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Hebrews 6:13-14, "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, vs14, saying, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply you."

The writer of the book of Hebrews is referring to this event at Genesis 22:15-18, "Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, vs16, "and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have now withheld your son, your only son,

Vs17, indeed I will greatly bless you and I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies." Vs18, "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have OBEYED MY VOICE."

So why or what reason is there that the writer of Hebrews clearly says that God by Himself swore to Abraham that He would multiply his seed, yet at Genesis 22;15-18 it is the angel of the Lord who swore the oath and multiplied Abraham's seed?

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Jehovah alone is the Almighty God and Creator.

In regards to the promise made to Abraham in Genesis22:15-18

15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

A careful reading of these verses makes it clear that the angel of the Lord (YHWH) is a messenger delivering the promise that The Lord (YHWH) is swearing on Himself to fulfill in behalf of Abraham.

Whether that angel is Jesus or some other angel is irrelevant since the oath is made by YHWH to Abraham. The messenger is not swearing an oath personally nor by proxy. The angel is bringing YHWH’s words, not his own to Abraham.

Think of an attorney reading your grandfather’s last will and testament in which your grand father promised that you are to receive all of his earthly belongings upon his death. Your grandfather commissioned the will, expressed his wishes in it and signed the document in the presence of the attorney. After it is read you understand that you are inheriting your grandfathers estate. The attorney has promised you nothing.

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In Genesis, it doesn't matter who the messenger is, since the message is:

Genesis 22:15-18, "Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, vs16, "and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have now withheld your son, your only son,

Vs17, indeed I will greatly bless you and I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies." Vs18, "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have OBEYED MY VOICE."

So all instances of I, myself, etc. should be understood as meaning The Lord. It would be clearer if it was a prophet instead of the angel of the Lord who said it. Obeyed my voice should also be understood as: The angel/prophets speak the words of the Lord, so what is heard is the voice of the Lord, in some sense.


There are also reasons (like this scripture) to interpret the angel of the Lord as being the Lord himself (not all, but some answers affirm this. Others are opposed to this interpretation). Of course the apparent contradiction disappears then.


Since you asked about LDS and probably mean the distinction of whether the Father or the Son did the Oath: It's not really a meaningful distinction. Jehovah talks for Elohim, the angels and prophets talk for Jehovah, and should be seen as if it was the voice of God himself. The interpretation that it's the Son who makes the oath is as valid as it being the Father. If it's the Son you can just interpret it as him making the oath on behalf of the Father.

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  • According to the following Mormon site it is the Lord Himself who is the angel of the Lord. askgramps.org/… "The angel of the Lord is an expression that is often used in the Scriptures to denote the Lord, Himself in Luke 2:9 for instance." Secondly at Genesis 22:12, the Lord often speaks in the third person. Psalm 45:6-7, Exodus 33:19 and Job 1:8 to name a few examples. Thirdly, and clearly at Hebrews 6:13-14 states the Lord God HIMSELF swore the oath, not an angel. And btw, the angel of the Lord never appears in the NT.
    – Mr. Bond
    Oct 25 at 13:59
  • @Mr.Bond I am not sure what you are trying to say here, the fact stands that the scripture says it was God himself who swore the oath. Doesn't matter whether the angel spoke for God as a messenger or was God. I was trying not to get into a discussion regarding who the angel of the Lord is.
    – kutschkem
    Oct 25 at 14:03
  • You explicitly stated, " It's not the angel that swears, the angel just tells Abraham that God swore." No, it was the angel of the Lord who actually swore the oath because the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. And, since your a Mormon I quoted a site that explicitly states that the angel of the Lord is actually the Lord God Himself. This clearly contradicts your answer. And yes, it does matter who actually swore the oath because were trying to resolve apparent Biblical contradictions.
    – Mr. Bond
    Oct 25 at 14:26
  • @Mr.Bond I am trying to edit the question but am a little cofused. I thought the contradiction in your question is: In Genesis the angel swore an oath (which isn't right depending on who the angel is), in Hebrews it says it was God. Because I am LDS, you now seem to want to make the contradiction between God the Son and God the Father swearing the oath? Is that it? I have a hard time editing because I no longer understand what the contradiction is supposed to be.
    – kutschkem
    Oct 25 at 14:40
  • The question does not need editing because the question is very specific. At Hebrews 6:13-14 it specifically says that God swore the oath (By Himself) to Abraham that He would multiply his descendants. Yet, at Genesis 22:15-17 you have the angel of the Lord calling out from heaven a second time saying at vs16, "By Myself I have sworn, DECLARES the Lord for attempting to sacrifice your son etc. At vs17, "indeed I WILL multiply your "seed/descendants" etc. How does one "reconcile" or "explain" this apparent contradiction? I'm open to any comments from anyone on this issue.
    – Mr. Bond
    Oct 25 at 22:01
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One may also ask the same question as regards Moses' burning bush encounter.

