When people realize that the Tanakh is still completely valid in our lives today, they very often start to struggle with the concept of “YHVH echad” as recorded in the Shema.
The direct interpretation of this verse gives them the impression that YHVH can only exist in one form, for He is one. There can be no other form otherwise this would imply two Elohim. Nobody that we have come across has this issue with the Rauch. All people seem to accept the Ruach as being a part of YHVH, but the concept of a physical manifestation of YHVH is often questioned. This is of course also fueled by the Jewish anti-missionaries we likes to spread the message that believing in Y’Shua is a form of polytheism (believe in multiple gods) that was influenced by the Greek beliefs.
However, what is not as commonly discussed is the fact that in the Tanakh, before the birth of Y’Shua, we see multiple manifestations of YHVH in different forms. The Jewish faith had for a long period had the concept of “Two Powers in Heaven.” This view was declared heretical in Jewish theology around the second century C.E. 1 If we go back into the Tanakh and look for these manifestations of YHVH, we will find them there, hidden in plain sight. Let’s see what we can learn from the passages in Scripture where YHVH manifested Himself in a physical form.
Physical manifestations of YHVH in the Tanakh
YHVH appeared in various forms in the Tanakh namely:
- the Angel of YHVH,
- the Word of YHVH,
- the Commander of the Host
- the Name of YHVH .
When we study these verses please take note of the merging of YHVH and these forms. Also note that we find both first and third person narrative, implying that the manifestation and YHVH are one.
We shall now look at each of these in more detail.
Angel of YHVH
Throughout the Tanakh we find references to “the Angel of YHVH” and we find Him speaking in the first person as if He is YHVH. We have looked this topic in a previous article on angels.
The first reference is found in Genesis. Hagar was fleeing from the presence of Sarai when the Angel of YHVH spoke to her.
7 Now the angel of YHVH found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 Then the angel of YHVH said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10 Moreover, the angel of YHVH said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”
Take note that the angel of YHVH said that He will greatly multiply her descendants. If it was a mere angel of YHVH, how can he do that? Keep this in mind as we continue our study.
He proceeds by telling her that she was pregnant and gave her a prophecy regarding her unborn son.
11 The angel of YHVH said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because YHVH has given heed to your affliction.12 “He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” 13 Then she called the name of YHVH who spoke to her, “You are an Elohim who sees” (Elroi); for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?”
In this passage, we see YHVH appearing as the Angel of YHVH, speaking both in the first and third person and Hagar declaring that she has seen YHVH, yet lives. Hagar also calls on “the name of YHVH” who then proceeds to speak to her.
In our next reference Abraham was just about to slay Isaac when the Angel of YHVH spoke to him.
10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of YHVH called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear Elohim, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place YHVH Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of YHVH it will be provided.” 15 Then the angel of YHVH called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares YHVH, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
First the Angel of YHVH told Abraham not to offer his son, in effect cancelling YHVH’s instruction to him to offer his son. Secondly He spoke to Abraham in the first person as if He is YHVH. “You did not withheld your son from Me” and “by myself I have sworn, declares YHVH” and “I will greatly bless you.” From this we can see that it could not have been an angel, but YHVH Himself. Yet, in the text the conversation is started by the Angel of YHVH speaking. The author of these verses made no transition from one speaker to a next, but treats YHVH and the Angel of YHVH as interchangeable.
When Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasah, he prayed the following blessing over them:
15 He blessed Joseph, and said, “The Elohim before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The Elohim who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
In his book “Unseen Realm”2 Mike Heiser picks up another interesting merging of YHVH and the Angel of YHVH in this passage.
But the most striking feature is the verb (“may he bless”). In Hebrew, the verb “bless” in this passage is not grammatically plural, which would indicate two different persons are being asked to bless the boys. Rather, it is singular, thereby telegraphing a tight fusion of the two divine beings on the part of the author. In other words, the writer had a clear opportunity to distinguish the God of Israel from the angel, but instead merges their identities.
The next passage is about the Angel of YHVH speaking to Moses from the midst of the burning bush.
2 The angel of YHVH appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When YHVH saw that he turned aside to look, Elohim called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said also, “I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at Elohim.
Once again, we see a merging of the Angel of YHVH and YHVH when the Angel refers to himself as YHVH. It is clear that in this conversation the author speaks of YHVH and the Angel of YHVH interchangeably as if they are one. It is both YHVH and the Angel of YHVH who speak to Moses from the bush at the same time.
This conversation is continued with YHVH (the Angel of YHVH) telling Moses His name.
13 Then Moses said to Elohim, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 Elohim said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Elohim, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Who brought Israel our of Egypt and through the wilderness?
