The Scriptural Evidence of the Duality of God

by Carl D. Franklin
June 1994 [Up]

Introduction

This paper is the second in a series of studies on the nature of God.  The first paper, “Defining the Oneness of God,” explains the various beliefs that have been formulated concerning the unity of the Godhead, and shows the origins of those beliefs and their impact on the early New Testament Church.  These concepts of “oneness” are then evaluated by examining the Scriptural usage of the word “one” in both its physical and its spiritual applications.  This initial study demonstrates that the Scriptures do not reveal God as only one divine Being or one divine “Substance.”

This second study on the nature of God is built upon the Scriptural groundwork that was laid in the first study.  The purpose of this second study is to demonstrate the duality of God as revealed in the Old Testament.  This study focuses on those passages in the Psalms which refer to two divine Beings and shows that both of these Beings were known as Jehovah.  These passages are examined in the light of the New Testament, which identifies the two Jehovahs oPentateucs as the two divine Beings Who became the Father and the Son. 

This study presents irrefutable Scriptural evidence of the eternal existence of Jesus Christ and the co-equality that He shared with the Father as one of the two Jehovahs of the Old Testament.  You will find this second presentation easier to understand and more meaningful if you have read the previous study paper, “Defining the Oneness of God.”  If you have not yet received the initial study paper, send for your copy without delay.

Carl D. Franklin

The Two Jehovahs of the Psalms

June 1994

The name Jehovah is used countless times in the Old Testament in reference to the true God.  This name identifies God both as Creator of heaven and earth and as the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.  Christians who are acquainted with this Old Testament name of God have always viewed it as a singular name—referring only to one divine Being.  But the truth of Scripture is that there were two divine Beings Who were both known as Jehovah in Old Testament times!

The two divine Beings of the Old Testament are clearly and undeniably revealed in the book of Psalms.  In the original Hebrew text, there are many passages in the Psalms which directly refer to these two divine Beings as Jehovah.  In all but one of these passages, the original inspired words were altered in ancient times by the keepers of the Hebrew text.  Under the pretext of reverence for the name of God, the name Adonay was substituted for Jehovah in selected verses.  By systematically modifying the vowel points of the noun Jehovah, this name of God was wrongly changed to Adonay in 134 places in the Old Testament—including key verses in the psalms which reveal that there were two Jehovahs!  These alterations to the Hebrew text were carefully documented.  The ancient Levitical Massorites, custodians of the Hebrew text, recorded every passage in which the name Jehovah was modified to Adonay.

While these alterations were totally unjustified, most occurrences of the name Adonay in the Old Testament are authentic and are found in the original text.  Adonay is a variation of the Hebrew word Adon, which means “Lord.”  Both Adonay and Adon are used in many passages in the original Hebrew text as names of God. While Adonay is used exclusively to name the true God, Adon is often used to refer to human “lords,” or masters, and sometimes refers to false gods.

Why did the Massorites alter selected verses in the Hebrew text by substituting Adonay for Jehovah?  It has been claimed that these pious Levites revered the name Jehovah so greatly that they could not speak it, and therefore they changed Jehovah to Adonay.  If this be true, why did they not change every occurrence of the name Jehovah in the Old Testament?  Why did they select only 134 places, including verses which reveal the existence of two Jehovahs?

The motive behind this alteration of selected references to Jehovah by the Levitical guardians of the Old Testament is highly questionable.  Is it possible that the influence of pagan philosophical concepts of God’s nature led to rejection of the Scriptural truth that there were two Jehovahs?  The selection of the passages which were altered indicates that the Massorites were unwilling to acknowledge the existence of more than one Jehovah!

In analyzing the 134 places where the name Jehovah was altered, another reason for changing the Hebrew text becomes obvious: the Levites could not accept the Scriptural revelation that one of the two Jehovahs would become the Messiah and would replace their existing priesthood.  In their rejection of God’s plan, they modified passages in the Psalms which referred to both Jehovahs and which prophesied that one of these Jehovahs would become the Messiah and the High Priest of the New Covenant.  Because the record of this tampering has been preserved, we can know the truth that God has revealed to us in His Word!

Codified in the Massorah—marginal writings in the old manuscripts—is the record of the 134 alterations made in the original Hebrew text.  While these alterations are generally known as the “134 Emendations of the Sopherim,” we will see that it was actually the Massorites who inserted these changes into the text.  Let us briefly review the history of the Old Testament text, and we will learn how and when these alterations were introduced.

In The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter we are given a detailed account of the codification of the Old Testament by Ezra the priest.  Chapter Fifteen reveals that this codification took place under the most difficult of circumstances!  A remnant of the exiled Jewish people had returned to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon and other parts of the Medo-Persian Empire. Among these restored exiles were a large number of Levites and priests, whose duty it was to restore the temple service and to teach their brethren the laws of God, lest they fall into idolatry and once more be cast out of their own land.   But Manasseh, a Levite and the legitimate heir to the high priesthood, had married the daughter of Governor Sanballat of neighboring Chaldean Samaria. In the sixth century B.C., Manasseh defected to Samaria, taking with him a major contingent of Levites, including many who were of the Aaronic priesthood.

Under the auspices of governor Sanballat, Manasseh and his fellow Levites set up a counterfeit priesthood in their own temple in Samaria.  Not only was there a competing “Mosaic” religion in Samaria at this time, but there was also a competing “Mosaic” religion and temple at Elephantine, Egypt, as well as a third temple in the Tran Jordan region, where sacrifices were already being offered to God.  To stem this tide of apostasy, Ezra and Nehemiah acted under God’s direction and inspiration to preserve the true worship of God as commanded in the Holy Scriptures.

Because Manasseh and his heretical followers also laid claim to the Scriptures, it was with the greatest urgency that Ezra and Nehemiah acted to safeguard the integrity of the Old Testament text. Levitical Sopherim were placed in charge of standardizing, updating and translating the Old Testament.  It was this group of Levites who compiled the Old Testament as we now know it.  The Torah (the first five books) was translated, with special emphasis upon the commands in the book of Deuteronomy, which was updated, copied and sent throughout the Persian Empire.  A true chronology of this period places these events between 539 and 512 B.C.

The Jehovah who later became the Christ guided the Sopherim in their work on the Old Testament.  At the beginning of His ministry on earth, He placed His seal of approval on the Old Testament text, saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:17-18).

God will not allow any of His words to be lost.  Although changes were later introduced into the Old Testament text after the original work of the Sopherim was completed, those alterations were carefully recorded, and the records were preserved and passed down to us today so that we can know the true and authentic words of God.

When the work on the Old Testament text was completed by the Sopherim, the text was passed on to the Massorites. Bullinger states, “The Text itself had been fixed before the Massorites were put in charge of it.  This had been the work of the Sopherim (from saphar, to count, or number).  Their work, under Ezra and Nehemiah, was to set the Text in order after the return from Babylon; and we read of it in Neh. 8:8 (cp. Ezra 7:6,11).  The men of ‘the Great Synagogue’ completed the work” (The Companion Bible, Appendix 30).

The newly compiled text was placed in the hands of the Massorites for preservation and duplication.  To safeguard the authorized text from being corrupted, the Massorites used an ingenious system which enabled them to keep track of every letter and every word in the books of the Old Testament.  Bullinger explains the methodical system used by the Massorites: “The Sopherim [appointed by Ezra and Nehemiah] were the authorised revisers of the Sacred Text; and, their work being completed, the Massorites were the authorised custodians of it.  Their work was to preserve it.  The Massorah is called ‘A Fence to the Scriptures,’ because it locked all words and letters in their places.  It does not contain notes or comments as such, but facts and phenomena.  It records the number of times the several letters occur in the various books of the Bible; the number of words, and the middle word; the number of verses, and the middle verse; the number of expressions and combinations of words, etc.  All this, not from a perverted ingenuity, but for the set purpose of safeguarding the Sacred Text, and preventing the loss or misplacement of a single letter or word” (Ibid.).

The faithful preservation of God’s Sacred Word by the Levitical Massorites did not last long, however.  Shortly after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Levitical priesthood fell into a state of corruption.  It was during this period in Jewish history that changes were introduced into the Old Testament text.

The seeds of corruption had already been sown in the days of Nehemiah by the high priest Eliashib.  (See the story of Eliashib, Nehemiah and Tobiah the Ammonite [an ancestor of Josephus] in Nehemiah 13.)   When Eliashib died, Joiada, son of Eliashib and great-grandson of Joshua (Ezra’s nephew), inherited the office of high priest.  Joiada’s “reign” as high priest must have run through a good part of the 400’s B.C.  Corruption of the priesthood begun by his father Eliashib continued with Joiada and increased with the son who succeeded him as high priest.

Joiada (or Judah, as he was also known) had three sons:  Manasseh, who was next in line to become high priest at the death of his father Joiada; Jonathan, who actually became the next high priest; and Jesus, who was slain in the temple by his brother Jonathan while he (Jonathan) was high priest. Manasseh did not become the high priest because he apostatized to Samaria after he had married the daughter of Sanballat, governor of Samaria.*  Since Manasseh, the rightful heir to the office of  high priest, had apostatized to Samaria, the office passed to Manasseh’s younger brother Jonathan when Joida died.  This transfer of priestly power must have taken place sometime during the late 400’s or early 300’s B.C.

Jonathan (also called John) was a very wicked high priest.  So evil was Jonathan that his wickedness was not so much as even heard of among the Gentiles!  Notice Josephus’ testimony:  “...and when he [Joiada or Judas] was dead, his son John [Jonathan] took that dignity; on whose account it was also that Bagoses, the general of another of Artaxerxes’ [Artaxerxes II Mnemon 404-358 B.C.) army, polluted the temple, and imposed tributes on the Jews, that out of the public stock, before they offered the daily sacrifices, they should pay for every lamb fifty shekels.

