Michael the Archangel
To begin, let’s look at the phrase *angel of the LORD* in the story of Moses and the burning bush-
Exodus 3:2 And the *angel of the LORD* appeared unto him 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.
Now in verses four and six, who is identified as being in the bush?-
Exodus 3:4 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.
Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, *I am* the God of thy 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.
Notice that the angel (messenger) of verse 2 is really none other than God Himself. This is confirmed in the New Testament-
Acts 7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an *angel of the Lord* in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
Now note the following-
Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, *I AM* THAT *I AM*: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, *I AM* hath sent me unto you.
When asked what His name is, the God of the patriarchs of the Old Testament replies *I AM*. Now look again in the New Testament-
Acts 7:32 Saying, *I am* the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.
John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, *I am*.
Jesus Christ had just identified Himself as the One who is the God of the Old Testament patriarchs, who was present in the burning bush speaking to Moses. Just for extra measure-
John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, *I am* he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, *I am* he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Jesus Christ again makes it clear He is the *I am*. Merely speaking the words made those present fall over. So the *angel of the Lord* and Jesus are identical to, and synonymous with, the *I am* that met Moses at the burning bush. Now look at the story of Hagar in Genesis-
Genesis 16:7 And the *angel of the LORD* found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 9 And the *angel of the LORD* said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10 And the *angel of the LORD* said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the *angel of the LORD* said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
Hagar has been visited and spoken to by the *angel of the Lord*, but look who she says it was-
Genesis 16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Again the *angel of the Lord* is actually none other than the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. Now a little later in Genesis-
Genesis 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the *angel of God* called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
Who would make a great nation of the lad? Surely not a mere angel, but actually Jesus Christ Himself. Now let’s look at the story of Abraham and Isaac-
Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
God speaks to Abraham, giving him instructions to follow. Look who speaks to Abraham next-
Gen 22:11 And the *angel of the LORD* called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
Gen 22:15 And the *angel of the LORD* called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
Gen 22:16 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 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Gen 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Who will bless Abraham and multiply his seed? Notice the transition from *angel of the LORD* in verse 15 to the LORD (Jesus Christ) in verse 16?
Now on to Jacob-
Gen 31:11 And the *angel of God* spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
Who does this messenger identify Himself as?-
Gen 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
This vow of Jacob’s is found in Gen 28-
Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
So the *angel of God* of Gen 31:11 is again none other than the LORD God (Jesus Christ).
Now to the Israelites in the wilderness-
Exo 14:19 And *the angel of God*, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
Who went before them?-
Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Zec 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, [that is] as the angel of the LORD before them.
1 Cor 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1 Cor 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1 Cor 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Again, the messenger or *angel of God* is the same as the LORD (Jesus Christ).
Now in the story of Balaam, we begin with God speaking directly to Balaam-
Num 22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
Then a transition from God to *angel of the LORD*-
Num 22:22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the *angel of the LORD* stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
So guess who was standing before Balaam? None other than Jesus Christ. The *angel of the LORD* is used many times in verses 23,24,25,26,31,32,34,35 and the LORD in verses 28,31. Then continuing in Chapter 23 God meets Balaam in verse 4 and the LORD is mentioned in verses 5 and 16. These titles are being used interchangeably. In each case it is again referring to the LORD Jesus Christ.
Now in the book of Judges-
Judg 2:1 And an *angel of the LORD* came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
By now this should be easy. Just who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and made the covenant with Israel that He would never break – *an angel of the LORD* or Jesus Christ, GOD Himself? Yes, the answer is both, one and the same.
Now look who visits Gideon later in Judges-
Judg 6:11 And there came an *angel of the LORD*, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
Note what this messenger (angel) says-
Judg 6:12 And the *angel of the LORD* appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
THE LORD IS WITH THEE … it was indeed Jesus with Gideon, note-
Judg 6:20 And the *angel of God* said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
Judg 6:21 Then the *angel of the LORD* put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the *angel of the LORD* departed out of his sight.
Judg 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an *angel of the LORD*, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an *angel of the LORD* face to face.
Now look who (again) speaks-
Judg 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Gideon had been speaking with the LORD Jesus Christ all along.
On to Judges 13-
Judg 13:3 And the *angel of the LORD* appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
*Angel of God/the Lord* appears in verses 9,13, and 15-18.
