Is God A Man?
Most Christians due to their dependence on Christian translations and commentaries of the Tenach are unaware of the vast body of scriptural evidence that exists revealing that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a man or any other created being. God throughout the Tenach makes it quite clear that he’s not a created being nor a composite unity of three persons in one as the Christians contend.
One of the reasons the Children of Israel to this day don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah or worship him as a “god man” is because the Tenach is filled with examples of God telling the Children of Israel not to worship strange gods or the image of any created thing , whether it be in the heavens or upon the earth it’s not to be worshiped.
Let’s see what God says:
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, where of he spoke unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, WHICH THOUGH HAST NOT KNOWN, and let us serve them;
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4)
Notice the words “which thou hast not known”…. Here God tells the Children of Israel that if a prophet or dreamer arises among them and this prophet or dreamer performs signs and wonders ( miracles ) and tells them to worship and serve a god which is foreign to what they know , to what they have been taught concerning God then they are to reject and stone to death that false prophet or dreamer.
When these words were spoken by God to the Children of Israel they didn’t worship a “god man” nor did they believe God was a created being hence if hundreds or thousands of years later some prophet or dreamer arises among them and proclaims:
“worship this man, he is God incarnate!”
Then the children of Israel should respond:
” This is not the God of Israel who revealed himself through the prophets and spoke to them in the desert telling them not to follow other gods which they did not know”
The Jewish scriptures state that God is not a Man:
“…say to the Prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, “I am God, I sit at the seat of God, in the midst of the seas!” YET YOU ARE A MAN, AND NOT GOD…” (Ezekiel 28:2-8)
“Will you say before him that kills you, “I am God”? BUT YOU ARE A MAN AND NOT GOD, in the hand of him who kills you. You shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised, by the hand of foreigners: for I have spoken it!” (Ezekiel 28:9-10)
God makes it quite clear to The Prince of Tyre that he is not God because he is a man. He is in fact saying ” Prince of Tyre you say you are God yet your are not G-d BECAUSE YOU ARE A MAN. PRINCE OF TYRE = MAN = NOT GOD.
God says he is neither a man nor the “son of man”:
” I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city”. (Hosea 11:9)
“GOD IS NOT A MAN, that he should lie ; NEITHER THE SON OF MAN that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 19:23)
“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for HE IS NOT A MAN, that he should repent.” (1st Samuel 15:29)
Jesus uses the expression “Son of Man” 81 times in the Christian Scriptures and Christians believe Jesus was “god incarnate man”. God Forbid!
“Jesus of Nazareth, a “MAN APPROVED BY God” among you by miracle and wonders and signs, WHICH G-D DID BY HIM in the midst of you” (Acts 2:22)
The author of Acts 2:22 in the Christian scriptures refers to Jesus as a ” man approved by God”. Based upon the passages cited earlier from the Tenach that clearly state God is neither a man nor the son of man we must conclude Jesus (a man) is not God.
The Children of Israel were and still are to this day an “iconoclastic” people, i.e. they forbid the making of images of any living thing – due to the fact it is prohibited by the Commandments.
Let’s see what the Tenach says about “Images” in relationship to worship:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4-6)
“Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female”, (Deuteronomy 4:16)
“Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.” (Deuteronomy 4:23)
“Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth ” (Deuteronomy 5:8)
“Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee” (Nehemiah 9:6)
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 26:1)
According to the Tenach God’s “Image” is nothing like anything “in the heavens above or in the earth beneath” – i.e. nothing that the human mind can conceive. Jesus, on the other hand, was, according to Christian belief, 100% God and 100% man – and a “man” is something that has an image of a created thing.
Again All of these points exclude the possibility of Jesus (a man) being God. The possibility of the alleged “Incarnation” of God is eliminated by the Tenach itself. It’s really as simple as that.
Here are some passages that express God’s lordship and uniqueness:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One LORD:” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)
“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:” (Exodus 34:14)
“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:6)
“For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18.)
Some Christian Apologists contend that one of the Hebrew words used for God “El’ohim” denotes plurality, therefore God is a Trinity and Jesus is God.
The 2nd chapter of this article titled “God’s agent ” will discuss the fact Moses , Abraham and Judges were sometimes called “Elohim” and so were Angels who were acting as emissaries or God’s representatives to the children of Israel . But for now we will discuss the general usage of the word “Elohim” and how it’s used in the Tenach.
The Hebrew word “Elohim” when applied to God is usually in the plural to denote a sense of majesty, dignity, power or excellence, and is accompanied by the verb, adjective and pronoun in the singular.
In “The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”, Vol. II, p.1265, comments:
“It is characteristic of Hebrew that extension, magnitude and dignity, as well as actual multiplicity, are expressed by the plural. It is not reasonable therefore, to assume that plurality of form indicates primitive Semitic polytheism. On the contrary historic Hebrew is unquestionably and uniformly monotheistic.”
