Thursday, July 27, 2006

God's Strange Angel IV: Looking for Evidence of the Trinity in the Tanakh

The Angel and the Book of Judges

In the following passage, the angel of the LORD says he brought Israel out of Egypt and he mentions
his covenant with Israel.

Judges 2:1-4
1Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore
to give to your fathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you,
2and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land;
you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? 3So now I say, I will not drive them out
before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you." 4As soon as the angel of the LORD spoke
these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.

In the following text, the angel of the LORD appears to Gideon. When Gideon realizes the person who appeared to him is the angel of the LORD, he is afraid for his life. Why? He has seen the angel's face.

It seems there is something more in Gideon's mind.

You cannot see God's face and live. (Exodus 33:20) Gideon equates seeing the angel with seeing God Himself.

Judges 6:11-24

11Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating
out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with
you, O mighty man of valor." 13And Gideon said to him, "Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where
are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has
forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian." 14And the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours and save Israel from
the hand of Midian; do not I send you?" 15And he said to him, "Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in
Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." 16And the LORD said to him, "But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as
one man." 17And he said to him, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speaks with me. 18Please
do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you." And he said, "I will stay till you return."

19So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20And the angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them." And he did so. 21Then the angel of the LORD reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight. 22Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face." 23But the LORD said to him, "Peace
be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die."
24Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.

Again, when the angel of the LORD appears to Manoah and his wife, they identify the
angel as God Himself.

Judges 13:15-23

15Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you." 16And 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.) 17And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "What is your name, so that, when your words come
true, we may honor you?" 18And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?" 19So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the LORD, to the one who works[a] wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground.

21The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. 22And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, for we have seen God." 23But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such
things as these."


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