The Binitarian Nature of the Holy Bible’s supreme proof text for the unity of God Pt. 4
We resume our discussion regarding the Biblical witness to the binitarian nature of the Shema, the monotheistic creed of Judaism found in Deuteronomy 6:4, which says,
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God (Eloheinu), the Lord is one (echad)!”
We noted in the first part of our discussion that Eloheinu is the 1st person plural declension of Elohim and can therefore be translated as “our Gods.” We further stated that the Hebrew word echad can refer to a complex or compound unity.
We have argued that this creed actually supports and comports better with the belief that Israel’s God is a singular Being who is multi-Personal in nature. In light of this we proposed translating the Shema in such a way as to bring out its implicit witness to Yahweh’s uni-plurality in the same way that the following scholar did:
“… An accurate and literal translation is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our Gods is Jehovah a unity.’…” (David Cooper, Thm, PhD, The Messiah: His Redemptive Career, [Biblical Research Society, 1935], p. 68)
We then provided evidence from the Hebrew Scriptures to establish that the inspired prophets testified that there are at least two distinct Persons who are God. In this part we will produce further data from the inspired Hebrew Scriptures to confirm this point.
The Lord Yahweh has come!
The prophet Isaiah foretold that a time would come when the Lord God would send a herald to announce the appearing of Yahweh to all mankind who would behold his glory:
“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for Yahweh; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of Yahweh will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.’ … You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Lord (Adonai) Yahweh comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11
According to another inspired prophet the Lord will send a messenger ahead of him to prepare for his coming to his own temple:
“I am about to send my messenger, who will clear the way before me. Indeed, the Lord (ha Adon) you are seeking will suddenly come to HIS temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you long for, is certainly coming,” says the Lord who rules over all.” Malachi 3:1
The phrase ha Adon occurs a total eight of times in the Hebrew Bible, and in every single instance it refers to the one true God Yahweh (cf. Exodus 23:17; 34:23; Isaiah 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33; 19:4; Micah 4:13). This confirms that it is the Lord God himself who is coming to Jerusalem.
In fact, according to the prophetic writings the temple was built for Yahweh and therefore belongs to him:
“Tell him this is what the LORD of hosts says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and buildthe temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the LORD. Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the LORD, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God.” Zechariah 6:12-15
It is thus clear from both of these OT texts that the Lord (Adonai, ha Adon) Yahweh would visit his temple and appear to his people.
According to the NT this was fulfilled when John the Baptist was sent to prepare the people for the appearance of Yahweh God:
“When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’ Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.’ As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: ‘What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”’” Matthew 11:2-10 – cf. Luke 7:18-28 NIV
However, the Lord whom the Baptist came to prepare the way for was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ!
“The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ — ‘a voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’ And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: ‘After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’” Mark 1:1-8
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’ … John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord.” … I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know.He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ … The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.’ The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ John 1:14-15, 23, 26-27, 29-36
By identifying Jesus as the Lord Yahweh whom the prophets Isaiah and Malachi said is coming to visit his people the NT is once again affirming the binitarian nature of Yahweh. According to these inspired Christian Scriptures both the Father and Jesus Christ his beloved Son are Yahweh God.
To summarize the NT application of Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3,
A. According to the inspired NT documents, specifically the Gospels, the Baptist was the voice of Isaiah 40 and the messenger of Malachi 3 who came to prepare the way for the visible appearing of Yahweh God.
B. The Baptist testified that God sent him to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. Therefore, Jesus is Yahweh himself and the very Lord (Adonai, ha Adon) whom the prophets predicted would come to his temple to purify and save his people.
D. At the same time, the Christian Scriptures attest that Jesus is personally distinguished from God the Father.
E. Therefore, both the Father and the Son are Yahweh God and the Lord (Adonai, ha Adon) according to the testimony of the NT.
We now come to our next section.
The Mighty God who rules from on high
Isaiah also predicted the birth of a Child who would be the Mighty God himself coming to rule on David’s throne forever:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (el gibbor), Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
What makes this prophecy rather amazing is that this same prophet testifies that not only is Yahweh the Mighty God but that he is actually the only God that exists!
“Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God (el gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21
“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god (el) was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:10-11
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God (el), and there is no other; I am God (elohim), and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:9-11 – cf. 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 21
But there is more to the picture. The Child who reigns on David’s throne is said to be the Root of Jesse, the father of king David, and that he shall be given the Spirit of Yahweh in order to accomplish Yahweh’s purpose:
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his ROOTS a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:1-10
It is evident from the above passage that the Child that shall be born to rule on David’s throne is personally distinct from Yahweh God, that he and Yahweh are two distinct Persons. And yet Isaiah identifies this same Child as the Mighty God which, as we saw earlier, is a Divine title given to Yahweh himself. This means that the Child must also be Yahweh God even though he is personally distinct from Yahweh!
Thus, according to the prophet Isaiah there are two distinct Persons who are God, namely Yahweh and the Child who reigns on the throne of David who is also called the Root of Jesse.
To sum up what we have learned from the inspired book of Isaiah thus far:
A. A Child shall be born to reign on David’s throne who shall be the Mighty God.
B. Not only is Yahweh expressly called the Mighty God but he is the only God that exists according to the inspired prophet.
C. Therefore, this Child must be Yahweh God.
D. At the same time however, the inspired prophet distinguishes this Child from Yahweh God.
E. This means that there are at least two distinct Persons who are Yahweh God, which means that Isaiah was another prophet who knew and wrote of the binitarian nature of God.
The Exalted Servant from Jesse’s Roots
We are not done yet. There is evidence that this same Root spoken of in Isaiah 11 is the same Person whom Isaiah later identifies as the Servant of Yahweh, the One who shall be highly exalted after offering his life as a sacrifice for the sins of God’s people in order to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. In fact, according to Isaiah this is the only One whom Yahweh will share his glory with:
“Here is my Servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. This is what God the LORD says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: ‘I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.’” Isaiah 42:1-8
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a ROOT out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous Servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12
Like the Root of Jesse, Yahweh’s Servant is also called a Root which comes out of dry ground. And like Jesse’s Root, this Servant is empowered by Yahweh’s Spirit to judge righteously and to bring salvation to the nations who rally to him. In light of these considerations it seems reasonably certain that the Root of Jesse and Yahweh’s Servant are one and the same individual.
What makes this particular Servant so amazing is that Isaiah speaks of his exaltation in the same way that the prophet describes Yahweh’s exalted status and throne:
“Behold, My Servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up (yarum wa nissa) and greatly exalted (we-gabah me’od). Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.” Isaiah 52:13-15
Now compare this with the following verses:
“In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (ram wa nissa); and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts!’” Isaiah 6:1-5
“Yahweh is exalted, for he dwells on high (marom); he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.” Isaiah 33:5
“For thus says the high and lofty One (ram wa-nissa) who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high (marom) and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite/crushed and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” Isaiah 57:15
Astonishingly, according to the inspired prophet Yahweh alone will be exalted whereas everyone else will be humbled:
“The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and Yahweh ALONE will be exalted in that day. For Yahweh of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty (ram), against all that is lifted up (nissa) and high; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up (ha ramim wa ha nissa’im)… And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and Yahweh ALONE will be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:11-13, 17
Thus, by using the same language to describe the exaltation of Yahweh’s Servant Isaiah is emphatically testifying that the Servant will be exalted to sit on Yahweh’s own throne so as to share in Yahweh’s unique rule over all creation!
Here we will quote the renowned Messianic Jewish scholar Dr. Michael L. Brown who helps us to see how some of the traditional Jewish sources interpreted Isaiah 52:13:
“Because this traditional literature is so vast – it is rightly called the sea of the Talmud – and because it is possible to find a totally obscure, almost unknown text to support virtually any position, we will focus instead on one widely quoted Rabbinic tradition, namely, the midrash to Isaiah 52:13… This is explained in the midrash as follows:
Who art thou, o great mountain? (Zech. iv. 7). This refers to the King Messiah. And why does he call him ‘the great mountain’ because he is greater than the patriarchs as it is said, ‘My servant shall be high and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly’ – he will be higher than Abraham, who says, ‘I raise high my hands unto the Lord’ (Gen. xiv. 22); lifted up above Moses, to whom it is said, ‘Lifted itup into thy bosom’ (Num. xi. 12); loftier than the ministering angels, of whom it is written, ‘Their wheels were lofty and terrible’ (Ez. i. 18). And out of whom does he come forth? Out of David (Yalqut Shim‘oni 2:571).
