What in Hell is Hades?

Last post on this topic, we looked at 1 Peter 3:18-22 only to discover it is all about Jesus Christ going down into Hades to proclaim his victory of triumph over the spirits of the Watchers imprisoned in Tartarus of Hades.

But isn’t Hades just a synonym for being dead? Oh, it’s Biblically so much more than that. Let’s take a few posts to explore this Abode of the Dead from a Scriptural perspective.

When reading the word, Hades or Underworld, most educated readers immediately conjure images of Greco-Roman myth taught in school: A misty and gloomy abode of the dead below the earth where all souls of mortals, both good and evil, went after death. It is ruled over by the god of the same name, Hades, and contains perilous landscapes and dangerous bizarre creatures. Though there is not perfect consistency of geography among the various Greek and Roman authors, some elements repeat.[1]

There are five rivers in the classical Hades. Styx is the most prominent one that circles the underworld. The second one, Acheron, is the one crossed by souls on a boat ferried by the ghostly boatman Charon to bring them to the gates of Hades. Each of the rivers represent what happens to the departed souls.

1) Styx: River of hatred.
2) Acheron: River of pain.
3) Lethe: River of forgetfulness.
4) Phlegethon: River of fire.
5) Cocytus: River of wailing.

The entrance to the underworld is guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus and other chimeric creatures like centaurs. The rivers then divide the geography into multiple regions with different purposes.

1) Fields of Punishment: Where souls who committed sins against the gods are punished.
2) Fields of Asphodel: Where souls go who were insignificant, neither great nor wicked.
3) Vale of Mourning: Where souls go who were unloved.
4) Elysium: Where the spirits of heroes and the virtuous ended up.
5) Isles of the Blessed: For the most distinguished of souls for eternity.
6) Tartarus: The deepest pit of Hades where the rebel Titans were bound.

Most modern western pictures of the afterlife, or realm of the dead, come from the medieval punishments of Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Levels of torture for sinners meted out by angels or demons, with Lucifer reigning over hell as a more interesting character than God. Sadly, these unbiblical notions have influenced Christian theology in some ways more than the Scriptural text itself. They make for colorful stories, but are not true to Biblical theology.

What does the Bible itself say about the underworld? The Old Testament Hebrew equivalent to the Greek Hades was Sheol.[2] Sheol could be a metaphorical personification of death (Hos 13:14; Isa. 28:15; 38:18, Ps. 49:15) or the grave (Psa. 88:11; Isa. 14:9-11), but it could also refer to an actual conceived location beneath the earth that was the abode of the dead (Isa 14:9-15). The spirit of Samuel was called up from Sheol (1Sam. 28:13), and the sons of Korah went down alive into this underworld (Num. 16:33). People would not “fall alive” into death or the grave and then perish if Sheol was not a location to the ancient Hebrew mind.

When the prophet writes about Sheol in Isaiah 14, he combines the notion of the physical location of the dead body in the earth (v.11) with the location beneath the earth of the spirits of the dead (v.9). It’s really a both/and synthesis. The term includes several concepts of imagination.

Here are some verses that speak of Sheol geographically as a spiritual underworld below the earth in contrast with heaven as a spiritual overworld above the earth:

Amos 9:2
“If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.
 
Job 11:8
It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
 
Psa. 139:8
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there![3]
 
These are not mere references to the body in the grave, but to locations of the soul as well. Sheol is a multi-layered term that describes both the grave for the body and the underworld location of the departed souls of the dead.[4]

In Old Testament times, Sheol did not include any kind of punishment beyond its power to hold souls captive to death (Psa. 18:4-5), separated in some sense from God’s presence (Psa. 115:17; 6:5), and one’s misery of lost power and glory (Psa. 7:5; Isa. 14:9-16). But fire and bodily torture are absent from this Old Testament worldview.