We know that the nation was lead out of Egypt. But did you know that the Scripture gives us different answers to who lead them out. Notice the following verses as to who exactly it was that lead them out.
20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22 “But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
Note here: this Angel has the ability to forgive the transgressions of the people. Who is it that forgives our transgressions?
Now let’s see what the next references tells us.
45 ‘For I am YHVH who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your Elohim; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’ ”
35 “To you it was shown that you might know that YHVH, He is Elohim; there is no other besides Him. 36 “Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. 37 “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.
17 for YHVH our Elohim is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.
Now we have three refernces that tell us that it was YHVH who personally lead them out of Egypt. Does this mean that the first verse may have it wrong? We know that we do not have errors in Scripture, thus we need to continue looking for a clue here.
1 Now the angel of YHVH came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, 2 and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? 3 “Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they will become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’ ” 4 When the angel of YHVH spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.
So now we have more than one reference for both the Angel of YHVH and YHVH leading them out of Egypt.
5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.
Two earlier manuscripts read Y’shua in place of “the Lord.”
In these passages, we see again the merging of YHVH and the Angel of YHVH as if they were the same. They both did the same thing, but we know that Israel were not lead out of Egypt more than once. In two earlier manuscripts of the book of Jude, Y’shua is mentioned as the One who saved the people out of the land of Egypt.
The next passage is about the talking donkey of Balaam.
It is written that Elohim was angry with Balaam and the Angel of YHVH stood as adversary against him three times. Note the interchange between the Angel of YHVH and YHVH in this passage.
21 So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab. 22 But Elohim was angry because he was going, and the angel of YHVH took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of YHVH standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. 24 Then the angel of YHVH stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of YHVH, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 The angel of YHVH went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of YHVH, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28 And YHVH opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then YHVH opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of YHVH standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of YHVH said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.
Note the last verse: “I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.” the angel of YHVH came out as adversary because Elohim said that He was angry. This last verse again mixes the Angel of YHVH and YHVH as one entity.
In the apperance to Gideon, to call him to save the people from the oppression of the Mideanites, we again see the switching between the Angel of YHVH and YHVH.
11 Then the angel of YHVH came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of YHVH appeared to him and said to him, “YHVH is with you, O valiant warrior.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if YHVH is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not YHVH bring us up from Egypt?’ But now YHVH has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 YHVH looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 He said to Him, “O YHVH, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 But YHVH said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” 17 So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. 18 “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
Here we see the conversation starting again with the Angel of YHVH telling Gideon that YHVH is with them. Here the Angel of YHVH is referring to YHVH in the third form. In his answer, Gideon also keeps on speaking of YHVH in the third forms. But then, it is YHVH that looks at Gideon and speaks to him.
Gideon asked for a sign that it is YHVH who is speaking to him. YHVH was to remain there in order for him to bring Him an offering. YHVH said that He would.
19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. 21 Then the angel of YHVH put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of YHVH vanished from his sight. 22 When Gideon saw that he was the angel of YHVH, he said, “Alas, O YHVH Elohim! For now I have seen the angel of YHVH face to face.” 23 YHVH said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”
When Gideon gets back it is the Angel of YHVH that he sees and interacts with, and then the Angel disappears. Gideon confirms that he has seen the Angel of YHVH, but YHVH confirms to him that he would not die. Why was this a concern for Gideon if it was a “normal” angel that he saw?
Manoah, father of Samson
Here we see the Angel of YHVH appearing to Manoah and his barren wife to inform them that they will have a son and that the son would have speial calling. First we see the Angel of YHVH appearing to the wife.
3 Then the angel of YHVH appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son.
Then the angel of YHVH appeared again to Manoah and his wife in the form of man.
11 Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to the woman?” And he said, “I am.” 12 Manoah said, “Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?” 13 So the angel of YHVH said to Manoah, “Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. 14 “She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.” 15 Then Manoah said to the angel of YHVH, “Please let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.” 16 The angel of YHVH said to Manoah, “Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to YHVH.” For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of YHVH. 17 Manoah said to the angel of YHVH, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?” 18 But the angel of YHVH said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to YHVH, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of YHVH ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 Now the angel of YHVH did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of YHVH. 22 So Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, for we have seen Elohim.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If YHVH had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.”
In this text we see that Manoah and his wife speaking to an angel in the form of a man. According to verse 16, initally they did not know that this was “the Angel of YHVH.” They knew that they were speaking to an angel, but not the Angel. It is clear from the text that this is not “normal” angel. We also see in verse 19 that THIS Angel was capable of doing wonders while Manoah and his wife were looking on. When the Angel ascended into heaven with the flame of the altar, Manoah realized that this was the Angel. From the words Manoah spoke to his wife, we can see that they believed this Angel to be YHVH. He clearly states in verse 22 that they had seen Elohim.
