There are many people today who are crazy about angels. Some claim they have seen angels and others decorate their house with pictures, statues and figurines. I went to one day care that was run by the Catholics and it said this place is protected by a guardian angel. There are a lot of misconceptions about angels and some them come from shows like touched by angel. Every time the word “angel” is used in the Bible it always in masculine sense. However, we know from Mat. 22:30 that angels do not marry.


As fascinating as these heavenly angels are we will not be specifically looking at them today. Instead our lesson for today is for us to determine who is the Angel of the Lord in the OT? Depending on your Bible version sometimes this person will be referred to as the angel of the Lord, the angel of God, the angel of Jehovah or simply the angel in singular form.


The Hebrew word from which we get the word Angel is used 214 times in the OT and its definition is this: Messenger, representative or angel.


So we need to understand that sometimes this word is used to refer to a heavenly messenger and other times it is used to refer to an earthly messenger. The context of the scriptures will let you know which one is being talked about. So, it is important for us to understand that word simply means messenger or representative and that it does not mean a heavenly messenger every time is used in the Bible.


Again our main focus is to unravel the clues to find out who is the angel of the Lord in the OT because when you begin to study this topic you will discover that the angel of the Lord stands in a class all by himself.


In our study I want to establish 3 things about the angel of the Lord.

  1. He has characteristics of deity.
  2. He is distinguished from another person designated as Lord or Jehovah.
  3. The messenger of Jehovah is the pre-incarnate word, which is Jesus Christ.
  • You will see the AOTL making oaths that only deity can.
  • You will see the term AOTL and Lord be used to refer to the same person.
  • You will see people that encounter the AOTL that state they have seen God.
  • We will see him accept worship and he will even claim himself as being God.
  • However, we will never see him referred to as God the Father.


Now we won’t have time to look at every single instance that the angel of Lord is used but we will be looking at enough instances that will help us to see the 3 points that I want to make about him. Let us begin with the first time the angel of the Lord is mentioned in the OT.



Hagar is the 1st person that has contact with the angel of the Lord. Sarah is unable to become pregnant so she gives her maid to Abraham so that he might have children. Well Hagar becomes pregnant and this make Sarah very jealous and she deals with her harshly so Hagar runs away.


Genesis 16:6 So Abram said to Sarai, "Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please." And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.  7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.  8 And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai."  9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand."  10 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude."  


The first thing I want you to notice is that the angel of the Lord said I will multiply your descendants. No ordinary angel could make such a claim. Now they might say God has said he will multiply your descendents but that is not what see happening here because the messenger or representative of God has said I will. Now lets continue on to,


11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.  12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."  13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"


Notice Hagar’s response is that the angel of the Lord is the God who sees. As we continue on in our study you find that this is a typical response of those who encounter the angel of the Lord.


Next, Hagar finds herself in another bad situation. Sarah wants Abraham to cast out Hagar and her son. Now Abraham isn’t too happy about the situation but God tells him to listen to Sarah and that Hagar and her son will be ok as we read in,


Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.  10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac."  11 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.  12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.  13 "Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed."  14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

In verse 13 we see that God is telling Abraham that he will make a Issac and great nation just as the Angel of Lord had stated he would do earlier. Well after Hagar and her son are kicked out of the camp and they are close to dieing when the Angel of the Lord speaks to her again.


Genesis 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, "What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.  18 "Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation."


Here we can see that the angel of the Lord is heaven with God and yet it is the angel of the Lord who once again says I will make him a great nation. Who else could make this kind of promise other than Deity? When we get to the end of this lesson tonight I will show you that the most logical choice is that that angel of the Lord is Jesus and not the farther nor the Holy Spirit. So, I believe in the text we just looked at that God is referring to the father and the angel of the Lord is referring to Jesus before he became flesh.


Abraham has 3 different encounters with the AOL. We are going to look at the most famous one where God tests Abraham’s faith.


Genesis 22:1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."  2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."  3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.  5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."  6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.  7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"  8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.  9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."  12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."  13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.  14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided."


