A Messenger Who Is Also God?

  Anyone who has read and studied the Bible for a sufficient amount of time knows that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is One God. There are not two gods, or three gods or four gods. There is only One True God.

  But the Old Testament (the Jewish Tanakh) teaches the Complex Unity of Yahweh God, contrary to the claims of its Unitarian critics. We find one more example of this in Jacob's final blessing on Joseph, as recorded by Moses:

Genesis 48

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:
     The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
     the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,

16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—

     may He bless these boys.
     And may they be called by my name
     and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
     and may they grow to be numerous within the land.

  Note that this passage is found not in the New Testament, but in the Book of Genesis which is part of the Pentateuch, the 5 books written by Moses. And this is Jacob speaking -- the very same Jacob mentioned in the phrase "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." This is that Jacob praying that:

 - the God before Whom his fathers walked

 - the God Who has been his Shepherd all his life  

 - the Angel who has redeemed him from all harm...

  may He bless these boys.

  Jacob says God plus the Angel equals a "He."

  Not a "They."

  A He.

  Since many have different ideas about angels and what they look like, it may help to point out that the Hebrew word used by Moses in that verse was the word, "malakh," which simply means "messenger." This is someone who takes on a human form that humans can relate to and understand. The word does not necessarily indicate that He is a winged, sword-bearing angelic being. He is simply One Who is sent by God.

  So why do Jacob and, by implication Moses, say that this Messenger is God?

  Several times in the Old Testament a figure in the form of a man appears Who is addressed as God. At times He is called the Angel (Malakh) of the Lord. 
This is the same Messenger with whom Jacob wrestled. The Messenger Who then says to him:

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.”

But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.” Genesis 32

  Jacob walked away from that encounter with the Messenger, some say limping for the rest of his life, and says, "... I have seen God face to face."

  The prophet Hosea concurs as to the identity of the Messenger:

 2 The Lord also has a dispute with Judah.
    He is about to punish Jacob according to his ways;
    He will repay him based on his actions.

 3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel,

    and as an adult he wrestled with God. Hosea 12

  In his prayer of blessing, Jacob the patriarch melds God and the Person of the Angel into one Being. How can God and the Angel be one and the same Being? How can both be God yet at the same time remain a singular being? It is simple. It is because the God of the Bible is a God of Complex Unity, as the pages of His book teach. 

  More than a thousand years after Jacob's prayer, about 400 years before the Logos (Word) of God comes to earth and takes on human form, Yahweh speaks through the prophet Malachi about two messengers who are to come:

 1 “See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts." Malachi 3

  We find the fulfillment of this prophecy in the Gospels, where Jesus identifies the first messenger spoken of in the verse as John the Baptist, and Himself as the Second. 

  Jesus says that He is the Lord ("ha adon" in Hebrew, a title which is used only for God) described in Malachi 3. He is the Lord Israel seeks Who will come to His temple. Jesus says He is the Divine Messenger of the covenant they desire (for more, see "Jesus is Malachi's YHWH" and the other resources linked to below). And He proved it with His death and resurrection.

  Is Jesus God?   

  Without a doubt!

  With thanks to Dr. Michael Heiser for pointing the passage out and discussing it (interview video link is below).

See also:

  Jesus is Malachi's YHWH


  The God Who Walks the Earth


  Dr. Darrell Bock and Dr. Michael S. Heiser discuss The Unseen Realm 


  Jesus, the Divine Messenger of the Old Testament, Part I, by Anthony Rogers


  Part 2


  Part 3a


  Part 3b



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