Now ,we move past the period of the judges and into the period of the kings.
After David counted the men of Israel, he was given a choice of punishment. He chose to fall into YHVH’s hands.
1 Chronicles 21:16–17
16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of YHVH standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to Elohim, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O YHVH my Elohim, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
2 Samuel 24:15–17
15 So YHVH sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, YHVH relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of YHVH was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to YHVH when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”
In these two references we see that YHVH had chosen to execute His judgement via the Angel of YHVH. What makes these passages interesting is that the word used for the”angel who destroyed” is also used in another episode where divine judgement was executed. We find this with the final plague in Egypt where we find a reference to “the destoyer.”
“For YHVH will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, YHVH will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
In both cases, we see the Angel of YHVH acting as the physical agent of YHVH in executing His judgement on earth. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he also refers to the term.
1 Corinthians 10:9–11
9 Nor let us try YHVH, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
In the prophecies of Zechariah regarding the end-times, we see another instance where divine judgement will be executed.
8 “In that day YHVH will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like Elohim, like the angel of YHVH before them. 9 “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
In this case we see that YHVH promised to destoy the nations that come against Jerusalem, while defending the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It is the Angel of YHVH that would go before them to defend them, just like with the exodus from Egypt.
We also see the Angel of YHVH in other visions of the prophet Zechariah.
9 Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.” 10 And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom YHVH has sent to patrol the earth.” 11 So they answered the angel of YHVH who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.” 12 Then the angel of YHVH said, “O YHVH of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” 13 YHVH answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. 14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says YHVH of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. 15 “But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” 16 ‘Therefore thus says YHVH, “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,” declares YHVH of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.” ’ 17 “Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says YHVH of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and YHVH will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.” ’ ”
As in the previous passage, we see an interchange taking place between YHVH and the angel of YHVH. They seem to be separate in these two passages. But, as in the previous reference from Zechariah, we again find the Angel of YHVH as the agent though which the divine judgements are executed on earth.
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of YHVH, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 YHVH said to Satan, “YHVH rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, YHVH who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. 4 He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” 5 Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of YHVH was standing by. 6 And the angel of YHVH admonished Joshua, saying, 7 “Thus says YHVH of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.
In this passage, we again see the Angel of YHVH as the one acting as the agent of YHVH in the heavenly courtroom. What is very puzzling here is the statement in verse 2 – YHVH said to satan, “YHVH rebuke you satan.” Why would YHVH speak of Himself in the third person?
From all these verses, we have seen that YHVH used the form of the Angel of YHVH to manifest himself in the physical realm. In a number of cases it is difficult to distinguish between YHVH and the Angel of YHVH in the text as the authors seem to treat them as one. We also see cases where they are distinct like when YHVH instructed the Angel of YHVH to execute His judgement on earth. We have also seen in the case of Manoah and his wife, that the Angel of YHVH had taken a human form, but Manoah and his wife knew that they had seen YHVH.
However, this is not the only way in which YHVH manifested Himself in the Tanakh.
Besides the Angel of YHVH, we also see other forms YHVH used to manifest Himself in the physical realm. In Exodus 23 YHVH told the nation how they would be led out of Egypt, here He spoke of the Angel that would lead them and told them to obey Him.
21 “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.
Mike Heiser made the following observations in his book, The Unseen Realm, regarding this statement.
There’s something strange about God’s description to Moses that tells us that this is no ordinary angel. This angel has the authority to pardon sins or not, a status that belongs to God. More specifically, God tells Moses that the reason this angel has this authority is “my name is in him” (v. 21).
What does this curious phrase mean? Moses knew instantly. Anyone thinking of the burning bush account does as well. When God told Moses that his name was in this angel, he was saying that he was in this angel—his very presence or essence.3
Some readers with Jewish friends or a Jewish background know that even today the phrase “the Name” (ha-shem) is used by many Jews in the place of the divine name Yahweh. The biblical passages we’ve seen above show that there is biblical precedent for the practice. In other passages, “the Name” functions as a substitute word for Yahweh. In several the Name is personified—the Name is a person. 4
Here are a few other examples where we find the “Name of YHVH” taking on physical attributes or perform physical actions.:
27 Behold, the name of YHVH comes from a remote place; Burning is His anger and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation And His tongue is like a consuming fire;
1 May YHVH answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the Elohim of Jacob set you securely on high!
7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of YHVH, our Elohim.
