The Angel of Redemption

“The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Genesis 48:16).

In this verse is the first use in the Bible of the beautiful word “redeem” (Hebrew, goel). Its basic meaning is “buy back”—that is, to avenge and restore one who has been wronged, or to set free one who has been enslaved. The right and duty of redemption in Biblical times was commonly understood to belong to the next of kin, and the word is the usual Hebrew word for “kinsman.”

In this use of this word, Jacob noted that his redeemer had been the mighty angel of the Lord—the one who had been his only kinsman (after all, his parents were powerless to help him, and his brother and uncle were his enemies). Jacob had learned that the God of his fathers was the only one able and willing to deliver him from all evil, and therefore he could also call on Him to deliver and bless his seed.

Job also could speak of Him: “I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). So could David: “O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Isaiah wrote frequently of Him. For example: “Thou, O LORD, art our Father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting” (Isaiah 63:16).

Jacob’s “angel” of redemption was none other than the second person of the Godhead, before He became incarnate as Son of man, in the person of Jesus Christ. He is now, indeed, our brother, our kinsman, for He was “made like unto His brethren” (Hebrews 2:17) and then paid the awful price to deliver us from sin’s bondage, thereby obtaining “eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18,19). HMM

The Patriarchs
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