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1 Thessalonians 4:16 ASV For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

What does "with the voice of the archangel" mean in this verse?

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What does “with the voice of the archangel” mean in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?

Archangel means "chief angel" and in this verse, the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as that of an archangel. This obviously suggests that Jesus is in fact himself the archangel.

While there is no statement in the Bible that categorically identifies Michael the archangel as Jesus, there is one scripture that links Jesus with the office of archangel. In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul prophesied:

1 Thessalonians 4:16?

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a [a]shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

It is, therefore, not without significance that the only name directly associated with the word “archangel” is Michael ​, Jude 1: 9

Jude1: 9 (NASB)

9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him an abusive judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Note, too, that he has the power to raise the dead.

Luke 7:14-15 (NET Bible)

14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and those who carried it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 Sothe dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

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Let's see the parallelisms in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 English Standard Version

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven   
    [1] with a    cry                    of command, 
    [2] with the  voice                  of an archangel, and        
    [3] with the  sound of the trumpet   of God. 
And the dead in Christ will rise first.

There are two parallelisms: cry || voice || trumpet-sound and command || archangel || God.

The verse alludes to Matthew 24:

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

The voice of the archangel will start the trumpet call to gather the elected dead in Christ.

Pulpit

"We are to recognize three particulars, following each other in rapid succession -
[1] the commanding shout of the King himself,
[2] the voice of the archangel summoning the other angels, and
[3] the trump of God which awakens the dead and collects believers" (Riggen-bach)

The voice of the archangel is step #2 in this fast-paced 3-steps calling procedure.

Is Jesus the archangel, or is he just using the archangel's voice?

of an archangel,
ἀρχαγγέλου (archangelou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 743: A ruler of angels, a superior angel, an archangel. From archo and aggelos; a chief angel.

In the Greek original, the definite article is not used here. In Matthew 24:31, the Greek word is plural: angels. One cannot conclude with 100% certainty but I suspect that the archangel is not Jesus himself. Whoever he is, he is doing the will of Christ.

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  • Please explain what "with the voice of the archangel" mean in this verse. – Alex Balilo Apr 6 at 20:35
  • I added. Ask me again if you have further questions. – Tony Chan Apr 6 at 20:59
  • Is Jesus the archangel, or is he just using the archangel's voice? Maybe I 'am becoming slow, please number the "3 steps calling procedure" for easy understanding. – Alex Balilo Apr 6 at 21:36
  • I added again. Thanks for the question. – Tony Chan Apr 6 at 22:02
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This question is a thinly disguised question of, "Who is Michael the Archangel?"

There is a lot of information about this question and it is hotly debated with some sides taking almost hysterical positions. What is the Biblical evidence?

1 Thess 4:16 lists three things that will result in the raising of the dead all issued by the "Lord Himself", Jesus Christ at the time of His second coming:

  1. Loud command - compare John 5:28, 29 when the voice of God raises the dead
  2. Archangel's voice - "archangel" simply means "leader of angels" which is a description applied to Jesus in Matt 13:41, 24:31, Mark 13:27
  3. Trumpet of God, compare Matt 24:31

We must also observe that:

  • it is only Jesus who raises the dead and gives life, not a mere angel, however great.
  • Jesus appears to be often called a messenger in the OT - see appendix below
  • the pre-incarnate Jesus appears to be also called "Commander of the heavenly host" in Josh 5:13-15.

Thus, it appears that the three rapid-fire activities described in 1 Thess 4:16 are all from "The Lord Himself", especially when compared with the closely parallel passage in Matt 24:31.

APPENDIX - Angel of the LORD

The following passages make it clear that the “Angel of the LORD” is almost always, 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, Rev 8:3-5, 10:1-10, 18:1, 20:1-4.

A closely related phrase, “Angel of God” who is clearly 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. See also Acts 10:3, 4, Gal 4:14.

In Isa 63:9, “the Angel of His [LORD’s] presence saved them”, and is almost certainly a reference to the same being. The same is true of Ex 23:20, 21, Josh 5:13-15. In view of the clear statements in John 1:18, 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12 that no one has seen God the Father, and the numerous cases listed above of people seeing the LORD and the Angel of the LORD, etc, it appears that these epiphanies were of the pre-incarnate Jesus.

In other places we see that the LORD sends the LORD:

  • Zech 2:6-12 – the LORD (= YHWH) claims three times that He has been sent by the LORD.
  • Isa 48:11-16 – again, the LORD has been sent by the LORD. Thus, unsurprisingly, Jesus is the messenger to the human race and underlines the importance that the Godhead places upon such messages.

This is not to suggest that Jesus is an angel in the sense that He is less that God; far from it! However, the Greek and Hebrew word for “angel” simply means messenger and it is in this sense that Jesus is the messenger in the above passages.

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  • If the LORD (YHWH) is the angel of the LORD(YHWH) why do the verses identify him as an angel not YHWH or the LORD? What is the reason why (YHWH) the LORD is identified as an angel? – Alex Balilo Apr 7 at 0:57
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    @AlexBalilo - "Angel" simply means "messenger". In other places we see that the LORD sends the LORD: - Zech 2:6-12 – the LORD (= YHWH) claims three times that He has been sent by the LORD. - Isa 48:11-16 – again, the LORD has been sent by the LORD. – Dottard Apr 7 at 1:17
  • So how de we know when "angel" mean messenger, The LORD (=YHWH) or Jesus? Where can we find in the bible that God is called an angel? Please clarify your statement " This is not to suggest that Jesus is an angel in the sense that He is less that God; far from it! However, the Greek and Hebrew word for “angel” simply means messenger and it is in this sense that Jesus is the messenger in the above passages". – Alex Balilo Apr 7 at 3:51
  • @AlexBalilo - "Angel" always means messenger. Whether the messenger is a human, or a heavenly angelic being or the LORD Himself is another matter. I have quoted above instances where the LORD delivers messages and is addressed and worshipped as LORD God. – Dottard Apr 7 at 20:27

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