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If they are identical, would this mean Jesus is a created angel or has always existed?

In these two verses, it appears clear that the angel of the LORD is identical to the LORD.

And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: (Gen 22:15-16)

Since the LORD has always existed, this means the angel of the LORD has always existed.

In this example, it seems clear enough that the two, angel of the LORD and God, are identical.

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him [Moses] 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. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 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. Exo 3:2-4

So, what is the relationship between the two?

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  • @curious how does the system allow for a Q to be reopened the exact opposite of the original intent when a valid answer was in place?
    – steveowen
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 1:00
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    @steveowen When you answered the question, the question was off-topic because it was unscoped. Try to avoid answering questions like that.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 1:26
  • Perhaps it should have remained closed then - if it could not remedied in line with intent? You didn't address the original query about system policy.
    – steveowen
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 1:30
  • @steveowen Questions are meant to be edited to make them on-topic. We definitely don't want to discourage that.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 1:03

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it is clear as crystal that the angel of the Lord/Jesus Christ is identified as the Lord God in His pre-existence before His incarnation in the New Testament. In fact, by you quoting Genesis 22;15-16 you have given the best proof of all in the entire Bible IMO. I will be happy to explain why.

Genesis 22:15-17, "Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven." (At Genesis 22:11 was the first time the angel of the Lord called from heaven.) vs16, and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord because you have done this thing, and not withheld your son, your only son, vs17, indeed I will greatly bless you and I will greatly multiply your seed as he stars of the heavens, and the sand which is on the seashore; and you seed shall possess the gate of his enemies."

Please notice from vs16 the words "and said." What did the angel of the Lord say? "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord etc." The following is from the book of Hebrews in the NT at Hebrews 6:13-16.

"For WHEN GOD made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, HE SWORE BY HIMSELF, vs14, saying, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply you." Vs15, And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. Vs16, For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them/men an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute."

Now, it is true that that, "The Law of Agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person.The information I just gave is from the Jewish Law of Agnecy/Shaliach found in the Jewish Encyclopedia, page 232.

However, from the Jewish Virtual Library the law of agency most if not all of the time deals with, "laws of mamonot (commercial law), or (heave offering), sacrifices, divorce, and betrothal etc. According to the Tosefta (Kid, 4:1), Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel agreed that a person appointed to carry out a specific mandate is disqualified from acting as a witness in a case involving such mandate. The agent/Shaliach is not regarded as the principal as himself since the agent is disqualified from testifying as a witness.

Swear means to state under oath. Swearing an oath is a matter of one's own conscience, therefore Angels cannot swear oaths on behalf of God Himself and Jesus Christ is not an angel but rather the "messenger of the Lord." Angels cannot multiply descendants but the angel of the Lord multiplied Hagars descendants at Genesis 16:10.

The angel of the Lord appeared in the burning bush at Exodus 3:2-6 and claimed to be God at vs6. He appeared to Joshua at Joshua 5:13-15 and said at Joshua 6:2, "And the Lord said to Joshua I have given you Jerico. At Judges 2:1, the3 angel of the Lord brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I HAVE SWORN to your fathers, and said I will never break My covenant."

To be sure, I could give many more references where the angel of the Lord intervened on behalf of Isarael and its people as a mediator. Lastly, there is Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me, And the LORD whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts." Who do you think this is? Also read Luke 1:68-79. As a side note, the angel of the Lord never appears in the New Testament as the angel of the Lord, although He is mentioned by Stephen at Acts 7.

The Hebrew word for angel is "malak." It means "Messenger, Sent One, Angel. The context determines how it is used. At Malachi 3:1, God says, I am going to send My angel/messenger, and he will clear the way before Me" This is referring to John the Baptist and John is not an angel. Continuing on with the verse, "And the Lord whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple;" This is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Continuing on. and the malak/angel/messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts." This is referring to "THE" angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ who is not an angel but the "messenger" of the Lord in the OT. As a side note, the prophet Malachi, (a human being) well his name is from the word "malak/messenger." Human prophets are messengers.

