We will suggest in Chapter 6 that when the Angels are spoken of as physically
moving, they do literally move- they allow themselves to a large degree
to be bounded by space. The ideas of God visiting men
and coming down therefore often have an Angelic reference. The implication
in these phrases that God has to come down in order to visit men and see
how they are is obvious language of limitation and therefore often applies
to Angels. The Hebrew for "come down" is often used to describe
literal physical movement.
- "The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children
of men builded" at Babel. This language of limitation must be concerning
the Angels, seeing that God is aware of all things. The Angelic response
was "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language" (Gen.
11:5,7). This recalls the Angels' words of Gen. 1:26 "Let us make
man in our image".
- In the same way the Angels responded to news of Sodom's sins by saying
"I (God manifest in the Angels) will go down now, and see whether they
have done altogether according to the cry of it which is come unto Me;
and if not, I will know" (Gen. 18:21). The two Angels were therefore
sent to Sodom, and decided "We will destroy this place, because the
cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord" (Angelic language;
e. g. Ex. 33:12 cp. 20); Gen. 19:13. God coming down was therefore in
the form of the Angels sent to Sodom.
- Ex. 3:8 is very clear- the Angel in the burning bush says "I am come
down to deliver" Israel.
- Many passages talk of the Angel's
presence on Mount Sinai as God coming down there- e. g. Ex. 19:11,20;
- The Angel in the pillar of cloud that spoke regularly to Moses is
described as the Lord coming down to him (Num. 11:17,25; 12:5).
- 2 Sam. 22 is a chapter full of reference to God's manifestation through
the Angels (see Chapter 3). Verse 10 describes God bowing the Heavens
and coming down in this context. Similar passages are found in Ps. 18:9;
- Elijah's commanding of fire to "come down" from Heaven to destroy
the bands of men sent to capture him (2 Kings 1:10) was probably effected
by Angelic means, similar to how "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from
Heaven with His mighty Angels, in flaming fire (cp. Ps. 104:4) taking
vengeance on them that know not God" (2 Thess. 1:7,8).
- Fire coming down from Heaven (e. g. 2 Chron. 7:1) to consume acceptable
sacrifices probably refers to the Angels being made a flame of fire
(Ps. 104:4) to consume the sacrifice. In 2 Chron. 7:1 this
would be by the Angel dwelling in the temple.
The same scenario was probably seen in Eden, when the Angel cherubim
consumed the sacrifices.
- Mic. 1:12 describes evil coming down from the Lord- created by God
(Is. 45:7) by His "Angels of evil" (Ps. 78:49).
- "The Lord visited Sarah as He had said" (Gen. 21:1)- it was an Angel
who made the promises to her about Isaac and whom Abraham entertained
at that time. Similarly in 1 Sam. 2:21 "The Lord visited Hannah, so
that she conceived"- most other cases of barren women conceiving are
related to an Angel, and so this visiting of Hannah was most likely
- Joseph prophesied to Israel :"God will surely visit you, and bring
you out of this land" (Gen. 50:24; see Ex. 13:19 too)- a promise alluded
to by the Angel in the burning bush who was sent to fulfil it (Ex. 3:16,17;
- The Angel who made the promises and spoke to Israel from Sinai explained
that He would punish them for their disobedience. Many times this punishment
is described as God visiting Israel for their sins (e. g. Hos. 9:9-note
the Angelic context).
- Ps. 59:5 "O Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel (both Angelic terms),
awake (language of Angelic limitation) to visit all the heathen". See
Is. 29:6; Zech. 10:3; Jer. 11:22,23; 50:31; Amos 3:13,14 for other examples.
- Ps. 80 has many Angelic references. In this context we find (v. 14):"O
God of Hosts (Angels): look down from Heaven (the Angels are God's eyes;
note the language of limitation), and behold, and visit this vine" (Jesus-v.
- Jeremiah pleads "Visit me. . O Lord God of Hosts" (Angels)- Jer.
- The Angel shepherd of Israel promised to "visit upon
you the evil of your doings" (Jer. 23:2).
- The Jews were to remain in Babylon "until the day that I visit them,
saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this
place" (Jer. 27:22). "After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon
I will visit you and perform My good word toward you" (Jer. 29:10).
This visiting to bring about the restoration was clearly the work of
Angels (see 'Angels and the Restoration').
- Acts 15:14: "Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did
visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name". Peter
had explained the story of Cornelius' conversion, which the record in
Acts 10 emphasizes was the result of Angelic work. The
visiting of the Gentiles with the Gospel was therefore arranged by Angels.
'Angels and the end of the Law' (see Chapter 12) suggests that there
was a group of Angels whose task it was to end the system of spiritual
prejudice towards the Jews and open the way for salvation based on faith
rather than race.
- Mic. 7:4 tells us that the day of Israel's visitation will be executed
by her watchmen- the Angels (Is. 62:6 AVmg. ; Dan. 4:13,17,23; and see
Chapter 8 for an explanation of how the Angel eyes of God watch over
the outworking of His word with Israel).
- The Jews knew not the time of their visitation- by Christ and the
Angels in AD70 (Lk. 19:44; 1 Peter 2:12).
- The book of Job speaks of Job's trials as a result of God visiting
Job (e. g. 35:15)- when in practice those trials were brought
by his satan-Angel (see Chapter
- One of the characteristics of the Angel that declared God's Name
to Israel was that He would visit "the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and fourth
generation" (Ex. 34:7). The fact this was not always done because it
depended upon the response of individuals indicates that such language
cannot be true of God Himself. It is more relevant to the Angels, who
are capable of changing their decreed intentions. In passing, another possibility is that "I punish the children" (Ex. 20:6 etc) is an allusion to the ancient legal practice of punishing all members of a household (as with Achan)- and three or four generations at most would live in an extended household. So the idea could refer to the punishment of entire households, rather than a prediction that Divine judgment would as it were stalk the generations of the sinner.