1. Exposition

What is the identity of the angel of the LORD?

Judges 2:1 (ESV)

1 Now the angel of the LORD 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. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,

The basic sense of the term behind “angel” is “messenger, envoy.” The word is used elsewhere, for example, in 6:35, which describes Gideon sending out messengers” throughout some of the northern tribes to summon men for battle muster against the Midianites. The term “angel [messenger] of the Lord occurs nineteen times in Judges. “In each case the [angel] appears as a divinely appointed and authorized envoy of the heavenly court; he is God’s official spokesman…. The present personage is best understood as a heavenly envoy. This is probably the same figure whom Yahweh had promised in the time of` Moses to send ahead of the Israelites in their campaigns against the Canaanites (cf. Exodus 23:20–23; Exodus 33:2; also Exodus 32:34) and who functioned as the alter ego of God. This explains why, in many contexts, Yahweh/God and [angel of the Lord] are freely interchanged (cf. Judges 6:22–23). Later, for Manoah and his wife to see the [angel of the Lord] is to see God (Judges 13:22; cf. vv. Judges 13:3–21), and in the present context the envoy’s speech is cast as a divine speech in the first person. What the messenger says, God says, and vice versa.”1