Note what Manoah asks in verse 17 and the answer in verse 18:
Judg 13:17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
Judg 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
The Hebrew word translated “secret” in the King James (H6383) also can mean “wonderful”. Note that this is a title for Jesus:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
So who had Manoah and his wife been speaking with?
Judg 13:21 But the *angel of the LORD* did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an *angel of the LORD*.
Judg 13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
In the instances I have cited, the phrase *angel of the LORD* or *angel of God* actually meant Jesus Christ, who is the *chief messenger (angel) of the LORD (God the Father)*.
Here is a further text to consider-
Gen 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
Gen 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
Gen 48:16 The *Angel which redeemed me* from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
Notice that Israel was talking about God and then transitioned to an angel-
God, — before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk
God — which fed me all my life long unto this day
The *Angel — which redeemed me* from all evil
(*the Angel* that) — bless the lads; and let my name be named on them
(*the Angel* that) — let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth
This is referring back to Gen 28:13-15 and the Lord’s promise to Jacob (Israel)-
Gen 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
So in Gen 48:16 Israel is speaking of God as a redeeming angel. Again, not angel the sense of a created being, but rather in the generic sense of the word, meaning messenger. What created angel could redeem anyone? None. Redemption is found only in Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, and that is exactly who Jacob (Israel) had been speaking with and about. Jesus was, and is, that redeeming angel (messenger) sent from God the Father. A similar passage referring to Jesus as a redeeming angel is in Isaiah:
Isaiah 63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
In Daniel, when the three Hebrew boys were cast into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the golden statue, not three but four figures were seen in the furnace:
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Now most Christians would agree that this was indeed Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who walked with them in the furnace, in a pre-incarnation appearance. Yet, verse 28, interestingly enough, describes the fourth figure as an angel:
Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his *angel*, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
The Angel of the Covenant
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
The messenger of the covenant spoken of here in Malachi is clearly a reference to Jesus Christ, and His first and second coming. The word translated as messenger in Mal 3:1 is the same word [H4397, mal’ak] used in the previous passages of the old testament where we saw the phrase angel of the Lord. So this would also be a proper translation:
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
In fact, this is how the Catholic Douay Rheims Bible translates this verse:
Christ shall come to his temple, and purify the priesthood. They that continue in their evil ways shall be punished: but true penitents shall receive a blessing.
Mal 3:1 Behold* I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.
* Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:17; and 7:27.
The first angel or messenger mentioned in the verse alludes to John the Baptist, who preceded Jesus Christ and prepared the way for Him, but the angel of the testament / covenant who comes to His temple is clearly Jesus Christ. So Jesus is described in scripture as the *angel or messenger of the covenant*. That covenant likely being the one made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, that a redeemer would come to rescue a fallen humanity, or in addition, as we have previously noted, it was Jesus who appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai in the burning bush, and He also gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on tables of stone, which were placed in the container known as the ark of the covenant.
Therefore, in Malachi both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ are referred to as angels, or messengers, in the broadest sense of the meaning of the word. An angel in scripture can simply be a messenger, without meaning the created heavenly winged-being that most associate with the term. This is the key point to be made, Jesus can be referred to as an angel (messenger) without detracting from His deity in any way at all.
So now, what of Michael the archangel? Is it so difficult to believe that he may actually be Jesus Christ? Let’s look at each instance he is mentioned in the Bible and see-
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #1
1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the *archangel*, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Who raises the dead with His voice? Not a created angel, indeed not even a created archangel. The shout is given with the voice of the *archangel*, the LORD Jesus Christ Himself:
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
It is the voice of Jesus Christ (the Son of man) that raises the dead. Just as 1 Th 4:16 says, the Lord Jesus shall descend from heaven and shout with the voice of the Archangel, because He is the Archangel. With that shout, the righteous dead will be raised from their graves!
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #2
Jude 1:9 Yet *Michael the archangel*, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
This verse is a virtual duplicate of another Old Testament event-
Zec 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the *angel of the LORD*, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
In both Jude 9 and Zech 3:1-2 it is Jesus, the *angel of the LORD* who is also *Michael the archangel*, contending with Satan for both Moses and Joshua.
