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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 4

The Evidence of Two Persons in the Old Testament

     THROUGHOUT THE Old Testament there are numerous instances in which two Persons are actually involved, but in which our familiarity with the text has a tendency to conceal it. Such a passage as Psalm 110:1 is clear enough: "The LORD said unto my Lord." But consider, for example, a passage such as Amos 4:11 where it is written, "I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . saith the Lord." It is easy to read this without seeing its implications. The Lord is speaking and says, "I have overthrown some of you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." One must assume that the speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ and that the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah was a judgment of the whole Godhead. That this is the Lord Jesus speaking seems to be implied by His special relationship to Israel. In dealing with the other nations, the Godhead acts as one, but in dealing with Israel there was a special Mediator between the Godhead and the chosen people. This fact is strikingly borne out in Deuteronomy 9:10 in which Moses tells the children of Israel, "The LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God." The passage does not say, "The Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone which He Himself had written." There are two Persons involved in this transaction, of whom One, the Lord, was the Mediator of the Old Covenant. This is in complete accord with Hebrews 9:15 which tells us that the same Lord was also the Mediator of the New Covenant. In both cases it was Jesus Christ, for there is only one Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
     As we have said, the presence of two Persons is constantly affirmed in Scripture. In Exodus 21:12 and 13, for example, where the Lord is speaking, it is written, "He that smiteth a man so that he

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die, shall be surely put to death. And if a man lie not in wait but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee [Moses] a place whither he shall flee." Once again the Lord stands between man and the judgment of God.
     In 1 Chronicles 17:16 and 21 David is addressing the Lord and he says, "Who am I, O L
ORD God, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be His own people?" The pronominal suffix "thy" before the word "people" is clearly referring back to the One whom David addresses, and the word "God" and the words "His own people" are in contradistinction, so we have two Persons involved in these verses.
     In Jeremiah 50:40 it is written, "As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the L
ORD; so shall no man abide there [in Babylon]." If there were not two Persons involved in this sentence, it would have read, "As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . saith the Lord. . . ."
     In Zephaniah 1:8 it is written, "And it shall come to pass in the day of the L
ORD's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel." In this passage I think it is clear that the Lord's sacrifice is a reference to Jesus Christ, and accordingly the pronoun "I" must refer to God the Father. I think the justification for this conclusion is to be found in verse 7, in the form in which the phrase "Lord God" appears. This will not be clear, however, until we come to a consideration of this point subsequently.
     These particular passages have been selected and perhaps laboured a little in order to make clear the manner in which the Word of God has both revealed and concealed part of the revelation of the nature of the Trinity. We are apt to think that making our requests known to God "in Jesus' Name" is essentially a New Testament practice. Actually this is not so. In Daniel 9:17 we find this prayer, "Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake." This prayer is addressed by Daniel to God and in effect is asked in Jesus' Name. Daniel asked that his prayer might be heard for the Lord's sake. This Lord was Jesus. One who reads the Old Testament carefully will find many occasions upon which two Persons are clearly involved. But the fact is not emphasized by the writers themselves, a circumstance which rather tends to show that they took it for granted, and felt no need to draw attention to it.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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