2-2. "THE GOD OF JACOB"
Michael appears to be the Angel specifically looking after Israel (Dan. 12:1), and it would appear that He is the same Angel that appeared to the patriarchs in making the promises (see 'Angels and Israel' later). In Chapter 10 we will see how the patriarchs conceived of God in terms of an Angel, and thus the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was understood by them in terms of an Angel. This is made specific in Gen. 48:15,16, where Jacob says : "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil. . . ". This Angel earlier told Jacob that He was "the God of Bethel"" (Gen. 31:11,13), where "Jacob vowed a vow saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go. . . " (28:20). Thus to him 'God' was the Angel. Other references lend support:
- "The Angel of the Lord appeared unto (Moses) in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. . . He said, I am the God of. . Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. . . I have surely seen the affliction of My people (the Angels are the eyes of the Lord). . . and I am come down to deliver them. . to bring them up out of that land unto a good land (this was all done by the Angel which led Israel through the wilderness). . . the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me (language of limitation). . . ye shall say unto (Pharaoh), The Lord, God of the Hebrews, hath met with us (Ex. 3:2,6,7,8,9,18). The Angel stresses at least three times in the chapter that He is the God of the patriarchs. Notice too how He also calls Himself the "God of the Hebrews"- i. e. the God of Israel. If "the God of Jacob" has reference to Angels, should not also "the God of Israel"? Frequently the phrase "the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel" is found in the prophets; and we have seen that "the Lord of Hosts" is invariably an Angelic title.
- Ps. 76 describes the God of Jacob as dwelling in Zion (v. 2)- where the Angel lived (see Chapter 10). "At Thy rebuke. . . both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep" (v. 6)- the language of Ex. 15:1 concerning the Angelic destruction of Pharaoh at the Red Sea (the "Lord" in the pillar of fire and cloud which caused their destruction was the Angel which travelled in the same pillar and talked to Moses- Ex. 14:24 cp. 33:9).
- Ps. 81 has much Angelic language. "A law of the God of Jacob" (v. 4) refers to the Angels who gave the law. "I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt" (v. 10)- Angelic work. The same kind of links are found in Ps. 114 between the wilderness Angel and the "God of Jacob"-"When Israel went out of Egypt. . . the (Red) Sea. . . fled. . . at the presence of the God of Jacob; which turned the rock into a standing water" (the work of the Angel standing on the rock at Rephidim).
- "The mighty God of Jacob" dwelt in the ark (Ps. 132:2,5); this was an Angel (See Chapter 10), and cp. also Acts 7:46.
- "The God of Hosts (Angels) is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge, Ps. 46:7,11 emphasizes. Note too the reference in v. 4 to "the tabernacles of the most high"- another Angelic phrase.
- “The God of Jacob” gave a law, and he also “went out over the land of Egypt” (Ps. 81:4,5 RV)- all references to the work of the Angel on Sinai and at the Exodus.
- Jacob was renamed Israel. The elders saw “the God of Israel”, or Jacob- i.e. they saw an Angel (Ex. 24:10).