God Is One - The Word "Echad" in the Torah

March 21, 2021 - Nisan 8, 5781

Table of Contents
  1. Does The Word Echad Mean A Simple or Complex Unity?
  2. Echad Can Be Used To Indicate Separation
  3. The Words Echad and Yachid Mean Different Things
  4. Examples of Echad Meaning Simple Unity
  5. Why Doesn't Echad Appear in Genesis 1:26?
  6. Conclusion

Does The Word Echad Mean A Simple or Complex Unity?

As of late some Christians have made the argument that the Hebrew word echad, meaning "one," actually connotes a "complex unity." "Complex unity" refers to something that is one in essence, but is comprised of separate parts. The purpose of this claim is to show that the Trinity is found in the Tanakh, which they maintain is the true meaning of the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God; the Lord is one.

This is largely taken to be based on the first two instances of the word echad in the Torah, Genesis 1:5 and Genesis 2:24, as well as other verses. These verses refer to particular things or people that are composed of several parts, but are nevertheless one thing, such as the first day being composed of "evening" and "morning."

Genesis 1:15 - And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and it was evening and it was morning, one day.

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Numbers 13:23 - They came to the Valley of Eshkol and they cut a branch with a (one) cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two [people] and [they also took] some pomegranates and figs.

Ezekiel 37:17 - And bring them close, one to the other into one stick, and they shall be one in your hand.

While the above is a good observation, all four examples are used as descriptions of created things that exist in the environment, and not to the uncreated God, Who does not exist in the environment. Because God is fundamentally different than anything else that exists, the descriptions in the above verses cannot be used to describe God.

Further, the examples above refer to things that were initially separate entities that were joined together; the evening and night were joined to create the first day, and Adam and Eve joined together to create "one flesh." This joining of separate entities is not the Christian view of the Persons of God, who are said to have existed together eternally in hypostasis. Therefore this application of the word echad in the Torah may accurately describe several finite things, but does not apply to God.

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Echad Can Be Used To Indicate Separation

In fact, the word echad is also used in Genesis in one place to indicate separation and difference, the opposite of joining, as in Genesis 2:10:

And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. The name of one is Pishon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; there is the crystal and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Tigris; that is the one that flows to the east of Assyria, and the fourth river that is the Euphrates.

The verses above indicate that one singular river flowed out of Eden and broke into four separate and smaller rivers. Notice that the word "one" is used for the first river, and the words "second," "third," and "fourth" are used for the rest. This is reminiscent of the usage of the cardinal number for "Day One" and the ordinal numbers for the rest of the days.

However, unlike Day One, which is comprised of evening and morning, the Torah does not tell us that the rivers were comprised of many joined elements. Instead of elements joining together, the initial, unnamed river breaks into four separate and singular rivers, and so we have an example of echad used to show separation versus unification.

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The Words Echad and Yachid Mean Different Things

Interestingly, some Christians make the argument that the word echad is to be distinguished from yachid, only the latter of which means a simple, inseparable unity, while the former indicates complexity:

Genesis 22:2 - And He said, "Please take your son, your one (yechidchah), whom you love, yea, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you."

Genesis 22:12 - And he said, "Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad, nor do the slightest thing to him, for now I know that you are a God fearing man, and you did not withhold your son, your only one (yechidchah), from Me."

Genesis 22:16 - And he said, "By Myself have I sworn, says the Lord, that because you have done this thing and you did not withhold your son, your only one (yechidchah)...

Judges 11:34 - And Jephthah came to Mizpah, to his house, and behold, his daughter was coming out towards him with timbrels and with dances, and she was an only (yechidah) child, he had from her neither a son nor a daughter.

Jeremiah 6:26 - O daughter of My people, gird yourself with sackcloth and roll in ashes; make yourself a mourning [as] for an only (yachid) child, a bitter lamentation, for suddenly the plunderer will come upon us.

This overlooks that Genesis 22:2 actually includes both the words yachid (your only son) and echad (one of the mountains), indicating that both words can mean "one" in the simple sense. It also overlooks the high volume of verses in which the word echad is used in the simple sense, discussed in the next section.