Now, the poster of this thread (SLM) immediately quoted Genesis 22:15-16 wanting to know, the identity of the angel of the Lord. When I address this issue, I use or post Genesis 22:15-16 last and then I quote Hebrews 6:13-17 which backs up the identity of the angel of the Lord as God. Why? Because it is God who swore the oath to Abraham and at Genesis it's the angel of the Lord who swore the oath, which means that the angel of the Lord is not an actual angel because it is proven from these text angels can't swear oaths on behalf of God. That's also why the text says God swore the oath, "By Myself."

Now, Anne ask a legitimate question from Genesis 22:15-16, but it was a question in isolation as it relates to the angel of the Lord. Personally, I always start this issue with Genesis 16:7. Why? Because this is the first mention of the angel of the Lord as the angel of the Lord.

He says to Hagar at Genesis 16:8, "Where have you come from and where are you going? At vs9, TAOL says, "Return to Sarai. Vs, TAOL says, "moreover, I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count." At vs11, he says, "Behold, you are with child and describes the child as a wild donkey of a man. In today's context Ishmael is the progenitor of the Arabs.

At vs13 Hagar says, "Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "Thou are a God who sees; for she said, "Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him." Now watch this? Genesis 17:1-5, "Now when Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to him. (this was a physical appearance).

I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. Vs2, And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly. Vs3, "And Abraham fell on his face and God talked with him, saying, Vs4, "As for Me, behold My covenant is with you, And you shall the father of a multitude of nations. Vs5, No longer shall you name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the Father of a multitude of nations."

So here's the question? Is the being that multiplied Hagar's descendants the same being who multiplied Abraham's descendants? The reason I know this was a physical appearance of God is from Genesis 17:22, "And when He finished talking with him/Abraham, God went up from Abraham."

The angel of the Lord also appeared (physically) again to Abraham at Genesis 18 along with two actual angels. All through Genesis 18 God and Abraham have an interesting conversation which you can read for yourselves. At Genesis 18:33, (the last verse) says, "And as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed; and Abraham returned to his place. What about the two angels? Genesis 19:1, "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening etc."

So now we know who the angel of the Lord is and what he did at Genesis 22:15-18. And as stated earlier, the angel of the Lord makes numerous appearances in the OT.

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  • The angel of the Lord never appears in the NT as the angel of the Lord? Could you elaborate?
    – SLM
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 4:47
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    Angels are mentioned numerous times in the New Testament, but “the angel of the Lord” is never mentioned in the New Testament after the birth of Christ.
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 13:06
  • I count 12 times when "angel of the Lord" is mentioned in the NT. Like at Acts 12:23, 5:19, Lk 2:9, Mt 2:19. What might this mean?
    – SLM
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 15:15
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    @SLM I will be more than happy to address this later this afternoon. To get you started please look up the definition of the words "an and a." Also look up the word "the" and note the difference between the two definitions. For example, at Acts 12:23 it specifically says, "an" angel of the Lord." Same with Acts 5:19 and so on. Will get into more detail later. Thank You!
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 15:28
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    @SLM The chief grammatical function of "an" or "a" is to connote a thing not previously noted or recognized, while "the" connotes a thing previously noted or recognized. And like I said in my answer "THE" angel of the Lord first appears as the angel of the Lord at Genesis 16:7. The verses you gave in the NT say "an" or "a" angel of the Lord. All the verses you gave me use, "an." Sometimes the name of an actual angel is used, like Michael or Gabriel. At Acts 12:7, "And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Peter rescuing him from Herod at vs11. I commend you for checking me out. Acts 17:11.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 22:18
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The two examples you give do not say that a visible angel was, actually, God. An angel's voice was heard by Abrham, and the angel reported God's message to Abrham, who saw neither an angel nor God but only a ram. In the second example, a flame of fire in the midst of a bush caught Moses' attention and, as he walked towards the startling sight (for the bush was not consumed), he saw the angel of the Lord in the flame, then God spoke to him "out of the midst of the bush". The voice of God seemed to be the voice of an angel.