Shades

One biblical term used for departed souls in Sheol is rephaim. It is sometimes translated as “shades,” in English. As the ISBE puts it, “In Job 26:5 “the shades below” are the dead (cf. Ps. 88:10; Isa. 26:14). They dwell in “the depths of Sheol” (Prov. 9:18), where they live together in “the assembly of the dead” (Prov. 21:16).”[5]

Ad300x250-Gen2RevThat assembly is described in 1Enoch as “four hollows” or pits under the mountain of the dead, where they await their judgment in the last days. Though 1Enoch is not Scripture, it is a book highly regarded in the New Testament (read this article for the details), so it gives one picture of how the ancient Jews saw Sheol/Hades. One hollow is for the righteous; another hollow is for Abel and those unjustly murdered; a third is for the wicked unpunished in life; and a fourth for the wicked who were punished in life. The souls of the unrighteous dead thirst and are frightful of their future judgment (1En. 22:9), but they are not tortured by angels or demons. Righteous souls receive refreshment from a fountain of waters “with light upon them” (1En. 22:9; Luke 16:24).

Another Jewish text of the first century, 4Ezra, describes the departed soul’s entrance into Sheol as consisting of seven days to see the future results of their ways before being led to their habitation to wait for judgment. During this time period, the unrighteous…

4Ezra 7:80, 87, 101
…shall immediately wander about in torments, ever grieving and sad…they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame, and shall wither with fear at seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they sinned while they were alive, and before whom they are to be judged in the last times… and afterward they shall be gathered in their habitations.

Another ancient Christian text, The Apocalypse of Zephaniah, describes the angels who draw the shades to their destiny as beings whose “faces were like a leopard, their tusks being outside their mouth like the wild boars. Their eyes were mixed with blood. Their hair was loose like the hair of women, and fiery scourges were in their hands.”[6]

This ancient legendary depiction is behind the confused, wandering zombie-like shades in Jesus Triumphant who are animated by maggots and worms (Isa. 14:11; 66:24) while wailing and gnashing their teeth (Matt. 25:30), before being brought to the Mountain of the Dead by the long-haired gatherers. It’s all there in Jesus Triumphant.

In Isaiah 14, a prophetic rant against the arrogant king of Babylon, the “shades” take on an additional meaning…

Isaiah 14:9-11
Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades (rephaim) to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ Your pomp is brought down to Sheol.
 
The Hebrew word for “shades” here is rephaim, a word with ties to the Canaanite giants of Joshua’s and David’s time (Josh. 13:12; 2Sam. 22:15-22), and mighty warrior kings of Canaanite literature also called rephaim.[7] Isaiah’s intent is to mock the pomp and vainglory of man, who will end up as humiliated as every other mighty being imprisoned in Sheol.[8] Thus, the appearance of the Rephaim guardians in Jesus Triumphant.

In the next post we’ll address the New Testament notion of the underworld along with Gehenna and Hell.

You can buy Jesus Triumphant in Kindle, Paperback or audiobook here at Amazon.

For additional Biblical and historical research related to this novel, go to www.ChroniclesoftheNephilim.com under the menu listing, “Links” > Jesus Triumphant.


[1] For a brief introduction to Hades, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_underworld
[2] “Sheol,” DDD, p 768.
[3] See also Isa. 7:11; Matt. 11:23; Phil 2:10; Rev. 5:3, 13; 1Pet 2:4-5.
[4] “The ideas of the grave and of Sheol cannot be separated…The dead are at the same time in the grave and in Sheol…Where there is grave, there is Sheol, and where there is Sheol, there is grave.” Theodore J. Lewis, “Dead, Abode of the,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 103.
[5] P. K. McCarter Jr., “Shades,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 440.
[6] James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1 (New York;  London: Yale University Press, 1983), 511.
[7] Mark S. Smith, “Rephaim,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 674-75.
[8] Philip S. Johnston, Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament, (Downers Grove: IL, InterVarsity, 2002), 128-130.