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Examples of Echad Meaning Simple Unity

There are many places in the Torah where the word echad is used in the traditional sense of meaning one, undivided or indivisible thing. The following list shows the 29 instances of the word "one," echad, in Genesis. Out of those 29 (orange), only nine (green) can be understood as indicating a complex unity, or one referring to a grouping of other items:

  1. Genesis 1:9 - And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so."
  2. Genesis 3:22 - Now the Lord God said, "Behold man has become like one of us, having the ability of knowing good and evil, and now, lest he stretch forth his hand and take also from the Tree of Life and eat and live forever."
  3. Genesis 4:19 - And Lemech took himself two wives; one was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah.
  4. Genesis 10:25 - And to Eber were born two sons: one was named Peleg, because in his days the earth was divided, and the name of his brother was Joktan.
  5. Genesis 11:1 - Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words.
  6. Genesis 11:3 - And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly"; so the bricks were to them for stones, and the clay was to them for mortar.
  7. Genesis 11:6 - And the Lord said, "Lo! [they are] one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do. Now, will it not be withheld from them, all that they have planned to do?
  8. Genesis 19:9 - But they said, "Back away." And they said, "This one came to sojourn, and he is judging! Now, we will deal even worse with you than with them." And they pressed hard upon the man Lot, and they drew near to break the door.
  9. Genesis 21:5 - And the water was depleted from the leather pouch, and she cast the child under one of the bushes.
  10. Genesis 22:2 - And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, yea, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you."
  11. Genesis 27:38 - And Esau said to his father, "Have you [but] one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father." And Esau raised his voice and wept.
  12. Genesis 32:9 - And he said, "If Esau comes to one camp and strikes it down, the remaining camp will escape."
  13. Genesis 33:13 - And he said to him, "My master knows that the children are tender, and the flocks and the cattle, which are raising their young, depend upon me, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die.
  14. Genesis 34:16 - Then we will give you our daughters, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people.
  15. Genesis 37:20 - So now, let us kill him, and we will cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him,' and we will see what will become of his dreams."
  16. Genesis 40:5 - Now both of them dreamed a dream, each one his dream on the same night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison.
  17. Genesis 41:5 - And he fell asleep and dreamed again, and behold, seven ears of grain were growing on one stalk, healthy and good.
  18. Genesis 42:11 - We are all sons of one man. We are honest. Your servants were never spies."
  19. Genesis 42:13 - And they said, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is gone."
  20. Genesis 42:16 - Send one of you and let him fetch your brother, and you will be imprisoned so that your words will be tested whether truth is with you, and if not, as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!"
  21. Genesis 42:19 - If you are honest, your one brother will be confined in your prison, and you, go bring the grain for the hunger of your households.
  22. Genesis 42:27 - The one opened his sack to give fodder to his donkey at the lodging place, and he saw his money there it was, in the mouth of his sack.
  23. Genesis 42:32 - We are twelve brothers, the sons of our father; one is gone, and today the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan.
  24. Genesis 42:33 - And the man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'With this I will know that you are honest; leave one of your brothers with me, and [what is needed for] the hunger of your households, take and go.
  25. Genesis 44:28 - The one went away from me, and I said, "He has surely been torn to pieces, and I have not seen him since."
  26. Genesis 48:22 - And I have given you one portion over your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."
  27. Genesis 49:16 - Dan will avenge his people, like one, the tribes of Israel.
If the word echad is used in the simple sense in the majority of its uses in Genesis, we can expect a similar pattern in the rest of the books of Tanakh, such as the following;

Joshua 17:14 - And the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given me one lot and one portion for an inheritance, seeing I am a numerous people, forasmuch as the Lord has blessed me thus?"

2 Samuel 13:30 - And I, where shall I lead my shame? And [as for] you, you shall be like one of the profligate men in Israel. And now I beg of you to speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.

2 Samuel 17:12 - And we shall come upon him in some place where he is found, and we shall light upon him, as the dew falls on the ground; and there shall not be left of him, and of all the men that are with him, even one.

Zechariah 14:7And it shall be one day that shall be known to the Lord, neither day nor night; and it shall come to pass that at eventide it shall be light.

Ecclesiastes 4:8 - There is one, and there is no second; yea, he has neither son nor brother, and there is no end to all his toil; neither is his eye sated from wealth. Now for whom do I toil and deprive my soul of pleasure? This too is vanity and an unhappy affair.

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Why Doesn't Echad Appear in Genesis 1:26?

What is also telling is that Genesis 1:26, held by Christians as a reference to the Trinity, does not use the word echad, instead opting to use "Us" and "Our."

Genesis 1:26 - And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heaven and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth."

