When you arrive in the land…

Exodus 23:14-33

Our passage begins with a mention of the three pilgrimage festivals, the Festival of Matzos (Passover), Festival of the Harvest (Shavuot/Weeks) and Festival of the Ingathering (Sukkot/Booths). God requires that during these three festivals, which coincide with the agricultural cycle of the year, His people bring specific sacrifices to His place of worship.

 

From there, God promises He will send an angel before the nation to protect them on their way to the Promised Land. If the people follow God’s commands, the angel will pave the way before them to settle in the land, and God will shower them with blessings. He will strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, bless their fields and their wombs. He enjoins the nation not to learn from the worship of the current inhabitants of the land to serve other gods.

 

God says the nation will become increased and inherit the land. As the Israel Bible points out, we are seeing the fulfilment of this success in our time, as the once-desolate land blossoms under the Jewish return to the land and the country benefits from spiritual, economic and technological success.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think God says He will send an angel before the nation instead of saying He will take them into the land? Based on his description, do you think this angel is metaphysical or human?

 

Comments ( 5 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • H.23:20 – 23 are very intriguing verses. “I send an angel…..” It must be maybe “Angel” for He has ‘the power to forgive sins’ and “My NAME is in Him” so I decided in all ignorance that It must be an emanation of the HOLY ONE (B”H)). Meant is probably that HaShem will take care of everything. All will be arranged in favour of His people.

  • This is an interesting question. I even wondered if it is worth paying attention to. Of course it is important because every jot and tittle (letter) in the Torah is important. I would think that the Angel of the Lord here is the pre-incarnate Christ because the verse that talks about Him also reveals that He has power to pardon sin. It says: "…do not rebel against Him for He is not going to pardon your transgression…". Only Yahweh has the power to pardon transgression hence my argument that He is the pre-incarnate Christ. On the question of whether He was metaphysical or in human form, I am not sure.

  • This verse could definitely be referring to Moses. He is referred to as a ‘Malakh” (angel) at times, for example Numbers 20:16.

  • Diana Brown

    In my 1973 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word ‘angel’ can mean these things….
    Angel is translated from the Hebrew mal’akh, from the Old French angele, from Late Latin angelus and from the Greek angelos to mean messenger.
    The messenger can be a spiritual, immortal being ruled by the Lord God. This messenger relays words from the Lord God to men. That is his job and he does it without opinion or emotion.
    Humans can also be commissioned to spread the word. Prophets and Priest were the ultimate examples of this. Nations use military aircraft as messengers to drop leaflets of impending military action.
    We know Rahab of Jericho heard of the Israelites and their God who fought for them before she ever saw an Israelite. I assume that was by word of mouth.
    In this Torah portion, I think the Angel Gabriel may have been involved initially.
    Then the word of mouth from man to man followed once Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt and began to have victories as they entered the Land. If the Torah says, the Angel of the Lord, Christians know that means the Pre-Incarnate Christ. We also know Gabriel is the Archangel over Israel.
    The Archangel Michael could have been involved in delivering messages to the nations as well.

  • Jesse

    I certainly believe that melekha Adonai is metaphysical as it says that the fear of God would accompany him as he advances toward the land and goes against Israel’s enemies. Since what’s being described here is a war of the gods with Elohim being the dominant force (spoilers!) I think it only makes sense to get a glimpse as to the purpose of this angel’s advance: to make war against the gods of the Canaanites and to give the victory to Israel.

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