YHVH’s physical presence is represented by His Name. We see often that Jerusalem is referred to as the place that YHVH had chosen for His Name to dwell.
5 “But you shall seek YHVH at the place which YHVH your Elohim will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.
11 then it shall come about that the place in which YHVH your Elohim will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to YHVH.
From these passages, we learn that YHVH’s Name represents Him, His essence and physical presence. His Name is where he had chosen to dwell among men.
We also find Y’Shua using the term when referring to the essence of YHVH being revealed to mankind.
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
This verse may seem simple to understand at first, but if you read it within the context, it raises a number of questions. Most simple one “”Did the disciples not know the name of YHVH and Y’Shua had to teach them the real name of YHVH? ” Y’Shua mentions that these people did keep the word of YHVH, thus we can assume they knew the Tanakh. Then why would they not know the true name of YHVH? Maybe Y’Shua was not referring to the physical name, YHVH, but the complete and true essence of who YHVH is. Y’Shua is stating that He had had physically manifested the true YHVH to them. We see this being expanded on in the following verses of John 17.
11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Also, the apostle John uses the phrase in his third letter.
3 John 5–8
5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of Elohim. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.
A detailed study of the letters of John will reveal two important contextual topics:
- The main issue that John was addressing in his letters were the heresies that were floating around regarding Y’Shua the Messiah. We was dealing with Gnosticism, especially with Docetic Gnosticism and Cerinthian Gnosticism. The Docetics denied the humanity of Y’Shua as they claimed that is impossible for YHVH to become flesh as all physical things are bad. The Cerinthians separate the physical person Y’Shua from the deity. According to them Y’Shua only had the power of Messiah in Him from His Baptism until His death. John spends a large part of the first and parts of the second letter to defend the truth of Y’Shua and His message.
- John used “code” in his letters to prevent the receivers of his letters being prosecuted for their believes. A good example of this is the phrase “The elder to the chosen lady and her children“. Most scholars believe that the “chosen lady and her children” is code for the community he was writing to.
With these two points we can again look at the interpretation of “they went out for the sake of the name.” We could use two theories here, John was referring to YHVH or he was referring to Y’Shua. We know that they are actually one, but in this case he was using code to refer to the teachings of Y’Shua. In the previous verse John was speaking of Elohim – Greek “ho theos” but here he specifically uses the term “the name.” As Jews already knew of the use of the term “the Name” to refer to physical manifestations of YHVH, John had no problem to use this term to refer to Y’Shua.
We have now seen two terms that were used to refer to the physical manifestation in the Tanakh. The use of the term “name of YHVH” was aso known and used by Y’Shua to refer to the true essence and nature of YHVH. John most likely also used this term to refer to Y’Shua.
We have some more phrases to have a look at.
The Word of YHVH
We often think of the term “the word of YHVH” as referring to the words we read in the Bible. Most of us will also recall the verses in the Gospel of John that refer to Y’Shua as the Word.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
If we go back to the Tanakh, we will also find the term being used. We can find this term already being used in Genesis. When YHVH spoke to Abram in a vision, we see that the text actually states that it is the “word of YHVH” that was speaking to Abram. It is the “word of YHVH” that was speaking to Abram, and gave Abram the promise of a son and numerous decendants.
1 After these things the word of YHVH came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” 2 Abram said, “O YHVH Elohim, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of YHVH came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
We find Abram replying to YHVH his Elohim. Abram knew who it was that was speaking to him and making the promises. We also see that it is “He“, refering to “YHVH Elohim” that leads Abram outside. We see the same pattern as with Moses and the burning bush. There it was the “Angel of YHVH” and YHVH that were interchanging in the scene, but in this scene we have the Word of YHVH and YHVH being interchanged with one another.
The next good example we find in the Tanakh is with YHVH appearing to Samuel at Shilo. We al know that YHVH called Samuel multiple times before Eli told him that it was YHVH that was calling him. It is important to look at the complete picture here. Let us start with verse 1.
1 Samuel 3:1
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to YHVH before Eli. And word from YHVH was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.
What is the author trying to tell us here? Is he trying to tell us that YHVH was not speaking via prophets at this time? If we was simply referring to words spoken to or via prophets, why is their also mention of visions? Visions are visible and we see in the verses that follow that the encounter here is visual not purely audible. If we look at the test in detail, we see the author giving us very specific hints as to what he was referring to. Let’s look at verse 7.
1 Samuel 3:7
Now Samuel did not yet know YHVH, nor had the word of YHVH yet been revealed to him.
