Lord and Angel of the Lord

Gen 16:10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

1 And the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim.

And he said: '… I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which **I ** swore unto your fathers; and I said: I will never break **My **covenant with you; 2 and ye shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall break down their altars; but ye have not hearkened unto **My **voice; what is this ye have done? …

Gen 17:9 And **God **said unto Abraham, Thou shall keep **My **covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations

In Gen 17:9, God Himself is speaking to Abraham but in the first 2 examples, the angel of the Lord is speaking in the first person as if he were God?
Can anyone give me a correct approach (Jewish or Christian) to understanding why an angel is speaking as if he were God and sometime adressed interchangeably with God??

And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he shall be a wild *** of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’ 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said:** ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’**

Hagar calls the angel God of seeing and is equating seeing the angel of the Lord with seeing the Lord and wondering why she’s still living?

I understand that an angel speaks on behalf of God so that is not what am stuck with, if my question makes any sense.

Oh another question please bear with me. Why is it “The” angel and not “an” angel? is this angel identified by name in any passage?

The context of the passage in question always determines what the term “angel” means. Generally, as a rule of thumb, when the Old Testament refers to the Angel of the Lord, it is, in fact, not one of the heavenly hosts, but is actually the pre-incarnate Christ. Several statements both in the Old Testament and New Testament make this much clearer. However, when the Old Testament references an angel in general terms, or specific terms, such as an angel of death, this is indeed one of the cherubim, seraphim, etc.

In the case of Hagar, yes; it was indeed the pre-incarnate Christ she had witnessed.

Thank you TriuneUnity. This is what i read while googling it but i was not successful in finding a Jewish answer to my questions.

You’re very welcome, inJESUS :slight_smile:

Here are some other passages along this thread that will bring the Genesis passages to light.

Compare Judges 13:15-18, 21-22: Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.) And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” … The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”

With Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Also compare Exodus 14:19: Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.

With 1 Corinthians 10:1-4: For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Exodus 3:2: And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

This also shows that the angel of the Lord and God Himself are synonomous terms.


In the Angelology of Judaism, a certain angel named Metatron (sometimes spelled “Mitatron”) plays a prominent role. Metatron is charged with acting as G-d’s agent[2] the in daily upkeep of Earth in Olam HaZeh (“This World,” in comparison to Olam Habah, “The World To Come”). The Talmud[3] writes that before the destruction of the Holy Temple, Metatron was charged with the Torah education of all Jewish children[4]. Nachmanides writes[5] that Metatron was the angel who redeemed the Jews from their servitude in Egypt. Metatron was the being who showed Moses the Land of Israel[6], who was sent by Balak to greet Balaam[7], and in front of whom Cyrus[8], Devorah, and Barak[9] appeared. According to the Midrash[10], Metatron was the one who punished the Egyptians and liberated the enslaved Jews. Rabbi Akiva—who met Metatron— summed up[11] the angel’s role as being the “Officer of Torah.” This angel’s role is so important that some have mistakenly confused the angel for HaShem Himself. However, such a classification is heresy, and one who follows such ideas is an apostate. Metatron is subservient to G-d Himself and HaShem has shown His control and power over this angel. Historically, a few men have actually made such a mistake. Some explain that the actual identity of Metatron is that of Chanoch (Enoch) son of Yered[12].

Sometimes an angel delivering a divine message can act in such a way that it appears as though it were God Himself who is speaking. The angel that appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos for example spoke in such a manner that john though it was God Himslef that was speaking, and tried to worship him; but the angel forbade it:

Revelation 19:

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 22:

9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Sometimes, however, the context makes it clear that by the “angel of the Lord” it is the Lord Himself that is referred to, as in this example:

Exodus 3:

2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

The expression “angel of the Lord” occurs 64 times in the Bible. This search result finds you all of them, quoted in their proper context, which is useful for detailed study.

I don’t think that “the angel of the Lord” refers to a specific angel. Any angel who is acting as God’s messenger could appear in that way.


Thank you all for the answer. I will think about them.

TriuneUnity, i want to thank you for the paralellism between what Paul said and the OT…

My guess is that what was important in the eyes of the Biblical writer was that this angel was a messenger speaking on behalf of the One true God, probably at a time when there were no distinctions made between one angel of God and another angel of God. It was an angel of the One true God, so maybe the writer thought there was only one angel speaking on behalf of the One true God then?

This angel’s role is so important that some have mistakenly confused the angel for HaShem Himself. However, such a classification is heresy, and one who follows such ideas is an apostate.

ok, if this is heresy, why would God allow an angel to speak as if he were God?

So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, ‘I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.’ Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh” (Genesis 32:24-31).

Not only Jacob says he saw God face to face (while he did not), but he even continued to say that his life has been preserved!

33:20: “there shall no man see me, and live.”

God does not mention angels here so why does Jacob and Hagar say exactly the same yet about an angel?? if confusing the Lord with the angel is blasphemy, aren’t these people guilty of it?

I would suspect a Jewish response would be that the interpretation of the Torah is not meant to be done in private, in the alone-ness of one’s own imaginings; but rather the Torah is to be interpreted in line with Jewish tradition – thus, even though the angel might seem to be speaking as if he were God, the narrative should not be interpreted in that way, because Jewish tradition does not interpret it that way.

fair enough, but i see that rabbis did not agree unanimously about this topic, some were even called heretics for stating that the angel is equal to the Lord.On what basis were they called heretics? and why would God allow a creature to be called the God of Israel? the redeemer of Israel? and where does the Bible identify this angel as a created being, for example?

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said…

I mean, they are so used interchangeably in too many passages that one wonders on what basis is it called heresy? seeing it from a Jewish perspective, i can see why they call it as such, but the problem is that they are calling heresy what God repeats in too many passages as not heresy:confused:

Notice that in these verses, it’s not explicitly said that it was the Angel of the Lord who spoke to Moses from the bush. The Angel certainly appeared to Moses, but to say that the Angel is the one speaking later on, is not supported by the scripture cited.

it says the Angel appeared in the bush and the Lord spoke from the same place. What other interpretation could there be to this coincidence?

You’re interpreting, filling in blanks. Your intepretation might make some sort of sense, but just because your interpretation makes sense, doesn’t mean that the scripture directly supports your interpretation.

Another interpretation is that the Angel was there to get Moses’ attention. Once the attention was gotten, then Moses would have a reason to pay closer attention to what was going on inside the bush.

From a Jewish perspective, when scripture appears to call an angel “God”, that is not to be taken literally; rather, it symbolizes God’s power to work through that angel, not that that angel is actually “God”:

Though the older writings usually mention one angel of the Lord, embassies to men as a rule comprised several messengers. The inference, however, is not to be drawn that by http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/volume1/V01p583008.jpg God Himself or one particular angel was designated: the expression was given simply to God’s power to accomplish through but one angel any deed, however wonderful.

all this is fine, but based on what are these interpretations given? i mean, is there any passage that shows without a doubt that the interpretation given is the correct one and the rabbis who equalled the angel with the Lord, as the text itself implies, are the blasphemous ones?

You’re assuming that Judaism operates on a sola scriptura basis. It doesn’t. :slight_smile:

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