Now Jesus was the brother of John [Jonathan], and was a friend of Bagoses, who had promised to procure him the high priesthood.  In confidence of whose support, Jesus quarreled with John in the temple, and so provoked his brother [Jonathan], that in his anger his brother [Jonathan] slew him [Jesus].  Now it was a horrible thing for John [Jonathan], when he was high priest, to perpetrate so great a crime, and so much the more horrible, that there never was so cruel and impious a thing done, neither by the Greeks nor Barbarians”   (Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter VII, Paragraph 1).

*Josephus confuses this Manasseh, son of Joiada and brother to Jonathan (Josephus XI.8.3), with a later Manasseh (Josephus XI.7.1) who was the son of Jonathan.  The latter Manasseh, who was the son of Jonathan, was the brother of Jaddua the high priest who greeted Alexander in 332/31 B.C.  Notice that the Manasseh in Josephus XI.8.3 is associated with the time of a Darius (Darius Hystaspes, 521-486 B.C.), while the Manasseh of Josephus XI.7.1 is associated with the time of Alexander the Great.  Josephus has confused the Manasseh of Darius Hystaspes’ era, 521-486 B.C. (Josephus XI.8.3), with the Manasseh of Darius III Codomannus’ era, 336-330 B.C. (Josephus XI.7.1).

The high priest, spiritual leader of all priests and Levites, whose duty it was to uphold the law of God, had committed murder in the temple of God!  Under Jonathan’s influence, the Levitical priesthood became more and more corrupt.  By the late 400’s B.C., the priesthood was so corrupt that God inspired Malachi to write,  “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master:  if then I be a Father [Hebrew av, meaning lord, master, teacher, advisor, counselor], where is Mine honour?  and if I be a Master, where is My fear?  saith the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name.  And ye say, ‘Wherein have we despised Thy name?’  Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, ‘Wherein have we polluted Thee?’  In that ye say, ‘The table of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] is contemptible’ “(Mal. 1:6-7).

The priests had such little regard for God’s name that they “snivelled” at the importance of God’s altar. “But ye have profaned it [Me], in that ye say, ‘The table [altar] of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible.’  Ye said also, ‘Behold, what a weariness is it!’ and ye have snuffed [an archaism for sniffed or puffed, meaning to show disdain and scorn by snivelling or pooh-poohing] at it [God’s altar], saith the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] of hosts...”  (Mal. 1:12-13).

So perverse was the attitude of the Levitical priesthood at this time that God began to resist and fight against them.  Their rebelliousness might be phrased in modern English as an attitude of, “God, what difference does it make how we worship You as long as we love You?  If we observe Sunday, Christmas and Easter; and believe in the Trinity, we are only doing so to glorify Your name.”  God’s response was not one of acceptance: “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.  If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto My name, saith the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] of hosts, I will even send a curse [Hebrew arar, to bind, to hem in with obstacles; to render powerless, to resist] upon you, and I will curse your blessings:  yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.  Behold, I will corrupt [Hebrew ghaar, scold, rebuke, reprove, threaten] your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it” (Mal. 2:1-3).

God was so angry at their insolence that He proclaimed, “The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]will cut off the man that doeth this, the master [the watchman that waketh] and the scholar [the watchman that answereth], out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] of hosts”  (Mal. 2:12).  These temple watchmen were the very Levites placed in charge of protecting the temple and its contents, the most important part of which was the Word of God!

The guardians of the temple service, the guardians of the Word of God, so despised God’s name and His Word that they robbed God of His temple tithe (Mal. 3:8).  The result was that the wages of the hireling were being taxed, the widow and fatherless received no support, and the needy stranger was being turned aside (Mal. 3:5).  As the history of the period attests, the Levites were using the tithe to finance real estate deals, businesses, building projects and cultural events (Wacholder, Eupolemus:A Study of Judaeo-Greek Literature, pp. 1-21).  These Levites had made themselves ambassadors to the nations of the ancient world.  As ambassadors, they were using the tithe to sponsor cultural events!  They presided over one of the greatest “tithing and loan” scandals ever known.  I am sure they justified this misuse of God’s tithe as “doing the Lord’s work.”

Their departure from the true worship of God did not stop here.   The priests openly committed adultery and corrupted their seed by divorcing their wives and intermarrying with Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, Edomites and Samaritans (Josephus was descended from one of these bastard lines).  The priests also dabbled in sorcery (consorting with evil spirits and their perverse doctrines).  They even began to create pseudo-scriptures, rewriting the Old Testament and falsely reconstructing the history of Israel.  The Levites, who were the appointed teachers of the Word of God, had forsaken the true teachings of God and were swearing to falsehoods as though they were God’s truth.   God warned them,

 “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers [or “them that swear to a falsehood”], and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages [taxing a hireling’s wages was forbidden by God’s law], the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] of hosts”  (Mal. 3:5).

Within a little more than one hundred years after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Levitical priesthood was guilty of the grossest of spiritual offenses.  It was at this time in history that Alexander the Great advanced with his army against the land of Palestine.  Jaddua, son of the wicked Jonathan, was high priest when Alexander the Great conquered Palestine.  Here is Josephus’ account of the meeting of this influential high priest with Alexander: “Now when John [Jonathan] had departed this life, his son Jaddua succeeded in the high priesthood” (Book XI, Chapter VII, Paragraph 2).... Now Alexander [the Great], when he had taken Gaza [332/331 B.C.], made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddua the high priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience.... And when he [Jaddua] understood that he [Alexander] was not far from the city, he [Jaddua] went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens.  The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations.... And when the Book of Daniel was showed him [Alexander], wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he [Alexander] supposed that himself was the person intended” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter VIII, Paragraphs 4 and 5).

Alexander the Great was a young man of twenty-three years at this time.  He had seen the high priest and his procession in a dream, and the high priest Jaddua had seen Alexander in a dream.  When the two met for the first time, Alexander knelt before the high priest.  Then Alexander and his army accompanied the high priest and his procession to the temple, where Alexander offered sacrifices to the God Who had foretold his conquests.

When Alexander captured the land of Palestine in 332/331 B.C., the people of Judah accepted the Greeks with open arms.  The Jews were already well acquainted with Greek culture.  Many Jews and Levites had for years been living in the cities of Greece.  It was common practice for Levites and others of Judah to participate in the culture, commerce and literature of the world around.  Judah was not a closed society, as is pictured by many scholars today.

About fifty years later, when Ptolemy of Egypt asked that the Hebrew Old Testament be translated into Greek, the Levites were able to complete the entire work in only seventy days.  The Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek Septuagint about 285-250 B.C.

Scholars are puzzled by the fact that the Hebrew Old Testament was so quickly translated into the Greek Septuagint.  The translators certainly had to be fluent both in Hebrew and in the Greek of that age.  What is even more puzzling is the fact that the Septuagint is written in the distinct dialect of Alexandrian Greek.  But Alexandria was not founded until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332/331 B.C., and the Septuagint was translated by the Levites at Alexandria only fifty to eighty years later.  How was this possible?

The answer lies in the fact that many Levites who had been living in Greece moved to Alexandria at or shortly after its founding in 332/331 B.C.  These Levites, who were gifted in literature and language, could speak and write fluently in Greek long before Ptolemy every dreamed of translating the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek language.  They had lived in the Greek culture.  They spoke the same dialect as those Greeks who moved to the new city of Alexandria!  That is how they were able to translate the Septuagint in the dialect of the Alexandrian Greeks.

When Alexander conquered Palestine, the Hebrew Old Testament had not yet been translated into the Greek Septuagint.  How then could Alexander have read the prophecy in the book of Daniel?  It is doubtful that Alexander could read Hebrew.  It is more likely that by 332/331 B.C. the Jerusalem Levites, the Massorites in charge of the Old Testament, had  already translated all or parts of the book of Daniel into Greek. It is not difficult to understand how the Septuagint could be completed in only seventy days, if parts of the Old Testament had already been translated before the Septuagint was commissioned by Ptolemy.

The Septuagint translation is significant in that it gives us a clue to the time period in which the Massorites altered the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.  When the Septuagint was first translated, the names of God in Psalm 110 were left untranslated as Yhvh, showing that the Massorites had not yet changed Jehovah to Adonay. This fact indicates that the Massorites did not begin to tamper with the text until some time after 250 B.C.  It is highly probable that the Massoritic Levites began tampering with the Old Testament text during the period from 250 to 200 B.C., provoking God’s anger and precipitating the invasion of Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C.

So evil were the Levites by this time that God began to scatter them, turning the priesthood over to Levitical impostors, the Maccabees,* and fulfilling His prophecy in Malachi by “smearing dung all over their faces.”  They hated His name and defiled His altar so much that God brought the Seleucidae of Syria against the temple and allowed pigs to be sacrificed on the altar!

The records of both history and the Scriptures show that the Levitical priesthood had become totally corrupted by the time the Massoritic changes were introduced into the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.   Rather than revering the name Jehovah, the priests despised it, as the Spirit of God inspired the prophet Malachi to proclaim.  This degenerate condition of the priesthood is the true historical setting in which the name Jehovah was changed to Adonay.

Could it be that the Levitical priesthood was so corrupt that they had turned from the worship of the true Jehovah/Adon of Israel to the false Chaldean Adon, who was worshipped by the people of Israel and Judah during the time period just before the captivity of Israel?  The prophet Isaiah was inspired to record the Babylonish worship of Israel and Judah:

“I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens [asherah groves of fir trees], and burneth incense upon altars of  brick [the eternal fire of  Baal];  which  remain among  the graves, and lodge in the monuments [consulting with the spirits of the dead], which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; which say, ‘Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.’  These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burneth all the day”  (Isa. 65:2-5).

