The Tri-Unity of G-d Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

The name for the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) is Tanakh. It’s three Hebrew letters, TNK form an acronym for the books of which it is composed:

Torah – First five books of the Bible

Ne’vaim – the Prophets

Ke’tuvim – the Writings

Rabbi Joshua Bar Nehemiah said that the Tanakh, whose letters are threefold, points to the reality that everything in existence is a trinity. He cites the words of Proverbs 22:20 which he interprets as applying to everything in the universe:

“Indeed, I wrote down for you a threefold lore, wise counsel.” 

In both the spiritual and natural realms, this axiom holds true. Some examples are:

SPIRITUAL OCCURRENCES

Temple of G-d - Outer Court, Holy Place, Holy of Holies

The Mediators - Moses, Aaron, Miriam

Prayers - Morning, Afternoon, Evening 

Israel - Priests, Levites, Israelites

Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

Man - Body, Soul Spirit 

Commandments - Concerning G-d, Self, and Neighbor 

NATURAL OCCURRENCES

Time - Past, Present, Future

Matter - Energy, Motion, Phenomena

H2O - Liquid, Ice, Steam

Music - Pitch, Harmony, Rhythm

Primary Colors - Red, Blue, Yellow

Space - Length, Breadth, Height

The Atom - Proton, Electron, Nucleus

 While Rabbi Nehemiah did not speak of the tri-unity of G-d, the Tanakh does. The first mention of the threefold nature of G-d is spelled out in Genesis: (all emphasis author’s)

“In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth....And the Spirit of G-d moved upon the face of the waters. And G-d said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3) 

“Then G-d said, ‘Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness’...” (Genesis 1:26a)

In the Hebrew language the word echad (meaning “one”) is closely associated with the word ‘yachad’ (meaning “to be united”). ‘Echad’ is used in such scripture passages as Deuteronomy 6:4, “G-d is One (echad)” and Genesis 2:24, “the two became one (echad) flesh. Its concept of unity is related to the tabernacle, whose curtains are fastened together to form one unit (Exodus 26:6, 11; 36:13). The notion of ‘echad’ as a unity can infer that the oneness of G-d refers only to his headship as Father.

While at first glance, the above verses from Genesis may appear to be speaking of only two––G-d and the Spirit of G-d, a Jewish tradition that began during the inter-testmental period reveals the mystery of G-d, who is spirit, being given the attributes of a man (anthropomorphism). 

The apostle John addresses this tradition in the first chapter of his gospel. John’s gospel written primarily to the Jews, is devoted to proclaiming the deity of Yeshua by repeatedly using typology in the traditions of the Jews and in the Feasts they celebrated. He begins by declaring Yeshua to be the Word of G-d. The tradition that the Word of the L-rd is a physical entity developed during the Jewish exile in Babylon. The Aramaic (Babylonian language) designation for ‘word’ is memra. The word ‘memra’ is equivalent to the Hebrew word, ‘debar’ and the Greek word, ‘logos’ which means “the written word and all it implies in both the natural and spiritual sense”. 

The Mimra

The Jewish Targumim (writings of the sages in exile) gives ‘Mimra’ the attributes of a person. They said that ‘the Mimra has intellect, emotion and will’ and was spoken of as the personal presence of G-d. King David wrote:

“The word of the L-rd is right and true; He is faithful in all He does...  “By the word of the L-rd were the heavens made.”  (From Psalm 33:4-9)

The sages of the exile taught that the Messiah would have all the attributes of the Word of G-d, the Mimra. The apostle John addressed each of these characteristics:

  • Sometimes the same as G-d, sometimes distinct (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1, 2)
  • The agent of creation (Psalm 33:6; John 1:3, 10, 15)
  • The agent of salvation (Psalm 107:20; John 1:12)
  • The agent of the theophany [visible presence of G-d, the Shekinah] (Exodus 40:34; John 1:14)
  • The agent of the Covenant signing (Genesis 15:1; John 1:17)
  • The agent of revelation (Ezekiel 1:3, John 1:4, 5, 9)

The Word of the L-rd was revealed to Samuel (1 Samuel 3:7; 15:10); and the Word of the L-rd came to Jacob (1 Kings 18:31). Psalm 147 confirms that G-d showed His word unto Jacob when He changed his name to Israel (verse 19). The scriptures state that Jacob wrestled with a man, and yet Jacob said at the end of his ‘wrestling match’, “I have seen G-d face to face” (Genesis 32:24, 28-30).

The Word of the L-rd often visited prophets and kings. For example:  Abram (Genesis 15:1); Nathan (2 Samuel 7:4); Gad (2 Samuel 24:11); Solomon (1 Kings 6:11); an un-named ‘man of G-d’ and ‘an old prophet’ (1 Kings 13:9, 17, 20); Jehu (1 Kings 16:1); Elijah (1 Kings 17:1, 8); Isaiah (38:4); Jeremiah (1:4); Ezekiel (1:3): Jonah (1:1; 3:1); Haggai (2:10, 20); Zechariah (1:1).

Paul told the Philippians that Yeshua knew that equality with G-d was not something to be easily grasped (2:6). Solomon, the wisest man ever to exist, asks?

“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?....What is His name and what is His Son’s name, if you know?” (Proverbs 30:4)

The most amazing Scripture, though is recorded by Isaiah who said that he saw the L-rd (6:1) and G-d said: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” (6:8). Isaiah answered the call to ‘go’ and G-d revealed His Tri-unity to him:

“Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the L-rd G-d and His Spirit have sent Me. ”(Isaiah 48:16)

Adonai Echad! (The L-rd is One!)

 

 
 
 
 
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