Exodus 3:3-6:

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up." 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." 5 "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father,[1] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

I found this Q&A, which partially addresses the question; however, after reading the answers there, I was still a little confused.

Why does He appear to call the same being both God and the "angel of the Lord"? Or is this really two different entities as the linked question seems to suggest?

3 Answers 3


"Angel of the LORD" often (not always) refers to the LORD (Jehovah) Himself, probably Jesus in particular. Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-17, 32:24-30, 48:16, Ex 3:2-6, 32:34, Num 22:22-35, Josh 5:13-15, Judg 2:1-4, 6:11-23, 13:3-23, Isa 63:9, Dan 3:25, 28, Hos 12:4, 5, Zech 3:1-7, Mal 3:1.

Similarly, a closely related phrase, “Angel of God” often refers to God as in Gen 6:13, 8:15, 9:8, 17, 15:13, 17:3, 4, 21:12, 16-21, 35:1, 10, Ex 4:3-8, 6:2, 23:20, 21, Deut 1:6, 1 Kings 12:22, etc.

"angel" simply means "messenger" and some of the messages to mankind are delivered by Jehovah Himself, making Him an angel in the technical sense. The fact that such messages are delivered by God underlines the importance of these messages.

Ellicott comments on Ex 3:2 as follows:

The angel of the Lord.--Heb., an angel of Jehovah. In Exodus 3:4 the angel is called both "Jehovah and "Elohim," whence it is concluded, with reason, that it was the Second Person of the Trinity who appeared to Moses.

The Pulpit commentary also observes:

The angel of the Lord. Literally, "an angel of Jehovah." Taking the whole narrative altogether, we are justified in concluding that the appearance was that of "the Angel of the Covenant" or" the Second Person of the Trinity himself;" but this is not stated nor implied in the present verse. We learn it from what follows.


The following is what I posted yesterday on this subject. Why does the angel say “not withheld from me” in Genesis 22?

The short answer is because "THE" angel of the Lord is God in the person of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15 clearly identifies Jesus Christ as "the image of the invisible God" and at Hebrews 1:3 God tells us that Christ is the"express image of His person." That which God is invisibly, Christ is in visible form since He and He alone is all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.


'Cause God's 3 in 1, Father Son and Spirit. 2 in 1: "the Father is in Me and I am in the Father," Jn 10:38. "He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone," 8:29. The Sent One (the "Angel/Messenger") is the Sender (God) while at the same time They're 2, distinct. "Distinct but not separate" is a good phrase in regard to the Trinity, the Triune. It's Wonderful---He's Wonderful---and a mystery at the same time (cf Isa 9:6; Judg 13:18, 21-22). Above the "pay grade" of our mind. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God..." Jn 1:1-2.

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