*As a reaction to the Levitical line of the Hasmoneans (the Maccabees) assuming control over the priesthood, the legitimate line of priests (under Onias III) fled to Egypt (see Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, pp. 185-186), where some of their Levitical cousins had been since the Assyrian conquests of the 700’s B.C.  Descendants of  these Levitical priests formed the community of ascetics that later became known as the Therapeutae.

The bastard line of Josephus, the line of Tobiah the Ammonite, fled toward their ancient homeland, the desert regions of Judea along the Ammon/Moabite border by the Dead Sea.  This line of Levites formed the sect that later became known as the Qumran or Essene community.

In the following chapter, Isaiah describes these abominations in more detail: “They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens [asherah groves of fir trees] behind [after] onetree [the word tree is not in the Hebrew text] in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]” (Isa. 66:17).

Hislop states the following concerning this verse: “The words in our translation are, ‘behind one tree,’ but there is no word in the original for ‘tree’; and it is admitted by Lowth, and the best orientalists, that the rendering should be, ‘after the rites of Achad,’i.e., ‘The Only One...’ (The Two Babylons, footnote, p. 16).

Several leading authorities support this translation of Isaiah 66:17.  W. Robertson Nicoll states: “...in literal translation of the text, the One...” (The Expositor’s Bible,Isaiah, p. 463).   Adam Clarke translates “behind one tree—“, as “after the rites of Achad [One]” and goes on to explain that the Massorites tampered with Isaiah 66:17 by changing Achad to the feminine “achath,” or moon (A Commentary and Critical Notes, Isaiah to Malachi, Vol. IV, p. 246).  Matthew Henry states, “... as we read it, behind one tree in the midst, behind Ahad or Ehad, some idol that they worshipped by that name and in honour of which they ate swine’s flesh”  (Commentary on the Whole Bible,Isaiah to Malachi, Vol. IV, p. 394).

As we can readily determine in our own Bibles, the word “tree” in Isaiah 66:17 is italicized, showing that it is not in the Hebrew text.  The phrase in question thus reads, “...in the gardens behind one in the midst....” The word “garden” is the Hebrew gannah and is referring to the asherah groves of fir trees in which this worship was conducted.   The word “behind” is the Hebrew ah-ghar and should be translated “after,” as it is in Judges 8:33: “went a whoring after Baalim.”  These Israelite devotees ritualistically sanctified and purified themselves and ate swine’s flesh, the abomination and the mouse because they were honoring and seeking the presence of the One, the Achad.

This “Achad” or “One” of the Babylonians was none other than Nimrod of old, also known as Adon or Adonis (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 312).   The Greeks knew Nimrod, or Adon, as Athan and so worshipped him in the district of Laodicea of Asia Minor.  Hislop shows a possible link with the worship of Athan in the pronunciation of the Hebrew Adon.  He states, “The Hebrew Adon, ‘The Lord,’ is, with the points, pronounced Athon”  (Ibid., p. 20).

When we understand God’s condemnation of Israel’s pagan practices in Isaiah 66:17, it is clear that His people were worshipping a false Adon, the “Holy One” of the Chaldeans—also called Atun or Aton, the “Holy One” of the Egyptians, and Athan, the “Holy One” of the Greeks—not the true Jehovah/Adon of the Old Testament!

Hislop shows how greatly this worship of the “One” provoked God’s wrath:  “So utterly idolatrous was the Babylonian recognition of the Divine unity [the three in “One”], that Jehovah, the Living God, severely condemned His own people for giving any countenance to it:  ‘They that sanctify themselves in the gardens, after the rites of the ONLY ONE, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together’ (Isaiah 66:17)” (Ibid., p. 16).

The fact that God inspired Isaiah to pronounce His coming judgment upon His people for this Babylonish worship indicates that it had corrupted the entire nation.  As in the days of Ezra, it is likely that many priests and Levites were leaders in this grievous sin.  If the Levitical priesthood itself was corrupted by the worship of the falseChaldean Adon, orOne,” this apostasy would clearly explain the alterations made in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament—especially in those passages which refer to two divine Beings!   These passages provided a ready opportunity to justify mingling the worship of Adon, the universal God of Babylon, with the worship of Jehovah, the national God of Israel.

In the book of Psalms, the Massorites altered several such passages. These passages reveal the existence of two divine Beings and show that both divine Beings were named Jehovah.  In all but one of these passages, the name Adonay was substituted for Jehovah in one or more verses.   Originally, all of these verses added to the evidence that there were twoJehovahs and that these Jehovahs would someday establish a Father/Son relationship.

In spite of the alterations in these passages in the Psalms, the truth of Scripture has been preserved.  Evidence of the existence of two Jehovahs can be found in Psalms 2, 16, 22, 89, 90, 110 and 118.  As Psalm 110 contains the most obvious reference to two Jehovahs, let us first examine this psalm.


The Two Jehovahs of Psalm 110

Psalm 110 gives us undeniable Scriptural evidence that there were two divine Beings Who were both known as Jehovah in Old Testament times.  In the first verse of Psalm 110, David was inspired to prophesy that a divine Being called Adon would be invited to sit at the right hand of a divine Being called Jehovah.  In the original Hebrew text, the same divine Being Who is called Adon in Verse 1 is called Jehovah in Verse 5.  Psalm 110 is actually describing one Jehovah sitting beside another Jehovah! The word Jehovah in Verse 5, however, was altered by the Levitical Massorites to read Adonay.  The Levites were hiding the truth that the Adon of Verse 1 was a  second Jehovah!

In the original Hebrew text, Psalm 110 clearly reveals two Jehovahs sitting beside each other, one speaking to the other and foretelling future events.  This psalm contains an explicit prophecy of a Jehovah/Adon who would become both the Messiah and the High Priest of a new priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.  Notice carefully these prophetic verses in Psalm 110.  Sections in bold are those passages which have been quoted in the New Testament.

The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] said unto my Lord [Hebrew Adon, the Messiah], Sit Thou [the Messiah] at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool [quoted in Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42-43, Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 1:13].  The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou [the Messiah] in the midst of Thine enemies.  Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou [the Messiah] hast the dew of Thy youth.  The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [the Messiah] art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek [quoted in Hebrews 5:6 and 7:17]“  (Psa. 110:1-4).

The following verses continue the prophetic description of this Adon Who would become the Messiah.  Notice especially Verse 5.   In this verse, the Hebrew name Yhvh, or Jehovah, in the original Hebrew text was changed by the Massorites to read Adonay.

“The Lord[Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah, referring to the Messiah] at Thy [the first Jehovah’s] right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.  He [Jehovah, the Messiah] shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries.  He shall drink of the brook in the way:  therefore shall He lift up the head” (Psa. 110:5-7).

Verse 5 in the original Hebrew text clearly shows two Jehovahs!  This key verse in Psalm 110 identifies the Adon in Verse 1 as a second Jehovah.   The context reveals that this Jehovah/Adon sitting at the right hand of the first Jehovah is the Messiah.  The recorded words of Jesus Christ Himself attest to this very fact.


How Christ Interpreted Psalm 110

No interpretation of Psalm 110 is more authoritative than the Scriptural record of the words spoken by Jesus Christ.  He was the promised Messiah about Whom the psalm was written.  What did Psalm 110 mean to Christ?  How did He interpret the words,  “The Lord said unto my Lord”?

Let us examine the exact words of Jesus Christ as Matthew was inspired to record them, and then look at the accounts in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.

Matthew’s Gospel, written in Greek for Greek-speaking Christians at Jerusalem ca. 50 A.D., quotes Christ as stating that the psalmist David wrote under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.  Thus Psalm 110 carries the full authority of inspired Scripture!   This psalm is not the mere musing of an uneducated shepherd boy who had become king of Israel.  Psalm 110 expresses the very thoughts and words of God Himself.

In Christ’s quotation of Psalm 110 in the Gospel of Matthew, we find  the Greek word Kurios, or Lord, used in place of the Old Testament name Jehovah.  The Greek word Kurios, the equivalent of Jehovah, is also used in place of the name Adon.  Here is New Testament confirmation that the name Jehovah applies equally to the Adon in Verse 1 of Psalm 110!

This use of Kurios in the Gospel of Matthew verifies the accuracy of Psalm 110 as written by David in the original Hebrew text.  It was no slip of the pen when David described the divine Being in Verse 5 of Psalm 110 as “The Jehovah at Thy right hand.”  Matthew’s record of Christ’s words shows that David correctly named the divine Being sitting to the right of Jehovah as  another Jehovah.  Jesus’ own words reveal that this Jehovah Who sits at the right hand of the first Jehovah is the Son of Jehovah.  Here are the words of Christ Himself as recorded by Matthew:

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,  Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose Son is He? They say unto Him, The son of David.  He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call Him Lord [Greek Kurios, equivalent to Hebrew Jehovah], saying,The Lord [Greek Kurios, or Jehovah the Father] said unto my Lord [Greek Kurios, or Jehovah the Son], Sit Thou [the Son] on My right hand, till I [the Father] make Thine enemies Thy footstool?  If David then call Him Lord [Greek Kurios, or Jehovah], how is He [the Messiah] his Son?  And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Mat. 22:41-46).

The Jews of Jesus’ day could not answer Jesus’ question because they were blinded to the truth that is revealed in Psalm 110.  They had been misled by their religious leaders into believing that Jehovah was the name of a single divine Being.  They were convinced that there was only oneJehovah in the entire Old Testament.  After all, that was the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees.  These religious leaders claimed that there could never be more than one divine Being.  They viewed the prophesied Messiah strictly as a national deliverer and a physical descendant of King David.

