Table of Contents
Part V: The Trinity in the Old Testament
The Evidence of Two Persons in 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).
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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
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 LORD 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
In Jeremiah 50:40 it is written,
"As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities
thereof, saith the LORD; 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 LORD'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.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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