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Bible Study The Holy Trinity in the Old Testament

SolaScriptura

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“Draw near to Me, hearken to this; in the beginning I did not speak in secret, from the time it was, there was I, and now, the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit” – Isaiah 48:16

Who is the speaker of these words in verse 16? Some commentators, like Thomas Cheyne, have suggested the words “ and now Lord Yahweh has”, belong to another speaker, who is introduced here. No doubt this is due to the influence of the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzie’s reading;

“The prophet saith: And now the Lord God and His Word, hath sent me” (C W H Pauli; The Chaldee Paraphrase on the Prophet Isaiah, pp.166-167)

This is also accepted by John Calvin in his commentary. That this view is wrong, can be seen from the facts of the passage, where it will be seen, that, The Speaker in this verse, is none other than Yahweh. There is no Hebrew text that supports the paraphrase reading.

The words in this verse are like those found in verse 3, “I have declared the former things from the beginning”, and verse 5, “I have even from the beginning declared it to you”. In verse 12 and 13 the Speaker says, “Listen to Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He, I am the First, I also am the Last. My hand has also laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens”. In verse 15 we read, “I, even I have spoken, yes, and I have called him”. In the very next verse, we read, “Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am Yahweh your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go”.

In Isaiah 41:4, we read, “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He”. And, 44:6, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god”

Can any of these words have been spoken by a created human? In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”. Dr Thayer, in his Greek lexicon says of these words, “absolutely (i. e. without a noun) and substantively; α. with the article: ὁ πρῶτος καί ὁ ἔσχατος, i. e. the eternal One, Revelation 1:17; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 22:13”. The words “The First and The Last”, are equivalent to “The Eternal One”. In Exodus 3:14, where Jesus Christ is Speaking with Moses, and gives His Name, the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), reads, “εγω ειμι ο ων”, literally, “I am The Eternal One”.

In the Book of Hebrews, God the Father is addressing Jesus Christ, and says, “And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain, they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” (verses 10-12). These words are spoken in the passage in Isaiah, and could only refer to the Creator God, Yahweh!

Are there two subjects in this verse, “Adonay Yahweh”, and “His Spirit”, Who both send the Speaker? This is the reading of the older English Versions, as Wycliffe, Coverdale, Great, Geneva, Bishops, and KJV. Or, is “Adonay Yahweh” the one subject, and the Speaker and “His Spirit”, two objects, Who sends the Speaker and His Spirit? The actual word order in the Hebrew, LXX, and Latin Vulgate, make two objects, and not two subjects.

The Hebrew here is: “וְעַתָּ֗ה אֲדֹנָ֧י יְהוִ֛ה שְׁלָחַ֖נִי וְרוּחֹֽו׃”, the order of words here are: “And now 'Adônây Yahweh He has sent Me and His Spirit”.

The Hebrew verb “שְׁלָחַנִי” is masculine, singular, 3rd person, “He has sent Me”, which refers to “'Adônây Yahweh”, as The Sender.

The Greek Old Testament, The Septuagint, has rendered this Hebrew as;

“καὶ νῦν κύριος κύριος ἀπέσταλκέν με καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ”, the order of words here are: “And now the Lord Lord hath sent Me and His Spirit.

The Latin Vulgate of Jerome;

“et nunc Dominus Deus misit me, et spiritus eius”, the order of words here are: “And now, the Lord God has sent Me and His Spirit”

The following (and others) Jewish Bible’s also translate the words, where the Holy Spirit is the second object and not subject.

“And now, the Lord Eternal hath sent me, and his Spirit” (Isaac Leeser, The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures: Carefully Translated According to the Massoretic Text)

“and now the Lord Eternal hath sent me, and his spirit.” (Dr A Benisch; Jewish School and Family Bible, Vol. III)

“And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit” (The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text, A New Translation. The Jewish Publication Society of America. 5677-1917)

There can be no doubt that the Speaker in Isaiah 48:16, is Yahweh, as seen from the chapter, especially in the verses shown. As the Speaker is One Who has been “sent” by “Adonay Yahweh”, it most certainly refers to the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As passages like Matthew 10:40; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 5:23, etc, show.

In the Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, we see that the Child to be born, will be called, or known as, “The Mighty God”, the Hebrew, “אֵל גִּבּוֹר”, literally, “God of Might”. This same Title is used in Isaiah 10:21. The Hebrew noun, “שְׁמוֹ”, is masculine, 3rd person, singular, and can only refer to the Child, “His Name”. The Deity of the Child is clear, It is interesting that the Jehovah’s Witnesses, here read in their New World Translation, “Mighty God”.

Isaiah 48:16 has “Adonay Yahweh”, sending the Speaker, Who is also “Yahweh”. We also have “His Spirit”, Who is also “sent”, along with the Speaker. As both the Speaker, and they One Who “sent”, are Yahweh, “His Spirit”, must also refer to One Who is Yahweh. That the “Spirit” here is a Person, is clear from the fact that He is “sent”, which can hardly refer to something impersonal. Neither can “His Spirit” refer to a created being, as no creature can have this relationship with God, from eternity past!

In 2 Samuel 23:2, we have a very clear reference where The Holy Spirit is called Yahweh:

The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me (heb., דִּבֶּר־בִּי, is masculine); His word (heb. וּמִלָּתוֹ , is feminine, lit, “Her word”) is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me”

We would have expected “אֶת־דְּבָרוֹ”, the masculine, “His word”, which would agree with “יהוה” (Yahweh), which is masculine. However, with the use of the feminine, “וּמִלָּתוֹ”, it is clear that The Spirit is meant, so that “The Spirit of the Lord”, IS the subject, and refers to One, and not two Persons. It is "His Word”, that is, The Spirit’s, that is on the tongue of David. The following words also belong to the Spirit, Who is also called “The God of Israel”, and “the Rock of Israel”. Very clear testimony to the full Deity of the Holy Spirit.