When we read Jesus’ statements concerning Psalm 110 in the Gospel of Mark, we find an accompanying warning from Jesus to be on guard against the doctrine of the scribes.  Why?  Because they denied the revealed truth of Scripture!  They had blinded their eyes to the two Jehovahs of Psalm 110 and other Old Testament passages.  While they professed to worship the God of Scripture, the scribes had long ago turned to a religion of “strict monotheism.”  It was the rigid monotheistic tradition of Judaism that led them to reject the truth that the prophesied Messiah (the very Jesus standing before them) was known as Jehovah in the Old Testament.  They could not answer Jesus’ question concerning the second Kurios in Psalm 110 because they did not want to admit that the Scriptures revealed two Jehovahs.   Notice Jesus’ words and warning:

“And Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?  For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD [Greek Kurios, Jehovah theFather] said to my Lord [Greek Kurios, Jehovah the Son] Sit Thou [the Son] on My right hand, till I [the Father] make Thine enemies Thy footstool.  David therefore himself calleth Him Lord [Greek Kurios, or Jehovah]; and whence is He then his Son? And the common people heard him gladly.  And He said unto them in His doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:  which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation [heavier judgment]” (Mark 12:35-40).

These scribes made a great show of outward devotion to God.  They pretended to know God, while all the time refusing to believe what God had revealed in His Word.  They rejected the truth that there were twoJehovahs in the Old Testament, and that one of those Jehovahs would become the Messiah before Whom they would some day stand in judgment!  Because they denied the reality of the righteous judgment of God through His Son, they had no fear of God to restrain them from oppressing the poor and the helpless in the land.

Luke also records Jesus’ quotation of Psalm 110 and repeats Jesus’ warning to His followers not to fall into the error of the scribes. Notice Luke’s testimony:

“And He said unto them,How say they that Christ is David’s son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord [Greek Kurios, Jehovah the Father] said unto my [David’s] Lord [Greek Kurios,Jehovah the Son], Sit Thou [the Son] on My right hand, till I [the Father] make Thine enemies Thy footstool.  David therefore calleth Him Lord [Greek Kurios, or Jehovah], how is He then his Son?   Then in the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples,  Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;  which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation [heavier judgment]” (Luke 20:41-47).

Jesus did not hesitate to condemn the scribes for their hypocrisy.  They, of all Jews of that time, should have acknowledged the truth of Scripture and have been walking in the fear of God.   They were well acquainted with the Scriptures because their days were spent making copies of the sacred text.  Yet the hardness of their hearts led them to deny the wonderful truth of the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 110 Who had come to earth in their day!

The fulfillment of this wonderful Old Testament prophecy is fully documented in the New Testament for all who are willing to believe.  We find this Scriptural evidence not only in the Gospels, but also in the testimony of the apostles Peter and Paul.


How Peter Interpreted Psalm 110

When the apostle Peter quoted Psalm 110 in his Pentecost sermon in 30 A.D., he clearly identified both the Jehovah Who is speaking in the prophecy and the Jehovah Who sits at His right hand.  Peter’s inspired interpretation of Psalm 110 makes it plain that David was not referring to himself when he wrote this psalm.   Peter quotes Psalm 110 to prove that the Being sitting at the right of Jehovah is not David but the exalted Jesus Christ!  Peter affirms that Jesus Christ was with Jehovah and was Jehovah before He became flesh.

In Peter’s inspired sermon, recorded in Acts 2, he testifies that the Jehovah on the left in Psalm 110:1 is both Theos (verse 32) and  Kurios (verse 34), and that the Jehovah on the right is both Kurios (verses 34-35) and Christos (verse 35).  Peter boldly declares that it is Theos, the Father, Who has exalted Jesus and made Him Christos.  Here is Peter’s inspired testimony:

“This Jesus hath God [Greek Theos, the Father] raised up [resurrected], whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God [Greek Theos, the Father] exalted, and having received of the Father [Greek Pater, referring to Theos] the promise of the Holy Ghost [the Spirit of Theos,  the Father], He [the resurrected Jesus] hath shed forth this [the Holy Spirit of the Father], which ye now see and hear [the outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit].  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he [David] saith himself, The Lord [Greek Kurios, theFather] said unto my [David’s] Lord [Greek Kurios, the Son], Sit Thou [theSon] on My right hand, until I [the Father] make Thy foes Thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God [Greek Theos, the Father] hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord [Greek Kurios] and Christ [Greek Christos]” (Acts 2:32-36).

Peter’s words clearly show that the Jehovah/Adon of Psalm 110Who is sitting at the right hand of Jehovah is not King David!  Peter emphatically states that David is still in his grave, and that it is Jesus, Jehovah of the Old Testament and Kurios/Christos of the New, Who has been raised from the dead by the power of the Father.  It is the risen Christ Who has been exalted to sit at the right hand of God.

How Paul Interpreted Psalm 110

The apostle Paul also testifies that the Jehovah/Adon of Psalm 110 is Jesus Christ, the Son of Jehovah.  In the first chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul identifies the Jehovah on the left hand in Psalm 110 as Theos the Father, and the Jehovah on the right hand as Theos the Son.  Paul’s use of the Greek word Theos in this passage to name both the Father and the Son makes it clear that the Son is God in the full sense of the word.  He is Theos by the same definition that the Father is Theos.  Paul emphasizes this truth by quoting several Old Testament passages to prove that the Son (Greek Huios) is not a glorified angel or a superhuman being, but that He eternally pre-existed as God.  Here is Paul’s testimony:

“God [Greek Theos, the Father], Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son [Greek Huios], Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He [the Father] made the worlds [thus Jesus is called the Arche or Beginner of the creation]; Who [the Son] being the brightness of His [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of His [the Father’s] person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He [Jesus Christ] had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels [Greek aggelos], as He [the Son] hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  For unto which of the angels [Greek aggelos] said He [the Father] at any time, Thou art My Son [Greek Huios], this day have I begotten Thee [quoted from Psalm 2:7]?   And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son [Greek Huios] [quoted from II Samuel 7:14]?  And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He [the Father] saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him [quoted from the Septuagint, Deuteronomy 32:43].  And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire [quoted from the Septuagint, Psalm 104:4].   But unto the Son [Greek Huios] He [the Father] saith,Thy throne, O God [Greek Theos, the Son], is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.  Thou [the Son] hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God [Greek Theos, the Father], even Thy God [Greek Theos, the Father], hath anointed Thee [the Son] with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows [quoted from Psalm 45:6-7].   And, Thou, Lord [Greek Kurios, the Jehovah of the Old Testament Who became the Son], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands:  they shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou [the Son] art the same, and Thy years shall not fail [quoted from Psalm 102:25-27].  But to which of the angels [Greek aggelos] said He [the Father] at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?” (Heb. 1:1-13.)

Paul’s inspired testimony makes it undeniably clear that Jesus Christ was never an angel.  Paul quotes Psalm 110 and specifically points out that no angel at any time was invited to sit at the right hand of the Father.  Paul also quotes Psalm 2 to show that no angel at any time was begotten of the Father.  Paul shows that it is totally unscriptural to claim that Christ was ever an angel—oranything less than God.

In this passage, Paul offers irrefutable proof from the Old Testament to convince all who question the eternal existence of Jesus Christ as God.  To remove every doubt, Paul quotes the testimony of the Father Himself in Psalm 45 as evidence that Jesus Christ is God and will reign as God for all eternity.  As proof of the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as Jehovah of the Old Testament, Paul quotes Psalm 102 to demonstrate that Christ shared full power and authority with the Father in the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Paul’s purpose in quoting these Old Testament scriptures was to shut the mouths of those who deny that Jesus Christ is God and that He has existed from the beginning as God—a fully divine Being.  In an earlier epistle, Paul specifically named Christ as the Rock of the Old Testament, the God Who covenanted with Israel (I Cor. 10:4).  In view of all the New Testament evidence, it is utter nonsense to deny the eternal pre-existenceof Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, or Jehovah, of the Old Testament.


The Two Jehovahs of Psalm 2

In Psalm 2, we find another passage which clearly refers to two divine Beings.  When we read the entire psalm, we find that these divine Beings are identified as the Jehovah Who became the Father and the Jehovah Who became the Son.  As in other psalms referring to two Jehovahs, the Levites modified the Hebrew text, changing the name Jehovah in Verse 4 of Psalm 2 to Adonay.   But removing the name Jehovah from Verse 4 cannot hide the fact that there were two Jehovahs.  The use of the name Jehovah in other verses in this psalm shows that this divine name is referring to two separate and distinct Beings.

The first occurrence of the name Jehovah in Psalm 2 is found in Verse 2.  This Jehovah is clearly identified in Verse 7 as the Father of the Messiah.  Here is what David was inspired to write of the Jehovah Who would become the Father and of His future Son, the Messiah:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD[Hebrew Jehovah],and against HisAnointed [quoted in Acts 4:25-26], saying, Let us [the kings of the earth] break Their [Jehovah and His Anointed] bands  asunder, and cast away Their[Jehovah and His Anointed] cords  from us.  He [Jehovah] that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: theLord [HebrewAdonay, originally Jehovah] shall have them in derision.  Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet have I [Jehovah] setMyKing[the Anointed, or Messiah] upon My holy hill of Zion” (Psa. 2:1-6).

There is no question that the Jehovah in this passage is the divine Being Who became the Father.  In Verse 6 we find this Jehovah speaking of His future King, the Messiah.  Verse 7 reveals that the promised Messiah would be the Son of this Jehovah.

