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Angels

1st September 2008, mgh

 

2) Balaam the prophet sees an Angel

Angels can be in a room and we don't see them. They can make themselves appear to us as they wish. Balaam, in 1452BCE, on a journey to curse Israel is hurt when his donkey refuses to go forward. Balaam is shown why the donkey will not go forward,

Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. (Numbers 22:31)

The Angel looks like a person and carries a sword. The sword is ready for action to kill Balaam. From this we learn Angels may carry swords.

Gideon sees a Man who proves He is an Angel

Angels can sit at rest. One sat down to appear to Gideon in 1323BCE.

There came an angel of Yahweh, and sat under an oak.. Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Then the Angel makes himself appear.

The angel of Yahweh appeared unto him, and said unto him, “Yahweh is with you, you mighty man of valour.”

Gideon addresses him as an honoured human leader, or prophet.

And he (Gideon) said unto him, “If now I have found grace in your sight, then show me a sign that you talk with me. Depart not, I pray you, until I come unto you, and bring forth my present”... Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes.. 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. Then the angel of Yahweh 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 Yahweh departed out of his sight. And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of Yahweh, Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of Yahweh face to face”. (Judges 6:11-22)

Gideon doubted that the person speaking to him had the authority of Yahweh, and wanted proof. This shows that the Angel appeared as another human. The Angel causes fire to come from rock, then vanishes.

An Angel Ascends in fire

Manoah, the father of the famous strong man Sampson, and his wife had no child. About 1220BC an angel appeared to the wife, and said to her, “you shall conceive, and bear a son... he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines”. Manoah's wife then describes the Angel.

“A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not from where he was, neither told he me his name”...

The Angel looks like a man, but glows, and Manoah asked Yahweh, “O my Lord, let the man of God which you did send come again unto us”. He comes again, and Manoah's wife calls her husband saying, “Behold, the man has appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day”.

Then Manoah asks the Angel to stay to eat a lamb. The angel replies,

“Though you detain me, I will not eat of your bread: and if you will offer a burnt offering, you must offer it unto Yahweh”.

The Bible again says that they thought the angel was a human prophet,

For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of Yahweh. And Manoah said unto the angel of Yahweh, “What is your name, that when your sayings come to pass we may do you honour?” And the angel of Yahweh said unto him, “Why ask you so after my name, seeing it is secret?”
Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto Yahweh: and the angel did wondrously... For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of Yahweh did no more appear.. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of Yahweh. (Judges 13:2-21)

Some facts emerge from this,

Destroying Angels

Balaam saw an angel with a sword and Angels sometimes destroy those who disobey Yahweh. In 1048BCE many die at the hands of angels in Israel as the result of their sin due to King David's actions.

God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, Yahweh beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of Yahweh stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. (1Chron 21:15-16). (2Samuel 24:16-17)

A Nourishing Angel

When Elijah the prophet is persecuted and pursued by Queen Jezebel in about 850BC, he eats food that is prepared by an angel,

he arose, and ran for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, “It is enough; now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers”.
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, “Arise and eat”. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of Yahweh came again the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee”. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. (1Kings 19:1-8)

Angel's food releases extraordinary power. We are told that the Manna the Israelites ate in the wilderness was “Angel's food”.

And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full. (Psalm 78:24-25)

Though on a journey the Israelites feet did not swell (Deut 8:4).

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