Continuing from part #6, "2B. Jehovah seen in the Old Testament was the pre-incarnate Jesus" with this part #7, "2C. Jehovah
[Above (click to enlarge): "The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem," (1886-94), by James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836-1902), Brooklyn Museum: Wikipedia, 4 May 2011. This depicts Jesus' coming to Jerusalem as its King, riding a donkey, as predicted in Zec 9:9 = Mt 21:5; Jn 12:15.]promised that He would come to Jerusalem in Person." This is part of my series, "Jesus is Jehovah!" by topic, which is based on my morning `quiet time' Bible reading. See the Contents page for more details.
© Stephen E. Jones
2. JESUS IS JEHOVAH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
2C. Jehovah promised that He would come to Jerusalem in Person
i. Israel was warned that Jehovah God was coming
Isa 40:3. A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
This prophecy states that YHWH 'Elohim was coming. Yet it was applied to Jesus' coming by all four Gospels (Mt 3:3; Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4 and Jn 1:23).
"Old Testament passages about Yahweh were directly applied to Jesus ... Isaiah 40:3 says: `In the desert prepare the way for the LORD [Yahweh]; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God [Elohim].' ... fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-4)":
"It is also highly revealing that Old Testament passages about Yahweh were directly applied to Jesus in the New Testament. For instance, Isaiah 40:3 says: `In the desert prepare the way for the LORD [Yahweh]; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God [Elohim].' Mark's Gospel tells us that Isaiah's words were fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus (Rhodes, R., 1993, "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses," Harvest House: Eugene OR, Reprinted, 2006, p.64).
"Old Testament descriptions of God are applied to him. This application to Christ of titles and names exclusively appropriated to God is inexplicable, if Christ was not regarded as being himself God. The peculiar awe with which the term 'Jehovah' was set apart by a nation of strenuous monotheists as the sacred and incommunicable name of the one self-existent and covenant-keeping God forbids the belief that the Scripture writers could have used it as the designation of a subordinate and created being. Mat. 3:3 = `Make ye ready the way of the Lord'-is a quotation from Is. 40:3 = `Prepare ye ... the way of Jehovah.'" (Strong, A.H., 1907, "Systematic Theology," Judson Press: Valley Forge PA, Twenty-fifth printing, 1967, p.309).
"Perhaps the most famous such statement in Isaiah is the following: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: `Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.' (40:3 NKJV) The Synoptic Gospels quote this passage and apply it to John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord Jesus (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6)":
"Isaiah, then, refers to the future Messiah as Immanuel, meaning `God is with us,' [Isaiah 7:14] and as `Mighty God' cf (Isa. 10:21). These are not the only statements in Isaiah that suggest that the Messiah will be God. Later in the book, Isaiah states repeatedly that God is coming to redeem, restore, and rule over his people (Isa. 40:9-11; 43:10-13; 59:15-20). Perhaps the most famous such statement in Isaiah is the following: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: `Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.' (40:3 NKJV) The Synoptic Gospels quote this passage and apply it to John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord Jesus (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6). The New Testament teaching that Jesus is God, then, has significant precedent in Isaiah." (Bowman, R.M., Jr. & Komoszewski, J.E., 2007, "Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ," Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, pp.137-138).
"... there is the statement in verse 3 that Jehovah God would be coming. .. Jehovah God was prophesied to come, and John the Baptist prepared the way for Jehovah Jesus":
"ISAIAH 40:3 ...: A voice of one calling: `In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God....' This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. First, there is the statement in verse 3 that Jehovah God would be coming. This found fulfillment when John the Baptist prepared people for the Lord. Jesus Christ. He was the `voice' (cf. Matthew 3:3) preparing the way for Jehovah. Jehovah God was prophesied to come, and John the Baptist prepared the way for Jehovah Jesus. ... the entire chapter is rich in exalting Jehovah Jesus." (Humber, P.G., 1997, "Jehovah Jesus: A Reference Handbook and Study Guide on the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ," Skilton House Ministries: Philadelphia PA, pp.34-35. Emphasis original).
