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Messiah Appearances In The Old Testament

Med Messianic SealJohn 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” That is, the Son is the expression of God which allows us to see that which we would ordinarily be unable to see (see also Ex. 33:17-23; Col. 2:9).

One such visitation was made to Joshua before the battle of Jericho. When Joshua asked the identity of a Man who appeared before him with sword in hand, the answer came back, “Nay, but as Captain (Heb., ‘prince’) of the Hosts of the Lord am I now come.” Hearing this, Joshua fell on his face and worshiped this mysterious Price.

If this mysterious Entity had been merely an angel, then we would expect him to refuse Joshua's worship (compare Rev. 22:8-9). In this case, however, not only did He not rebuke Joshua for worshiping Him, but He admonished him, “…Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy” (Josh. 5:15).

This is not an isolated instance. In fact, we may note a pattern of appearances extending from one end of the Tanach (Old Testament) to the other.

Possible Messianic Appearances

Appearance To

 Scriptural Reference

Appearance To

 Scriptural Reference

Hagar Genesis 16:7-10 Israelites Judges 2:1-3
Abraham Genesis 22:11-13 Gideon Judges 6:11-24
Jacob Genesis 31:11-13 Manoah Judges 13:1-24*
Jacob Genesis 32:24-30 Elijah 1 Kings 19:4-8
Moses Exodus 3:1-8 David 1 Chronicles 21:16-39
Israelites Exodus 14:19-20 Jerusalem Residents Isaiah 37:36
Israelites Exodus 23:20-23 Shadrach,  Meshach,  Abednego Daniel 3:5
Balaam Numbers 22:22-35 Yeshua the High Priests Zechariah 3:1-6
Joshua Joshua 5:13-15 The Temple Malachi 3:1

* Note Judges 13:18, where the Angel of the LORD discloses that His name is "Wonderful," a term which later appears in the list of Messianic names in Isaiah 9:6. Note also that at the conclusion of this episode, Manoah believed they would be killed because they had seen God (or a Godly angel) - (v.22).

What are we to make of this host of mysterious appearances by One known as the Angel of the LORD? The Bible says no one has seen God at any time, yet we have here a list of Old Testament personages, each of whom encountered Him in human form, in a most memorable way! We can only assume that this was He of whom it is written: “…The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18).

The compassionate Angel who comforted Hagar in the desert, the mysterious Man who spent who spent the night wrestling with Jacob at Bethel, and the One who revealed Himself to Manoah as “Wonderful,” were all one and the same. This Angel of YHVH was the logos, the Memra, the Wisdom of God, the fullness of the Godhead in human form. He was Yeshua the Messiah, appearing to them long before His birth in Bethlehem.


Check out these related articles that help to support the Divinity of the Messiah.


Everything except what is located under the Miscellaneous heading is from:

Rabbi Joseph Azriel. The Christian Jew Foundation, Messianic Perspectives Sept-Oct. 2001.

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