In Job 33:4, we see the Holy Spirit as the Creator.

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of (וְנִשְׁמַת)the Almighty gives me life (תְּחַיֵּנִי).”

“The spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty given me life.” (The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text, A New Translation. The Jewish Publication Society of America. 5677-1917)

In this verse also, the Hebrew is very interesting. We have “רוּחַ־אֵל”, “the Spirit of God”, and then, “עָשָׂתְנִי”, the feminine singular, literally, “She has made me”, referring grammatically to “Spirit (רוּח)”, which is also feminine in the Hebrew. “רוּחַ־אֵל”, refers to only one Person, The Holy Spirit.

“made”, is the same Hebrew word, “עֲשׂוֹת”, used in Genesis 1:7, 2:4, etc. In Genesis 2:7 we read, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים); and man became a living soul (לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה)”

The Deity and Personality of The Holy Spirit is clear in the Old Testament. Taken together with “Adonay Yahweh”, and the Speaker Who is also “Yahweh”, in Isaiah 48:16, we have a very clear reference to The Holy Trinity in the Old Testament. Three distinct Persons Who are equally in One Godhead.
 

for_his_glory

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Hi SolaScriptura and welcome to CF :wave2. Good post

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

IMO, the simplest way to explain the Deity (Trinity) is found in these two scriptures, but yet no one can fully understand the Trinity as that would mean one could fully understand all the complexities of heaven.

Can you fathom the depths of God or discover the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens, Job 11:7, 8; Isaiah 55:9.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God is the word from the beginning being one God who exist in three persons. Trinity means three in one Spirit, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

God is Spirit, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

God is the word (Spirit of God),

The word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us,

When the word (Jesus) ascended back up to heaven, once again God sent His Spirit, (Holy Spirit) to indwell us and teach us all things and bring those things back to our remembrance.

Deity (Trinity) is God's Spirit manifested in the person of Jesus as God's plan of salvation through His birth, death and resurrection before the foundation of the world.

Holy Spirit (God's Spirit) was again sent down to permanently indwell those who are Spiritually born again, John 3:5-7, who will teach us all truths of what Jesus, (the word of God made flesh), already taught His disciples who were sent out into the world to make disciples of all of us to help teach others the Gospel of God's grace through faith.
 

SolaScriptura

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Hi SolaScriptura and welcome to CF :wave2. Good post

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

IMO, the simplest way to explain the Deity (Trinity) is found in these two scriptures, but yet no one can fully understand the Trinity as that would mean one could fully understand all the complexities of heaven.

Can you fathom the depths of God or discover the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens, Job 11:7, 8; Isaiah 55:9.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God is the word from the beginning being one God who exist in three persons. Trinity means three in one Spirit, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

God is Spirit, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

God is the word (Spirit of God),

The word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us,

When the word (Jesus) ascended back up to heaven, once again God sent His Spirit, (Holy Spirit) to indwell us and teach us all things and bring those things back to our remembrance.

Deity (Trinity) is God's Spirit manifested in the person of Jesus as God's plan of salvation through His birth, death and resurrection before the foundation of the world.

Holy Spirit (God's Spirit) was again sent down to permanently indwell those who are Spiritually born again, John 3:5-7, who will teach us all truths of what Jesus, (the word of God made flesh), already taught His disciples who were sent out into the world to make disciples of all of us to help teach others the Gospel of God's grace through faith.

Thanks for the welcome and remarks.

Are you saying that the "Persons" of the Godhead are not distinct? As in Three distinct Persons are One unified Godhead, The Holy Trinity? The Father is God, but not Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God, but not the Father or Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, but not Jesus Christ or the Father. It was Jesus Christ Who became Incarnate, the God-Man, and not the Father or Holy Spirit. When Jesus says, "God is Spirit", He does not mean the Holy Spirit, but the Father in this context. John says in the Gospel, "and the Word was God", does not mean that He is "the God", Who He is "with", but distinct. The Three Persons are not identical Persons, though their "nature" is, as God.
 

for_his_glory

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All three are co-equal within the Godhead as it is all of God's Spirit within three different ways.

1. God is Spirit, John 4:24, not flesh and blood and in the OT either spoke directly to the prophets or by angels and also various objects like a burning bush or an ass for example. Between the OT and NT God was silent towards Israel as when they returned to Israel from the Babylonian captivity they came back as merchants and not shepherds as they were disobedient to God going after other gods, Book of Malachi.

2. Jesus being the very Spirit of God before the foundation of the world as He and the Father are one was prophesied by the Prophets in the OT and spoken of by John the baptist in the NT as John being the forerunner of Christ calling all to repent. As foretold Christ did come as the word of God made flesh (skin, bone, blood) to be that light that shines in darkness. He came as redeemer Savior through Gods grace as Christ is our faith that all can repent of their sins and have eternal life with the Father to all who will believe in Him as Lord and Savior. John 1:1-4; 1 Peter 1:13-21

3. After the sacrifice of Christ God raised Him from the grave and as He had to ascend back up to heaven the promise was that He would never leave us or forsake us as when He ascended He sent down the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) to indwell all who will believe in Christ and His finished works on the cross. In the OT Gods Spirit fell on them for a time and purpose under heaven. Now we are indwelled with that power and authority through Gods grace that the Holy Spirit now works in us and through us teaching all things God wants us to learn. All three are Spiritual and Spiritual awakenings in us to know the will of God and walk in His statures. John 16:7-15

Ephesians 4: 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
 
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