I had the “joy” of seeing another fallacy christians make about God’s emissaries.
I read an article written by Jews who had rejected the Torah to adopt idolatry, Jews for Jesus. In it, they claim that there is an entity known as “the Angel of the Lord,” which is a special deputy that, because this representative of God has the rights an representative would have, speaking God’s word in his authority, they mistake for being God Himself. This “Angel,” according to these people, appeared a number of times to people like Hagar and Gideon.
Now I already stated that Jesus never claimed he was this angel. He never gave these acolytes and devotees authorisation to force his identity on the emissary that appears in the Jewish Bible. So their claims are pure unauthorised speculation. I also showed that, if Jesus is God as they claim, then since it is called “God’s angel/deputy” in the text, it is as much an angel of Jesus as it is an angel of the father. So it makes no sense to have this emissary of Jesus actually be Jesus.
But with all that aside, these people make another unwarranted assumption when they force this special deputy into existence.
In the text of the Jewish Bible, God has many “angels.” In Genesis 19, two of His emissaries arrive to save Lot. Multiple emissaries meet with Jacob in Genesis 32. God assembles many angels in Job 1. So God has many supernatural agents.
Whenever this “THE Angel of the Lord” is mentioned in the Jewish Bible, there is never a definite article in the text in the Hebrew. It may say “malakh HaShem” (I’m not going to transliterate God’s special name so that’s why I use the substitute word “HaShem”), or “malakh elohim.” Both of these could just as simply be understood as “an angel of God” or “an angel of the Lord.” There is no definite article in the Hebrew to say THE angel of the Lord.
So knowing that God has many angels, the question comes up, what clear and explicit piece of evidence shows that the deputy of God that appeared to Hagar is the same one that appeared to Gideon or the one that appeared to Abraham and Jacob? It’s not that many angelic appearances have an emissary speaking for God because that’s what a representative or a messenger does. Any supernatural messenger would have that connection to Deity. Any messenger saying “ I’m gonna bless your offspring” is still a messenger conveying the message of the Sender. Any messenger saying “you didn’t withhold your only son from me” is still a messenger conveying a message from the Sender. Any deputy has the authority of the person who sent him. Any emissary has the authority given to him by the one who commissioned him. A representative … represents.
And these messengers don’t normally have names. So it’s not like this is a messenger saying to Hagar, “Hey, I’m Nigel, the ONLY special Angel (with a capital A) from God,” and then this same messenger comes to Abraham and says “hey, it’s me, Nigel again,” and then appears to Gideon saying, “Don’t be afraid because it’s me, Nigel again.” There is no such explicit evidence.
So again, where is the evidence from the text of the Hebrew Bible that this is one and the same angel?
There is no such evidence. This is a speculating christian once again forcing a claim in the text that isn’t even there. A king with a myriad of messengers isn’t limited to sending one or giving his authority to one.
So like many of these christian claims, this claim of a singular “The Angel of the Lord” is without foundation in the Jewish Bible.