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Friday, January 07, 2011

YHWH Divine Identity Nehemiah 9:6 - Examining the Evidence

Once again we are looking at Richard Bauckham's[1] evidence that YHWH in Second Temple Judaism was identified as the one and only creator of all things which are outside the divine identity.

Nehemiah 9:6[2]  You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. ESV

2 Esdras 19:6  And Esdras said: “You yourself are the Lord alone; you made heaven and the heaven of heaven and all their position, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them, and you give everything life, and the armies of the heavens do obeisance to you. ..." [2]

2 Esdras 19:6 καὶ εἶπεν Εσδρας σὺ εἶ αὐτὸς κύριος μόνος σὺ ἐποίησας τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὸν οὐρανὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν στάσιν αὐτῶν τὴν γῆν καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἐστὶν ἐν αὐτῇ τὰς θαλάσσας καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐταῖς καὶ σὺ ζωοποιεῖς τὰ πάντα καὶ σοὶ προσκυνοῦσιν αἱ στρατιαὶ τῶν οὐρανῶν 
The statement "You are the LORD, you alone ..." ESV translates
‏אתה־הוא יהוה לבדך את, language used in prayer offered to YHWH, is laden with pronouns and modifiers which gives it majesty. The LXX has  σὺ εἶ αὐτὸς κύριος μόνος σὺ ἐποίησας ... which demonstrates formal equivalence [3]. Similar language is found in other prayers offered to YHWH.
Jer. 14:22 ‏הלא אתה־הוא יהוה אלהינו
Jer. 14:22 Are you not he, O LORD our God? ESV

2Sam. 7:28 ‏ ועתה אדני יהוה אתה־הוא האלהים
2Sam. 7:28 And now, O Lord GOD, you are God ESV
The expression יהוה לבדך the LORD alone is found in Psalm Psa. 83:19 and several places in Isaiah.
Psa. 83:19 ‏  וידעו כי־אתה שׁמך יהוה לבדך עליון על־כל־הארץ
Psa. 83:18 that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the LORD,
are the Most High over all the earth. ESV

Is. 2:11,17 ‏ ‏ונשׂגב יהוה לבדו ביום ההוא
Is. 2:11,17 and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. RSV
Is. 37:20 וידעו כל־ממלכות הארץ כי־אתה יהוה לבדך
Is. 37:20 that all the kingdoms of the earth may know
that thou alone art the LORD. RSV
This language evidence appears favorable to Bauckham's thesis that YHWH in Second Temple Judaism was identified as the one and only creator of all things  outside the divine identity.

We should also note that Nehemiah 9:6 mentions the seas as an object of creation הימים וכל־אשר בהם "the seas and all that is in them" RSV[4].

[1] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel, p. 183 n1. This citation is from  Chapter 6 - Paul's Christology of Divine Identity  which is also found as a separate article here.

[2] 2 Esdras, tr. R. Glenn Wooden A New English Translation of the Septuagint, as published by Oxford University Press in 2009

[3]  for "pedantic" see R. Glenn Wooden, translator of  2 Esdras NETS
The Greek 2 Esdras is arguably the most pedantic of the translations of biblical books found in “the Septuagint” and is possibly the best representative of an “interlinear translation.” — R. Glenn Wooden
[4] There is a lingering question about the status of the primeval waters sometimes referred to as YAM the sea which should not be confused with YAM when it refers to the gathered waters of Genesis 1:10. In Neh. 9:6 the referent is the gathered waters not the primeval waters. The plural form may or may not be relevant to the question of reference. I suspect the plural can be used for both (e.g. Psa. 65:7).


Blogger nazia said...

very great job, i really appreciated u
keep it up brother

english translation

3:11 AM  
Blogger C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Thank you,



11:59 AM  

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