In Verse 7 a second divine Being begins to speak, prophesying that He will become the Son of Jehovah.  When we  read the following verses, we find that this divine Being Who will become the Messiah, the future Son, is also called Jehovah.   Here is the undeniable Scriptural evidence:

“I will declare the decree: the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father of the Messiah] hath said unto Me [the Messiah], Thou art My Son [quoted in Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5; 5:5]; this day have I begotten Thee.  Ask of Me [the Father], and I shall give Thee [the Son] the heathen for Thine  inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.   Thou [the Son] shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel [quoted by the resurrected Christ in Revelation 2:26-27].  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.   Serve the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him [the Son]” (Psa. 2:7-12).

These verses in Psalm 2 clearly reveal that there were two Jehovahs in Old Testament times.  When we examine the context in which the name Jehovah is used, it is evident that the Jehovah in Verse 7 is the divine Being Who would become the Father of the Messiah, and that the Jehovah in Verse 11 is the divine Being Who would become the Messiah, His  Son.  In Verses 7-9, we findthe Jehovah Who would become the Son declaring what the first Jehovah,  His future Father, had decreed.

The decrees in Verse 9 of Psalm 2 are quoted by the glorified Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation.  Let us examine the testimony of Christ concerning these decrees given by Jehovah, the Father of the Messiah, in Psalm 2.


Christ Was Given the Decrees in Psalm 2

In quoting Psalm 2, Jesus Christ confirmed that He was the Jehovah Who became the Son, to Whom Jehovah the Father delivered the decrees of rulership over all nations.  Here are Christ’s own words concerning these decrees:

“But unto you I [the risen Christ] say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I [the risen Christ] will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers[the decrees given in Psalm 2:9]:even as I received of My Father”  (Rev. 2:24-27).

Here Jesus boldly proclaims that He is the Son, the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 2, Who received the decrees of world rulership from Jehovah the Father.  Later in the book of Revelation, the apostle John adds his testimony to the weight of Scriptural evidence.  John was inspired to describe Jesus Christ in Revelation 19 as the Word of God, now restored to His full power and glory in heaven, and soon to rule the nations as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.   In this passage, John quotes part of Psalm 2:9, confirming that Jesus Christ is the Jehovah/Messiah Who was given the decrees of world rulership by Jehovah the Father.  Here is John’s testimony:

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He That sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.  And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word [Greek Logos] of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.   And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron[as decreed in Psalm 2:9]: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God [Greek PantokratorTheos, referring to Jehovah the Father, Who delivered the decrees].  And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS [Greek Basileus basileus kai Kurios kurios, future title of Jehovah the Son]” (Rev. 19:11-16).

As John testifies in his Gospel, this same Word of God was withGod and wasGod before He became a fleshly human being (John 1:1, 14).  John also shows in Revelation 12 that after His days in the flesh, Jesus was restored to His former glory and now sits with the Father on His throne.  John declares, “And she brought forth a man child [Jesus, the prophesied Messiah of Psalm 2], who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: [as decreed in Psalm 2:9] and her child was caught up unto God [Greek Theos, the Father], and to His throne” (Rev. 12:5).

These words in the book of Revelation confirm that Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Psalm 2 Who will rule the nations of this world with a rod of iron!  He is the Jehovah described in Psalm 2:11 Who has become the Son.  He alone has been glorified and exalted by Jehovah the Father and will soon return to rule the earth as King of kings.  That is the true teaching of the New Testament!

The New Testament verifies that Jesus was a divine Being—one of the two Jehovahs of the Old Testament—before He came to earth as a fleshly human being.  He emptied Himself of His glory and became flesh in order that He might die, thus ending the Old Covenant and establishing the New (Phil. 2:6-7, Heb. 9:15-16; 10:5-9).  After three days, He was resurrected and restored to His full power and glory with the Father (Eph. 1:20-21, John 17:4-5).

Jesus Christ is fully divine.  The apostle Paul testifies that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).  He was not resurrected with a glorified body that transcends human flesh but is less than God.  He is not a “new creature” in a mythical category between angels and human beings.   He is God.   Paul leaves no room for doubt!  When Paul quoted Psalm 2 in his epistle to the Hebrews as evidence that Jesus is the glorified Son, he also quoted Psalm 45 to show that the Son is God:  “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever:  a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy Kingdom” (Heb. 1:8).

Jesus is now reigning at the right hand of the Father, sharing the Father’s throne until the time comes for the Father to deliver the nations of this world into His hands, as decreed in Psalm 2.  He is coming soon as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, and He will reign as God forever!

How the Apostles Interpreted Psalm 2

In the book of Acts, we find evidence that all the apostles understood that the prophecies in Psalm 2 would be fulfilled by Jesus Christ.  The combined prayer of the assembled apostles in Acts 4 shows that they understood that the prophecies in Psalm 2 were referring to Jesus Christ and were, in fact, beginning to be fulfilled in their days!  Here is their prayer as recorded by Luke:

“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God [Greek Theos, the Father] with one accord, and said, Lord [Greek Despotes, or Master, referring to the Father] Thou art God [these words are not in the texts], Which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  Who by the mouth of Thy servant David has said [in Psalm 2:1-2], Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord [Greek Kurios, the Father], and against His Christ [Greek Christos, the Son].   For of a truth against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed [resurrected], both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the People of Israel, were gathered together...” (Acts 4:24-27).

This prayer by the early apostles confirms that they understood the meaning of Psalm 2.  They were fully aware that Jesus was the Messiah of David’s inspired prophecy!  They knew that He had been resurrected and had ascended to the Father’s throne, and that He would return to earth with power and glory to rule all nations, as the Father had decreed.

In these early days of the church, Paul was not yet an apostle.  Later in the book of Acts, we find the personal testimony of the apostle Paul concerning the identity of the Jehovah in Psalm 2 Who was prophesied to become the Messiah. In proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Paul quoted Psalm 2:7 and other Old Testament prophecies as evidence that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah—originally one of the two Jehovahs, but now the immortal Son of Jehovah.  Here is Paul’s testimony:

“And we [Paul and his co-workers] declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God [Greek Theos, the Father] hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He [the Father] hath raised up Jesus [the Son] again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art My Son; this day have I [the Father] begotten [resurrected] Thee [Psalm 2:7].  And as concerning that He [the Father] raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He [the Father] said on this wise, I [the Father] will give You [the Son] the sure mercies of David [Isa. 55:3].  Wherefore He [the Father] saith also in another psalm [Psalm 16:10], Thou [the Father] shalt not suffer Thine Holy One [the Son] to see corruption” (Acts 13:32-35).

Paul’s inspired interpretation of Psalm 2:7 makes it clear that it was on “this day”the day of Hisresurrectionto immortality—that Jesus became the glorified Son of God.  Contrary to the popular Trinitarian teaching, there has not always been a Son in the Godhead!  The Father Himself has revealed that He did not have an eternal, immortal Son until He raised up Jesus from the dead.  Paul emphatically states that it was in reference to Christ’sresurrection that the Father declared, “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.”

In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul shows that when Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead by the power of the Father, He was also glorified by the Father.  Paul again quotes Psalm 2:7 in reference to Christ’s resurrection to glory:

“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God [Greek Theos, the Father], that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins....And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God [Greek Theos, the Father], as was Aaron. So also Christ [Greek Christos, the Son] glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest; but He [the Father] that said unto Him,Thou art My Son, to day have I begotten [resurrected] Thee [Psalm 2:7, quoted from the Septuagint].   As He [the Father] saith also in another place, Thou [the Son] art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec [Psalm 110:5, quoted from the Septuagint]” (Heb. 5:1-6).

These New Testament interpretations make it undeniably clear that the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 2 became the glorified Son of God on the day of His resurrection to immortality.  On “this day” He was exalted and restored to the full power and glory that He shared with the Father in the beginning as the Word of God (John 1:1; 17:5).  Now the Son of God, He is both our Savior and High Priest, ever living to make intercession for us with the Father.  And, as the reglorified Word of God; He is preparing to return to this earth to rule all nations with a rod of iron, as the Father has decreed.


The Two Jehovahs of Psalm 16

As recorded in Acts 13, when Paul proclaimed Jesus Christ as the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 2, he also testified that Jesus is the “Holy One” of Psalm 16. When we examine the context of the verse in Psalm 16 which Paul quoted, we find that the “Holy One,” or Messiah, is also called Jehovah, and that He is addressing a second divine Being.  As in other passages which reveal two divine Beings, the Massorites altered the name Jehovah to read Adonay.  We find this modificationin Verse 2 of Psalm 16.

Psalm 16 begins with David’s prayer to God.  In Verse 2, David addresses his God both as “Lord” [Jehovah] and as “my Lord.”  David is clearly speaking to the same divine Being Who is called “my Lord” in Verse 1 of Psalm 110.  As we have seen, this divine Being is the Jehovah Who was prophesied to become the Messiah and Son.  David’s Lord is revealed in all of David’s psalms as the Son.  These psalms prophesy that He would be both the Son of David and the Son of Jehovah.  In many of these prophecies, we find one divine Being speaking to another, giving us much insight into the relationship that existed before one Jehovah became the Son of the other Jehovah.

It is important to understand that when David wrote of a Father/Son relationship between these two divine Beings, it was yet future.  This truth must be emphasized, as false teachers are now claiming that the Son has always been the Son, and that the Father has always been the Father!   They ignore the fact that the Scriptures reveal two Jehovahs Who existed side by side until one of these Jehovahs left His glory and became a fleshly human being.  That Jehovah became Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Who suffered and died.  He did not become the eternal Son of God until the day of His resurrection, as Paul testifies in Acts 13:33, where he quotes Psalm 16.

In David’s prayer in Psalm 16, David calls the Jehovah Who was prophesied to become the Son by the name El.  This fact is significant because El has always been viewed as a divine name referring only to the Father.  Here is David’s prayer to the Jehovah Who would become the Messiah:

“Preserve me, O God [Hebrew El, the future Messiah]: for in Thee  do I put my trust.  O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the future Messiah], Thou art myLord [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah]: my goodness extendeth not to [beyond] Thee;  but to [concerning] the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom [them] is all my delight.  Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.  The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the future Messiah] is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.  The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.   I will bless the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the future Messiah], who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons” (Psa. 16:1-7).

