{Speaker <Person Angel of the Lord>} vs {Speaker <Person God>}

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Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 17 2017 3:35 AM

Today I was a bit surprised while searching a term within the utterances of God in Genesis, that Gen 22:17 did not appear in the results. Upon closer examination, I found out that the text is labelled as having the Angel of the Lord as speaker. Now, it is true that the speaker is referred to as the Angel of the Lord in the text, but it is equally true that it is understood that the utterance in question is God's.

When I look up who is the speaker in Isaiah 1, the text is labelled with God as speaker, not the messenger, Isaiah. So, it is a bit inconsistent.

Now, of course, it may be desirable in the context of some studies to distinguish between the messengers and the person they represent. I am wondering if in the case of the Angel of the Lord and passages in which it is clear that it is an utterance of God, it might be best to label the text with both as speakers?

I know that this could open also a can of worms: should Jesus' words also be labelled as God's? Should prophecies be labelled as both the prophet's and God's words? But it seems to me that at least in the case of the Angel of the Lord for which it has long be recognised that it is often difficult to determine whether it is not an actual theophany, it seems legitimate to proceed as proposed.  

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 17 2017 9:26 AM

Francis:
When I look up who is the speaker in Isaiah 1, the text is labelled with God as speaker, not the messenger, Isaiah. So, it is a bit inconsistent.

I don't think so. Is 1:2 (NLT) This is what the Lord says: "The children I raised and cared for ...

Francis:
I am wondering if in the case of the Angel of the Lord and passages in which it is clear that it is an utterance of God, it might be best to label the text with both as speakers?

Zech 3:1-4 (LEB) And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh; and Satan was standing on his right to accuse him. 2 But Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebukes you, O Satan! Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebukes you! Is this not a stick snatched from the fire?” 3 And Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and was standing before the angel. 4 And he answered and said to the ones standing before him, saying

In v2 the Lord shows Joshua standing before the Angel, but the Lord is attributed as speaking to Satan. Then in v4 the Angel speaks to the ones (an Angel) standing before him (God/the Angel)!

That's difficult enough to assign persons!

Zech 3:6-7 (LEB)  6 And the angel of Yahweh assured Joshua, saying, 7 “Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘If you will walk in my ways ...

This is the only instance where the speech of the Angel of the Lord intersects the speech of the Lord.

Josh 5:15 (LEB) The commander of Yahweh’s army said to Joshua,

Here the speaker is the Angel of the Lord.

In the NT the Angel of the Lord speaking is usually an angel.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 17 2017 9:58 AM

Genesis 22:11–12 

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 26 2017 3:52 AM

Another interesting instance is Genesis 31:12 which has for speakers God and Jacob (who is telling his wife what God told him). Yet the previous verse introduces this as what the angel of God said, so one would expect that if Jacob can be put as speaker in verse 12, so should the angel of God. Oddly, neither God nor the angel of God are labelled as speakers in v. 11 although the word "Jacob!" is spoken. 

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 26 2017 9:02 AM

Our strategy here has been to label the explicitly mentioned speaker, since that's the least subject to interpretation. I recognize that sometimes means missing results for an implicit speaker. I don't see any easy way to accomplish that without a lot of effort and subjective interpretation.

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