If God wanted to tell us that the word echad is a complex unity, this verse would be the expected place for it to appear, but it does not.

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Conclusion

In a world of separation and classification, it is more awe-inspiring that God can be completely and seamlessly unified than being a complex unity, which wouldn't make Him very different from the created world. Interestingly, William Lane Craig, “an American analytic philosopher and Christian theologian, apologist, and author" and "Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University and Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology,” describes God as a simple Being, which contradicts the view that He is a complex unity.

Admittedly, Craig is referring to God's lacking any physical components, but his argument can be applied to God's nature as well. Further, God's taking a physical form as a man therefore introduces complexity into an otherwise simple Being by Craig's own reasoning.


Zechariah 14:9 - And the Lord shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall the Lord be one, and His name one.

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14 comments:

Coop said...

GINOLJC,
thanks for the opportunity to reply. this controversy of God being an,
“echad”, a Complex unity, or God being the "Yachid", only, is really not a controversy at all. may we suggest this, God is the Ordinal First of himself in flesh. meaning, if one world consider, that God who is the only H433 אֱלוֹהַּ 'elowahh (el-o'-ah), the Yachid, is the only God in “Ordinal” identification, because of his three dispensations in time, place, rank, and order. and this Ordinal identification is in NUMBER, which make him, God, the H430 אֱלֹהִים 'elohiym (el-o-heem'), a plurality of himself in Ordinal Number of FIRST, and Last. what I simply mean is this. God who is the H433 אֱלוֹהַּ 'elowahh (el-o'-ah), the Yachid is a plurality, of Ordinal Number as the “FIRST”, and the “LAST”. which express the terms in the New TYestament as “Father, Ordinal First, and Son, the Ordinal Last.

knowing this, the Echad is clearly express the title also of “LORD, and “Lord”. for the definition of “ECHAD” in Deuteronomy 6:4 define God as this First, who is LORD, and Last, who is Lord. listen to the definition,
H259 אֶחָד 'echad (ech-awd') adj.
1. (properly) united, i.e. one.
2. (as an ordinal) first.
[a numeral from H258]
KJV: a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any(-thing), apiece, a certain, (dai-)ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together.
Root(s): H258

if you will, please notice the second definition, #2. (as an ordinal) first. there is our true answer. notice the definition states God is ONE .... LORD, meaning or Indicating that there is another to come, which in the Greek in the New testament clearly is the "Lord"/Son, that G243 allos identifies as this Lord.
my source for this definition of "Echad" above is the Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments.

by this one can clearly see the ONLY “ONE” God as the ordinal of himself in flesh, which was the another of himself to come the Messiah, God in flesh, (per Isaiah 35:4). God, to come, the Christ or the Last Adam as pointed out in (1 Corinthians 15:45). and both beginning in Genesis 1:1, and John 1:1 will confirm this.

knowing this, it clarify Genesis 1:26 God’s plurality in Ordinal PLACE, TIME, RANK, and ORDER as the term “Beginning” Properly states in both Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. we can clearly say to Genesis 1:26 & 27 this... "The Christ, the son of God, or the Ordinal Last was not at Genesis 1:1, or Genesis 1:26, BUT "JESUS WAS. and this is backed up especially in Genesis 1:27, as one person who made man male and female and other places in the bible, as in Matthews 19 where our Lord Jesus clearly stated that it was only ONE person who made man male and female.

thank, and be blessed.

PICJAG,
E.Cooper

HashemIsBeautiful said...

Thank you for taking the time to respond, but I did not expect something this complicated when trying to figure out how I'm supposed to relate to God. I say this with no disrespect, but I feel that I need some sort of doctorate to understand all this, even though I consider myself a relatively intelligent individual.

Is there a way that you can simplify this?

It's also made difficult to read by all of the numbers and transliterations; what exactly was the point of writing those in the text?

Also, my intention was to limit addressing this topic to verses in the Tanakh in the most direct way possible. What you have written here goes above and beyond that. Is there a way that you can "roll it back" and attempt to say what you mean in terms of the information I presented in this post?

Thanks...

Coop said...