At this point David ceases to speak about himself.  The psalm continues in the first person, but now becomes a prophecy of the Messiah.  The Jehovah Who will become the Messiah is addressing the Jehovah Who will become the Father!   One Jehovah, the future Messiah, is speaking in the first person to another Jehovah, the future Father, Whom the first Jehovah addresses as “Thou.”  Notice David’s prophecy concerning the Messiah:

I [the Messiah] have set the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father] always before Me:  because He [the Father] is at My right hand, I [the Messiah] shall not be moved.  Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope [prophesying His death].  For Thou [the Father] wilt not leave My soul in hell [the grave]; neither wilt Thou [the Father] suffer Thine Holy One [the Messiah] to see corruption [prophesying His resurrection].  Thou [the Father] wilt show Me [the Messiah] the path of life [prophesying His ascension]: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy [the Father’s] right hand [where the Messiah sits] there are pleasures for evermore” (Psa. 16:8-11).

None can deny that these verses written by David are an inspired prophecy in which one Jehovah, the future Messiah, is speaking to another Jehovah, the future Father.  Any who doubt that these verses prophesy a future Father/Son relationship between two divine Beings need only turn to the New Testament to find absolute Scriptural verification.  Inspired interpretations of Psalm 16 by both Peter and Paul have been preserved for us in the book of Acts.  Let us first examine the testimony of the apostle Peter as recorded in Acts 2.

How Peter Interpreted Psalm 16

In Acts 2, we find Peter’s inspired sermon on the day of Pentecost, in which he proclaimed Jesus Christ as the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 16, Who had been resurrected from the grave by Jehovah the Father.  Here is Peter’s testimony:

“For David speaketh concerning Him [not about David], I [the Messiah] foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved:  therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope:  because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell [the grave], neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.... He [David] seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell [the grave], neither His flesh did see corruption.  This Jesus hath God [Greek Theos, the Father] raised up, whereof we all are witnesses”  (Acts 2:25-27, 31-32).

Peter’s inspired interpretation gives us irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ was the Jehovah of Psalm 16 Who became the Messiah. When it was time for Him to come to earth as the Messiah, He committed His power and glory to the Jehovah Who became the Father.  He gave up His divinity and became flesh in order that He might die (Heb. 2:14).  Psalm 16 describes His anticipation of His resurrection and His return to glory.

These prophesied events had all been fulfilled when Peter stood before a crowd of thousands who had gathered at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.  Peter boldly proclaimed that Jesus had been resurrected to immortality by Jehovah the Father, exactly as David had prophesied.  When he quoted David’s psalm, Peter made it clear that these verses did not refer to David but specifically concerned the Messiah, and that they had been fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Peter’s testimony was later affirmed by the apostle Paul, as recorded in Acts 13.


How Paul Interpreted Psalm 16

Paul’s inspired interpretation in Acts 13 verifies that the prophecy in Psalm 16 is not speaking of David but refers to the Messiah.  As we saw in our study of Psalm 2, Paul is testifying in Acts 13 that David’s prophecies concerning the Jehovah/Messiah had been fulfilled by Jesus Christ.  Notice again Paul’s inspired testimony:

“And we [Paul and his co-workers] declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God [Greek Theos, the Father] hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He [the Father] hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I [the Father] begotten [resurrected] Thee [Psalm 2:7].  And as concerning that He [the Father] raised Him [the Son] up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He [the Father] said on this wise, I [the Father] will give You [the Son] the sure mercies of David [Isa. 55:3].  Wherefore He [the Father] saith also in another psalm [Psalm 16:10], Thou [the Father] shalt not suffer Thine Holy One [the Son] to see corruption” (Acts 13:32-35).

Paul makes it absolutely clear that there was no Son in the Godhead until the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  On that day, two divine Beings Who had eternally existed as God entered into a Father/Son relationship.  The original relationship between the two divine Beings Who were both known as Jehovah in Old Testament times changed forever when one Jehovah became the Father and the other Jehovah became the Son.

Paul’s inspired words reveal that the Godhead is not absolutely fixed and unchangeable, as religious philosophers have claimed!  The Godheadchanged when one of the Jehovahs emptied Himself of His divinity and became flesh.  For thirty-three years, He lived among men as a fleshly human being named Jesus.  When Jesus died, there was only one Jehovah in the entire universe.  The Jehovah Who had become Jesus no longer existed!  When Jesus was resurrected by the power of the only remaining Jehovah,the relationship between them changed forever.  At the precise moment of Jesus’ resurrection, the remaining Jehovah became the Father and the reglorified former Jehovah became the Son!  They had not existed in this Father/Son relationship before that time.  Those who claim otherwise are denying the plain truth of Scripture!


The Two Jehovahs of Psalm 22

Another psalm which depicted in advance a Father/Son relationship between the two divine Beings of the Old Testament is Psalm 22.  This psalm reveals the personal thoughts and deep emotions of the divine Being Who was prophesied to become the Son as He foresaw the agony of His crucifixion and the joyous resurrection that would follow.  His prayer to His Father is filled with graphic details and specific prophecies concerning the crucifixion.

In His prayer, the divine Being Who would become the Son addresses the divine Being Who would become the Father as El.  As we have seen in Psalm 16, El is also used in the Old Testament as a name of the divine Being Who later became the Son.  In Psalm 22, El refers to the divine Being Who became the Father,showing that both divine Beings in the Godhead were known as El.

It is in the first verse of Psalm 22 that we find the name El used in reference to the divine Being Who would become the Father.  In Verse 2 of this psalm, this same divine Being is called Elohim.  Here is the Messiah’s prayer to His future Father:

“My God, My God [Hebrew El, the divine Being Who would become the Father], why hast Thou forsaken Me [the future Son]? why art Thou [the Father] so far from helping Me [the Son], and from the words of My roaring?  O My God [Hebrew Elohim, referring to the Father], I [the Son] cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.  But Thou [the Father] art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in Thee: they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them.  They cried unto Thee, and were delivered: they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded.   But I [the Son] am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He [the Son] trusted on the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, referring to the Father] that He would deliver Him [the Son]: let Him [the Father] deliver Him, seeing He [the Son] delighted in Him [the Father]” (Psa. 22:1-8).

Notice that in Verse 8 the future Son calls the divine Being Who would become the Father by the name Jehovah.  In Verses 1 and 2, this same divine Being is called by the names El and Elohim.  The fact that the Jehovah Who would become the Father is called by two other names in the same passage shows that the divine names El,Elohim, and Jehovah are used interchangeably in Scripture.  When we examine the use of these names in other Scriptural passages, we find an eye-opening revelation.  Contrary to what some have claimed, these Old Testament names do not refer exclusively to the divine Being Who became the Father.  The use of these divine names in the book of Psalms and other Scriptures shows that all three names were shared equally by both divine Beings in the Godhead.

The prayer of the future Messiah to the divine Being Who would become the Father continues in Verse 9 and the following verses of Psalm 22.  When we read these verses, we find a graphic portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Notice the detailed prophecies that were fulfilled at His death:

“But Thou [the Father] art He that took Me [the Son] out of the womb: Thou didst make Me hope when I was upon My mother’s breasts.  I [the Son] was cast upon Thee [the Father] from the womb: Thou art My God [Hebrew El] from My mother’s belly.  Be not far from Me [the Son]; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.  Many bulls have compassed Me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset Me round.  They gaped upon Me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.  I [the Son] am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou [the Father] hast brought Me [the Son] into the dust of death.  For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet.  I may tell [count] all my bones: they look and stare upon Me.  They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture [quoted in Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34 and John 19:24]” (Psa. 22:9-18).

As noted above, all four Gospel writers recorded this prophecy in their accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, showing that He truly was the divinely ordained Messiah of David’s psalm.   As we continue to read the Messiah’s prayer in this psalm, we find that His thoughts turn from the agony of His prophesied death to the salvation that it would bring to many.  He speaks of the new spiritual Israel—the children of Abraham by faith—who would praise God for the wonderful salvation that He had wrought.

Let us read the Messiah’s words in the following verses of Psalm 22.  Note that in Verse 19, the first verse of this section, the Messiah again addresses the Father as Jehovah in the original Hebrew text.  This verse is one of the 134 places where the name Jehovah was altered by the Massoritic Levites to read Adonay.  Regardless of the modification of the name, it is clear that the divine Being in Verse 19 is the same divine Being as the Jehovah in Verse 8.  In the following passage, He is again called Jehovah in Verse 23.  In each occurrence of the name, the context reveals that this divine Being is the future Father of the Messiah.

“But be not Thou [the Father] far from Me [the Son], O LORD [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah, referring to the Father]: O My strength, haste Thee to help Me [the Son].   Deliver My soul from the sword; My darling from the power of the dog.  Save Me from the lion’s mouth: for Thou [the Father] hast heard Me [the Son] from the horns of the unicorns.  I [the Son] will declare Thy Name [the Father] unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee [quoted in John 20:17].  Ye that fear the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, referring to the Father], praise Him [the Father]; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him [the Father]; and fear Him [the Father], all ye the seed of Israel.  For He [the Father] hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He [the Father] hid His face from Him [the Son]; but when He [the Son] cried unto Him [the Father], He heard.  My praise shall be of Thee [the Father] in the great congregation: I [the Son] will pay My vows before them that fear Him [the Father]” (Psa. 22:19-25).