The Bible often shows these heavenly messengers appearing on earth (or being heard on earth) but only rarely can a particular one be considered to be the pre-incarnate Christ. An example of that could be Judges 13:3-23 when "The angel of the Lord appeared to" the-then sterile wife of Manoah, assuring her of a baby (who would be Samson). I emphasised 'The' because after the visitation, the woman told Manoah, "A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome." There's a progression of human ideas in this account, beginning with a man of God, leading to an angel, ending up with belief that it was God himself they had seen, and spoken with! But the Bible identifies him as "The angel of the Lord".

It is what this awesome one said at the next visit that gives the basis for understanding this to be the pre-incarnate Christ. Manoah was present the second time. He still did not think this man to be the angel of the Lord (vs. 16). He asked for his name, so as to honour him when the baby was born. He got this reply:

"Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding." Now, the Hebrew can also be translated as 'Wonderful', which it is in Isaiah 9:6, when one of the names of the future Messiah would be "Wonderful". Then, this awesome one ascended up into the sky in the flame of the animal sacrifice on the altar Manoah made. At that, he exclaimed, "We are doomed! We have seen God!". Well, no, they had not, otherwise they would have been struck dead, as his wife sensibly pointed out, rather, the sacrifice had been accepted, and they lived to have the promised baby.

This is redolent with meaning, which is also in Genesis 32, after Jacob had wrestled all night with a man. At dawn, the man told Jacob his name would be changed to Israel "for you have struggled with God and with men and you have overcome." Jacob said, 'Please tell me your name.' But he replied, 'Why do you ask my name?' (vss.24-29) "So Jacob called the place Peniel, 'because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'." (vs. 30)

Note the same progression in the accounts? First a man, then the name being too wonderful to tell humans, and angelic events leading the people to conclude that it was actually God who had visited them, in the guise of what appeared to be a man, an angelic one. Those provide two reasons for Protestants thinking The angel of the Lord (not just any or all angels) was the pre-incarnate Christ, but the New Testament gives the confirmation.

In the Book of the Revelation, the risen, glorified Christ takes various forms. First, John hears a voice, causing him to turn round where he sees "someone like the Son of Man" among seven golden lampstands. Sight of this awesome One caused John to drop at his feet as though dead. This glorified, risen Christ reassured John (but when he later fell at the feet of an angel, that angel rebuked John). Then Christ appears as a Lamb that had been slaughtered, standing in the midst of God's throne in heaven. He also appears as a rider on a white horse, identified as the Word of God, and also as an angel but "like the Son of Man", wearing a golden crown and sitting on a cloud. Surely, we get it by now?

However, it's misleading to ask if this angel is identical with the pre-incarnate Christ, so meaning Jesus is a created angel. A reading of Hebrews chapter 1 shows that Jesus is no created angel, for he created all the angels (John 1:1-3)! All God's angels are to worship Christ (Heb.1:6). But there are reasons why Protestants see a few, rare events depicting the pre-incarnate Christ as "The angel of the Lord", as a term that helps humans understand how God sometimes chooses to draw close, to convey his message and to do wondrous things. More could be said in that regard respecting the pillar of cloud and the pillar of flame leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness, and the three visitors to Abrham at Mamre, but I hope someone else will cover that. I'm not here to write a chapter in a book!

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    When the definite article “the” is used, it is specifying a unique being, separate from other angels. The angel of the Lord speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the responsibilities of God (Genesis 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Exodus 3:2; Judges 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Samuel 24:16; Zechariah 1:12; 3:1; 12:8). Does this mean a Theophany, as opposed to a Christophony?
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 13:10
  • @Lesley I could not say. Really, I've only raised a few points that should make us wonder. But venturing into this realm is, as Moses was told, to stand on holy ground. I may have said too much as it is, so I certainly won't say any more!
    – Anne
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 13:50
  • @Anne Just so you know Anne, I improved my answer to address your concerns about the visibility of the angel of the Lord and hearing only his voice. What I find interesting is why does God allow the angel of the Lord to call out from heaven two times when God Himself on various occasions calls out from heaven? Please read Exodus 20:22, Deuteronomy 4:35-36, and in the NT at Mark 1:11. Regarding your last paragraph about asking if the angel of the Lord is identical etc. I would have said, "is the angel of the Lord the same person as Jesus Christ? Of course my answer would be yes.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 22:55

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