Sunday, May 8, 2016

Isaiah 43:10 - Did Jehovah Proclaim Himself to be the Messiah?

Isaiah 43:10 You are My witnesses, says Jehovah; and My servant whom I have elected; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. -- Green's Literal.

Many have noted the expression "I am He" in the above scripture and noted that several translations have Jesus using this expression in the New Testament (John 4:26; John 8:18; John 8:24; John 8:28; John 9:9; John 13:19; 18:5), and then from this they set forth these scriptural comparisons as proof that Jesus is Jehovah.

Some have even gone so far as to say that only God can say this expression, and some claim that in the Bible only God used this expression of Himself.

In Isaiah 43:10, the expression that Jehovah used is only two words; those words transliterated from the Masoretic Text are "ANI HU". Literally translated, it would be: "I - he". The Hebrew does not have a passive copulative "to be", but it is understood, and is thus supplied by translators with forms of the English "to be"; in the case of Isaiah 43:10, it becomes, "I am he". In the LXX, the translators provided the koine Greek form often transliterated as EIMI, making it EGO EIMI, which literally means "I am", and the word "he" is left to be understood in the Koine Greek as being the object. It from this that many trinitarians (and some others) make a connection between EGO EIMI of the LXX and with several of places where Jesus uses the Greek form EGO EIMI, when speaking of himself.  In Isaiah 43:10, it is obvious that Jehovah was claiming to be Jehovah, the God of Israel, before whom none of the gods of heathen existed, and none of these idols will exist after him (since Jehovah will never cease to exist, but these idols gods will cease to exist).

Regarding the claim that this phrase is never used by anyone but Jehovah, we should note that it is a phrase that would hardly ever be used by anyone, and while it may be true that the exact Hebrew phrase is not used by anyone else as recorded in the Hebrew, we find that David did use to the two words of himself as recorded in 1 Chronicles 21:17, although the two words are separated by several words in between.

Likewise, with the Greek words, EGO EIMI; as used without object, it would not often be used by anyone in the Bible, since it would call for unusual first person remarks for one to do so. Some have claimed that in the NT it is only used by Jesus, and thus that it means that Jesus is Jehovah. However, in John 9:9, we find that a blind man used it of himself, not with any thought that anyone would think that he was claiming to be Jehovah God, but rather that he was simply expressing that he was the one who had been healed by Jesus. Further, the two words are also used by others and of others in Matthew 8:9; Matthew 26:22; Matthew 26:25; Luke 1:18; Luke 1:19; Luke 7:8; John 1:20; John 1:27; John 3:28; John 18:35; Acts 21:19; Acts 22:3; Acts 23:6; Acts 24:29; Romans 7:14; Romans 11:1; Romans 11:13; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:15, and perhaps more that I have missed.

Getting back to Isaiah 43:10, what did Jehovah mean when he said, "I am he"? The context shows that He was stating that He is the one who created Jacob, and formed Israel as a people (Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 43:7); that He is the One who will be with them to keep them from being submerged by "the rivers", and from being burned by the flames (Isaiah 43:2); that He is the savior of Israel (Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 43:10); that He is One to whom Israel is precious (Isaiah 43:4); that He is one bringing the offspring of Israel together from the east, west, north, and the south (Isaiah 43:5,6); that it is He, and not any of the false idols of the nations, who is declaring all these things. -- Isaiah 43:8; Isaiah 43:9; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 43:12; Isaiah 43:13.

There is no indication at all that Jehovah, when he said, "I am he", was giving an expression that was to later identify the one whom He anointed and sent as being Himself. -- Isaiah 61:1; John 17:1; John 17:3.

Further, one has to imagine and assume that since Jehovah said something in Hebrew in Isaiah 43:10 as related to Himself, and that since Jesus said something similar as recorded in various scriptures (even though contextually he was applying it to entirely different connections), that this means that Jesus is Jehovah of Isaiah 43:10.

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