"[Mt 3:3] In Isaiah 40:3 the way of Yahweh is being `made straight' (a metaphor using road building to refer to repentance); in Matthew 3:3 it is the way of Jesus. This sort of identification of Jesus with Yahweh is common in the NT (e.g., Exod 13:21 and 1 Cor 10:4; Isa 6:1 and John 12:41; EPs 68:18 and Eph 4:8; Ps 102:25-27 and Heb 1:10-12) and confirms the kingdom as being equally the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Jesus." (Carson, D.A., "Matthew," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., 1984, "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Volume 8 - Matthew, Mark, Luke," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.102).
ii. Jehovah will come and dwell in Jerusalem
Zec 2:10. "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD."
"It is clear that Jehovah is the one coming and residing in Jerusalem ... God the Son":
"Zechariah 2:10-12 `Cry out... O daughter of Zion; for here I am coming, and I will reside in the midst of you,' is the utterance of Jehovah... And you will have to know that Jehovah of armies himself has sent me to you. And Jehovah will ... yet choose Jerusalem (NWT). It is clear that Jehovah is the one coming and residing in Jerusalem, not Zechariah as some Witnesses will try to say. But it is also clear that Jehovah of armies has sent Him. A clear case of two Jehovahs in the NWT. The only possible answer is that God the Father is sending God the Son." (Harris, D. & Browning, B., 1993, "Awake to the Watchtower," , Reachout Trust: London, Revised, p.156. Emphasis original).
"For I am coming, and I will live among you,' declares the LORD. .... But who was it who eventually came to `live among' us? Was it, not the Lord Jesus, Jehovah God the Son in human flesh?":
"ZECHARIAH 2:10-11: `Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,' declares the LORD. `Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.' This passage clearly indicates the speaker to be `the LORD.' But who was it who eventually came to `live among' us? Was it, not the Lord Jesus, Jehovah God the Son in human flesh? He was indeed sent by `the LORD' (Jehovah the Father), and peoples of `many nations' have been `joined to the LORD.'" (Humber, 1997, p.41. Emphasis original).
iii. Jerusalem's King (who is Jehovah) will come to Jerusalem riding on a donkey
Zec 9:9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
In Zep 3:15 this coming King was identified as "The LORD" i.e. Jehovah:
Zep 3:14-15. 14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.
"[Zec 9:]9. Rejoice greatly.... shout. A similar call to exult in Zephaniah 3:14 is linked with a proclamation of the presence of `the King of Israel, the Lord' (3:15) in the city. In Zechariah 2:10 there is a call to sing and rejoice because the Lord has promised to come to reside in Jerusalem, and now His arrival is to be accompanied with wild joy." (Baldwin, J.G., 1972, "Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Reprinted, 2003, p.164. Emphasis original).
The New Testament confirms that Jesus is that King (who is Jehovah):
Mt 21:1-11 (NIV). 1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, `See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Jn 12:12-16. 12The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion;behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.
iii. Jehovah (Heb. ha 'adon) will come to His temple (before 70 AD)
Mal 3:1. "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord (Heb. ha 'adon) whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple ..."
"... the word `Lord' (Heb. ha'adon ) used in verse 1c is singular and is preceded by the definite article. Since 'adon preceded by the definite article always refers to the divine Lord (e.g., Ex 23:17; 34:23; Isa 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33) [i.e. YHWH], he is certainly the one being referred to here":
"The Messiah As the Messenger of the Covenant (Malachi 3:1) The revelation of the character and work of the Messiah in Malachi 3 comes as an answer to the grievances of the complainers in the prophet's day who have wearied God with the old saws: `All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them.' Their punch line is: `Where is the God of justice [anyway]?' (Mal 2:17). It is as if they are saying, `God must love wicked people because he made so many of them!' But these crybabies will find out soon enough that God means business with evildoers, just as he means business with people who complain about them and in effect hide behind them to vindicate their own deeds of evil. God `will send [his] messenger, who will prepare the way before [him]' (Mal 3:1a). This messenger is a development of the preparer predicted in Isaiah 40:3-5. He is to be identified as John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and the power of Elijah (Mt 3:1-3; Mk 1:3; Lk 1:17, 76; 3:4; Jn 1:19-23). His job was to prepare the people morally and spiritually for the coming of the Messiah. Where, then, is the God of justice? The answer is surprising: `Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; [even] the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the LORD Almighty' (3:1c-e). There are a number of significant matters here. First, the word `Lord' (Heb. ha'adon ) used in verse 1c is singular and is preceded by the definite article. Since 'adon preceded by the definite article always refers to the divine Lord (e.g., Ex 23:17; 34:23; Isa 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33), he is certainly the one being referred to here. In fact, that was the Messiah's title in Psalm 110:1 ('The LORD says to my Lord')".(Kaiser, W.C., Jr., 1995, "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, pp.227-228) .
