The Threshing Floor of Ornan—Part 2
(Heb 1:1)ASV God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,
(Heb 1:2) hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;
In the Old Testament, God has spoken most of the time through the prophets. The Scripture mentions also some occasions in which the Angel of the Lord appeared and spoke to certain people, such as to Moses (Ex 3:2), Gideon (Jdg 6:11), and the parents of Samson (Jdg 13:21-22). While in the New Testament the phrase αγγελος κυριου "angel of the Lord" refers normally to a heavenly being that is an angel, in the Old Testament מלאך יהוה "the Angel of the Lord" is a person worthy of worship that speaks as God himself and not as an intermediary that transmits a message from God. Speaking of Jesus, Col 1:15 states that he "is the image of the invisible God". The Scripture does not mention any other image of God, so when a person saw a visible manifestation of God, he saw a manifestation of the Son of God. Therefore, the Angel of the Lord is God the Son. The traditional translation of מלאך יהוה as "the Angel of the Lord" uses the word "angel", which can be somewhat misleading. The Hebrew word מלאך simply denotes a person who is sent. This Hebrew word says nothing about the nature of that person, and thus it does not have to be translated "angel". In the New Testament, similar to מלאך is the Greek word αποστολος "apostle", which has been applied to Jesus in Heb 3:1, where we read, "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus". While occasions in which people saw the Angel of the Lord were rather rare, when Jesus came as a man, any willing person could come to him and hear the Son of God speak.
One instance in which the Angel of the Lord revealed himself is when he showed where the temple was to be built. At a time when the Lord was judging Israel for their sins, the plague was ended after a sacrifice was offered in the place he indicated. The Angel of the Lord should not be confused with the angel that was destroying the people.
(1Ch 21:15)KJV And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
(1Ch 21:16) And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
(1Ch 21:17) And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.
The drawn sword in the hand of the Angel of the LORD (1Ch 21:16) indicated that the people were facing judgment. The words of David were prophetic when he said, "let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people" (1Ch 21:17). The hand of the Lord was on David and on his father's house in the sense that the Messiah, a descendant of David, has suffered for all. We read, "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Is 53:6).
(1Ch 21:18) Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
David was a prophet, and yet the Angel of the Lord would not speak to him directly because David had sinned. As can be seen in 1Ch 21:18, he would speak to David through the prophet Gad. Now the Angel of the Lord was visible not only to David and to the elders (1Ch 21:16), but also to Ornan and his sons, as could be inferred from 1Ch 21:20. Since the Angel of the Lord stood "between the earth and the heaven" (1Ch 21:16) "by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite" (1Ch 21:15), he must have been the "angel" that Ornan saw. Though the Angel of the Lord was visible also to the sons of Ornan, it is not clear whether they looked at him. They could have responded like the men that Daniel mentioned when he wrote that "I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves" (Dan 10:7).
(1Ch 21:20) And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
Moderate wind strength was needed for threshing (cf. Jer 4:11-12), so as to drive the chaff away (cf. Dan 2:35, Ps 1:4). Since the top of the mount was most likely to have wind, the threshing floor must have been located there. David did as he was told to, and built an altar there. First, he purchased the threshing floor and the property on which the threshing floor was located. "David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight" (1Ch 21:25). The threshing floor itself was considerably less expensive: "David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver" (2Sa 24:24).
(1Ch 21:26) And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
(1Ch 21:27) And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
(1Ch 21:28) At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
As could be seen in previous verses, the Lord would not speak directly to David. However, when David offered the sacrifices "and called upon the LORD ... he answered him from heaven by fire" (1Ch 21:26). David's relationship with the Lord was restored once the sacrifices were offered. Moreover, the angel sent to destroy the people was commanded to put his sword back into the sheath (1Ch 21:27), which indicated the end of the plague. We read that "the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel" (2Sa 24:25). The sacrifices offered at that time may remind us of the blood of Christ through whom the enmity between us and God was abolished and our transgression of God's commandments was forgiven.
(Eph 2:13)EMTV But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have come to be near by the blood of Christ.
(Eph 2:14) For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and who destroyed the dividing wall of separation,
(Eph 2:15) having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances ...
(Ro 5:1)KJV Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
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