“Why did the midrash attribute such prominence to the Messiah, based on Isaiah 52:13? It could be that elsewhere in Isaiah such terms of exaltation (raised, lifted up, highly exalted) were rightly applied only to God. In fact, you could argue that nowhere in the entire Book of Isaiah is anyone – including the Lord himself – described in such exalted terms, and so it was only natural that this would catch the attention of the midrashic preachers and writers. What is more interesting than this is the commentary on this midrash by leading traditional scholars. Rabbi Don Yitshaq Abravanel, the illustrious Spanish Bible commentator and philosopher, helps put this in context. Noting that the midrash explains Isaiah 52:13 with reference to ‘the King Messiah,’ Abravanel states:
It is extremely difficult to understand how any child of man can be exalted above Moses, of whom the Law bears witness, saying, ‘No prophet ever arose in Israel like him’ (Deut. xxxiv. 10); still more so, then, how any one ‘born of woman’ can assume a position higher than the angels, whose substance admits of nothing above it except the substance of the First Cause: from the latter expression, in fact, Christian teachers have attempted to establish their doctrine of the Divinity of the Messiah…
“But it is not just ‘the heretics’ who have interpreted this midrash with regard to the Messiah’s exalted nature. Some traditional Jewish commentators have not been far behind. Just look at what Rabbi Ibn Crispin (fourteenth century) wrote about the Messiah’s exaltation above the angels.
Exceedingly above the ministering angels, because that same comprehensive intelligence will approach [God] more nearly than theirs.For it is an exceedingly high privilege, that one whose nature is compound and material should attain to a grade of intelligence more nearly Divine than that which belongs to the incorporeal; and so it is said of him that ‘his strength is greater than that of the ministering angels,’ because these have no impediment in the exercise of their intellect, whereas that which is compound is continually impeded in consequence of material element in its nature. Accordingly the grade of his intelligence being such as this, he is said to be ‘lofty exceedingly,’ and his strength to be ‘greater than the angels.’
… And when this ‘servant of the Lord’ is born, from the day when he comes to years of discretion, he will continue to be marked by the possession of intelligence enabling him to acquire from God what it is impossible for any to acquire until he reaches the height whither none of the sons of men, except him, have ever ascended.
“When you couple descriptions such as these with other traditions that speak of the Messiah’s preexistence (or the preexistence of his name; see Pesahim 54a; Nedarim 39b) or his coming in the clouds of heaven (b. Sanhedrin 96b-97a), it is easy to see that there are, in fact, Jewish traditions that recognize the exalted, superhuman, and even semi-divine stature of the Messiah…” (Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 2000], Volume Two. Theological Objections, 3.22. Jews don’t believe in a divine Messiah, pp. 214-216; bold emphasis ours)
A truly amazing Servant indeed!
To summarize Isaiah’s inspired witness to God’s uni-plurality:
1. The Mighty God will be born as a Child in order to reign on David’s throne forever.
2. Yahweh is said to be the Mighty God and the only God who exists.
3. Therefore, the Child who is born is none other than Yahweh himself.
4. At the same time this Child is said to be the Root of Jesse and Yahweh’s Servant who is exalted to share in Yahweh’s own rule over all creation.
5. The Child must therefore be personally distinct from Yahweh.
6. This means that there are at least two distinct Divine Persons of God.
The Divine Son of Man
Isaiah wasn’t the only prophet who spoke of another Person ruling alongside Yahweh since the prophet Daniel did as well. According to Daniel there is actually more than one throne in heaven, one of which is occupied by a Being whom all the nations are required to worship and serve as he rules over them forever. Moreover, this specific Person has the appearance of a human being:
“As I looked, THRONES were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his SEAT. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His THRONE was flaming with fire, and ITS wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened… In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led INTO HIS PRESENCE. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Notice how Daniel sees thrones being set in place even though the Ancient of Days (who is obviously God) occupies only one of them. It is clear from the context that the One whom Daniel describes as a Son of Man occupies the other throne since Daniel expressly says that this specific individual reigns forever.
Furthermore, the phrase Son of Man implies that this particular figure whom Daniel saw coming with the clouds of heaven had a human appearance. This means that Daniel actually saw a Man in his vision, One whom all human beings are required to worship and serve forever.
Moreover, it is certain that this human figure was more than a man, even more than an angel, since he rides the clouds like God does, reigns forever like God does, and is worshiped in the same way that God is.