Why would Samuel not know YHVH? We know that his parents knew YHVH and here he is serving in the tabernacle with the high priest. Surely he must have know who YHVH was. What the author is actually telling us is that YHVH a not yet physically shown Himself to Samuel yet. The “word of YHVH“, that is the physical manifestation of YHVH had not yet happened and that from verse 1 we know that physical manifestations were rare in this time. Verse 10 confirms for us that Samuel’s encounter was more than a voice speaking to him.
1 Samuel 3:10
10 Then YHVH came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
This verse uses language of action. “YHVH came and stood” would not be required if it was merely a voice that Samuel heard. Later we also learn that Samuel had a “vision.” This implies that Samuel saw YHVH in some form. The form is give to us in the last verse of the chapter.
1 Samuel 3:21
21 And YHVH appeared again at Shiloh, because YHVH revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of YHVH.
Here we see that the form that YHVH revealed Himself in was “the word of YHVH.” We have conformation of this fact in the first chapter of Jeremiah.
Here we find the description of the prophet Jeremiah being called and consecrated by YHVH as His prophet. Most wil remember that the lips of Jeremiah was touched by YHVH to enable him to speak the Word of YHVH. Let us again pay close attention to what the text actually tell us. Look at these two verses:
1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of YHVH came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
4 Now the word of YHVH came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Here we find that it was the “word of YHVH” that came to Jeremiah. We know that it was a physical manifestation of YHVH that was shown to Jeremiah as we again see physical actions being performed. In this case we read about the touching of the lips of Jermiah by the hand of YHVH. Note that in this verse the author is regering to YHVH, not the “word of YHVH“. Again we see the author interchanging YHVH and the “word of YHVH” in the vision.
9 Then YHVH stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and YHVH said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
It is the word of YHVH that comes to Jeremiah, but later it is YHVH that touches his mouth. Jeremiah knows who it is that he is seeing as he calls YHVH by His Name in verse 6.
Then I said, “Alas, Lord YHVH! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.”
Thus, from these examples we can clearly see that the term “word of YHVH” is another way to refer to a manifestation of YHVH. We have one more less obvious phrase to investigate.
Captain of the host of YHVH
This is another term that we had aready looked at in our article on angels.
13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14 He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15 The captain of the YHVH’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The term “captain of YHVH’s host” is the other term that is used. This is confirmed for us if we look at the references in Number 22:23 and 1 Chronicles 21:16. For more details please review our previous article.
The glory of YHVH
One other manifestation that we all may recall, but did not really interpret as a physical manifestation is “the glory of YHVH.”
When Moses was on the mountain, the mountain was covered with a cloud. From the text, it is clear that this cloud was a manifestation of the glory of YHVH.
15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of YHVH rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of YHVH was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
We see that YHVH was in the midst of the cloud when He spoke to Moses. Most interesting, the people did not see this manifestation as a cloud, but as a consuming fire.
Most will be able to recall that the glory of YHVH filled the temple. In most people’s minds, we do not picture this as a physical manifestation. Yet, we all know that the temple is the place where YHVH has made His abode.
Before the temple was built, the abode of YHVH was in the tabernacle. To be more exact, YHVH said that He will meet with the people from the mercy seat of the ark.
21 “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. 22 “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.
When the ark was captured, and Eli and his son’s died, his daughter-in-law gave birth to a son. She called this son Ichabot – in Hebrew this means “no glory.” The reason she gives for this is because when the ark was captured, the glory of YHVH had left the Israelites. Thus, we can see that the physical presence of YHVH, referred to as the “glory of YHVH” was seen to be associated with the mercy seat.
1 Samuel 4:21–22
21 And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of Elohim was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of Elohim was taken.”
Later, when Solomon built the new house of YHVH, the temple, we see that YHVH again make this His abode on earth. He states that he is building this temple for the “name of YHVH.”
1 Kings 5:5
“Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of YHVH my Elohim, as YHVH spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’
After seeing what the term “name of YHVH” could mean, it is interesting to now read what happened on the day that the temple was dedicated.
2 Chronicles 5:14
so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of YHVH filled the house of Elohim.
Once you have gotten used to the fact that these terms may refer to the physical presence of YHVH, some verses start taking a new meaning. Look at the statement that Solomon made after the dedication of the temple.
2 Chronicles 6:4–10
4 He said, “Blessed be YHVH, the Elohim of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hands, saying, 5 ‘Since the day that I brought My people from the land of Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man for a leader over My people Israel; 6 but I have chosen Jerusalem that My name might be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ 7 “Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of YHVH, the Elohim of Israel. 8 “But YHVH said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 9 ‘Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he shall build the house for My name.’ 10 “Now YHVH has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in the place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as YHVH promised, and have built the house for the name of YHVH, the Elohim of Israel.
