Is "the destroyer" (Exodus 12:23) a destroying angel?

Is "the destroyer" (Exodus 12:23) a destroying angel?

"The destroyer" is actually a verb form and could be translated "that which causes destruction." Strong’s Lexicon relates it to "destroyer" in verse 13, "the plague shall not . . . destroy you." This suggests that the plague itself is "the destroyer."

Support for the widely-accepted thought of "the destroying angel" apparently comes from Psalm 78:49, "He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger, . . . by sending evil [harmful] angels among them." The previous verses (verses 43-48) review the plagues prior to the Passover in Egypt.

Verse 51 deals with the Passover, but verse 50, the intervening verse, seems to indicate that verse 49 reflects back on the plagues prior to the Passover. It states, ". . . He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence." The only time this word "pestilence" appears in Exodus is regarding the plagues before the Passover. It never refers to the Passover in the rest of the Old Testament. One time (1 Chronicles 21:12), the pestilence is equated with the angel of the Lord’s "destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel" after David’s sin in numbering the people. This however seems to be a weak link.

Scripture affirms that the plague destroyed the firstborn but doesn’t clearly support that an angel was the destroyer.

D. Oliver