For example, according to the OT it is Yahweh who rides the clouds,
“An oracle concerning Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.” Isaiah 19:1
“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,and clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:3 – cf. Exodus 13:21-22; 14:24; 24:9-18; 33:7-11; 40:34-38; Numbers 10:34; Psalm 68:33-34; 104:3
The Hebrew Bible also teaches that Yahweh is the King of heaven who has his throne there:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Daniel 4:37
“The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.” Psalm 11:4
“I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.” Psalm 123:1
The inspired prophets further bore witness to the fact that Yahweh is eternally exalted as King over all the nations and that these nations are required to worship and serve him:
“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 – cf. 2:44-45; 3:16-18, 28; 4:34-35; 6:16, 20, 26
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him. For the kingdom is the LORD'S And He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28
“Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.’ Selah” Psalm 66:1-4
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” Psalm 86:9
“But you, O LORD, are exalted forever.” Psalm 92:8
“Thus says the LORD, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool Where then is a house you could build for Me?… And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the LORD. Isaiah 66:1, 23
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. ‘For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.’” Daniel 6:26
“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 – cf. 3:16-18, 28; 6:16, 20
“I will make the lame a remnant And the outcasts a strong nation, And the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever.” Micah 4:7
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, they will have no rain.” Zechariah 14:16-17
In fact, just as we saw in our discussion of Isaiah, the Scriptures testify that only Yahweh is exalted as King over the entire creation:
“How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! … For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham, For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.” Psalm 47:2, 7-9
“Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—that you ALONE are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18
“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:3
“For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9
“The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted (we’ram) over all the peoples.” Psalm 99:1-2
“The LORD is high (ram) above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high (hammagebihi), Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?” Psalm 113:4-6
Thus, if Yahweh is exalted over all created reality as sovereign King this means that there is no one who is as highly exalted as he. However, Isaiah’s Suffering Servant and Daniel’s Son of Man share in Yahweh’s exaltation over all creation.
Here is a brief summary of Daniel’s testimony in light of the overall teachings of the inspired OT writings:
1. Yahweh is the king of heaven.
2. Yahweh’s throne is in heaven.
3. Yahweh is exalted above all creation as king.
4. Yahweh is exalted as ruler forever.
5. Yahweh rides the clouds.
6. All the nations that Yahweh has made shall worship and serve him.
7. At the same time there is another throne in heaven which the Son of Man occupies.
8. This Son of Man reigns forever.
9. This Son of Man rides the clouds.
10. All the nations shall worship and serve this Son of Man.
11. Therefore, according to the inspired testimony of Daniel, Yahweh (whom the prophet identifies as the Ancient of Days/Most High) and the Son of Man are both God.
It is evident from our discussion and examination of the OT writings that the inspired prophets did not view God as a singular Person. God’s emissaries believed and taught that the God of Israel is a singular Being who is multi-personal in nature.
According to the prophetic writings there are at least two distinct Persons who are God. For instance, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the Mighty God being born as a Child in order to reign on David’s throne forever.
This Child is also said to be the Root of Jesse and the Servant of Yahweh upon whom Yahweh places his Spirit.
This is the Servant who offers his life as a sacrifice for the sins of God’s people.
After laying his life down as a guilt offering Yahweh exalts the Servant to share in Yahweh’s exalted status and rule over all creation.
David refers to his Lord being enthroned at Yahweh’s right hand.
David’s Lord is also an eternal priest in the order of Melchizedek.
One of the functions of a priest is to offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins.
Daniel sees a fully Divine figure with a human appearance that all the nations worship and serve forever since he is their King.
By piecing all of these passages together it seems reasonably certain that David’s Lord is the Divine Son of Man who is the Child that is born as a human being to reign over David’s throne as the Mighty God forever and who also shares in Yahweh’s own unique rule over all creation.
We also briefly saw how the NT writings confirm the binitarian nature of God since they take OT texts which speak of Yahweh coming to dwell with his people and apply them to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing this the inspired NT writers affirm that Jesus is God even though they also maintain that Christ is personally distinct from God the Father. Since both the Father and the Son are God according to the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures this means that the NT authors believed that the Godhead consists of at least two Divine Persons thereby perfectly comporting with the witness of the OT prophets.
However, there is a lot more evidence from the NT which we have to examine. Lord willing, that will come in the next installments which will be appearing soon.