Aaron Judkins Interviews Godawa on Nephilim, Noah’s Ark and the Watchers

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Listen to Epic Voyages Radio Interview of Godawa here.We talk about the rise and fall of the Nephilim in the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed. Watchers, giants, and other bizarre phenomena of the Bible as it appears in the novel series, Chronicles of the Nephilim.
The host of the show, Dr. Aaron Judkins aka “Maverick” is an author, explorer, & archaeologist from Texas. He has a passion for searching for the truth about the mysteries of the past- exposing forbidden archaeology & forbidden history. He appears in the new documentary “Finding Noah,” about the current search for Noah’s Ark.

See his website, Man Vs. Archaeology, here.

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Disclose Truth TV Interviews Godawa on Nephilim, Watchers, & Bizarre Bible Passages

This interview was lively. I talk with James Swagger and Susan Kornacki about the Biblical and ancient historical and mythical research of the Nephilim.

The Nephilim in the Bible is controversial. But Genesis 6 is not the only place they show up. This interview explores everywhere giants appear in the Bible, and there are many of them. Nephilim and demons. Satan’s place as “god of this world.” The Transfiguration of Christ as a declaration of war on the Watchers.

Watch YouTube link here

Capricorn Radio website (The website of James Swagger)

Brian Interviewed on Alexxcast about Nephilim and Crazy Bible Interpretations

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Listen to it here.

I was interviewed by Alex about Chronicles of the Nephilim as well as strange Bible interpretations. It was a quite lively and very helpful discussion for those who may not understand or know about the War of the Seed storyline that is in the Bible. It helps explain a lot of things that seem bizarre to our culturally prejudiced western modern eyes when we read the Bible.

Alex is not a Christian, but I appreciate his cordiality and openness to discussing things. You’ll hear near the end that I realized he wasn’t a Christian after treating me so well. And then he had some strong problems with the Bible, but he was kind in letting me explain my perspective, and we could disagree with civility, while also finding where we could agree.

This is what civil discourse should be in our sad era of fascist political correctness that usually seeks to stifle debate and silence Christians.

Listen to it here.

Christ’s Descent into Hell (Part 1)

One of the most difficult and strange passages in the New Testament is 1 Peter 3:18-22. It’s oddity approaches that of Genesis 6:1-4 that speaks of the Sons of God mating with the daughters of men in the days of Noah and breeding Nephilim giants that lead to the judgment of the Flood.

Perhaps its oddity is tied to the fact that it is most likely connected directly to Genesis 6 and therefore of particular importance for the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed.This 1 Peter 3 passage is notorious for its difficult obscurity and lack of consensus among scholarly interpretation. Views are divided over it with a variety of speculative interpretations to pick from. So, let’s take a look at it more closely with an attempt to clarify its meaning.

 1 Peter 3:18–22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

The context of this letter is the suffering of believers for their faith under the persecution of the Roman empire (3:13-17). Peter is encouraging them to persevere in doing good despite the evil done against them because they will be a witness to the watching world just as Christ was in his suffering. He then launches into this section as an analogy of what Christ did for us in his journey of suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension.The questions begin to pile up:
When did Christ go on this journey? (v. 18)
Who are the spirits? (v. 19)
Where did he go to proclaim to the spirits? (v. 19)
What did he proclaim? (v. 19)
Where is this prison that they are in? (v. 19)

I believe the answers to these questions are very much in line with the storyline of the War of the Seed. I will try to answer the first three in this post and tackle the last two in the next one.

When Did Christ Go on His Journey?

When Christ “went” to proclaim to the spirits in prison, it says he was “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went…” In the original Greek, “he went” does not contain a notion of direction as in ascent to heaven or descent to hell. It can only be determined by the context.[1] So let’s look at that context.Some scholars interpret this being “made alive in the spirit” as a reference to the physical resurrection of Christ from the dead, repeated later in v. 21. As Bible commentator Ramsey Michaels says, “the distinction here indicated by “flesh” and “Spirit” is not between the material and immaterial parts of Christ’s person (i.e., his “body” and “soul”), but rather between his earthly existence and his risen state.”[2]

Scholar William Dalton argues that the idea of being made alive in the spirit was a New Testament reference to the resurrection of Christ’s physical body by the power of the Holy Spirit, not a reference to Christ’s disembodied soul.[3] He writes, “General New Testament anthropology insists on the unity of the human person. Terms such as “flesh” and “spirit” are aspects of human existence, not parts of a human compound. Bodily resurrection is stressed, not the immortality of the soul.”[4]This venerable interpretation sees Christ proclaiming to the spirits as a resurrected body, sometime before he ascended.

