Within the narrative of Exodus, identifying the referent of the term מלאך (angel, messenger) in Exod 23:20 is somewhat nettlesome (Ausloos, “The ‘Angel of YHWH,’” VT 58, no. 1 : 7–10; Enns, Exodus, 473–74), but one reasonable reading is to understand this term as a reference to Joshua (Augustine, Faust., 16.19 [NPNF1 4:226]; Justin, Dial., 75 [ANF 1:236]; Tertullian, Adv. Jud., 9 [ANF 3:163]; Tertullian, Marc., 3.16 [ANF 3:335]; see also Ausloos, “The ‘Angel of YHWH,’” 9n43; cf. Exod 33:12; Gowan, Theology in Exodus, 227–28; Stuart, Exodus, 542–43). Yet, this Joshua does not pardon sins because the name of the God of Abraham is only in him (Exod 23:21; i.e., he acknowledges this God’s renown; cf. 1 Kgs 5:11 [Eng.: 4:31]; see also Mal 1:11; Ps 8:2 [Eng.: v. 1]; 1 Chron 14:17; 2 Chron 20:9). Rather, such forgiveness comes by him who has received this God’s name as his own (Mark 2:1–12; Luke 5:17–26; John 17:11–12; Phil 2:9–11; cf. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 272–74, 631–45) and in whom Abraham’s offspring inherit not one region only by conquest (Exod 23:24, 31) but the whole world by meekness and rest (Matt 5:5; Rom 4:13; Heb 4:8–10; see also Pao and Schnabel, “Luke,” 300–3).
My Angel Joshua
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