Ezekiel and Trinitarianism

I’d like to suggest something for your Bible reading. I read a few chapters of Scripture every day and I’ve been going through the book of Ezekiel now in the OT. I find it extremely fascinating in that as I have been reading, I have been suddenly confronted with texts that I find Trinitarian in nature.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know the Trinity is in the OT. Of course, I believe it’s easier to see with the revelation of the NT. I do believe though that you can go back through the OT with the lens of the NT on and see the revelation of Christ everywhere. One way to do that is to see the Trinity.

Consider if you were watching a detective movie or TV show. The first time through, you might not solve the case. Then, you do figure out who did it and you go through and watch it again. All of a sudden, you see that things do fit in perfectly and if you had been looking, you would have known them all along, and your insight is greater for it.

I’d like to suggest two passages I’ve come across thus far. The first is in Ezekiel 3:

22 The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.

24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

Now notice what is going on here. I’m no expert on Hebrew, so I can’t confirm anything yea or nay. However, I do believe there is a possibility of this showing up here. We have the hand of the Lord and then appearing before the glory of the Lord in the form of a person. My belief is that when there is a theophany in the OT, we can generally take it to be Christ. The only one that could be an exception that I know of right off is Genesis 18 and the three men that came to Abraham.

However, if that is the case, we have the hand of the Lord referring to the actions of the Father, the glory of the Lord, referring to the Son, and then the Spirit of the Lord, which of course, refers to the Spirit. Now if it is the Spirit or not that is speaking, I am unclear of. However, I do see three persons working together in this passage.

The next is in Ezekiel 8:

1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign LORD came upon me there. 2 I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man.  From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. 3 He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. 4 And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.

Look what happens again. The hand of the Lord comes on Ezekiel and then he is standing before a man much like his vision in Ezekiel 1. (Go read that vision and see if that man is not in the position of deity.) Then, Ezekiel is taken by the Spirit and sees the glory of the God of Israel. This I would take to refer to either the Shekinah or the temple, though most likely, that would usually refer to the Shekinah. (This was the presence of the Lord in the cloud.)

What’s my point in this? Trinitarianism runs all throughout the Bible. Now this is just Ezekiel and only two passages, but you can find references in several places. I already have an Arian who doesn’t know what to do with Genesis 19:24 because it says the YHWH on Earth rained fire down from the YHWH out of Heaven.

Too often, we have rejected the OT. This is a shame. It is just as much our heritage as any other part of Scripture is. We should embrace it and look in it to see Christ as much as we do in the NT.

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