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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX


Part V: The Trinity in the Old Testament

Chapter 5

Jesus as Jehovah

     THE IDENTIFICATION of Jesus of Nazareth as the Jehovah of the Old Testament is readily established. Consider, first of all, Isaiah's vision of the Lord as described in Isaiah 6. We have already established the fact that no man has seen the Father at anytime and therefore that the Lord whom Isaiah saw can have been none other than Jesus Christ. Accordingly, he says in verse 5 that he saw the King, the Lord of Hosts. Isaiah then tells what happened to him when he was overcome with his own unworthiness by his vision of the holiness and glory of the Lord. He received a commission to go and speak to his own people even though they would not listen. In Isaiah 6:10 it is written, "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert [turn] and be healed."
     In John 12:37ff. the Evangelist records the fact that although the Lord had done many wonderful things and although the common people had welcomed Him triumphantly as He entered Jerusalem meekly riding on an ass, yet the officials of the nation Israel had completely rejected His words. John, in verse 40, then quotes this passage from Isaiah 6:10 and comments (verse 41): "These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him." The glorious One before whom Isaiah fell prostrate was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. In Isaiah 6 the word "L
ORD" with a large capital letter and three small capital letters is the name "Jehovah" in the original Hebrew; this Jehovah was in fact, Jesus of Nazareth.
     Throughout Psalm 102, a psalm of praise to the Creator, the work of creation is ascribed to the L
ORD, a word which once more stands for Jehovah in the Hebrew. In identifying the Lord Jesus, the

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writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews uses several passages from this psalm (Hebrews 1:8-12) and states categorically that they refer to Jesus Christ. It may be noted in verse 8 that he opens with the phrase, "But unto the Son he saith. . ." Quite appropriately this Epistle contains many Hebraisms, Hebrew thoughts written in Greek. The phrase "unto the Son" is a somewhat inadequate translation in the English of the Hebrew counterpart which must have been in the writer's mind and which actually should be translated, "But with respect to the Son, He said. . ." It may be mentioned in passing that some of the psalms which in our English versions are ascribed as being a psalm to somebody, are more probably psalms "with respect to" somebody. They are therefore not so much psalms dedicated to the individuals necessarily (though this might also be true) but rather psalms about people in particular circumstances, and sometimes written by themselves.
     Those who in Exodus 17:2 and 7 and in Numbers 21:6 and 7 "tempted the Lord [Jehovah]" are said in 1 Corinthians 10:9 to have "tempted Christ."
     In Malachi 3:1 it is written, "Behold, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before
me . . . saith the L
ORD [Jehovah] of Hosts." Mark 1:3, Matthew 3:3, and Luke 3:4 all identify this messenger with John the Baptist. The One whose way he prepared was, of course, Jesus.
     When Jesus received His name by divine appointment (Matthew 1:21), His complete identity with Jehovah was secured, for the word "Jesus" is a Greek transliteration of the more ancient form "Joshua", as will be seen from Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, both of which are references to Joshua of Moses' time. Now the word "Joshua" is an abbreviation of two words which in the original Hebrew meant "Jehovah saves," so that the name given to the Lord identified Him as Jehovah the Saviour, and explains why the angel added the comment (Matthew 1:21) "for he shall save his people. . ."
     At the beginning of His days and at the end of His days Jesus was clearly marked as Jehovah. In Zechariah 12:10 there is a very famous passage which reads, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications and they shall look on me whom they have
pierced. . ." From the reference to this passage in the New Testament, (John 19:37) one tends to recall these words as, "They shall look upon him whom they have pierced" -- him, instead of me. But as will be noted this is not the way in which the Old Testament quotation appears. There can hardly be any doubt about the prophetic

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significance here: it is certainly looking forward to the consequence of the Crucifixion. Reference to Zechariah 12:4 will show that the Speaker who refers to Himself as "me" is none other than the Lord, Jehovah. It is not at all surprising, therefore, to find in Isaiah 35:4 these words, "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you." This passage then provides us with those well-known words (verse 5), "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart," etc., words which Jesus used (Luke 7:19-22) to assure John the Baptist that He was indeed the Promised Messiah, the One who should come.
     The identification of the Lord Jesus with the Jehovah of the Old Testament is so self-evident to the writers of the New Testament that they continuously make reference to Old Testament passages in order to illuminate the basis of Jesus' claims for Himself. It is difficult to pick out simple parallel statements without becoming involved in extensive passages which would occupy far too much space in this Paper. We have, therefore, listed in the appendix a few notable works which deal at some length with this point. In view of what is to follow, it should be stated here that the Authorized Version adopted the very sensible plan of distinguishing between the word "Lord" when it refers to the original Hebrew word Jehovah and the word "Lord" when it refers to the original Hebrew word Adonai, by using a slightly different type form, which may easily escape the reader's notice unless his attention is drawn to it. This artifice applies only in the Old Testament and does not apply in the New. Jehovah is represented by the familiar English word "L
ORD," using a large capital letter followed by three smaller capital letters. The word Adonai in the original is represented by the form "Lord", with a capital "L" followed by three lower-case letters. There is nothing new in this observation. However, when we come to deal with combinations, such as Lord God, there is a fine distinction of great significance which, as far as I know, has not previously been observed. We shall return to this later.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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