In the final section of Psalm 22 we again find the name Jehovah.  This name occurs four times in this section—in Verses 26, 27, 28 and 30.  But in these verses, as the context reveals, the name Jehovah does not refer to the divine Being Who would become the Father.  Every occurrence of the name Jehovah in this part of Psalm 22 is a specific reference to the divine Being Who would become the Son.  This truth becomes evident when we read Verse 28, where this Jehovah is revealed as the prophesied Messiah Who will rule all nations.

The final occurrence of the name Jehovah in Psalm 22 was found in Verse 30 in the original Hebrew text.  The name Jehovah in this verse was altered by the Massoritic Levites to read Adonay.  Remember that they also modified the name Jehovah in Verse 19.The change in Verse 30 was their second modification of the name Jehovah in Psalm 22.  It is interestingto note that in Verse 19, the name Jehovah refers to the divine Being Who would become the Father.   In Verse 30, the name Jehovah refers to the divine Being Who would become the Son.  In the original Hebrew text, these two verses plainly revealed the existence of two Jehovahs.  Here are the inspired words of David concerning the Jehovah Who would become the Son:

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, referring to the Son] that seek Him: your heart shall live for ever.   All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son]: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee [the Son].  For the kingdom is the LORD’S [Hebrew Jehovah’s, referring tothe Son]: and He [the Son] is the Governor among the nations.  All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him [the Son]: and none can keep alive his own soul.  A seed shall serve Him [the Son]; it shall be accounted to the Lord [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah, referring tothe Son] for a generation.  They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He [the Son] hath done this” (Psa. 22:26-31).

All four Gospel writers quote Psalm 22 as evidence that Jesus Christ was the prophesied Messiah—the Jehovah of the Old Testament Who became the Son.  The New Testament shows beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus Christ had eternally existed as God before He became flesh.  David’s prophecy in Verse 28 of Psalm 22, concerning the Jehovah Who will rule the nations, also shows that the resurrected Jesus Christ was restored to His former glory and will return to earth to rule forever as God.


Psalm 22 Was Christ’s Last Prayer

The prophetic prayer of the Jehovah/Messiah in Psalm 22 is quoted in the New Testament as the last prayer of Jesus before He died.   In their Gospels, Matthew and Mark were both inspired to record the anguished cry of Jesus during His suffering, as prophesied in the first verse of Psalm 22:  “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mat. 27:46, Mark 15:34.)  The Gospel of John indicates that Jesus may have spoken the entire psalm during His crucifixion.  John records that Jesus’ last words before His death were, “It is finished” (John 19:30).  As The Companion Bible explains, this is the actual meaning and the proper translation of the final words of Psalm 22.

Whether or not Jesus spoke the entire psalm aloud, it is certain that every verse was a reality in His mind as He felt death approaching.  As the Jehovah of the Old Testament Who would become the Son, He had inspired David to write these verses.  Their words held a message of both anguish and joy, foretelling His grievous suffering and the triumphant glory that would follow.  He looked forward not only to His own rulership over the nations, but to the eternal salvation that His death would bring to many, whom He calls “My brethren” (verse 22).  It was His great love for His future brethren, and His desire to share His glory with them, that had brought Him to the humiliation and agony of the crucifixion.   Even as He suffered, He looked beyond this cruel and shameful death to the joy of bringing us to glory!  As the apostle Paul was inspired to write, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

When Jesus said, “It is finished,” and drew His last breath, He knew that He would awaken to immortality—as “the firstborn of many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).  Jesus is the first of many who will be resurrected to become the immortal children of God—those whom Jesus calls “My brethren” (Heb. 2:10-13).  This wonderful truth is revealed in the prayer of the Jehovah/Messiah of Psalm 22!


The JehovahElohim of Psalm 89

Psalm 89 is one of two psalms which reveal that the two divine Beings of the Old Testament were each known not only as Jehovah but as Jehovah Elohim.  While both divine Beings are spoken of in Psalm 89, only one of them is called Jehovah Elohim in this psalm.  However, in the following psalm, Psalm 90, the other divine Being is also addressed as Jehovah Elohim.  Let us first examine Psalm 89.

In the first verse, the psalmist praises Jehovah for His mercy and faithfulness.  In Verses 5 and 6, he again extols Him as Jehovah, and in Verse 7 as El.  In the following verse, he addresses the same divine Being as Jehovah Elohim.  Here are the psalmist’s inspired words:

“I will sing of the mercies of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] for ever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.  For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens.  I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David My servant,  Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up Thy throne to all generations. Selah.  And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]: Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.  For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]God [Hebrew El] is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.  O LORD God [Hebrew Jehovah Elohim] of hosts, who is a strong LORD [Hebrew Jah] like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee?” (Psa. 89:1-8.)

Notice in Verse 8 that in addition to the name Jehovah Elohim, the psalmist uses the name Jah, which is a shortened form of Jehovah.  The fact that the psalmist was inspired by the Holy Spirit to use these various divine names shows that God does not have “one sacred name” by which He must be addressed.

In the following verses, the psalmist continues his song of praise to Jehovah.  In Verse 19, he refers to a second divine Being as “Thy Holy One,” showing that the Jehovah he is addressing in this psalm is the Father of the Messiah.  Notice the psalmist’s words:

“Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou stillest them.  Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; Thou hast scattered thine enemies with Thy strong arm.  The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, Thou hast founded them.  The north and the south Thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Thy name.  Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.  Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.  Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah], in the light of Thy countenance.  In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.  For Thou art the glory of their strength: and in Thy favour our horn shall be exalted.  For the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father of the Messiah] is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel [His Son the Messiah] is our king.  Then Thou [the Father] spakest in vision to Thy Holy One [the Son], and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people” (Psa. 89:9-19).

Here we find one divine Being, the future Father, speaking to another divine Being, the future Son and Messiah, concerning David, the chosen ruler of His people.  The next section of Psalm 89, while speaking directly of David, is also a prophecy of the reign of his future seed—the Messiah.  This dual meaning is evident in the following verses:

I have found David My servant [quoted in Acts 13:22];with My holy oil have I anointed him:  with whom My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen him.  The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.  And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.  But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.  I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.  He shall cry unto Me, Thou art my father, my God [Hebrew El], and the Rock [Hebrew Zur] of my salvation.  Also I will make Him My firstborn, higher [Hebrew Elyon, meaning“Most High,” referring to the Messiah] than the kings of the earth.  My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and My covenant shall stand fast with him.  His seed [the Messiah] also will I make to endure for ever, and His throne as the days of heaven.  If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments;  if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments;  then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.  Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail.  My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.  Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David.  His seed [the Messiah] shall endure for ever, and His throne as the sun before Me.  It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.  Selah” (Psa. 89:20-37).

As noted above, Verse 20 is quoted by the apostle Paul in the book of Acts.  In preaching Christ to the Jews at Antioch, Paul identified the Jehovah of Psalm 89 as the Father of the Messiah.  Here is Paul’s inspired witness:

“And when He [God] had removed him [Saul], He raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also He gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart, which shall fulfill all My will.  Of this man’s seed hath God [the Jehovah of Psalm 89] according to His promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus” (Acts 13:22-23).

Paul clearly identifies the Jehovah Who spoke these words in Psalm 89 as the Father of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of the seed of David.  In the last section of Psalm 89, the psalmist again addresses Jehovah the Father, pleading with Him to remember His covenant with David.  In Verse 51, we find another reference to the prophesied Messiah.  As in other Scriptural passages which reveal two divine Beings, the Massorites modified the original text.  Notice that there are two modifications of the name Jehovah in the following verses:

“But Thou hast cast off and abhorred, Thou hast been wroth with Thine anointed[David].  Thou hast made void the covenant of Thy servant: Thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.  Thou hast broken down all his hedges; Thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin.  All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours.  Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; Thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.   Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.  Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.  The days of his youth hast Thou shortened: Thou hast covered him with shame.  Selah.  How long, LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father of the Messiah]? wilt Thou hide Thyself for ever? shall Thy wrath burn like fire?  Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast Thou made all men in vain?  What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?  Selah.  Lord [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah, referring tothe Father of the Messiah], where are Thy former loving kindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in Thy truth?  Remember, Lord [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah, again referring tothe Father], the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;  wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father]; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine Anointed [the Messiah].  Blessed be the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father] for evermore.  Amen, and Amen” (Psa. 89:38-52).

As Paul confirms in the New Testament, the Jehovah of Psalm 89 is the divine Being Who became the Father.  In Psalm 89, this divine Being is addressed by several names, including Jehovah Elohim.  In the following psalm, we will see that the divine Being Who became His Son, the Messiah, was also known by the name Jehovah Elohim.


The JehovahElohim of Psalm 90

Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses, is addressed to the Jehovah Who would become the Son.  In the original Hebrew text, the name Jehovah was found three times in this psalm—in Verses 1, 13, and 17.  The Massorites modified Verse 1 and Verse 17 to make Jehovah read Adonay.  Before this modification, Verse 17 revealed that the divine Being Who became the Son was known in Old Testament times as Jehovah Elohim.  Moses begins his prayer by addressing this divine Being both as Jehovah and as El.  Here is Moses’ prayer to the divine Being Who was prophesied to become the Son:

“LORD [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah], Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God [Hebrew El].  Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.  For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past [quoted in II Peter 3:8], and as a watch in the night” (Psa. 90:1-4).

In these verses, we do not find any direct statement to show us that the Jehovah and El Whom Moses is addressing is the future Messiah.  In order to identify the divine Being of Moses’ prayer, we must look to the New Testament.  It is the apostle Peter who enables us to know that Moses was addressing the Jehovah Who would become the Messiah.  When Peter quoted Verse 4 of Psalm 90, it was in reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Peter tells us that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” and explains, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [to return]” (II Pet. 3:8-9).