Another scholarly interpretation is that Christ’s journey of proclamation occurred in a disembodied state between his death and resurrection. While his body was dead for three days, his spirit was alive and in Sheol. This understands the flesh/spirit distinction as a conjunction of opposites. “Put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” is not talking about the fleshly death and fleshly resurrection, but a fleshly death and a spiritual life. The “spirit” in which he was made alive in this view is not the Holy Spirit, but rather his disembodied soul in the spiritual realm. That “spirit” then corresponds to the “spirits” to whom he proclaimed in the very next verse (v. 19).

This view that Christ’s soul or spirit went down into the underworld of Sheol between his death and resurrection is the most ancient and most traditional view, as attested in the Apostle’s Creed.[5] The Greek for “made alive” is never used of Christ’s physical resurrection in the New Testament, but it is used of the spiritual reality of the believer “being made alive” in Christ (Eph. 2:5-6).[6]Christ suffered the spiritual death of separation from the Father when he died on the cross (Isa. 53:4-6; 1 Pet. 2:24; Matt. 27:46). How the second person of the Trinity can experience separation from the Father remains a Biblical mystery. But in this interpretation, it is Christ’s disembodied spirit that makes the journey to proclaim to the spirits, not his resurrected body.

But whether Christ proclaims in his resurrected body or in his immaterial spirit, the next question arises, who are the spirits to which he proclaims and where are they?

This will be fascinating to you… Continue reading

A Giant and Some Zealots in Jesus Triumphant

Eleazar the Giant.

Eleazar the Giant.

There may not be mention of giants in the Gospels, but I did find a giant placed in the same time and approximate location of Christ’s ministry. One of my ancient resources has been the ancient Jewish historian Josephus. His rich text, Wars of the Jews, is the best ancient detailed source we have of the events that led up the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy temple in A.D. 70. Josephus is a non-Christian source that confirms Gospel details of Pontius Pilate, the Herods, John the Baptist, the apostle James, and even Jesus Christ.[1] Though his pro-Roman agenda is well-known, he nevertheless provides helpful factual information for the historical inquirer.

One of those interesting factoids is the reference to a 10 1/2 foot giant Jew named Eleazar who was presented as a gift to Tiberius Caesar in the presence of Herod Antipas, by the king of Parthia, Artabanus III in A.D. 33 or 34.[2]

“When Tiberius had heard of these things, he desired to have a league of friendship made between him and Artabanus… Artabanus and Vitellius went to Euphrates…And when they had agreed upon the terms of peace, Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch erected a rich tent on the midst of the passage, and made them a feast there. Artabanus also, not long afterwards, sent his son Darius as an hostage, with many presents, among which there was a man seven cubits tall [10 1/2 feet], a Jew he was by birth, and his name was Eleazar, who, for his tallness, was called a giant.”
[3]

Josephus doesn’t tell us if the Jewish giant was a servant or a captive, but he was certainly chattel of some kind to be traded as a means of diplomacy between the two empires. It occurred on the shores of the Euphrates in a tent constructed by Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee at the time. Antipas inserted himself into the negotiations in order to ingratiate himself to Caesar. All this, the reader will recognize occurring in Jesus Triumphant.

Vitellius, the king of Syria and representative of Caesar, brought the “gifts” of his son and the giant to Antioch, where they were presumably shipped to Rome.[4] But were they? Josephus doesn’t say. So, what if the giant Eleazar escaped? What if he found his short way down to Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus was during that last year of ministry? Thus the creative license of the novel applying to historical characters in a feasible scenario.

