Yahweh Son of the Most High! Pt. 2

More OT Proof for God’s Triunity

I continue from where I left off in pt. 1 (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/yahweh-son-of-the-most-high-pt-1/).

The Evidence

Here is what the immediate context of the passage from Deuteronomy says about Israel’s God:

“For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God (El), without deceit, just and upright is he; yet HIS degenerate children have dealt falsely with him, a perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and senseless people? Is not HE your father, who created you, who made you and established you? Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods… Jacob ate his fill; Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked. You grew fat, bloated, and gorged! He abandoned God who made him, and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation. They made him jealous with strange gods, with abhorrent things they provoked him. They sacrificed to demons, not God, to deities they had never known, to new ones recently arrived, whom your ancestors had not feared. You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God (El) who gave you birth. The Lord saw it, and was jealous; HE spurned HIS sons and daughters. HE said: I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children in whom there is no faithfulness. They made me jealous with what is no god (el), provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with what is no people, provoke them with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled by my anger, and burns to the depths of Sheol; it devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains… See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god besides me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand… Praise, O heavens, his people, worship him, all you gods! For he will avenge the blood of his children, and take vengeance on his adversaries; he will repay those who hate him, and cleanse the land for his people.” Deuteronomy 32:3-8, 15-22, 39, 43

And here is the Greek rendering of v. 43:

Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.

According to the NT, the God who provided for Israel during the Exodus, the Rock who sustained them in the desert, was actually the Lord Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence:

“I would not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased, and they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted. Neither be idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to revel.’ Neither let us commit sexual immorality as some of them committed, when twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur, as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-10

And:

“So, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men. Judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread. Consider Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then, that the idol is anything or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God. I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Paul not only alludes to Deuteronomy 32, specifically vv. 4, 15-17, he also has the following OT passage in mind:

“They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the soul of the people was very discouraged because of the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread or water, and our soul loathes this worthless manna.’ So the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many children of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, and He will take away the serpents from us.’ And Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a poisonous serpent, and put it on a pole, and it will be, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, will live.’ Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the bronze serpent he lived.” Numbers 21:4-9

To say that this is remarkable would be a wild understatement since the blessed Apostle has basically identified Jesus as the Yahweh God whom Israel tempted and angered, and who then subsequently punished them by sending venomous serpents to kill them!

The New English Translation (NET) has a textual note to v. 9 (https://net.bible.org/#!bible/1+Corinthians+10) that is rather interesting and relevant to our point:

6 tc Χριστόν (Criston, “Christ”) is attested in the majority of mss, including many important witnesses of the Alexandrian (Ì46 1739 1881) and Western (D F G) texttypes, and other mss and versions (Ψ latt sy co). On the other hand, some of the important Alexandrian witnesses have κύριον (kurion, “Lord”; א B C P 33 104 1175 al). A few mss (A 81 pc) have θεόν (qeon, “God”). The nomina sacra for these readings are quite similar (cMn, kMn, and qMn respectively), so one might be able to account for the different readings by way of confusion. On closer examination, the variants appear to be intentional changes. Alexandrian scribes replaced the highly specific term “Christ” with the less specific terms “Lord” and “God” because in the context it seems to be anachronistic to speak of the exodus generation putting Christ to the test. If the original had been “Lord,” it seems unlikely that a scribe would have willingly created a difficulty by substituting the more specific “Christ.” Moreover, even if not motivated by a tendency to overcorrect, a scribe might be likely to assimilate the word “Christ” to “Lord” in conformity with Deut 6:16 or other passages. The evidence from the early church regarding the reading of this verse is rather compelling in favor of “Christ.” Marcion, a second-century, anti-Jewish heretic, would naturally have opposed any reference to Christ in historical involvement with Israel, because he thought of the Creator God of the OT as inherently evil. In spite of this strong prejudice, though, {Marcion} read a text with “Christ.” Other early church writers attest to the presence of the word “Christ,” including {Clement of Alexandria} and Origen. What is more, the synod of Antioch in a.d. 268 used the reading “Christ” AS EVIDENCE OF THE PREEXISTENCE OF CHRIST when it condemned Paul of Samosata. (See G. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 126-27; TCGNT 494; C. D. Osburn, “The Text of 1 Corinthians 10:9,” New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis, 201-11; contra A. Robertson and A. Plummer, First Corinthians [ICC], 205-6.) Since “Christ” is the more difficult reading on all accounts, it is almost certainly original. In addition, “Christ” is consistent with Paul’s style in this passage (cf. 10:4, a text in which {Marcion} also reads “Christ”). This text is also christologically significant, since the reading “Christ” makes AN EXPLICIT CLAIM TO THE PREEXISTENCE OF CHRIST. (The textual critic faces a similar dilemma in Jude 5. In a similar exodus context, some of the more important Alexandrian mss [A B 33 81 pc] and the Vulgate read “Jesus” in place of “Lord.” Two of those mss [A 81] are the same mss that have “Christ” instead of “God” in 1 Cor 10:9. See the tc notes on Jude 5 for more information.) In sum, “Christ” has all the earmarks of authenticity here and should be considered the original reading. (Bold and capital emphasis ours)

There’s more. Here is what the book of Hebrews says in regards to Christ:

“God, who at various times and in diverse ways spoke long ago to the fathers through the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the world. He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He was made so much better than the angels as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He at any time say: ‘You are My Son; today I have become Your Father’? Or again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me’? And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Of the angels He says: ‘He makes His angels spirits, and His servants a flame of fire.’ But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, lasts forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.’ And, ‘You, Lord [the Son], laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they all will wear out like a garment; as a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 6-12

Not only has the inspired writer attributed God’s command to the angels to worship him in Deuteronomy 32:43 to the Son in v. 6, he has also taken the following Psalm, Which identifies Yahweh as the immutable Creator and Sustainer of all created reality,

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto You… But You, O Lord, shall endure forever enthroned and Your reputation to all generations… I said, ‘O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days—Your years endure throughout all generations.’ From before You have laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You shall endure; indeed, all of them shall wear out like a garment; like a robe You shall change them, and they shall pass away, but You are the same, and Your years shall have no end.” Psalm 102:1, 12, 24-27

And applied it to the Lord Jesus, thereby identifying Christ as Yahweh God Almighty!

Hebrews even describes Jesus as the Son whom God appointed as the Heir of all things.

To top it off, the NT identifies Jesus as the Son of God Most High:

“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!’ For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!’ Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?’ ‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’ And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, ‘Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.’ He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.” Mark 5:1-13

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.’ When she saw him, she was troubled by his words, and considered in her mind what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35

The foregoing clearly shows that, according to the NT, Jesus is Yahweh God Almighty who became flesh, and that he is also the Son of the Most High and the Heir who receives his inheritance from God. This, in turn, corroborates the view held by some biblical scholars that Deuteronomy 32:8-9 actually distinguishes Yahweh from the Most by identifying him as his Son.

I’ll have more to say about this point in the next part of my discussion where I will focus on the implication of Psalm 82.

Further Reading

Yahweh Son of the Most High! Yahweh is the Most High! (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/yahweh-son-of-the-most-high-yahweh-is-the-most-high/)

3 thoughts on “Yahweh Son of the Most High! Pt. 2

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