temple (2Sam 24:15-17; 1Chron 21:12-18)
  11. To Elijah in the wilderness (1Kings 19:1-8)
  12. To Elijah concerning King Ahaziah (2Kings 1:1-4)
  13. The Angel of Yehovah strikes 185,000 Assyrians (2Kings 19:32-37; Isa 37:36)
  14. With Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go in the fiery furnace (Dan 3:25-28)
  15. To Zechariah at night (Zech 1:8-13)
  16. To Zechariah in a vision (Zech 3:1-6; Zech 4:1-2)
  17. As “Captain of Yehovah’s Host“ or “Commander of Yehovah’s Army” to Y'hoshua near Yericho (We know this was Yehovah because He accepted Y'hoshua’s worship; angels do not) (Josh 5:13-15)

“Angel of the Lord
from Smith's Bible Dictionary

The special form in which God manifested himself to man, and hence Christ’s visible form before the incarnation. (Gen 16:7, et al)

Compare Acts 7:30-38 with the corresponding Old-Testament history; and (Gen 18:1; 18:13-14; 18:33; and Gen 19:1 )

(Smith,  Dr. William. “Angel of the Lord,” Smith’s Bible Dictionary. 1901.)

“Angel of the Lord”
from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology.

(Heb. mal'ak yehwah). Supernatural being who bears a message on behalf of God. In many passages in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord is identified with God, while in other instances a distinction is made between the Lord and the angel. In general, however, the terms "the angel of the Lord," "the Lord," and "God" are interchangeable.

The angel of the Lord is the messenger of both good and evil. He comes to Hagar after she has fled from the abusive Sarai (Gen 16:7-14) to assure her that God has heard about her misery and that her descendants will be too numerous to count. She names him "You are the God who sees me" (v. 13). The angel of the Lord pronounces a curse on the people of Meroz, because they refused to come to the help of the Lord (Jud 5:23).

The angel of the Lord executes judgment on behalf of the Lord. He puts to death 185, 000 Assyrian soldiers in their camp, thereby saving Jerusalem from decimation (2Ki 19:35).

The angel of the Lord both commissions and commends God's servants. The commander of the Lord's army commissions Joshua to undertake the Lord's battles for Canaan, just as Moses had been commissioned to confront Pharaoh (Joshua 5:13-15; cf. Exod 3:5). The angel of the Lord appears to Abraham. He stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and commends him because he has not withheld his only son from God (Gen 22:11-18). Abraham identifies the angel as God, calling the place "The Lord Will Provide."

The angel of the Lord carries out a ministry of reconciliation. He asks how long God will withhold mercy from Jerusalem and Judah (Zehc 1:12).

The connection between the angel of the Lord and the preincarnate appearance of the Messiah cannot be denied. Manoah meets the angel of the Lord, and declares that he has seen God. The angel accepts worship from Manoah and his wife as no mere angel, and refers to himself as "Wonderful, " the same term applied to the coming deliverer in Isaiah 9:6 (Jud 13:9-22). The functions of the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of Jesus. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the angel of the Lord; the Messiah himself is this person.

Louis Goldberg

See also Theophany

   A. Bowling, TWOT, 1:464-65;
   G. B. Funderburk, ZPEB, 1:160-66;
   J. B. Payne, Theology of the Older Testament.
   Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell. Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Originally posted on Sundy, 14 November 2021.

Page last updated on Friday, 12 April 2024 02:28 PM
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Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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