First of all I want to point just how faithful Abraham was. Here had waited for a long time have this son and now as verse 2 says God wants Abraham to sacrifice his only son to him and Abraham had enough faith that he was willing to do this. But, things get real interesting as you look at verse 12 after the Angel of the Lord stops Abraham from slaying his son. Now please remember that verse 2 says that God is the one testing Abraham yet we find that AOL saying, “now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."  Please notice that the AOL says from me. In other words the angel of the Lord is the one that Abraham didn’t sacrifice his son to and since the AOL had the authority to stop Abraham’s sacrifice shows that he is Deity. Now watch what happens as continue on in verse,


Genesis 22:15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,  16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son --   17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.  18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."


Here we see the angel of the Lord swearing by himself because he had no one higher to swear by.


Hebrews 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,  14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."


 Again this very clearly shows us that the angel of the Lord was deity and he says the reason why he was receiving this blessing was because he obeyed his voice. Again only deity  could make such a promise.


Next we find out that Jacob has 2 encounters with the AOL. First let me give you a little bit background to his first encounter with the angel of the Lord. Jacob was running from his brother Esau because Esau wanted to kill him. Jacob spends the night at a place called Luz that he ends up calling Bethany we read about this in,


Genesis 28:10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.  11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.  12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.  14 "Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.  15 "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you."  16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."  17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!"  18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.  19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.


Please keep in mind verse 13 said that Lord God was the one speaking to Jacob.


Now after this Jacob continues on his journey and falls in love with Rachel and goes to work for his uncle Laban. Jacob gets tricked and ends up with Leah 1st then Rachel.

After Jacob had served Laban for 20 years he decides to leave and he convinces his wife’s to leave by telling them that God had commanded him to do so. Laban had been taking advantage of  Jacob the whole time he served him. So Jacob made a deal that he would keep the streaked or spotted of the flock. Of course all that were born were spotted or streaked because God had intervened. 


Genesis 31:10 "And it happened, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted.  11 "Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, 'Jacob.' And I said, 'Here I am.'  12 "And He said, 'Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.  13 'I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.'


So here we have the AOG saying that he is the God of Bethel which once again shows that the angel of God is deity.


Jacob 2nd encounter with the AOL is when he wrestles a man that was actual God


Genesis 32:22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok.  23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had.  24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.  25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.  26 And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"  27 So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob."  28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."  29 Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there.  30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."  31 Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.  32 Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob's hip in the muscle that shrank.


Here we see that Jacob was wrestling with God and we do not find the word “angel” anywhere in this text. However about 1000 years later we find out more information about this wrestling match in,


Hosea 12:3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, And in his strength he struggled with God.  4 Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, And there He spoke to us --  5 That is, the LORD God of hosts. The LORD is His memorable name.


Here we have Jacob wrestling with this man who ends up being an angel who Jacob claims in God. So, logically we have the angel of the Lord who is Deity wrestling with Jacob and he claims him to be God just as Hagar did earlier in our lesson.


At the end of Jacobs life he blesses Joseph then he calls on God to bless Josephs 2 sons but they way he does it is a little bit unusual.


Genesis 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said: "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,  16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."


It should be obvious that the angel mentioned here is God or Deity as well. In fact you back up to verse 3 will see that Jacob call the angel of the Lord God almighty.


Genesis 48:3  Then Jacob said to Joseph: "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, …


 Now remember the AOL said that he was this God in Luz or we could say Bethany in the verses we looked earlier in Gen. 31:10ff


A good question to answer right now, Can the messenger of the Lord and the Lord both be designated as the Lord? The answer is Yes because we have some instances of where this done in the same verse.


Isaiah 44:6 " Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.  


Here we have 2 different people being spoken of but both are called Lord.


Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."


Hebrews 1:8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.  9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."


When you look at the root form of the word Lord which is “havah” it means “to be” or “being” which means deity is self existent, so it would be an appropriate term for any of the persons in the Godhead. In fact all 3 persons of the Godhead are referred to as God in the NT. So there should be no problem in seeing that more than one person can be called God, Lord or Jehovah.


Next we find  that Moses encounters the AOTL in the burning bush.


Exodus 3:2 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.  3 Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."  4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."  5 Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."  6 Moreover He said, "I am the God of your 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.


Now in verses  2 and 4 either the burning bush was getting crowded or the term Lord, God, and AOTL refer to the same person. The statement that is made in verse 6 is the same statement the AOTL has already made to Jacob back in Gen 28:13 because he claims to be the God of Bethel Gen. 31:13. Now look at,


Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "


Here Moses ask for his name and he says I AM WHO I AM or simply I AM. What is very interesting about this is that Jesus presents himself as I AM in,


John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."  57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"  58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."


