Who is Malakh YHWH (‘the Angel of the LORD’)?

A common perception of an "angel" is a cute winged chubby baby, something as innocuous as a fairy, or a passive messenger. "The angel of the LORD" — Malakh YHWH in Hebrew — is a quite different figure that shows up throughout the Bible with massive power and authority. Who is he?

Food for thought from the recorded discussion

Gen. 16:7-14 is the first reference to Malakh YHWH (Strong’s lexicon Nos. 4367 + 3068) when He spoke to Hagar. This title is used over 100 times in the Bible and it is always in the singular form. 

Gen. 22:11 — Malakh YHVH orders Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac. Notice that when Malakh YHWH spoke with Abraham, He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now aI know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Gen. 22:16 — Malakh YHWH speaks as though He is YHWH Himself. 

Ex. 3:2 — Malakh YHWH reveals Himself to Moses for the first time. What does the term Horeb mean? Was Moses afraid to look at the bush or of God?

Num. 22:23-35 — Malakh YHWH first appeared to the donkey before He appeared to Balaam. 

Judges 2 — Malakh YHWH appears to Joshua. We see that the Malakh YHWH travelled from Gilgal to Bochim to appear to Joshua and the people of Israel.

Judges 13 — Malakh YHWH appeared to Manoah’s mother to tell her about Samson. How did Manoah’s wife describe the being who appeared to her? When did Manoah and his wife realize the identity of the being who appeared to them?

Is this angel the same as Gabriel? Is this angel the same as Michael?

Ex. 23:20-33 — What is “within” Malakh YHWH? (See how the word qereb, translated “that is in him” or “within him,” is used in Genesis 24; Ex. 17:7; Jer. 9:8. Qereb is defined in Strong’s 7130.)

2nd Sam. 24 — Does Malakh YHWH pardon? (See Malachi 3, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 12, Proverbs 1, Isaiah 63 (called “the angel of His Presence”).)

Speaker: Richard Agee


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