Thanks for the reply.
sorry for the complication, (and no offense), but to make it simple is this, God is "THE EQUAL SHARE" of himself in Flesh, (per Isaiah 63:5, and Isaiah chapter 53). and the TERM or the doctrine we use for this Equal Share is "Diversified Oneness" which explains God’s ECHAD of First and Last, as well as his many other titles.. and this is found in Revelation 22:16 "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.". here the term "OFFSPRING" reveals this doctrine,
G1085 γένος genos (ǰe'-nos) n.
kin.
{abstract or concrete, literal or figurative, individual or collective}
[from G1096]
KJV: born, country(-man), diversity, generation, kind(-red), nation, offspring, stock
Root(s): G1096

see how the KJV can translate the word "Offspring" as DIVERSITY, which is a KIN, or Kinsman, as in Kinsman REDEEMER, who is God as a man, (IN FLESH), which is what we call "Diverfified Oneness". to us, there is only ONE God, and he is a diversity of himself in flesh. this diversity describe the Equal "SHARED" of God, as a. the Spirit, the Ordinal First, and b. the Spirit "SHARED" in flesh as the Ordinal Last. not a compound unity, but the EQUAL SHARE of his own-self in flesh, per Phil 2:6, as G243 allos states.

so, the TERM "ANOTHER", G243 allos confirm this "SHARING" of God himself in flesh, as the Ordinal of himself.

so in conclusion, God is the Equal "SHARE" of himself in Flesh as a man, the Christ. God as the ECHAD is not a compound unity, but the Equal “SHARE” of himself in Ordinal as in Number of PLACE, TIME, RANK and ORDER, the First and the Last.

be blessed.

PICJAG,
E. Cooper

PS if you like to E-mail me, ecj2686@gmail.com

again, thanks for the reply.

HashemIsBeautiful said...

I don't understand how you're understanding Isaiah 53 and 63:5; care to expound?

In the meantime, I'm going "fixate" on this term that you used - "diversified oneness." I'm going to attempt to describe what I see as the main underlying issue with this concept as monotheists.

Let's not look at it from God's perspective, which by definition is wholly unlike ours and impossible to experience. Let us rather look at it from our human perspective. When you, E. Cooper, speak to another person, your attention is focused in one direction, namely the individual that you're having a conversation with. There is one destination for all of your attention.

If we treat our relationship with God as a conversation, and He is a Trinity, then you are forced to split your attention to three different destinations. Remember that we're not looking at it from His perspective, but from ours. What this forces to happen psychologically in the mind of the believer is actually very similar to what happens in the mind of a person that believes in many gods; his attention and/or focus is driven to more than one destination. In other words, even though the Trinity is said to be monotheism, this is a technicality because it requires the same experience that one has with polytheism.

It seems to me that what you are attempting to describe is very similar to how Hindus, for example, conceptualize the oneness of Brahma in light of the diversity of expression that it takes. For example, brahmrishimission.org says,"God is only one. He is called the "Parbrahm" (Supreme Godhead)." The word "Godhead" is used in the Trinity, but not in the Jewish understanding of God.

According to finedictionary.com, "Brahma is the creating, Vishnu the preserving, and Siva the destroying principle of the deity, while Trimurti ("Hindu Trinity") is the philosophical or theological unity which combines the three separate forms in one self-existent being." These "separate forms" are analogous to the Persons in the Trinity, while this "one self-existent being" is analogous to the One God, i.e., One Being, in Christian thought.

Aboutbibleprophecy.com (a Christian site) states, "This absolute deity was first considered as something impersonal, 'Brahma,' but in Vishnu 'absolute thought and goodness' became more clearly personified and worshiped, not as a faint abstraction, but as an individual. Thus Vishnu gives to Brahma personality, and Brahma gives to Vishnu absoluteness and supremacy." Vishnu personified the somewhat impersonal Brahma, while Jesus personifies the somewhat impersonal Father. I have heard mainstream Christians describe The Father as somewhat impersonal.

It doesn't have to be perfectly identical to the Christian Trinity to be fundamentally similar, while there is no such analog in pure monotheistic Jewish thought as described in the Torah. God is very serious about the commandment of refraining from idolatry and rejects any manifestation of Him as purely the product of the human imagination as a very serious sin.

Coop said...