"Jehovah ... spoke ... that He would be sending His messenger (John the Baptist, Matthew 11:10) to `prepare the way before me' (Jehovah). John actually cleared the way in preparation for ... the Lord Jesus Christ":
"MALACHI 3:1: `See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,' says the LORD Almighty. Jehovah Almighty ('LORD Almighty') spoke and indicated that He would be sending His messenger (John the Baptist, Matthew 11:10) to `prepare the way before me' (Jehovah). John actually cleared the way in preparation for `the messenger of the covenant,' the Lord Jesus Christ. In harmony with Isaiah 40:3 (above), the Lord Jesus is the Jehovah God who was to come." (Humber, 1997, p.44. Emphasis original).
"Jesus ... is called Lord in quotations from the Old Testament where the Old Testament word is Jahweh. In ... Malachi 3:1 ...`the Lord' is Jahweh ... Thus `the Lord,' whose ways John was to prepare, is none other than Jahweh Himself":
"Jesus Is Jahweh Not only is Jesus called God in the New Testament but he is called Lord in quotations from the Old Testament where the Old Testament word is Jahweh. In the prophecy of Zacharias (Luke 1:76) it is said of John the Baptist, `And thou, child, shalt be called Prophet of the Most High; thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.' It is obvious that Luke understood this prophecy as referring to John as the forerunner of Jesus. But Zacharias was alluding to Malachi 3:1 in which the word `the Lord' is Jahweh. `Behold I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me, saith Jahweh of hosts:' Thus `the Lord,' whose ways John was to prepare, is none other than Jahweh Himself. Paul gives great emphasis to the prophecy of Joel. `Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved' (Rom. 10:13). It is clear in the context that Paul is calling Christ `the Lord,' but in Joel 2:32, in the phrase, `Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered,' `the Lord' in the Hebrew text is Jahweh. In the Romans 14:10 reference to the judgment of the saints, Paul adds a quotation from Isaiah 45:23. `As I live saith the Lord, every knee will bow to me and every tongue will confess to God:' That Jahweh is the speaker in Isaiah's words is evident from verses 24 and 25. These passages indicate that Christ and God and Jahweh are one." (Buswell, J.O., Jr., 1962, "A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Vol. I, Second printing, 1968, pp.104-105. Emphasis original).
The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society's own New World Translation admits that "the true Lord" [Heb. ha Adon`] in Malachi 3:1 is Jehovah: "... `the [true] Lord' This is the translation of the Hebrew expression ... ha-A-don' ... this prefixing of the definite article before the title a-don' limits the application of the title to Jehovah God. ... Malachi 3:1 Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the true Lord":
"Isaiah 1:24- `the [true] Lord' This is the translation of the Hebrew expression ... ha-A-don', this being the title A-don' ('Lord; Master') preceded by the Hebrew definite article ha. Although there are many lords or masters, this prefixing of the definite article before the title a-don' limits the application of the title to Jehovah God. (See Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, section 126, paragraph d, on pages 404, 405.) In the Hebrew Scriptures this expression ha-A-don' occurs nine times, as listed below: Exodus 23:17 On three occasions in the year every male of yours will appear before the face of the Lord Jehovah. 34:23 Three times in the year every male of yours is to appear before the true Lard, Jehovah, the God of Israel. Isaiah 1:24 Therefore the utterance of the true Lord, Jehovah of armies, the Powerful One of Israel, is: 3:1 For, look! the true Lord, Jehovah of armies, is removing from Jerusalem and from Judah support and stay, 10:16 Therefore the true Lord, Jehovah of armies, will keep sending upon his fat ones a wasting disease, 10:33 Look! The true Lord, Jehovah of armies, is lopping off boughs with a terrible crash; 19:4 `And I will deliver up Egypt into the hand of a hard master, and strong will be the king that will rule over them,' is the utterance of the true Lord, Jehovah of armies. Micah 4:13b and by a ban you will actually devote to Jehovah their unjust profit, and their resources to the true Lord of the whole earth.' Malachi 3:1 Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the true Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom You are delighting." (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1961, "New World translation of the Holy Scriptures," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, pp.1453-1454).