Of course “I AM” means “to be” which means that Jesus has always existed and therefore he is the one the best fits as being the angel of the Lord of the OT because by his own confession he is the I AM.


Stephen also mentions this event in his sermon starting in Acts 7:30-36 where he just retells the story and mentions in verse 35 that the children of Israel would be delivered by the hand of the angel that appeared to Moses in the burning bush. But, what is really interesting is what verse 38 says,


Acts 7:38  "This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us,


There was only 1 time a voice from heaven spoke to Moses and the people at Mount Sinai. It was when the law was given. It was the Angel who was God that spoke these things in Exod 20:1-19 Just look at the first 2 verses,


Exodus 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:  2 " I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


The AOTL is the one who lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the land of milk and honey.


The Lord went before them

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

It was the angel of God

Exodus 14:19  And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.

The angel was sent it was not the father

Numbers 20:16  'When we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice and sent the Angel and brought us up out of Egypt


Now watch this,

Judges 2:1 Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you.  2 'And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?  3 "Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.' "



So we know that the angel of the Lord is not the father and yet he is deity because once again he speaking of himself as making this covenant and how they had not obeyed his voice. Then Paul gives us another hint that the AOTL that lead them out of Egypt was Jesus.


1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,  2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,  3 all ate the same spiritual food,  4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.


According to Paul Jesus was there with them and from these other verses we can see that Jesus was the Angel of the Lord.


We have another example of  the AOTL deity in the story of Balaam and the donkey in Numbers 22. In this story Balak wants to hire Balaam to curse the children of Israel but God tells him in verse 12 not to curse the children of Israel or go with Balak’s men. Balak doesn’t give up and sends more men to get Balaam and apparently it was in Balaam’s heart to go so God tells him in verse 20 go ahead go but only speak the words which I tell you. Now, God had already told him not to go but because he desired to go God let him and this angered the Lord and we see the AOL is involved in this event as we pick up in,


Numbers 22:22 Then God's anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.  23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road.  24 Then the Angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.  25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her again.  26 Then the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.  27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam's anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.  28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"  29 And Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!"  30 So the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?" And he said, "No."  31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.  32 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.  33 "The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live."  34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back."  35 Then the Angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.  36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory.  37 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?"  38 And Balaam said to Balak, "Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak."


So first we find out it was God that told him to only speak what he said in verse 20 and then the AOTL makes this same statement in verse 35 Balaam shows us that words of the AOTL is the word of God which again shows his deity.


In our next 2 examples we will see that the AOTL accepts worship and an offering and this clearly shows us that the AOTL was not a created angel nor was it a man because the N.T. makes it clear that the only one to be worshiped is God. This is why an Angel told John in Rev 22:8-9 as he tried to worship him and this is what Peter told Cornelius when tried to worship him in Acts 10:25-26



Judges 6:11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.  12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!"  13 Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."  14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?"  15 So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."  16 And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man."  17 Then he said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.  18 "Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You." And He said, "I will wait until you come back."  19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them.  20 The Angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so.  21 Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.  22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face."  23 Then the LORD said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die."


Notice how the AOTL and Lord are used interchangeably.

12: The AOTL speaks to Gideon

14: Then it’s the Lord

20: Angel of God

21: Back to the AOTL

23: The Lord


18: In this verse the AOTL is going to accept an offering made to him. Again, this is only something that could be done to God yet the AOTL doesn’t correct him and accepts it because he is deity.


Many of those who have studied this out also believe that the AOTL is the same person that spoke to Joshua in.


Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?"  14 So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?"  15 Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.


This certainly seems to be talking about the same person described as the AOTL because here he is accepting worship and he is called lord and even makes the same statement that AOTL did to Moses telling him to take of his sandals because the place he was at was holy.


Samson parents also have a conversation with the angel of the Lord and they claim that he is God as well.


Judges 13:2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.  3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.  4 "Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.  5 "For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."  6 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.  7 "And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.' "  8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, "O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born."  9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her.  10 Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, "Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!"  11 So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, "Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?" And He said, "I am."  12 Manoah said, "Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy's rule of life, and his work?"  13 So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful.  14 "She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe."


