In this series I am going to refute the desperate Muhammadan attempt of using the book of Hosea to prove that Muhammad was a true prophet of God (https://bloggingtheology.com/2019/09/07/is-prophet-muhammad-pbuh-mentioned-by-the-name-in-the-bible/). I am going to show how the theology of this inspired Scripture actually exposes Muhammad as a false prophet and antichrist, therefore refuting any attempt of finding prophecies of him by this true prophet of God.
What makes this prophetic book rather interesting is that it explicitly identifies the Angel/Messenger of God/Jehovah (Malak El/Elohim/YHWH) as the very Jehovah God who appeared to Jacob and who also wrestled with him:
“Jehovah hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spake with us, even Jehovah, the God of hosts; Jehovah is his memorial name.” Hosea 12:2-5
The inspired author is recalling the following evens in the life of Jacob:
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but [a]Israel: for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, said he, I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:24-30
Jacob clearly refers to the Man with whom he wrestled as the God whom he saw face to face.
This next one is rather remarkable:
“And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed; and, behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and, behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of the city was Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Jehovah will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” Genesis 28:10-22
Pay careful attention to the fact it was Jehovah God who personally appeared to Jacob, and that it was to Jehovah that Jacob made a vow and dedicated the pillar, calling it Beth-el, meaning “the house of God.”
The reason this is remarkable is that elsewhere Jacob recounts a dream in which the Angel of God appeared to him, claiming to be the very God of Beth-el whom Jacob made a vow to:
“And it came to pass at the time that the flock conceive, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled. And the angel of God said unto me in the dream, Jacob: and I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see: all the he-goats which leap upon the flock are ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity.” Genesis 31:10-13
This explains why Hosea could identify the Angel as the very God Jehovah whom Jacob wrestled with and whose favor he sought. I.e., the Angel is none other than Jehovah God Almighty appearing to his people in their time of need and distress.
At the same time, however, the Angel is distinguished from another who is called Jehovah God, thereby unveiling the fact of the one true God of Israel existing as a multi-Personal Being.
This is brought out more clearly in the following passage:
“And God (Elohim) said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God (El), who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother… And he built there an altar, and called the place [b]El-beth-el; because there God was revealed (niglu ha Elohim) unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. ” Genesis 35:1, 7
[b] Genesis 35:7 That is, The God of Beth-el.
Several points need to be mentioned. First, note the distinction between the words employed for God in Hebrew, namely, Elohim and El. The passage has Elohim commanding Jacob to build an altar to the El who had appeared to him, thereby clearly distinguishing between the two.
In other words, the Elohim who is speaking to Jacob is different from the El who had appeared to Jacob at Beth-el, a fact which is further confirmed by the Hebrew word for “was revealed”, e.g., niglu. Niglu is third person common plural (https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/35-7.htm) of galah (https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1540.htm). As such, the text literally reads, “when THEY, namely Elohim (plural noun), were revealed unto him.”
The inspired text is, thus, confirming that the God who appeared to Jacob is not a singular Person, but a multi-Personal Being, consisting of both Jehovah and his Angel. After all, as the foregoing passages affirm, the El who appeared to Jacob at Beth-el, the Jehovah to whom he vowed and anointed a pillar which he consecrated as his house, was the Angel of God himself. There’s simply no way around this inspired truth.
In light of the foregoing, this is how we would render Genesis 35:1, 7 in order to best capture its inspired meaning:
“And the Godhead said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to the house of God, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto the Angel, who was the God that appeared to you… And he built there an altar, and called the place the God of the house of God; because there the Godhead, namely Jehovah and his Angel, revealed themselves to him.” Genesis 35:1, 7
Hence, both Genesis and Hosea affirm that God is a multi-Personal Being and that the Angel of Jehovah is no creature, but is rather Jehovah God Almighty who would often appear visibly to the people of God.
This explains why this particular Angel is worshiped as Jehovah God, embodies the very name or essence of God, and performs unique divine functions, such as forgiving sins:
“Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Take ye heed before him, and hearken unto his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgression: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and I will cut them off.” Exodus 23:20-23
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take the filthy garments from off him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with rich apparel.” Zechariah 3:3-4
“Then Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. And the angel of Jehovah said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because thy way is perverse before me:” Numbers 22:31-32
“And Manoah said unto the angel of Jehovah, What is thy name, that, when thy words come to pass, we may do thee honor? And the angel of Jehovah said unto him, Wherefore askest thou after my name, seeing it is wonderful? So Manoah took the kid with the meal-offering, and offered it upon the rock unto Jehovah: and the angel did wondrously, and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of Jehovah ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of Jehovah did no more appear to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Jehovah. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If Jehovah were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering and a meal-offering at our hand, neither would he have showed us all these things, nor would at this time have told such things as these.” Judges 13:17-23
I’ll have more to say about this Angel in relation to the book of Hosea in the next installment (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/how-the-prophet-hosea-exposes-muhammad-as-a-false-prophet-pt-2/).