Who Did Joshua See?

Q. In Joshua 5:13-15, Joshua met a figure that appeared out of nowhere with a sword in his hands. Joshua asked who is he and he answered he is the Commander of the Army of lord, Joshua fell and worshiped him. Since angels like Micheal doesn’t need human to worship, that figure couldn’t be an angel. Maybe you can enlightened me on this point.

A. From Rev. 22:9 we learn that angels do not accept worship from men. When John tried, He was instructed to worship God. Contrast that with Joshua 5:13-15 where someone in the form of a man claimed to be the commander of the Lord’s army, did not prevent Joshua from bowing before him, and required Joshua to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. This is the same command Moses received from the voice in the burning bush who identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:1-6).

These clues lead many to the conclusion that the “man” Joshua saw was the Lord Jesus in an Old Testament appearance. There are several such appearances in the Old Testament. In most the Lord is referred to as “the Angel of the Lord” ( not to be confused with “an angel of the Lord”).

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