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January 14, 2012

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Q: Who is the Angel of the LORD?

A: Christians generally agree that many Old Testament passages that mention “the Angel of the Lord” are appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ (Christ before He came in the flesh). Here are some of the characteristics of this “Angel” as given in the various passages:

  • The “Angel” is referred to with masculine pronouns (Genesis 16:13; Judges 6:21).
  • He is identified as God (Judges 6:11, 14; Zechariah 12:8).
  • He performed miracles (Judges 6:21; 13:20).
  • Gideon and Manoah thought they would die because they saw the “Angel” face to face (Judges 6:22; 13:22).
  • The “Angel” accurately foretold future events (Judges 13:3).
  • His name is “wonderful” (Judges 13:18; cf., Isaiah 9:6).
  • He destroyed 185,000 soldiers of the Assyrian army in one night (2 Kings 19:35).

While angels have occasionally performed some of these actions, such as miracles and prophecy, there are clear examples when “the Angel of the Lord” cannot be viewed as a normal angel. He is occasionally identified as God, accepted worship, and at least two people who saw Him thought they would die for seeing Him face to face. These same attributes and activities are clearly attributed to God elsewhere in Scripture.

Continue reading to learn more about this topic and how angels are described in Scripture.

News to Note Quick Look

The story of us: The History Channel’s new 12-hour mini-series, “Mankind the Story of All of Us,” will debut later this year. The project’s executive producer, Jane Root, says it will be a “real action-adventure” program starting with the big bang and tracing “the development of humans on a planet where the vast majority of species go extinct.” Read more.

Cold edits: Puerto Rican neurophysiologists puzzling over how polar organisms “evolved structural changes to compensate for their thermal environment” have been surprised and delighted to discover the secret of the Antarctic octopus and its Arctic cousins. Read more.


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