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Acts 7:30-32

Basically, it is the same scenario as in the OP. The angel of the LORD appears and it is God who speaks.

So, we read this with that in mind.

And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, Gen 22:15

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Heb 6:13

The "angel of the LORD" is God in the sense of God the Father, Son, Spirit. These scriptures simply affirm what Christians believe and teach.

To be sure, there are some groups that believe the "angel of the LORD" is a created being who did not exist at some time, but that is their opinion not following the clear reading of scripture.

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  • ( in Zech. 1:12 and 13). The angel of the Lord asked the Lord for information and then received comforting words. Does God lack knowledge that he has to ask another God for information? Why would God need information or need comforting words? That the angel of the Lord is God is not what the Bible actually says. The angel of the Lord is the Son is a false inference because the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph after Jesus was conceived, Matthew 1:24 Oct 28 at 8:54
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In answering my own question it is based on the Jewish." principle of a "Shaliah."

The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, R.J.Z. Werblowsky, G. Wigoder, 1986, p. 15.

“Agent (Heb. Shaliah): The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum, “a person’s agent is regarded as the person himself” (Ned. 72B; Kidd, 41b). Therefore any act committed by a duly appointed agent is regarded as having been committed by the principal, who therefore bears full responsibility for it with consequent complete absence of liability on the part of the agent.”

Most of the answers to the question I am asking appeals to this Jewish "dictum" where the angel of the Lord is speaking on behalf of God and they are "really" God's words.

The whole article can be found here: http://thehumanjesus.org/2017/04/09/shaliah-the-law-of-agency/ For the most part I agree with the article but not all of it in which I will explain why.

The following is from another site and I will quote what it says. "(Yeshua, as the agent of YHWH, if FULLY empowered to LEGALLY and FULLY represent YHWH. As the agent (shaliach) of God, Yeshua is "like," or the "likeness" and "image" of God; however, just as the agent (the one sent) is not the pricipal (who sent him), Yeshua is NOT God!)

The following is another illustration to justify that the angel of the Lord is not God. "If I finance the whole building project (so that I am the source of the construction - like the Father) and then use a general contractor (like the 'through' of the Son) I cannot claim that I ALONE built the building."

What makes most of the above invalid is the fact that a "Shaliah" has limitations. According to the "Jewish Virtual Library" a "Shaliah" is disqualified from acting as a witness in a case to carry out a specific mandate. The agent is not regarded as the pricipal, in the full snese of the term "as himself," since the agent is competent to testify with regard to the subject matter of his mandate in circumstances where the principal is disqualified from being a witness."

For example, if you witnessed a crime being committed and you have to appear in court to testify and be "sworn in" you can't send someone else to testify for you. Even if you could not make it to court, (maybe your in the hospital) the court will send someone to have you "deposed."

The bottom line in all of this is the fact that you cannot swear an oath on behalf of another. Plus the fact that swearing an oath is a personal commitment of "CONSCIENCE."

According to all the text of Scripture God is "NOT" disqualified from being a witness. Moreover, God is not disqualified for the sake of His conscience. As the text clearly indicated, At Genesis 22:15-16, The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, vs16, AND SAID, "By Myself I have sworn declares the Lord,"

Hebrews 6:13, backs this claim up! "For when GOD made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, HE SWORE BY HIMSELF." Also Luke 1:73 and Acts 3:25. Conclusion: the angel of the Lord is God.

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  • The angel of the Lord is God! And Abraham saw Him and yet lived! Therefore Jehovah can be seen by humans and the verses saying otherwise are falsehoods!
    – Kris
    Oct 27 at 0:02

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