2-8 "THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL"
It will be shown that an Angel dwelt literally in the most Holy Place, over the ark. It is therefore fitting that He should be called "the Holy One of Israel". Angels are fundamentally linked with God's holiness- their presence on earth has made the very ground on which they stand holy (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15). Maybe the holy place and "holy things" of the tabernacle were holy because of the physical presence of the Angel in the tabernacle? Hence when the glory-Angel departed from the temple at the Captivity as described in Ezekiel, the holy things lost their holiness so that God allowed them to be used in idol worship; contrast this with the judgements on the Philistines for just possessing the ark in days of closer Angelic presence.
Passage after passage, with varying degrees of conviction, connect the "holy one" with this Angel:
- 2 Kings 19:22 describes Sennacherib's scorn of the "Holy One of Israel"; the record shows how this scorn was punished by the Angel going forth from the temple and slaying the Assyrians, perhaps linking this Angel with the "Holy One" (for more on this see 'Angels and the Assyrian Invasion’ in Chapter 10). The very frequent mention of the Holy One of Israel in Isaiah falls into place once the immediate context of the Angel saving Hezekiah from the Assyrians is understood. Isaiah's prophecies of the restoration were primarily fulfilled through the same Angel (see Chapter 11,'Angels and the restoration').
- Jer. 51:5: “For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Yahweh of hosts; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel”. Yahweh of Hosts [Angels], the God of Israel and the “Holy One of Israel” are all equated here. Surely the point is that Israel’s Angel had been sinned against, yet still He had not left His people.
- Ps. 89 has many Angelic allusions:
v. 1,3 "I will sing of the mercies (promises) of the Lord. . . I have made a covenant with . . . David". The promises to both the patriarchs and David were made by Angels
v. 7 "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints"- the council of Angels (as 1 Kings 2:20; Gen. 1:26; Job 1).
v. 8 "God of Hosts" (Angels)
v. 11 "As for the world. . Thou hast founded them"- work performed by the Angels.
v. 15 "the light of Thy countenance"- the Angel shining forth from the temple on the day of Atonement .
v. 18 "The Holy One of Israel is our king"- David recognized that the Angel of Israel was their real king, not him.
v. 19 "then Thou spakest in vision to Thy Holy One (i. e. of v. 18), and saidst (the promises to David)". The promises were thus made to David by God Himself commanding an Angel- the "Holy One"- to give them to David.
v. 20 "I have found David My servant"- the language of Ps. 78:70-72 about David, a Psalm which definitely concerns the work of the Angels.
- "The Lord of Hosts. . shall kindle a burning. . the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame, and it shall burn. . "(Is. 10:16,17). "He maketh His Angels. . a flame of fire "(Ps. 104:4)- like the Angel in the bush with Moses.
- "The Holy One of Jacob. . the God of Israel" (Is. 29:23). The God of Jacob (Israel) was an Angel.
- "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran" (Hab. 3:3). The chapter goes on to describe the Angelic-cherubim march leading the Israelites through the Red Sea and the wilderness. Ps. 78:41 also describes the wilderness Angel as the "Holy One" (for the Angelic context of Ps. 78 see Chapter 10).
- "The Lord of Hosts"- clearly an Angelic term- is often linked with the "Holy One of Israel":
"Our redeemer, the Lord of Hosts is His Name, the Holy One of Israel" (Is. 47:4)
"The Lord of Hosts is His Name; and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" (Is. 54:5)
"Israel hath not been forsaken. . of the Lord of Hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel" (Jer. 51:5- and also cp. Is. 48:17 with Jer. 50:34).
To which add: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts" (Is. 6:3).