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Exodus 23:20-33 Israel’s Angel and the God of Israel

Angels have been intricately involved with mankind from the beginning of time. From Genesis to Revelation, angels have played critical roles in assisting men on their journeys, warning men of impending danger, redeeming men from danger, communicating to men messages from YeHoVaH, etc. 

Moses communed with YeHoVaH and received the instructions that would govern the newly founded nation of Israel. This is when YeHoVaH, the God of Israel, informs Moses that He had assigned an angel to Israel to go before them, to prepare the way for them, and gave Moses specific instructions concerning his role and the role of the Angel.

In this teaching, Israel’s Angel and the God of Israel, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of both Israel’s Angel and Moses. We will also listen in to Father’s plan for Israel as He prepares the nation to go and take possession of the land He had promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.

Ex 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 

The first mention of angels in the written text of Scripture is found in Genesis 16, but it is apparent in Scripture that angels have been from the beginning.

  • Ge 16:7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
  • Ge 16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.


The Angel of God and the Angel of the Lord seems to be the same angel.

Ge 16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her (Hagar), Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 

Ge 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 

Abraham and the Angel of the LORD

Ge 22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 

Ge 22:15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

Jacob/Israel and the Angel of the LORD 

Ge 31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 

The Angel of God was with Israel when they left Egypt.

Ex 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

Why assign an angel to lead them?

Father reveals why He sent His Angel to go instead of Himself: 


Ex 33:2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: 

YeHoVaH knew the people were stiff-necked and rebellious and He would have consumed them in the way. 

Ex 33:3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Moses was no stranger to angels for he encountered the Angel of the Lord at the bush on Sinai.

Ex 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

It was critical for Moses and the people to listen and obey the Angel for the Angel spoke for YeHoVaH, the God of Israel.

Ex 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 

Ex 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 

Ex 23:23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. 

The angel would go before Israel, lead Israel, bring Israel into the land, give instructions from YeHoVaH, the God of Israel, and speak for YeHoVaH. 

Cut them off- 03582 כָּחַד kachad {kaw-khad'} 

Meaning:  1) to hide, conceal, cut off, cut down, make desolate, kick 1a) (Niphal) 1a1) to be hidden 1a2) to be effaced, be destroyed, be cut off 1b) (Piel) to cover, hide 1c) (Hiphil) 1c1) to hide 1c2) to efface, annihilate 

Usage:  AV - hide 16, cut off 10, conceal 4, desolate 1, cut down 1; 32

This particular Hebrew word for “cut them off” is used only three times in the Torah. First in Genesis 47:18, here, and in Exodus 9:5.

Ge 47:18 When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not aught left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:


Ex 9:15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.

The context suggests to cause them to hide or be hidden. 

There would be those who hid themselves, but the hornets would drive them out.

Dt 7:20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.

The next few verses reveal that the remnants of the gods of the people and some of those people remained in the land to keep the land from becoming desolate. 

Concerning the remnant of their gods and the remnant of the people, YeHoVaH gives further instructions on how the Israelites were to deal with the remnants.

Ex 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 

Promises of Blessings and Protection:

Ex 23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 

Ex 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 

The Promised Blessings

  • Their food and water blessed
  • No sickness
  • No miscarriages
  • No barrenness
  • People would live to a ripe age

YeHoVaH tells Moses how the people of the land will be driven out and the methods He would use.

  • YeHoVaH would send Fear.
  • The people would run away.
  • He would send hornets – stinging, flying insects like wasps.
  • He would deliver the inhabitants into their hands.
  • Israel would drive them out.

Don’t make Covenants with them or worship with them for they will ensnare you.

Don’t allow them to live with or dwell with you.

YeHoVaH would drive them out.

The hornets would drive them out.

The Israelites would drive them out.

Ex 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 

YeHoVaH would cause the people to flee before Israel.

Ex 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 

Some of the people remained in the land for a purpose.

Ex 23:29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 

Ex 23:30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 

Ex 23:31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 

Ex 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 

Ex 23:33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

There was a distinctive division in the land; there was the land that the Israelites dwelt in until all the other inhabitants were driven out of the entire land.

The inhabitants were not to dwell amongst the Israelites in the land where YeHoVaH had driven the inhabitants out of and had also instructed the Israelites to drive out.

The Israelites would allow some of the inhabitants to remain in the land and they indeed became a snare to the Israelites.

Anyone, whether they are a believer or not, would recognize a religious edifice, church, Temple, mosque, synagogue as they drive through any city.

  • Religious symbols are all around us.  
  • People wear their religion and religious jewelry.
  •  Christians with their crosses around their necks. 
  • Muslims and their hijabs and turbans. 
  • Jews and Messianic Jews with the Star of David and Hebrew letters hanging and dangling from their chains around their necks. 
  • Hindus in their clothing and dots on their forehead. 
  • Sikhs and their headdress, etc. 

As the Hebrew Israelites sojourned through the various territories, lands, and cities, they most likely would have seen the various religious symbols identifying the deities and gods that the people of those areas served. They would most likely have recognized the houses of worship and the temples. 

Today in the land of Israel these houses of worship exist: Temples, mosques, and minarets. 

The greatest threat in the land of Israel today is not idol temples or Muslims. The greatest threat in the land of Israel today are the Israeli government and the controlling religious leaders who reject the Savior, Messiah and King of Israel, the Son of the Living God, YeHoVaH!

Zionism is more focused on Israel becoming a homeland for the Jewish people than Israel becoming a Holy Nation who fears YeHoVaH.

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by Arthur Bailey Ministries

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