Peter’s interpretation of Moses’ words clearly identifies the Jehovah and El of Psalm 90 as the divine Being Who became Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah.  Let us read the remainder of Moses’ prayer, and we will see that this divine Being was also known in Old Testament times as Jehovah Elohim:

“Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.  For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled.  Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.  For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.  Who knoweth the power of Thine anger? even according to Thy fear, so is Thy wrath.  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  Return, O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the future Son], how long? and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants.   O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.  Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.   Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children.  And let the beauty of the LORD [Hebrew Adonay, originally Jehovah]our God [Hebrew Elohim] be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it” (Psa. 90:5-17).

Psalm 90, as originally inspired and written, reveals that the divine Being of Moses’ prayer is named Jehovah Elohim.  The apostle Peter reveals that this Jehovah Elohim of Psalm 90 became Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah and Son.  As we have seen in Psalm 89, the Father of the Messiah was also known as Jehovah Elohim. When correctly understood, Psalm 89 and Psalm 90 reveal the existence of two Jehovah Elohim!

In Psalm 118, we again find the divine Being Who became the Father addressed as both Jehovah and Elohim.  This psalm also shows that the divine Being Who became the Son was both Jehovah and Jah.  Let us examine Psalm 118 in the light of the New Testament.


The Two Jehovahs of Psalm 118

Without the New Testament, we would not know that two Jehovahs are revealed in Psalm 118.  When we read this psalm, it appears that it is referring to only one divine Being.  Perhaps that is why the Massorites did not modify any of the verses in Psalm 118, although the name Jehovah occurs numerous times.  Let us read the opening verses in this psalm, and then we will see how Paul interprets them.  Notice that in Verse 5 the psalmist addresses this Jehovah as Jah.

“O give thanks unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah]; for He is good: because His mercy endureth for ever.  Let Israel now say, that His mercy endureth for ever.  Let the house of Aaron now say, that His mercy endureth for ever.  Let them now that fear the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] say, that His mercy endureth for ever.   I called upon the LORD [Hebrew Jah] in distress: the LORD [Hebrew Jah] answered me, and set me in a large place.  The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah] is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?[quoted in Hebrews 13:6]”  (Psa. 118:1-6.)

As noted above, Verse 6 is quoted by the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews.  In this New Testament record, Paul clearly identifies the divine Being Who is called both Jehovah and Jah in the opening verse of Psalm 118.  Here is Paul’s inspired testimony:  “...for He [Jesus] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Paul’s inspired words clearly identify the Jehovah and Jah of Psalm 118:5-6 as the divine Being Who became the Messiah and Son—Jesus Christ.  This truth is made clear in the following verses in Psalm 118, where this Jehovah is prophesied to become the Way of salvation:

The LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.  It is better to trust in the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] than to put confidence in man.  It is better to trust in the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] than to put confidence in princes.  All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] will I destroy them.  They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] I will destroy them.  They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] I will destroy them.  Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] helped me.  The LORD [Hebrew Jah, the Son] is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.  The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] doeth valiantly. The right hand of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] is exalted: the right hand of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son] doeth valiantly.  I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD [Hebrew Jah, the Son]The LORD [Hebrew Jah, the Son] hath chastened me sore: but He hath not given me over unto death.  Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD [Hebrew Jah, the Son]:  this gate of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Son], into which the righteous shall enter.  I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation” (Psa. 118:1-21).

The concluding verses in Psalm 118 are clearly prophetic.  Some of these verses were quoted by Jesus Christ and His apostles, as recorded in a number of New Testament writings.  These inspired records all testify that Jesus Christ was the divine Being of Psalm 118 Who was prophesied to become the Messiah.

When we read the concluding verses in Psalm 118, we find that they not only foretell the coming of the Messiah, but they also speak of the Jehovah Who will be His Father.  It now becomes obvious that there are two Jehovahs in this psalm.  Notice that in the following verses, the name Jehovah is no longer referring to the Son, as in the preceding verses:

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.  This is the LORD’S [Hebrew Jehovah’s, referring to the Father] doing; it is marvellous in our eyes [quoted in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, I Peter 2:4).  This is the day which the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father] hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Save now, I beseech Thee, O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father]: O LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father], I beseech Thee, send now prosperity.  Blessed be He [the Messiah] that cometh in the name of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father]: [quoted in Matthew 21:9; 23:39, Mark 11:9, Luke 13:35; 19:38, John 12:13] we have blessed You out of the house of the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father].  God [Hebrew El] is the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father], which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.  Thou art my God [Hebrew El], and I will praise Thee: Thou art my God [Hebrew Elohim], I will exalt Thee.  O give thanks unto the LORD [Hebrew Jehovah, the Father]; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever” (Psa. 118:22-29).

As interpreted in the New Testament, the Jehovah in these final verses of Psalm 118 is the divine Being Who became the Father.  In these verses this Jehovah is also called by the names El and Elohim.  Here is additional Scriptural evidence that these divine names are used interchangeably.  The use of the divine names Jehovah, Jah, El, Elohim, and Jehovah Elohim in Psalm 118 and other psalms also shows that these names refer to two divine Beings.  The New Testament reveals that one of these divine Beings became the Son and Messiah—Jesus Christ—and the other divine Being became His Father.  Thus both Old and New Testaments affirm that there are two divine Beings Who are God.  Nowhere does Scripture reveal that there are more than two.

Contrary to the belief of most professing Christians, God is not a Trinity!  This deceptive doctrine has been presented as a teaching of Scripture when in reality it is contrary to Scripture.  The Scriptures reveal the Holy Spirit as the power of God—not as a divine “Person” or Being.        Those who accept and promote the doctrine of the Trinity are basing their belief on ancient myths and vain philosophies of men.  These false ideas are clothed in religious words that appear to enlighten but actually darken the minds of the hearers so that they cannot understand the simple truth of Scripture.  That is why most professing Christians do not understand the true nature of God.

If we desire to know the true God—to worship Him in Spirit and in truth—we must rid our minds of every false idea and every vain reasoning that exalts itself against His Word.  We must hold fast to the truth that is revealed in the Scriptures—that both the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are God.  They are the two Jehovahs of the Old Testament and the two Kurios of the New.  They are equally Theos, as the apostle Paul testifies.  Those who claim otherwise are replacing the truth of Scripture with the vain philosophies of men.  These deceptive teachings have for centuries been used by Satan to undermine the faith of Christians.  The New Testament contains many warnings to be on guard against such false teachings.

Today, false teachers within the churches of God are rejecting the truth of Scripture and are promoting the “new understanding” that Jesus was never God and that He never will be God.  They claim that no one—spirit or flesh—can ever be glorified as God.  They are denying the Christ Who died for them, and Who has been glorified with the glory of the Father (John (17:5), and they are denying the very purpose for which He died—to share that glory with many brethren (Heb. 2:10-13).

These false doctrines which deny the truth of Scripture are not new at all.  These same deceptive doctrines were infiltrating the churches of God in the days of the apostle John.  John wrote his Gospel to combat these false teachings and to confirm the truth of God.  John begins his Gospel by proclaiming the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as “the Word,” Who was “with God [Greek Theos]” and “was God [Greek Theos]” from the beginning (John 1:1-2).  John uses the Greek word Theos to name both God and the Word in order to show that the Word was identical in nature to the God with Whom He had eternally existed.

False teachers do not want to accept the truth that the Word was also God.  They are willing to acknowledge that Theos means God in the phrase “with God,” but they say that it does not mean God in the phrase “was God.”  They claim that when John wrote that the Word “was God,” he meant only that the Word was “divine.”  They define “divine” as a property or characteristic of God, such as His thoughts and His spoken words.  Their definition of the Word of God is identical to the concept of the Logos of Greek philosophy and Gnostic Judaism as taught in the days of the apostles.  These false teachers are actually superimposing pagan philosophical concepts upon the Scriptures!  When they quote the first verse in John’s Gospel, they distort the truth of Scripture by misinterpreting the true meaning of Theos to fit their false philosophical concepts.  These are the very teachings that John was writing to combat!

The Greek text reveals the fallacy of their reasoning.  It is contrary to the rules of language to give the Greek word Theos two different meanings in the same verse.  If we are honest with the Scriptures, we will acknowledge that if Theos is defined as “God” in the first phrase in John 1:1, it must also be defined as “God” in the second phrase.  John meant exactly what he wrote.  The Word was not merely the “speech” or the “thought” of God, but was equally God—a separate and distinct divine Being.   When John tells us that the Word became flesh (verse 14), he wants us to understand that the Word was a divine Person Who had lived eternally.

John amplifies this truth in his first epistle by declaring, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, andour hands have handled, of the Word of Life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen,and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us:  and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:1-3).

In the book of Revelation, John shows that the eternally living Word Who became Jesus Christ in the flesh has returned to His glorified state.  John describes the appearance of this powerful divine Being in detail (Rev. 19:13-16).  Remember that this powerful Being Who will rule the nations with a rod of iron is the same divine Being Who is named Jehovah in Psalm 2:11.  The Word of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament Who became Jesus Christ!

Both Old and New Testaments proclaim the eternal pre-existence of Jesus Christ as one of the two Jehovahs.  From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures are filled with testimonies of His eternal existence as God.  The very structure of the Hebrew and Greek texts gives us irrefutable evidence of His co-equality with God.  This truth is undeniable when we understand the rules of language and the use of the Hebrew and Greek words.

In the following study paper, The Two Jehovahs of the Pentateuch, we will add to the weight of Scriptural evidence by learning more about the names Jehovah, Elohim and other names of God as these names are defined by the rules of language, known as syntax.  We will see that the Hebrew names of God as used in the Pentateuch and the books of the prophets defy the teaching of only one divine Being.

© Carl D. Franklin
June 1994

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