From a conversation dated 1/10/2000:
MY ORIGINAL QUESTION: In Zech. 1:12, 13, God is said to address His angel with "comforting words." The angel shows that he is ignorant of how Yahweh's purposes will work out and he even poses a question to God (Zech. 1:12).
How does this tie in with NT theology? Well, I've often heard some commentators say that the Malak YHWH is the "pre-incarnate" Christ. If this is true, then would not the angel in Zech. 1:12, 13 be the pre-existent Messiah? Would this not also mean that prior to his "self-emptying" the Son of God was not Omniscient? This question has been on my mind for a while. I'm just wondering how those who believe that Jesus is fully God and fully man(VERE DEUS ET VERE HOMO) deal with it.
INTERLOCUTOR RESPONSE: Edgar's question is puzzling because I don't know of any commentator that identifies the ML)K-YHWH in Zech. 1:12 as a theophany.
MY REPLY AT THAT TIME:
Here are what some theologians and commentators say about this issue.
In the Word Biblical Commentary, Ralph Smith writes that "the angel of Yahweh [in Zech. 1] is not to be identified as Yahweh in this case" (p. 190). Smith does not say why this is the case and I was not aware that a theopany must occur for the Malak YHWH to be identifed as YHWH, but Smith does believe that because the angel intercedes in Zech. 1: "he may represent a forerunner of Michael, the patron angel of Israel" (p. 190).
Charles Ryrie has this information from his Basic Theology:
"As discussed in chapter 40, the Angel of Yahweh is a Christophany, a preincarnate appearance of Christ. The Angel speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the prerogatives of God" (p. 130).
To support his statements, Ryrie lists Zech. 1:12 and applies it to Christ. To me, Ryrie evidently believes that Zech. 1:12 is a Christophany. Later he writes, "Clearly the Angel of Yahweh is a self-manifestation of Yahweh, for He speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and claims to exercise the prerogatives of God."
Again he cites Zech. 1:12--but he adds that "He is distinguished from Yahweh
(Gen. 24:7; Zech. 1:12, 13)" because he is the second Person of the Trinity.
So Ryrie observes that the Angel in Zech. 1:12 is a manifestation of the
"pre-incarnate Christ." His words are in harmony with Eric Myers of Duke, who
calls the Malak YHWH in Zechariah, Yahweh's "alter ego" (See the Anchor Bible Commentary on Zech. 1-8).
The Complete Word Study: Old Testament also claims:
"This is the first of Zechariah's night visions (Zech. 1:7-6:8) and is significant because the 'angel of the LORD' (a phrase throughout the Old Testament) is a reference to a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ" (ftn. on Zech. 1:7-17).