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #3
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, *Michael*, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia
The prince of the kingdom of Persia is a reference to Satan, and Michael refers again to Jesus. It is the created angel Gabriel that is speaking with Daniel (See Dan 8:16, 9:21). The reference to Michael as one of the chief princes probably alludes to the Trinity, with Jesus being one part of the triune Godhead.
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #4
Dan 10:21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Gabriel says that only he and Michael know certain truths which Gabriel will reveal to Daniel. Who could this Michael be but Jesus, God Himself, giving Gabriel the truths to reveal to Daniel?
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #5
Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:
Michael standing up is a reference to the second coming of Jesus at the end of time.
Some might propose that, in these three preceding texts from Daniel, the description of Michael as a mere prince is inappropriate for Jesus, so it must be speaking of a created angel. Note the following verses:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Acts 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
ARCHANGEL / MICHAEL TEXT #6
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, …
Who leads the angelic host of heaven, who is their captain?
Josh 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as *captain of the host* of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
Notice that Joshua worshipped the *captain of the Host*? If this were a mere angel, then the angel would have protested Joshua worshipping him, just as the angel protested John the Revelator worshipping him (Rev 22:8-9). So Joshua met with God (Jesus Christ) the *captain of the Host*. That is why he stood on holy ground and was asked to remove his shoes (just like Moses was asked in Exo 3:5 and Acts 7:33). Therefore, in Rev 12:7 you have Satan and his angels, and Jesus (Michael, the *captain of the Host*) and His angels – this was the war that began in heaven and continues today.
And what does the name Michael mean? It means *who (is) like God?* A very good question indeed – who is like Jesus?
As this study shows, according to scriptures, Jesus is the angel of the LORD, the angel of God, the angel of the covenant, the Archangel Michael, who appeared time and again in the Old Testament to speak directly to His people. Michael is just another title for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, the principle messenger of the gospel (archangel) to humanity, but He is not a created being.
Church Fathers and Catholic Sources on Christophanies
Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons: Against Heresies book III, chapter 6:
2. Wherefore, as I have already stated, no other is named as God, or is called Lord, except Him who is God and Lord of all, who also said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM. And thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: He who is, hath sent me unto you;” and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who makes those that believe in His name the sons of God. And again, when the Son speaks to Moses, He says, “I am come down to deliver this people.” For it is He who descended and ascended for the salvation of men.
Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons: Against Heresies book IV, chapter 10:
1. … “For if ye had believed Moses, ye would also have believed Me; for he wrote of Me;” [saying this,] no doubt, because the Son of God is implanted everywhere throughout his writings: at one time, indeed, speaking with Abraham, when about to eat with him; at another time with Noah, giving to him the dimensions [of the ark]; at another; inquiring after Adam; at another, bringing down judgment upon the Sodomites; and again, when He becomes visible, and directs Jacob on his journey, and speaks with Moses from the bush.
ST. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA also says it was the Saviour who spoke from the burning bush:
“The Saviour has many tones of voice, and many methods for the salvation of men; by threatening He admonishes, by upbraiding He converts, by bewailing He pities, by the voice of song He cheers. He spake by the burning bush, for the men of that day needed signs and wonders.”
THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN MARTYR.
Chapter LXIII. – How God Appeared to Moses.
And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spake to Moses; whence the Spirit of prophecy, accusing them by Isaiah the prophet mentioned above, said “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know Me, and My people do not understand.”131 And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son revealeth Him.”132 Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle; for He declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our Lord Himself says, “He that heareth Me, heareth Him that sent Me.”133 From the writings of Moses also this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, “And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers; go down into Egypt, and bring forth My people.”134 And if you wish to learn what follows, you can do so from the same writings; for it is impossible to relate the whole here. But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God, having become man for the human race, He endured all the sufferings which the devils instigated the senseless Jews to inflict upon Him; who, though they have it expressly affirmed in the writings of Moses, “And the angel of God spake to Moses in a flame of fire in a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” yet maintain that He who said this was the Father and Creator of the universe.
Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 113:
” … I have proved that it was Jesus who appeared to and conversed with Moses, and Abraham, and all the other patriarchs without exception,…”
Entry on Angels, Catholic Encyclopedia online:
As an instance of how convinced some of the Fathers were in holding the opposite view, we may note Theodoret’s words (In Exod.): “The whole passage (Exodus 3) shows that it was God who appeared to him. But (Moses) called Him an angel in order to let us know that it was not God the Father whom he saw — for whose angel could the Father be? — but the Only-begotten Son, the Angel of great Counsel” (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., I, ii, 7; St. Irenaeus, Haer., iii, 6).
Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, Hist. Eccles., I, ii, 7
Chapter 2. Summary view of the pre-existence and divinity of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.
… You will perceive also from the same words that this was no other than he [Jesus] who talked with Moses. For the Scripture says in the same words and with reference to the same one, “When the Lord saw that he drew near to see, the Lord called to him out of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, What is it? And he said, Draw not nigh hither; loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And he said unto him, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
TERTULLIAN, AN ANSWER TO THE JEWS, (Adversus Iudaeos)
TRANSLATED BY THE REV. S. THELWALL.
CHAP. IX. — OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE BIRTH AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHRIST
… For He who ever spake to Moses was the Son of God Himself; who, too, was always seen.169 For God the Father none ever saw, and lived.170 And accordingly it is agreed that the Son of God Himself spake to Moses, and said to the people, “Behold, I send mine angel before thy” – that is, the people’s – “face, to guard thee on the march, and to introduce thee into the land which I have prepared thee: attend to him, and be not disobedient to him; for he hath not escaped171 thy notice, since my name is upon him.”172 For Joshua was to introduce the people into the land of promise, not Moses. Now He called him an “angel,” on account of the magnitude of the mighty deeds which he was to achieve (which mighty deeds Joshua the son of Nun did, and you yourselves read), and on account of his office of prophet announcing (to wit) the divine will; just as withal the Spirit, speaking in the person of the Father, calls the forerunner of Christ, John, a future “angel,” through the prophet: “Behold, I send mine angel before Thy” – that is, Christ’s – “face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”173 Nor is it a novel practice to the Holy Spirit to call those “angels” whom God has appointed as ministers of His power. For the same John is called not merely an “angel” of Christ, but withal a “lamp” shining before Christ: for David predicts, “I have prepared the lamp for my Christ;”174 and him Christ Himself, coming “to fulfil the prophets,”175 called so to the Jews. “He was,” He says, “the burning and shining lamp;”176 as being he who not merely “prepared His ways in the desert,”177 but withal, by pointing out “the Lamb of God,”178 illumined the minds of men by his heralding, so that they understood Him to be that Lamb whom Moses was wont to announce as destined to suffer. Thus, too, (was the son of Nun called) Joshua, on account of the future mystery179 of his name: for that name (He who spake with Moses) confirmed as His own which Himself had conferred on him, because He had bidden him thenceforth be called, not “angel” nor “Oshea,” but “Joshua.” Thus, therefore, each name is appropriate to the Christ of God-that He should be called Jesus as well (as Christ).
169 Comp. Num. xii. 5-8.
170 Comp. Ex. xxxiii. 20; John i. 18, xiv. 9; Col. i. 15; Heb. i. 3.
171 Oehler and others read “celavit”; but the correction of Fr. Junius and Rig., “celabit,” is certainly more agreeable to the LXX. and the Eng. ver.
172 Ex. xxiii. 20, 21.
173 Mal. iii. 1: comp. Matt. xi. 10; Mark i. 2; Luke vii. 27.
174 See Ps cxxxii. 17 (cxxi. 17 in LXX.).
175 Matt. v. 17, briefly; a very favourite reference with Tertullian.
176 John v. 35
177 Comp. reference 8, p. 232; and Isa. xl. 3, John i. 23.
178 See John i. 29, 36.
Bishop Melito of Sardis:
The Lord Jesus Christ is acknowledged as the perfect Reason, the Word of God; who was begotten before the light; who was Creator with the Father; who was the Fashioner of man; who was all things in all; Patriarch among the patriarchs, Law in the law, Chief Priest among the priests, King among the kings, Prophet among the prophets, Archangel among the angels;
New American Bible for Catholics, Exo 3:2 footnote:
2  An angel of the LORD: the visual form under which God appeared and spoke to men is referred to indifferently [without distinction] in some Old Testament texts either as God’s angel or as God himself. Cf Genesis 16:7, 13; Exodus 14:19, 24, 25; Numbers 22:22-35; Jdgs 6,11-18.
You must log in to post a comment.