One of the prophecies that Isaiah made regarding the future of Zion, is that they will again be able to see the glory of YHVH.
It will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of YHVH, The majesty of our Elohim.
Why would such a prophecy be required? We can see in the writing of the prophet Ezekiel a number of references to the “glory of YHVH.” In the case of Ezekiel, we again see the mixing of YHVH and the “glory of YHVH” as if they are one. We also see the “glory of YHVH” performing actions.
4 And behold, the glory of the Elohim of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain. 5 Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance.
2 and behold, the glory of the Elohim of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3 And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of YHVH came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. 5 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of YHVH filled the house.
It is also in the visions of Ezekiel that we find the reason for the prophecy of the glory of YHVH returning to Zion.
3 Then the glory of the Elohim of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. 4 YHVH said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”
18 Then the glory of YHVH departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of YHVH’s house, and the glory of the Elohim of Israel hovered over them.
In Jewish literature , the glory of YHVH is often referred to as the Shekinah. If we look this up in the Jewish Encyclopedia, we find the following definition:
The majestic presence or manifestation of God which has descended to “dwell” among men. Like MEMRA (= “word”; “logos”) and “Yeḳara” (i.e., “Kabod”= “glory”), the term was used by the Rabbis in place of “God” where the anthropomorphic (the ascription to the Deity of human forms or modes and of human feelings or moods, respectively) expressions of the Bible were no longer regarded as proper.5
The physical presence of YHVH is one of the blessings that the people of Israel have, when compared to other nations. In his letter to the people in Rome, Paul mentions this list of unique blessings that the Israelites have, including the covenants, the Torah and the temple. Amongst them is also the presence of YHVH among them.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Messiah for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all, Elohim blessed forever. Amen.
We have one more manifestation in the Tanakh that refers to YHVH . In this case, we do find confirmation of this fact in the Apostolic Scriptures. Here is what we learn about Melchizedek in the Tanakh.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of El Elyon. 19 He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of El Elyon, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be El Elyon, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all.
We also find one more reference in the Tanakh referring to the priesthood of Melchizedek. Here David uses the term when prophesying about Y’Shua.
YHVH has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
It is these two references that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews picks up to describe the priesthood of Y’Shua.
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High Elohim (El Elyon), who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of Elohim, he remains a priest perpetually.
The conclusion that is mad in this text is that Melchizedek is like the Son of Elohim. In Matthew 4:3 we see satan calling Y’Shua the “Son of Elohim.” This provides us with an indirect link between Y’Shua and Melchizedek. Y’shua is the one priest according to this priesthood.
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?
Please note that this verse specifically refers to one priest. The Greek word used here is in a masculine, singular form. For more on this, please refer to our article “A spiritual priesthood?“
YHVH appearing as a man
We have one very interesting case where YHVH Himself manifested in the form of a man. This happened when the three mean appeared to warn Abram of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The description of this incident starts with this verse:
1 Now YHVH appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by.
While the three men were eating, Abram got the message that Sarah would bear a son. When Sarah laughs to herself, we see the following verse:
13 And YHVH said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 “Is anything too difficult for YHVH? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Thus, we have a case where YHVH Himself appears and speaks to Abram to make a promise. It is also clear that Abram knew that it was YHVH who he spoke to. He refers to YHVH as “the Judge of all the earth.”
24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 So YHVH said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”
This link between Melchizedek and Y’Shua brings us into the Apostolic Scriptures. Here we see the continuation of the physical manifestation of YHVH among His people. Here we see the manifestation f YHVH in the form of Y’shua. The Apostolic Scriptures are filled with references to Y’Shua.
The name “Y’Shua” is significant as a name indicates purpose and character. The name “Y’Shua” in Hebrew means “YHVH saves.” So, here we have a physical manifestation of YHVH that has the purpose of bringing the salvation of YHVH to His people. In Y’Shua we see a number of similarities to other manifestations.
As we have seen in many other places, YHVH and the physical manifestation is seen as one and the writers switch between the two as if they are one. We also find Y’Shua stating that He is one with YHVH.
30 “I and the Father are one.”
John makes it even more specific for us. Y’Shua (or “the Word” as John refers to Him) was Elohim and was with Elohim from the beginning.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 He was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Later in the Gospel of John we see that Y’Shua also made a statement that may be odd to you thus far. Y’Shua stated that He manifested “the name” of YHVH to the men that YHVH gave Him.