Thanks for the reply, first, Isaiah 63:5 is one of the keys in understanding God’s plurality, in Ordinal. I’m using the KJV, Isaiah 63:5 "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me."
God’s own “ARM”, brought salvation unto him?.yes, God’s OWN ARM is HE, himself "shared" in flesh as a man yes, in flesh as a man. hence the Isaiah chapter 53. God’s own ARM is him in flesh, the Messiah, the Christ. this is why I sent you to Isaiah chapter 53, because it reveals who the ARM of God is. listen, Isaiah 53:1 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?". finish reading all of the chapter and you will see that this is the CHRIST. there it is God’s OWN ARM in Isaiah 63:5 is revealed here in Isaiah chapter 53, Jesus the Christ. this is the plurality of the Ordinal First, and the Ordinal Last.and this plurality is accomplish by God "SHARING", himself in flesh as stated per Phil 2:6.

also to address your second half of your reply, I’m neither Hindu, nor trinitarian. and please understand I’m neither ONENESS as the UPC teaches, and also as some others teach. no as said, I’m Diversified Oneness, (monotheistic in belife). meaning ONLY “ONE” God, and ONLY ONE PERSON, who is the EQUAL “SHARED” himself in flesh as a man, pers Phil 2:6-8.

so from a man eye, this perfectly describe the monotheistic view from the bible.

so when God is speaking with himself, (while shared in flesh), he's doing it from an G243 Allos State, which clearly Identifies the ordinal state of God as First and Last.

PICJAG,
E. Cooper.

HashemIsBeautiful said...

Dear E. Cooper, speaking as a monotheist to a monotheist, I think it's fundamentally important to reject the concept of the materialization of God into physical form, which violates a fundamental aspect of monotheism. I'll try to tell you what I mean first as a concept and then anchor this into a Biblical text.

Conceptually, God is to be understood as a physically unmanifested Being that affects the environment (the world) without entering into the environment. This is because the nature of His infinite state (and perfection) prevents the finite environment from possessing the ability to contain Him in any way possible. He acts on it "from the outside."

Biblically, the commandment in Exodus 20:4 instructs us: "You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth."

This leads to the question; are we allowed to worship something other than God as long as we do not make an idol out of it? For example, am I allowed to worship trees, the sun, or say, human beings, because they are things that God made, and I did not fashion them with my own hands? We both know that the answer to this question is "no." So aside from the direct prohibition against making and worshiping idols, included in this commandment is the indirect and implied prohibition of associating any created thing with God.

Also, I disagree with your understanding of Isaiah 63:5 and 53:10 for a few reasons. The first is that, when studying Torah you have to go to the original Hebrew. The word "hand" in 53:10 is a translation of the word "hand," (בְּיָד֥וֹ) but the word "hand" in 63:5 is a translation of the word "arm," (זְרֹעִ֔י). "Arms" and "hands" are different things, and God is deliberate in His speech. The KJV has mistranslated it.

Isaiah 53:10 - And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand. (בְּיָד֥וֹ)

Isaiah 63:5 - And I looked and there was no one helping, and I was astounded and there was no one supporting, and My arm (זְרֹעִ֔י) saved for Me, and My fury-that supported Me.


Another point is that the correct way to ascertain the meaning of a particular word or phrase is according to its first usage. Therefore even if both verses used the same word, you cannot use Isaiah 63:5 (a later verse) to ascertain the meaning of Isaiah 53 (an earlier verse), but it would have to be the other way around.

Yaniv...

Coop said...

thanks for the reply,
but I must disagree with your assessment of "ARM", or "Hand", they are only anthropomorphism. his hand and his arm is his POWER, and yes Jesus the Christ is his Power/Hand/Arm in flesh as Isaiah 53 attest to.

but as to your statement, "God is to be understood as a physically unmanifested Being", again we disagree with that statement, and here's why. Philippians 2:6 "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"
Philippians 2:7 "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"

here clearly, the form of "God" is his nature, and this Nature was shared in flesh, Phil 2:7. that's written. and in the OT, I agree God did not "Manifest", but he did use these, Hosea 12:10 "I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets."

so in the OT, he, God, JESUS, YESHUA, made himself know in the OT by these visions, and similitudes in "apperances".

but he God, Jesus, Yeshua, did manifest in flesh according to John 1:1, but that manifestation was in diversity of the equal share, again phil 2:6.

PICJAG.
E. Cooper

HashemIsBeautiful said...

And thank you.

I'm not sure I agree that "arm" and "hand" can be understood as being Jesus. Deuteronomy 26:8 uses both of those same terms:

And the Lord brought us out from Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awe, and with signs and wonders.

It is hard to imagine this to mean that Jesus was the instrument used to bring the Jews out of Egypt.

Further, this verse says that four things were used to bring them out: 1) a strong hand, 2) an outstretched arm, 3) great awe, and 4) signs and wonders. All four of those things seem to be different things, indicating that "hand" and "arm" are as well different from each other and not the same thing.

