The Angel of the Lord

by John A. Kohler, III

 

In Old Testament times, special appearances of the angel of the Lord were sometimes made. The angel of the Lord is not an ordinary angel or a created being, but the Lord Jesus Christ in a pre-incarnate state, manifesting Himself in the form of a Christophany.

 

I. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Hagar (Gen. 16:7-16)

A. He personally promised to multiply Hagarís seed exceedingly (v. 10).

B. The one who spoke to her was the Lord or Jehovah (v. 13).

C. She addressed him as God or Elohim and expressed surprise that she had seen Him and lived (v. 13).

 

II. The angel of the Lord spoke to Abraham from Heaven (Gen. 22:10-19).

A. He instructed Abraham not to harm his son Isaac (w. 11-12).

B. He commended Abraham for not withholding his only son from him (v. 12).

 

III. The angel of the Lord spoke to Jacob in a dream (Gen. 31:11-13).

A. He identified Himself as the God of Bethel (v. 13).

B. He instructed Jacob to leave the land of Syria and return to the land of his kindred (v. 13).

 

IV. The angel of the Lord wrestled with Jacob (Gen. 32:24-32).

A. He was not just a man (v. 24), but an angel (Gen. 48:16; Hos. 12:4).

B. Jacob recognized him as God (v. 30).

 

V. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-17).

A. The angel of the Lord was Jehovah God Himself (v.4).

B. He instructed Moses to take off his shoes as an act of worship (v. 5; cf. Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9).

C. He identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and as the great I AM (w. 13-14).

 

VI. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon (Jdgs. 6:11-24).

A. This angel is identified as Jehovah (w. 14, 16, 23-24).

B. Gideon knew that he had seen a visible manifestation of Jehovah Elohim (v. 22).

 

VII. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Samsonís parents (Jdgs. 13:1-23).

A. He informed them that His name was secret (v. 18).

B. They thought they would die because they had seen God (v. 22).