I have a few questions about a few verses, Genesis 48:15-16.

And [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

  1. Who is the Angel? It seems like he's talking about God as the angel is attributed with redemption of some sort. Is it accurate to call God an angel? If not, who else could the angel be?
  2. What sort of redemption could Jacob have been talking about? Was he talking about the promise of the seed (Salvation from evil of future generations) from Genesis 3:15? Or just a general salvation from earthly evils during his lifetime? Or did he have some pre-law, pre-messianic concept of a salvation from sin?

3 Answers 3


The first thing we need to understand is that the Hebrew word מַלְאָךְ (mal'akh) literally means "messenger." It can refer to human messengers (Hag. 1:13) as well as spiritual messengers (Gen. 22:11; the latter is what we commonly refer to as "angels"). A related noun מַלְאָכוּת (mal'akhut) derived from the same triliteral root מל"ך means "message" (Hag. 1:13). The English word "angel" comes from a loose transliteration of the Greek word ἀγγελός (angelos). But, like the Hebrew word מַלְאָךְ, it also means "messenger" and can refer to human (Jam. 2:25) and spiritual messengers (Matt. 1:20).

All that being said, now we can interpret Gen. 48:15-16.

טו וַיְבָרֶךְ אֶת יוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמַר הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלְּכוּ אֲבֹתַי לְפָנָיו אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק הָאֱלֹהִים הָרֹעֶה אֹתִי מֵעוֹדִי עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה טז הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגֹּאֵל אֹתִי מִכָּל רָע יְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַנְּעָרִים וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ

15 And he blessed Yosef, and said, "The God, before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak walked, the God who shepherds me ever since until today, 16 the messenger who redeems me from all evil, bless the children, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers, Avraham and Yitzchak, and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

We must focus on the idea of redemption from evil. This is not a function of any mere human messenger. In the Tanakh, humans redeem property (Lev. 25:25), houses (Lev. 27:15), fields (Lev. 27:19), relatives via Levirate marriage (Ruth 3:9), etc. However, it is Yahveh who redeems His peoples' soul (Psa. 69:18) and life (Psa. 103:4; Lam. 3:58); Yahveh redeems His people from the power of the grave (Hos. 13:14) and from death (Hos. 13:14). Numerous times, Yahveh is referred to as "the redeemer" (הַגֹּאֵל) (Isa. 47:4) of His people.

Keli and Delitzsch wrote,

This triple reference to God, in which the Angel who is placed on an equality with Ha-Elohim cannot possibly be a created angel, but must be the "Angel of God," i.e., God manifested in the form of the Angel of Jehovah, or the "Angel of His face" (Isaiah 43:9)...

So, is the מַלְאַךְ יַהְוֶה (mal'akh Yahveh), God Himself?

In Gen. 28:18-22, Ya'akov anoints a stone and makes a vow to God, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then Yahveh shall be my God."

Notice that Ya'akov makes a vow to Yahveh, i.e. God.

A few chapters later, in Gen. 31:11-13, Ya'akov states,

And the angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, "Ya'akov!" And I said, "Here I am!" And he said, "Now lift up your eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled, for I have seen all that Laban does to you. I am the God of Beit-El ("the House of God"), where you anointed the pillar, and where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise! Get out of this land, and return to the land of your kindred!"

Notice how "the angel of God" (lit. "messenger of God") identifies himself as "the God of Beit-El" and then says that Ya'akov "vowed a vow to me." When we go back to Gen. 28:18-22, you'll see that Ya'akov vowed a vow to Yahveh, God.

Therefore, the messenger who redeems Ya'akov from evil could be none other than Yahveh Himself, especially because such a function (i.e., redemption from evil) is something that only Yahveh can do, being "the redeemer of Israel" (Isa. 49:7).

  • Phenomenal answer, thank you so much for the time you put into writing this!
    – exxodus7
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 3:38
  • 1
    +1 Reinforced by: the mal'ak of YHWH seems to be YHWH in Exodus 3:2; and Isaiah 63:9, in an "exodus" context, where being saved by the mal'ak of "his presence" parallels being redeemed by the LORD. As the Hamm3r suggests, there is yet more, of course! But I find these two quite striking.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 1:17

Israel means Inheritance. The sons of God in heaven are the Elohom, are called 'Principles" they who are responsible to collect the inheritance from Earth(Spiritual Israel in the finalty) ) redeemed through Christ. To this the one who wrestled with the Patriarch Jacob was none else than Michael the Archangel who introduced the name "Israel"

  • Your openness is refreshing. However, how do you connect the dots and come to these conclusions? That is, can you explain in detail and show the cause-and-effect of coming to these conclusions? I appreciate your open mind (very refreshing), but your comments are not organized to show how you came to A + B = C.
    – Joseph
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 15:31

Jesus walked with Abraham Jesus was in Jacobs heart Jesus is the wrestler

We know God as Jesus mostly, the son of God, word of God, core of God, essence of God. Character of God in flesh and blood life form. Son of man and son of God.

God or Yeah is spirit of life generating life from eternity to eternity.

Yeahwhoo is God the father who is spirit of generating. Yeahwhy is God pouring out of himself through his apostles and prophets via dreams/visions/angels. The generated emanate. Yeahshuah is gods saving of mankind, eternal life, hard to "get" core/heart of God that was not perceived by most because Jesus prefers subtle glory as he is the once and future king. King as God Son as being part of God. Human as he was cut off from God while mankind went with idols of angels and themselves as god.

The first generation is the hue of God. The spectrum of colors of his own. Within spectrum one color is most like God. One spirit has a spirit the same or most the same to God.

That generating we know as holy spirit as it's ongoing in stages unveiling the plan of God through or to angelic apostles and their prophets. All pointing to Christ forward and back. Michael is an angel who is like God in character. And he is the agent of God within the spectrum of color visible to human eye. Spirit but visible to those who can perceive him.

God uses his hand a lot in the bible to demonstrate his direct action. The hand of God represents God. Like cowboy terms a hand is a servant of his master and Jesus is a servant to his father's power/will. The hand that rocks the cradle, the baby in the cradle, the covenant between them.

The God of the 7 seals/covenants The God of law of his will and testament. The God of eternal life.

One god, being, force, reality, truth, King.

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