Now we have an unfair advantage because the writer is letting us know that the angel of the Lord is saying these things but Sampson’s parents simply think that he is a man of God. Now watch what happens next.


Judges 13:15 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You."  16 And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD." (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)  17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?"  18 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?"


See they didn’t understand that they were talking to the AOTL and he was not going to eat with them but tell them they can offer up this goat as offering. When they inquire of his name he literally tells them his name is a secret.


Judges 13:19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on --  20 it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar -- the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.  21 When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.  22 And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"  23 But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time."


Now our text does not tells how Manoah understood at this point that this was the angel of the Lord but we can see that both of them have the same reaction as the others that encountered him. They realized they had seen God and lived. Now notice the last 2 verses.


Judges 13:24 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.  25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.


If I am correct about the identity of the Angel of the Lord then we can see all 3 members of the Godhead at work here in Samson birth because this last verse is defiantly referring to the Holy Spirit.


Another interesting occurrence happens in the story of Meshach Shadrach and Abed-Nego. We know that these 3 men would not bow down to the image that King Nebuchadnezzar and he had them thrown into the fiery furnace which was 7 times hotter than usually. As the king was watching as these 3 men were thrown into the flames notice what he observes in,


Daniel 3:25 "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."  26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here." Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.  27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.  28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!


Now we are not told what kind of knowledge the King had about God or how he concluded that this 4th person was like the son of God or an Angel but we do know that he understood that Daniels God was the God of Gods after Daniel was able to interpret his dream.  


Daniel 2:47  The king answered Daniel, and said, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret."


Daniel may have taught the King many things about God we simply do not know. But, many believe that the 4th person the king saw was the angel of The Lord which of course would be Jesus before he became flesh. Whoever this angel is was also the same angel that shut the mouth of the lions in Dan. 6:21-22.


It also interesting to note that this angel of the Lord that we have been looking at disappears when we get into the N.T. Now you find the phrase angel of the Lord several time in the NT but other than reference made to the O.T. the angel of the Lord in the N.T. doesn’t show any Characteristics of Deity and the reason why I believe this to be the case is because Jesus became flesh and no longer appeared as man because he became a man.


There are certainly more examples that we could look at from the O.T. that involved the angel of the Lord, but I think we have looked at enough to show that he certainly was not a man and he wasn’t a mere angel because he did things and said things that only Deity could do. Those who met him certainly thought he was God.


So as we come to the end of our lesson I want to show you why Jesus is the most logical candidate for being the angel of the Lord.


First of all God the Father has never been seen by man.


John 1:18  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.


But what about those instances in the OT where people said they had saw God. Well, as we have seen sometimes they said this when the saw the AOTL. Other times it appears they say this about the father. But what you will notice in these instances is that they simply saw a manifestation of his glory.


Exodus 33:20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."  21 And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.  22 "So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.  23 "Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."


However, Jesus has seen Him as He is and He declares Him.


Colossians 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.


Hebrews 1:3  …the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…


So no one has seen the father but people have seen Jesus. The Holy Spirit is also God but as far as I know we never see the Holy Spirit appearing to people as a man. In fact the only time that I aware of where anyone saw the Holy Spirit was when John Baptists saw him descending on Jesus like a dove when Jesus was baptized Mat.3:16. The Holy Spirit’s work mainly consisted of being the power behind the miracles and causing people to speak the oracles of God Acts 1:8; 1Cor. 2:10ff


So the best person that fits the angel of the Lord is Jesus after all He said that he was the I Am in John 8:58 which was the same thing the AOL said to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. Paul said he was there in the wilderness with the children of Israel 1 Cor. 10:4 and so was the Angel of the Lord who was guiding and protecting the children of Israel Judges 2:1. We always find Jesus caring out the will of the father and so all these Characteristics that Jesus had best fits this messenger of God in the OT called the angel of the Lord.


Now this is certainly not a topic that would jeopardize someone salvation but none the less I find it to be a very fascinating topic and I hope you have found it to be interesting as well. Not only do I think these verses I have shown you today identity who the AOTL is in the O.T. it also shows us that the entire Godhead has always been active in our lives since the beginning of time and will continue to be part of our lives even after Jesus comes because those who are faithful will be with them for eternity in heaven.