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
As all of Y’Shua’s disciples were Jewish, we should be able to assume that they knew the “name of YHVH.” We see YHVH referred to by many names in the Tanakh. If we really want to know YHVH, we need to be sure that we know Him by all the names that He calls Himself. For a more detailed study on this, please refer to our earlier article – Knowning YHVH.
All the disciples were raised as Jews and were instructed in the content of the Tanakh. YHVH clearly named Himself when Moses asked for His name.
14 Elohim said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Elohim, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
So what exactly was then manifested? If we go back to the fact that the “name of YHVH” in some cases refer to a physical manifestation of YHVH, the statement may take a completely new meaning. Y’Shua is claiming that He physically manifested YHVH to the people.
Thus, we see that Y’Shua is not something new. The physical manifestations of YHVH appeared all over the Tanakh. It is not that YHVH suddenly needed an “assistant” and then created a physical manifestation.
Although the concept of physical manifesting is not new, the purpose of the manifestation is different. In the Tanakh, the manifestations were used to convey a message or to execute a judgement. Y’Shua had a different purpose.
Y’Shua as a manifestation of YHVH , had the purpose of redeeming us from the curse of sin placed upon us, as indicated by His name. YHVH is a righteous Elohim, and if the penalty for sin is everlasting death, then we, as sinners, should suffer this penalty. In Scripture, there exists a legal way for a person to be redeemed. This is referred to as the “kinsman redeemer.” It is this vehicle that YHVH used to set us free from our deserved punishment. For a detailed study of Y’Shua as our kinsman redeemer, please refer to our earlier study – Redemption – Part 2 – The Kinsman Redeemer.
The kinsman redeemer has the ability to redeem others. He could redeem them from debt, including slavery due to debt. He was also able to redeem their land, or inheritance for them if they had lost it. But in order to do this, the kinsman redeemer had to meet certain conditions. These conditions are described for us in Leviticus 25.
47 ‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 ‘He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 ‘If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption.
From this passage we have seen three criteria:
- it is also stated that they may redeem him (Lev 25:48), which point to it that it was done voluntarily
- it is the next of kin or the person himself who does the redemption (Lev 25:48-49)
- the redeemer will pay the full price (Lev 25:50-52)
We can also see that Y’Shua met all these criteria:
- Y’Shua accepted of His free will to offer up His life for us. (Matt 6:39,42)
- Y’Shua was born of a woman, an Israelite woman. (John 1:14) This is different from all other manifestations that we had seen so far. It makes Y’Shua a kinsman to all of Israel.
- The price Y’Shua paid was His life. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Thus, the full price had been paid. As Y’Shua did not sin, He did not need to die, but paid the price on our behalf.
Thus, we see that Y’Shua had to be born in the flesh, remain free from sin and with His life, pay the full price for our sins. All of this had to happen because YHVH is a righteous Elohim.
Son of Elohim
Y’Shua is also referred to in our English translations as the “only begotten son” of YHVH. In our article, An introduction to the spiritual realm, we already discussed this topic. The key verse to review here is one of the most quoted verses of the Apostolic Scriptures.
“For Elohim so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
We see other people, like David, also being referred to as sons of YHVH. In Exodus 4:22 Israel is also referred to as YHVH’s “firstborn.” How then can Y’Shua be the “only begotten Son“? We also know that Y’Shua existed from the beginning. How then is He “begotten?”Maybe we need to re-look the original text.
The term “only begotten” or Greek “monogenes” is more accurately translated as “one of a kind” or “unique.” Proof of this is found in Hebrews 11:17 where there is referred to Isaac as Abraham’s only begotten son. Ishmail was already born by then, but Isaac was unique in that he was the son promised to Abraham by YHVH. The one that carried forth the promise. Y’shua is likewise YHVH’s son of promise.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
Thus, we see in the Greek word, that Y’Shua was unique or different from the others. But why is He referred to as a son?
Y’Shua also manifested on earth so that He could model for us our true position in the Kingdom of YHVH. He came to model sonship to us. Y’Shua was call “son” by YHVH.
16 After being baptized, Y’Shua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of Elohim descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
In Matt 4:3,6 we also see satan calling Y’Shua the son of Elohim, which Y’Shua does not deny. Y’Shua also refer to YHVH as His Father and Himself as the son.
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
One of the things that Y’Shua said He came to do was to remove the yoke of slavery from the people. This is one of the things that a kinsman redeemer is allowed to do. Y’Shua specifically said to His disciples that they are no longer slaves.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Paul also mentioned in his Epistles to the Romans that if we are being led by the Ruach, we are sons of Elohim. This also implies that we no longer has the spirit of slavery, that leads us to fear.