 

Jesus Bar Abbas. Zealot revolutionary leader of n insurrection in Jerusalem. Bet you didn't remember that.

Jesus Bar Abbas. Zealot revolutionary leader of an insurrection in Jerusalem. Bet you didn’t remember that.

Barabbas

But that is not all the novel drew from historical characters. Many Bible readers know the name of Barabbas as the one who the Jews chose to release at Pilate’s offer instead of Jesus (Matt. 27:15-26). But what many casual readers of the Bible do not know is that Barabbas was a leader of a failed insurrection around that time in Jerusalem (Luke 2:19). He was no ordinary criminal. He was a zealot warrior, as he is in Jesus Triumphant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demas Samaris. A bestiaries who fights wild animals in the arena. He joins the Zealots to save his brother

Demas Samaris. A bestiaries who fights wild animals in the arena. He joins the Zealots to save his brother

The Thieves on the Cross

The two “thieves on crosses” next to Jesus are another case of commonly misunderstood identity. “Thief” or “robber” makes one think of common criminals or kleptomaniacs caught stealing camels or jewelry. But the Greek word for “thief” used of the two on the cross is lestai, the same word used by Josephus to describe the zealous Jewish brigands in revolution against Rome. Crucifixion was the punishment for such organized sedition and insurrection. The “thieves” on the cross were actually revolutionaries in the tradition of the Zealots.[5]

Gestas5b
Though the existence of bands of Jewish insurrectionists against Rome at the time of Christ is not in dispute, the exact nature and chronology of the infamous Zealots is. Some have argued they did not come into existence until around the fall of Jerusalem,[6] but others have shown that they originated in Judas of Galilee’s failed insurrection of A.D. 6.[7] He made famous the slogan “No king but God,” that came to mark the Zealot cause.[8] Judas of Galilee’s sons, James and Simon, went on to be executed as zealous rebels around A.D. 46.[9] Josephus also describes two Zealot-like leaders Eleazar ben Dinai and Amram, who were captured and banished around A.D. 45 by Roman procurator Fadus. Another brigand leader, Tholomy was executed.[10] Eleazar was captured again later and executed in Rome in A.D. 60.[11] This means that James, John, Amram, Tholomy and Eleazar had been rising within the ranks of the newly growing Zealot movement during the time of Christ. Thus, their presence in Jesus Triumphant.

For additional Biblical and historical research related to this novel, go to www.ChroniclesoftheNephilim.com under the menu listing, “Links” > Jesus Triumphant.


[1] His infamous paragraph describing Jesus Christ (Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64) is controversial and some have argued that it is a later Christian redaction. But there remains solid scholarship for its legitimacy. For a balanced scholarly assessment see Steve Mason, Josephus and the New Testament,  (Peabody, MA Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), 163-174.
[2] In Antiquities 18.106 Josephus places the trade around the time of the death of Herod’s brother, Philip, who died in A.D. 33/34: Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), footnote C.
[3] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.101-105. Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987).
[4] Josephus, Antiquities 18.105.
[5] N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1992), 178–180.
[6] Richard A. Horsley and John S. Hanson, Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus (New York: NY, Winston Press, 1985).
[7] Martin Hengel, The Zealots: investigations into the Jewish freedom movement in the period from Herod I until 70 A.D. (Edinburgh: U.K., T. & T. Clark, 1989).
[8] Hengel, The Zealots, 108.
[9] Josephus, Antiquities 20.102.
[10] Josephus, Antiquities 20.4-5.
[11] Josephus, Antiquities 20.161. Under the procurator Felix.

Chronicles of the Nephilim For Young Adults

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New Young Adult Version of Chronicles of the Nephilim

Edited Age-Appropriate for Teens and Above

Chronicles of the Nephilim for Young Adults is a version of the original Biblical Fiction series that has been edited to be age-appropriate for Ages 13 and above, Grades 8 and above.

