“My Presence Shall Go with Thee, and I Will Give Thee Rest”
14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:
“In reading the scriptures about the various manifestations of Jehovah, it is important to remember that a messenger authorized to represent Jehovah always speaks or acts as if he were the divine Person he represents. He stands literally . . . in His stead. For instance:
“We remember the account in Exodus of the rebellion of Israel, in consequence of which the Lord decreed to send an angel to go before the people in His stead. The account is, briefly, this: The Lord instructed Moses to break camp and cause the people to proceed on their way to Canaan. But, He said, ‘I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way’ (Exodus 33:3). ‘And I will send an angel before thee’ (v. 2). The Lord, however, would again be with the people when they should take possession of the land, for, He says, ‘I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, etc.’ Now Moses was anxious to know more about the angel who was to be their guide. So he said to the Lord: ‘See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people; and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me’ (v. 12). Then the Lord said, ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest’ (v. 14). From Isaiah 63:9 we learn that ‘presence’ here stands for, ‘The angel of his presence.’ Isaiah says: ‘In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his Presence saved them.’ That, then, was the name of the messenger who was to represent Jehovah. Of this messenger we read in Exodus 23:20–23: ‘Behold I send an angel before thee. . . . Beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies. . . . For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites and the Hittites . . . and I will cut them off.’ Thus, the Angel of the Presence of the Lord occupied completely the position of the Lord Himself during the entire journey through the wilderness.”
(Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price , 96.)