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Y’Shua showed us that we should not live in spirit of fear, but live as sons. A son knows his father’s love and does not feel obliged to perform in order to receive love. This was one of the key teachings from the Pharisees and the scribes that Y’Shua had to correct.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
We see that Y’Shua was not pleased with how the Pharisees and Scribes were acting. Their focus was on appearing righteous rather that knowing YHVH and loving Him. Thus, Y’Shua had to show us that we are not slaves, but sons. We are loved by YHVH, not merely there to execute His instructions. This was YHVH’s plan from the start, but somehow that teachers drifted away from the original plan. Y’Shua had to come and dwell among us, to show us, by example, what it means to be a son, rather than a slave.
The key remaining question would be “Why would YHVH want to manifest Himself in physical form?” We are told in Scripture that no-one can see YHVH and live.
But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
YHVH said that He want to tabernacle among His people, but at the same time if YHVH is seen by a human, they die. How can this paradox be resolved? This is why manifestations are required.
When YHVH manifest Himself in a physical form, He shows but a facet of who He is. He does not reveal His fullness. For that reason, a human can see Him manifested and not die.
We see that a number of people that saw a manifestation of YHVH still had the fear that they would die after having seen the manifestation. However, none of the died.
13 Then she called the name of YHVH who spoke to her, “You are a Elohim who sees” (Elroi); for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?”
22 When Gideon saw that he was the angel of YHVH, he said, “Alas, O YHVH Elohim! For now I have seen the angel of YHVH face to face.” 23 YHVH said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”
21 Now the angel of YHVH did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of YHVH. 22 So Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, for we have seen Elohim.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If YHVH had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.”
From this study we have see that the manifestation of YHVH in physical form did not start in the Apostolic scriptures. It was already present in Genesis. YHVH chose to reveal an aspect of Himself to different people at different times. In these cases the writers of the text frequently interwove the different entities as if they are one.
When YHVH tabernacled with His People in the tabernacle and temple it was done in the form of “the glory of YHVH.” This glory of YHVH could be physically seen in the temple during the inauguration of Solomon’s temple.
Due to the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden, it was necessary for a righteous Elohim to free them from eternal death in such a way that He did not contradict His own rule. The way to do this was via the kinsman redeemer. This required a human being to take the sin of the world upon Himself and pay the full price for sin, death. This was accomplished when Y’Shua was born of a woman, died for our sins and took His place in the heavens as our advocate before the Farther.
Also, somewhere along the line, mankind lost the real vision of who YHVH really was. This is why Y’Shua had to show them the real relationship YHVH wants to have with His people. Not the master and slave relationship that was shown by the religious authorities of the time. This type of relationship puts people into a situation where they need to work and perform in order to keep YHV happy. Y’Shua modeled the true relationship YHVH wants, farther and son. In this relationship we do not need to earn His love with what we do or how well we do it. YHVH loves us no matter what we do, and we do what He wants because we love Him.
All of this shows that YHVH could manifest Himself as Y’Shua in order to accomplish His plan for us. We are not worshiping another god if we worship Y’Shua, as they are one.
As Y’Shua said:
“I and the Father are one.”
Why is this so important?
that if you confess with your mouth Y’Shua as Lord, and believe in your heart that YHVH raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
The Greek word that is translated as “Lord” in this verse is κύριος “kyrios.” In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Tanakh) this word appears 7256 times. This fast majority of these instances is for the Hebrew term יהוה.
This means that in most cases the word was used to refer to YHVH. So we could derive from this verse that Paul tells us that if we do not proclaim Y’Shua as YHVH, we may not have eternal redemption.
To conclude, here is a very strong quote from J.K McKee in his book about the divinity of Y’Shua6:
“If Yeshua the Messiah is not God, yet the Scriptures tell us that only God can save us from our sins and forgive us of our sins, then how can Yeshua be our Savior? If Yeshua is not God in the flesh, then who is He?
What are we to do about those who deny Yeshua as God in the flesh, yet still recognize Him as the Messiah? Have they left the faith? Thankfully, it is only up to the Lord of all to ultimately decide who is saved and unsaved, as only He knows the true heart intent of any individual. However, those who have denied Yeshua’s Divinity have denied Him being a Divine Savior, and they have denied the Source of their salvation and the Biblical reality that only God can save us. God help them all!“
- Segal, Alan F. Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977
- Heiser, M. S. (2015). The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (First Edition, p. 140). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- Heiser, M. S. (2015). The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (First Edition, p. 143). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- Heiser, M. S. (2015). The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (Firs Edition, pp. 144–145). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 11, p. 258). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.
- McKee, J.K. (2012). Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship (Confronting Issues (Messianic)). TNN Press (p. 55)
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