I don't believe the Christian Scriptures to have been Divinely revealed, so unfortunately you'll have to stick to quoting from scriptures that we both consider to be Divinely revealed.

Regarding Hosea 12:10:

And I spoke to the prophets, and I increased their visions; and to the prophets I assumed likenesses.

The verse above says plainly that these were visions, which indicates that they were not literal or physical materializations. When a prophet had a vision, nobody else but that prophet was able to see it. The only way that this can be true was if the vision was shown to the prophet in his mind through a prophecy, and not materialized in the physical world.

Just to show another example of this, when Ezekiel saw the four angels in the Temple, they were not physical materializations, but visions of spiritual, incorporeal beings that nobody but Ezekiel was shown. I think I referred to this earlier, and I'm not sure that you responded.

Thanks...

Coop said...

GINOLJC,
First thanks for the reply, second, the ARM of God is God himself, “Shared”, in Flesh who is Christ Jesus, in the New testament, the Messiah. you’re misunderstanding God’s salvation of the world, vs his saving Israel out of Egypt. this is the great unitarian mistake of the Lord Jesus, as a shaliah. understand, God used human “saviors” for physical deliverance, from natural physical bondage… ie ..slavery. but he, God, himself came in Natural flesh to deliver man from Spiritual bondage. this is why you missed the revelation of Isaiah 53, for God said in, Isaiah 63:5 "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me." his “own arm”, is him in flesh as Isaiah chapter 53 clearly states.

now lets understand this “ARM” of God in flesh. Every time Israel sinned, (which is spiritual), God would allow another nation to suppress Israel in physical bondage. well the cycle was Israel sinned, God would allow them to go into bondage. see, the reason for physical bondage, was a problem called “sin”. well God broke the cycle, by coming himself in flesh, (Isaiah 35:4), to cure the sin problem. because spiritual bondage, lead to physical bondage.

now, “God”, as the ARM, his own ARM, meaning in anthropomorphic terms, his POWER, which saved us while in flesh. this is clearly brought out in 2 Chronicles 32:7 "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah".

understand, the king of Assyria, his “power” was in his army, called here, an, “ARM of FLESH”… the king fighting men. this was the king of Assyria “POWER”. well Jesus the Christ, God, shared in flesh, is his “OWN” Arm of Flesh, better know as the Christ/Messiah, God’s “POWER” in flesh, as Isaiah 64:5 states, “his own ARM”, revealed in chapter 53. see it now? and Isaiah chapter 53 points out God’s .. “OWN”, ARM … in Flesh clearly. God’s power in flesh to deliver his people spiritual bondage, from sin, that’s it in a nutshell.

and regarding Hosea 12:10, that IMAGE, that similitude of Adam a man to come, where God himself MANIFESTED in, is clearly defined as the Christ/the Messiah, the “ARM” of God in Flesh. supportive scripture, Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." there is God’s OWN ARM of Isaiah 63:5, and revealed in Isaiah chapter 53, and Manifested in the virgin birth. Luke 2:11. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”

be blessed, and I hope this helped

E.Cooper

HashemIsBeautiful said...

Thank you for your response.

I have a short and simple question despite the fact that you took the time to write a more in-depth answer; why didn't it ever dawn on the Jews who wrote down the Tanakh that God had physical form? Whenever the Tanakh says that somebody "saw God," it never said that they saw a form of a body, i.e., with arms and legs, the "flesh," as you've been referring to it. If you study the Tanakh carefully you'll see that in many places a vision of an angel or some other spiritual experience is referred to as "seeing God." However, we know that this is a euphemism because the Torah also says, "And He said, "You will not be able to see My face, for man shall not see Me and live." (Exodus 33:20) When Jacob wrestled the angel he said, "I saw God face to face, and my soul was saved." (Genesis 32:31) Because Jacob did not die from this experience, this means that whoever he saw was not actually God. One verse proves this in the other.

But don't take my word for it:

Deuteronomy 4:12 - The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.

Deuteronomy 4:16 - And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female...

The word "male or female" refers to human beings, as the rest of the verses clearly delineate animals and other natural forces. If so, then you're getting yourself into big trouble with God by believing as you do.

Isaiah 63:5 - And I looked and there was no one helping, and I was astounded and there was no one supporting, and My arm saved for Me, and My fury-that supported Me.

If you're saying that the "My arm" was the physical form of God Himself, then what was "My fury?"

