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 Vol. 2, No. 8                                        Page 20                                                August, 2000

Since You Asked

Death Angel?

By Louis Rushmore

At the Passover in Exodus, was it actually the Jehovah God himself or an angel of the Lord that passed over the Israelites? Did God Himself come to Egypt to pass judgement on them or did He send a messenger? From what research I have done I am inclined to think Jehovah God did the passing over. Please comment. Thank you, Carol Weekley

This is one of those questions, that though interesting, over which lack of agreement incurs no serious doctrinal ramifications. Clearly, at times, in both testaments, God used a destroying angel to accomplish his purpose. "And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it . . ." (1 Chronicles 21:15; 2 Samuel 24:16-17). "And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses" (2 Kings 19:35). "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost" (Acts 12:23).

According to Exodus 12:12-13, 29, Jehovah God passed over the Israelites and killed the firstborn children and animals among the Egyptians. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD [Jehovah, ASV]. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt . . . And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD [Jehovah, ASV] smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle." Whereas the KJV uses "LORD" in all capitals (which signifies that it is a placeholder for "Jehovah"), the ASV has "Jehovah."

Yet, Jehovah may well have used an instrument to do directly what he, then, indirectly did in the unfolding of the first Passover. "For the LORD [Jehovah, ASV] will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD [Jehovah, ASV] will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you" (Exodus 12:23). That instrument of destruction may have been a 'destroying angel' or even a "plague" (Exodus 12:13; cf. Numbers 25:9; 1 Corinthians 10:10). The Passover event was of enough significance to obtain the immediate attention of Jehovah, irrespective of whether his presence was augmented by a destroying angel or if the demise of the firstborn was accomplished by some disease.

Further, Christ (prior to his incarnation) interacted with the nation of Israel in its wilderness wandering. "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ . . . Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). Also, the name "Jehovah" is used in Scripture to refer to Christ (as well as other members of the Godhead). "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah, ASV; probably refers to the Father here], that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD [Jehovah, ASV; definitely refers to Jesus Christ here] OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:5-6). (See also Isaiah 40:3; cf. Matthew 3:1-3.)

So, did Jehovah participate in the first Passover? Yes. Did Jehovah employ an instrument to accomplish his will? Maybe. If so, what instrument did Jehovah use at that time? A destroying angel? A plague? Fortunately for us, the answer to this question does not affect our redemption, Christian worship or Christian service.

Interracial Marriage & the Bible

By D. Gene West

"Does the Bible teach for or against interracial marriage?"

Neither. The Bible teaches that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman who are, in the sight of God, permitted to enter into the relationship for life. The Bible does not teach that this relationship can exist between two people of the same gender, because one of the purposes God had in mind for marriage from the very beginning of time, when he said to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it . . ." is thwarted when two people are of the same gender.

Since they cannot fill all the purposes for which marriage was brought into existence, they cannot lawfully marry in the sight of God, and for them to do so is an abomination, no matter what the State of New Hampshire may say!

The only time, to the best of my knowledge, the Bible speaks even indirectly to the subject of an interracial marriage was in the case of Moses who married a second wife who was an "Ethiopian" woman (Numbers 12:1). You will recall that the first wife of Moses was a woman of another nationality who was a Midianitess named Zipporah. We are not told all that transpired regarding this marriage, but by the time we come to Numbers Twelve, we find Moses marrying another woman. Perhaps by this time Zipporah was dead, or perhaps this second wife was a case of polygamy. At any rate, he married her. Perhaps he had been married to her for years at the time of the incident in Numbers Twelve, which deals more with the rebellion of Miriam and Aaron, than with the marriage of Moses.

Such eminent Hebrew scholars as Keil and others tell us that there is no way of knowing for sure whether this woman was a "Cushite" who dwelt in Arabia, or whether she was a "Cushite" or Ethiopian woman from the country of Ethiopia, which was located south of the country of Egypt in those days. If it were the case that she was a truly Ethiopian woman, she would have belonged to the descendants of Ham, and would have been, therefore, a person of another race from Moses, since he would have belonged to the race of the Shemites.

However, we must recall that Shem and Ham, along with Japheth, were the sons of Noah, and therefore brothers, and consequently, there may have been little racial difference by the time of Moses.

To the best of my knowledge, this is as close as the Bible comes to speaking of an interracial marriage, and if you remember the story, Miriam was stricken with leprosy, and Moses was vindicated. Under the Law of Moses, the children of Israel were forbidden to marry Canaanite women because the Canaanites were idolaters and likely to lead the Israelites away from following God. And if we recall the history of Israel, they did indeed marry out of their religion and they were lured into idolatry by these strange wives, even in the case of Solomon himself.

From a biblical point of view then, marriage is between a man and a woman each of whom has the right in the sight of God to marry the other, and the Bible does not appear to endorse or condemn that marriage if one of the persons is of one race and the other is of another.

Copyright 2000 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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