Exodus 23:20

20 I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that 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 shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my festival remain until the morning.
19 The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk
20 I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.
21 Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him
22 But if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.