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The Angel of Jehovah is occasionally mentioned in the Word, and everywhere, when in a good sense, represents and signifies some essential in the Lord and from the Lord; but what he represents and signifies may be seen from the connection. They were angels who were sent to men, and who spoke through the prophets; yet what they spoke was not from the angels, but through them, for the state of the latter was then such that they knew not but that they were Jehovah, that is, the Lord; but as soon as they had done speaking, they returned into their former state, and spoke as from themselves.

[2] This was the case with the angels who spoke the Word of the Lord, as has been given me to know from much similar experience in the other life, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. This is the reason why the angels were sometimes called Jehovah; as is very evident from the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush, of whom it is written:--

And the Angel of Jehovah appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, and God called unto him out of the midst of the bush. God said unto Moses, I am that I am. And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the sons of Israel Jehovah, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you (Exod. 3:2, 4, 11, 15)

from which it is evident that it was an angel who appeared to Moses as a flame in the bush, and that he spoke as Jehovah because the Lord or Jehovah spoke through him.

[3] For in order that the speaking may come to man by words of articulate sound and in ultimate nature, the Lord makes use of the ministry of angels, filling them with the Divine, and lulling the things which are their own; so that at the time they do not know but that they themselves are Jehovah. In this way the Divine of Jehovah, which is in the highest things, passes down into the lowest of nature, in which lowest is man in respect to sight and hearing. 80 it was with the angel who spoke to Gideon, of whom it is thus said in the book of Judges:--

The Angel of Jehovah appeared unto Gideon, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of strength. And Gideon said unto him, In me, my Lord; why then is all this befallen us? And Jehovah looked upon him, and said, Go in thy might; and Jehovah said unto him, Surely I will be with thee (Judges 6:12, 14, 16)

and it is afterwards said:--

And Gideon saw that he was the Angel of Jehovah, and Gideon said, Ah, Lord Jehovah, forasmuch as I have seen the Angel of Jehovah face to face. And Jehovah said unto him, peace be unto thee; fear not (Judges 6:22, 23).

In this case also it was an angel, but he was then in such a state that he did not know otherwise than that he was Jehovah or the Lord.

[4] So in another place in the book of Judges:--

The Angel of Jehovah went up from Gilgal to Bochim, and he said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers, and I said, I will not make void My covenant with you to eternity (Judges 2:1)

where in like manner an angel speaks in the name of Jehovah, saying that he had led them up out of the land of Egypt, when yet the angel did not lead them out, but Jehovah, as is declared many times elsewhere. From all this we may see how angels spoke through the prophets, namely, that Jehovah Himself spoke, but through angels, and the angels spoke nothing from themselves. That the Word is from the Lord, is evident from many passages, as in Matthew:--

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son (Matthew 1:22, 23),

besides other passages. As when the Lord speaks with men He speaks through angels, therefore sometimes in the Word the Lord is also called an Angel, and then by Angel, as already said, there is signified some essential thing in the Lord and from the Lord; as, in the present case, the Lord's interior thought; and therefore also the angel is called in this chapter Jehovah and also God, as in (verse 13): and Hagar called the name of Jehovah that was speaking unto her, Thou God seest me.

[5] In other places likewise some special attribute of the Lord is signified by angels. As in John:--

The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches (Rev. 1:20).

There are no angels of churches, but by the angels is signified that which is of the church, thus that which is of the Lord in respect to the churches. And again:--

I saw the wall of the Holy Jerusalem great and high, having twelve gates, and upon the gates twelve angels, and names written which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel (Rev. 21:12)

where by the twelve angels the same is signified as by the twelve tribes, namely, all things of faith, and thus the Lord, from whom is faith and all that is of faith. And again:--

And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the eternal gospel (Rev. 14:6)

where by the angel is signified the gospel, which is the Lord's alone.

[6] In Isaiah:--

The Angel of His faces saved them in His love and in His pity He redeemed them and He bare them and carried them all the days of eternity (Isaiah 63:9)

where by the Angel of His faces is meant the Lord's mercy toward the whole human race, in redeeming them. So too it was said by Jacob when he blessed the sons of Joseph:--

The Angel who redeemed me from all evil bless the lads (Gen. 48:16)

where also redemption, which is the Lord's, is signified by the Angel. In Malachi:--

The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire (Malachi 3:1)

it is here plainly evident that the Lord is signified by the Angel, since He is called the Angel of the covenant on account of His advent. And even more plainly does it appear that the Lord is signified by an Angel in Exodus:--

Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee to the place which I have prepared. He will not endure your transgression, for My name is in the midst of him (Exodus 23:20, 21).

Hence now it is evident that by Angel in the Word is meant the Lord; but what of the Lord, appears from the series and connection in the internal sense.

AC 1925

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info