In a section entitled, The Triunity of the Godhead, Fruchtenbaum, a believing Jewish scholar, brings out some helpful points concerning the OT teaching about the Angel of Jehovah:
The Expression Malach YHVH
The second divine personality is the Angel of Jehovah – but who is He? The Angel of Jehovah is not to be taken as a title, but, following Hebrew grammar, it always functions as a proper name. This individual is always considered distinct from all other angels and is unique. It never appears in the plural. Nowhere in Scripture are the phrases “the angels of Jehovah” or “the angels of the God,” but rather there are three, and only three, different expressions which are used:
- the Angel of Jehovah – Malach YHVH, always singular.
- the Angel of the God – Malach Ha-Elohim, always singular with the definite article.
- the angels of God – Malachei Elohim, plural, and is never used with the definite article.
The third of these expressions is used in general terms of ordinary angels. The first two expressions are both used to describe a very special and distinct individual – the Angel of Jehovah. We can see this in Judges 6:20-21, where the same Person is described first, in verse 20, as “the Angel of the God” and then, in verse 21, as “the Angel of Jehovah.” This is also brought out in Judges chapter 13; in verse 3, there is a reference to “the Angel of Jehovah” and later, in verse 9, this same individual is called “the Angel of the God.”
Consistently, throughout the Hebrew text, there is a distinction made between ordinary angels and this unique Person referred to as both “the Angel of YHVH” and “the Angel of the God.” The Angel of Jehovah is clearly revealed as being different in stature, nature, person and essence from ordinary angels.
—Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Christology: A Study of Old Testament Prophecy Concerning the First Coming of the Messiah, 109-110; bold is in italics in the original
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