Fans of the Chronicles know that the original series is rated PG-13 (R in some places). But this version for young adults has edited the explicit descriptions of sin and toned down the violence to be rated G (PG in some places).

But it is the same rip roaring action adventure, romance and spiritual journey about Nephilim Giants, Watchers, and the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed that will keep you on the edge of your seat and help you see the Biblical narrative with fresh perspective.

I have also taken out the theological appendices from each of the books that explained the Biblical and ancient historical research behind the fiction. If readers want to read these appendices, they can buy the book When Giants Were Upon the Earth that contains all the appendices gathered in one volume with extras. All volumes are available on Kindle and in paperback exclusively at Amazon.com.

See the website here for more information.

Buy Chronicles of the Nephilim for Young Adults at Amazon Here.

Jesus Was a Giant Killer

And I don’t mean metaphorically.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. “Godawa, you have gone too far. You are now officially a Nephilim Nut who has hallucinations of giants where there are none. There are no giants in the Gospels. And besides, Jesus was peaceful. He told his disciples to put away their swords. Heresy, I say! Burn!”

Well, fear not. Even though I have in fact discovered an historically documented giant over ten and a half feet tall in the approximate same time and location as Jesus (details to come in future posts of my novel Jesus Triumphant), I am not talking about the New Testament. I’m talking about the Old Testament. And that’s a different story—kind of, but not totally.

The Angel of Yahweh

A visible tangible Angel of the Lord, or more accurately, “Angel of Yahweh,” appears throughout the Old Testament in many times and places.

He met with Abraham several times (Genesis 16:7-11; 21:17; 22:1-9).
He met with Isaac (Genesis 26:1-5; 23-25).
He met with Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22).
He met with Moses (Exodus 3).
He met with Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15).
And many other prophets and people of God (1Kings 19:7; Zech 3:1).

So, who is he?

Some readers may assume “Angel of Yahweh” means an Angel from Yahweh. But it doesn’t usually. It often means “Angel, the being of Yahweh” or “Yahweh as an Angel” because it is used interchangeably with Yahweh himself (Gen 31:11-13; Exodus 3:2-6).

And actually, “Angel” means “messenger,” so, technically, the Angel of Yahweh is “Yahweh as messenger.”

The Angel of Yahweh is Yahweh

When God was explaining that he would lead Joshua in conquest of Canaan, here is what he said:

Exodus 23:20–21
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice…for my name is in him.”

Ad300x250-Gen2RevIn his new book, The Unseen Realm, scholar Michael Heiser explains that the ancient Jewish word for “The Name” of God, (ha-shem), was the equivalent of God’s own presence. The name carried the very essence of a being, much like Abraham meant “father of a multitude.” So when God says his name was “in an angel,” he was saying that that angel was his very presence.

Notice how in these passages, Yahweh and Angel of Yahweh are used interchangeably:

Leviticus 11:45
“For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

Judges 2:1
Now the angel of Yahweh went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers.”

There are a lot of other examples, but you get the point. The Angel of Yahweh is Yahweh’s presence amidst his people in the humanoid form of an angel.

Jesus is the Angel of Yahweh

There are plenty of theologically refined ways in which Jesus is implied as being Yahweh through the name of Yahweh being in him (John 17:6; 8:58) and the deity of the Son of Man (Dan 7:13; Matt 26:64), among others.

The most blatant example of Jesus being explicitly described as the Old Testament Angel of Yahweh is in the New Testament book of Jude.

Jude 5
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Exodus 32:34
“Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”

Judges 2:1
Now the angel of Yahweh…said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers.”

So, the Angel of Yahweh in the Old Testament is a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus as Yahweh. The texts in Exodus and Judges then show the equivalence of Jesus “saving his people out of Egypt” with the Angel of Yahweh going before Israel and bringing them up out of Egypt. But you might also notice that the Jude passage adds that Jesus “destroyed those who did not believe.” See? I didn’t make it up. Let’s take a closer look at these actions of destructive judgment taken by Jesus in the Old Testament. Continue reading