"In nine places in the Masoretic text, 'A•dhohn' has the definite article ha before it, so limiting application of the title to Jehovah. (... Mal 3:1) (my emphasis):
"The titles 'A•dhohn' and 'Adho•nim' are applied to Jehovah 25 times in the Scriptures. In nine places in the Masoretic text, 'A•dhohn' has the definite article ha before it, so limiting application of the title to Jehovah. (Ex 23:17; 34:23; Isa 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33; 19:4; Mic 4:13; Mal 3:1) At all six places where 'A•dhohn' without the definite article refers to Jehovah, it describes him as Lord (Owner) of the earth and so is not ambiguous. (Jos 3:11, 13; Ps 97:5; 114:7; Zec 4:14; 6:5) At the ten places where 'Adho•nim' is used of Jehovah, the immediate context makes certain his identity.- De 10:17; Ne 8:10; 10:29; Ps 8:1, 9; 135:5; 136:3; 147:5; Isa 51:22; Ho 12:14." ("LORD," in "Insight on the Scriptures: Volume 2: Jehovah - ZuZim," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, 1988, p.267. Emphasis original).
But the only Lord who came while the temple of Malachi's day ("slightly before Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in 445 BCE"-Malachi, Wikipedia, 20 November 2011 ) was still in existence (the Second Temple which was built in 516 BC and destroyed in AD 70) was the Lord Jesus Christ:
"To answer these questions, we turn to the next piece of prophetic evidence, coming from the Book of Malachi, written somewhere around 400 B.C.E. (i.e., less than 150 years after the rebuilding of the Second Temple). Here we have a more explicit statement: There was to be a divine visitation at the Second Temple- and for many of our people it would be bad news, not good news, a time of judgment rather than joy. ... Malachi 3:1-5 ...We see from this passage that the Lord (in Hebrew, ha'adon, always used with reference to God in the Hebrew Bible when it has the definite article), preceded by his messenger, would visit the Second Temple, purifying some of his people and bringing judgment on others. That is to say, there would be a divine visitation of great import that would occur in the days of the Second Temple ... the Messiah was to come to the Temple that stood in Malachi's day (and note also that it is called `his Temple'-pointing clearly to the divine nature of the `Lord' spoken' of here). .... the Messiah must have come before the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.; if not, God's Word has failed." (Brown, M.L., 2000, "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Volume 1: General and Historical Objections," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Eighth printing, 2007, pp.77-78. Emphasis original).
"The true Lord whom the people are seeking and the only one ever to come to the temple, is Jesus. The ... Hebrew for `true lord' is ha-Adon .... The 1970 NWT (p. 1455) explains further that ha-Adon is only ever used of Jehovah God ... Christ is the true Lord, Jehovah":
"Malachi 3:1 This verse and footnote in NWT, 1971 large print edition, gives the Witness all sorts of problems `Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will certainly come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,' Jehovah of armies has said (NWT). Clearly Jehovah is speaking about the true Lord whom He will send. The true Lord whom the people are seeking and the only one ever to come to the temple, is Jesus. The footnote says that the Hebrew for `true lord' is ha-Adon and cites eight other occurrences of the word. The 1970 NWT (p. 1455) explains further that ha-Adon is only ever used of Jehovah God. The nine Scriptures, Exodus 23:17; 34:23; Isaiah 1:24; 3:1; 10:16; 10:33; 19:4; Micah 4:13 and Malachi 3:1 are listed and every one of them links the name Jehovah with true Lord, usually `the true Lord, Jehovah'. Every one that is except Malachi 3:1! The reason is obvious- first, the verse would show that Jehovah was sending Jehovah, but more devastating it would show that Christ is the true Lord, Jehovah." (Harris & Browning, 1993, p.155. Emphasis original).
My next post in this series is part #8, "3. Jesus claimed to be Jehovah: 3A. Jesus claimed to be `I AM.'"