God then goes on to speak about yet another aspect of Him in 63:6 - And I trod peoples with My wrath...

It's amazing how God keeps getting more and more complicated; so far we have 1) God's arm, 2) God's fury, and 3) God's wrath. Are these also Persons in the Trinity that we weren't aware of, because now we're up to five (1-Father, 2-Son - Arm, 3-Spirit, 4-Fury, 5-Wrath)? I'm sure that we could find even more if we kept looking:

Isaiah 63:7 - ...which He bestowed upon them according to His mercies and according to His many kind acts.

Isaiah 63:9 - ...with His love and with His pity He redeemed them...

Now we have the following: 1-Father, 2-Son - Arm, 3-Spirit, 4-Fury, 5-Wrath, 6-Mercies, 7-Kind Acts, 8-Love, 9-Pity.

We can go on forever...

HashemIsBeautiful said...

Also, see this phrase in 63:9 - In all their trouble, He did not trouble [them], and the angel of His presence saved them...

How did this angel of His presence save them? I expect you to say that this was the incarnate of the Second Person. Did he save them by dying for their sins? No, of course not, he saved them by removing them from dangerous situations; this angel is Michael, the angel of the nation of Israel.

And you're wrong about my not understanding the salvation of the world versus the salvation of the Jews. God already "saved" the world by not destroying it with the flood, and vowed that He would never do such a thing again. He also gave the world seven laws to keep after that event, which are known in name in association with Noah (the Seven Noachide Laws), but were in fact taught to Adam from his creation and passed down to every generation of humans.

The only reason the Jews had to be set apart was that the human population as a whole became too corrupted after the sin of the fruit to rectify the human state. It would have initially been the job of the entire population to do this, but God had to "start over," as it were, and reduce this task to one specific nation, which in reality could have been anybody. Because Abraham was found faithful and ready to abandon all gods in all forms, God chose him for this task, and by definition the nation that ensued from him.

For the record, this task is not limited to one "race," if you will, because anybody in the world can join this nation if they want and become Jews, which is relatively common.

Coop said...

GINOLJC,
First thanks for your reply, second, you asked, “I have a short and simple question despite the fact that you took the time to write a more in-depth answer; why didn't it ever dawn on the Jews who wrote down the Tanakh that God had physical form?”. they did, right in Genesis 1:27 & 27. Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
who’s Image? and man is in flesh, which is God’s image. and in Leviticus 26:12 "And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.". how did he do it? by being in what we’re in… his image… flesh, a body. Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

addressing this, you said, “Isaiah 63:5 - And I looked and there was no one helping, and I was astounded and there was no one supporting, and My arm saved for Me, and My fury-that supported Me.

If you're saying that the "My arm" was the physical form of God Himself, then what was "My fury?"

God then goes on to speak about yet another aspect of Him in 63:6 - And I trod peoples with My wrath…”

well his ARM, he himself shared in flesh is to COME…. supportive scripture, Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.". again, in the OT, these are simply, an anthropomorphism.

and yes, we can go on for ever too, (smile)…

E.Cooper

Coop said...

Also I think I see your mistake, in the Old Testament vs the New Testament. understand, in the OT, God, Jesus, is the Ordinal FIRST, who is Spirit only, hence the appearances.

in the New Testament, God, Jesus, is the Ordinal LAST, who is diversified in Flesh, spirit. hence Manifested.
maybe if you understand this, it can clear up some of your misunderstanding.

E.Cooper

HashemIsBeautiful said...

Hello,

I'm responding to both of your comments here.

I said, "why didn't it ever dawn on the Jews who wrote down the Tanakh that God had physical form?," and you're response was "they did," and quoted Genesis 1:26 and 27.

I don't understand how you can confuse the verses in the Torah with your interpretation of those verses; surely you realize that those are two different things, right? You understand them as references to the Trinity, but there is no indication or proof that "ancient Jews" ever understood them in this way. It's complete conjecture, and it's a false one, at that.

I think we've begun getting into circular argumentation here, and to be honest, I don't even understand what you mean when you say "Ordinal first" and "Ordinal last." I don't want to be rude, but in all my discussions with Christians I've never heard this before, and to be honest, it sounds completely insane to me.

Having said that, I do thank you for responding, but I don't see much of a purpose in continuing this particular discussion as we seem to be on completely different, and seemingly irreconcilable, pages.

With that, I wish you the best.

Yaniv...