Exodus 23:20

Promises and Warnings

20 "I am going to send an Angel before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.

Exodus 23:20 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 23:20

Behold, I send an angel before thee
Not a created angel, but the uncreated one, the Angel of God's presence, that was with the Israelites at Sinai, and in the wilderness; who saved, redeemed, bore, and carried them all the days of old, whom they rebelled against and tempted in the wilderness; as appears by all the characters after given of him, which by no means agree with a created angel: Aben Ezra observes, that some say this is the book of the law, because it is said, "my name is in him", or "in the midst of it"; others say, the ark of the covenant; but he says this angel is Michael; and if indeed by Michael is intended the uncreated angel, as he always is in Scripture, he is right: Jarchi remarks, that their Rabbins say, this is Metatron, whose name is as the name of his master; Metatron, by gematry, is Shaddai, which signifies almighty or all-sufficient, and is an epithet of the divine Being; and Metatron seems to be a corruption of the word "mediator": some of the ancient Jewish writers say F11, this is the Angel that is the Redeemer of the world, and the keeper of the children of men: and Philo the Jew F12 applies the word unto the divine Logos, and says,

``he (God) uses the divine Word as the guide of the way; for the oracle is, "behold, I send my Angel"''

which agrees with what follows:

to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have
prepared;
to preserve the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness, from all their enemies that should set upon them, and to bring them safe at last to the land of Canaan, which he had appointed for them, and promised to them, and had prepared both in his purpose and gift for them, and would make way for their settlement in it by driving out the nations before them.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 In Zohar in Gen. fol. 124. 4.
F12 "De migratione" Abraham, p. 415.

Exodus 23:20 In-Context

18 "You must not offer the blood of My sacrifices with anything leavened. The fat of My festival offering must not remain until morning.
19 "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the house of the Lord your God. "You must not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
20 "I am going to send an Angel before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.
21 Be attentive to Him and listen to His voice. Do not defy Him, because He will not forgive your acts of rebellion, for My name is in Him
22 But if you will carefully obey Him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.