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary p. 331 Eerdmans Publishers, p. 331 edited by Allen C. Myers, William B. comments:
“As a name or designation of the God of Israel, the term is understood as a plural of majesty or an intensive plural, indicating the fullness of the supreme (or only) God… the canonical intent is clearly monotheistic, even where the accompanying verbs or adjectives are grammatically plural (e.g. Gen. 20:13, Exodus. 22:9 [Mt 8])”
Sometimes God refers to himself in the plural “we” or “us” when he addresses Moses , his heavenly hosts , or the Children of Israel. Yet God does not always speak in the first person plural. In Gen 2:18 for example:
“Then the Lord God said , “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make a helper fit for him”
When Kings or Queens make a proclamation , they say “We, the Queen of England …”.
Monarchs through out the world have always addressed themselves before their subjects using what is known as the “PLURALIS EXCELLENTIAE” (Plural of Excellence) or “MAIESTATIS” (of Majesty)
In Semitic usage, it is customary for one in authority to speak of himself in the plural. For example in 2nd Samuel 16:19 -21:
“…Hushai said to Absalom, “No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel –his I will be, and I will remain with him. Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.” Absalom said to Ahithophel, “GIVE US your advice. What should WE DO?” Ahithophel answered, “Lie with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father’s nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened.”
Even though the Hebrew word “Elohim” is plural in form, it can be singular in meaning. as in Judges 13:21 -22 where one angel is seen but is referred to as “‘Elohim” in the Hebrew text:
“But the angel ( Elohim ) of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.”
Further, the Hebrew word “Elohim” had a broad meaning and was sometimes even used when referring to false gods. (unlike another Hebrew word that was used specifically for God but never uttered due to its sacredness “YHWH”) For example :
1 Samuel 5:7 (Dagon – was not a Trinity and yet is called “Elohim”);
1 Kings 11:5 (“goddess” Ashtoreth – was not a Trinity and yet she is called “Elohim”);
Daniel 1:2 (Marduk was not a Trinity and yet is called “Elohim”).
Men and judges were also called “Elohim “:
* Abraham is called (Elohim)
“I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.” The Hittites replied to Abraham,” Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince (Elohim ) among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.” (Genesis 23:4-6)
Moses is called (Elohim) in Exodus 7:1.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you “like” God (Elohim) to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.”
The word “like” in the Christian English translation of Exodus 7:1 is a mistranslation. The word “like” isn’t in the Hebrew Text. It actually reads:
“… I have made you God (Elohim) to Pharaoh…”
This issue will be discussed in the 2nd chapter of this article titled “God’s agents“.
Judges in Exodus 21:6 are also called (Elohim.)
“Then his master must take him before the judges (Elohim) He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”
The Ancient Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures known as the “Septuagint” translates “‘Elohim” as “ho-Theos” (i.e. the God). “ho-Theos” is singular.
The Christian argument that the Jewish Scriptures supports the Christian Trinity is an erroneous assumption.
(It’s good to have a Hebrew Key Study Bible or Hebrew concordance in order to get passed any bad English translations. The reason this Article uses the Christian KJV is due to the fact many Christians don’t recognize any other translation of the Hebrew Bible. Nevertheless mistranslations are common in the KJV and this booklet will try its best to single out these mistranslations. The most accurate translation in our opinion is the JPS version and the best Christian translation of the Hebrew text is the RSV. Although even the RSV has some problems also.)
The Role of an Agent in Judaism
When a person is sent by a higher authority to represent them ,this person is referred to as being that higher authority. An example of this would be an agent or emissary of a king who has been sent to represent the king. This principle is absolutely necessary to understand. For instance when God sends an angel on a mission that angel will be referred to as God.
In Genesis 18 when Abraham intercedes for Sodom with the angels they are referred to as the Lord. Some Christians say this was an appearance of Jesus before his birth, yet the Tenach doesn’t support this interpretation. One must always return to the foundational document. The text clearly states they are angels-messengers not a human being ( man ) or the “Messiah”.
In Exodus 11:4, 12:12 and 13 it states that God will execute the plague of the Firstborn. However, In Exodus 12:23 it states the Destroyer (angel of death) will not enter the house. Could this angel be G-d ? Absolutely not !. When G-d sends someone on a mission that person is referred to as being the Lord. Yet the Jews clearly understood it was not God “incarnate”.
The following excerpts from ancient rabbinical writings will bear this out:
“One must not call himself by the name of a mortal king, Caesar or Augustus, for if one assumed his name he would be executed (for treason); yet God called Moses by His own name, as it says: Behold, I have made thee God unto Pharaoh. God said to Moses: ‘The wicked Pharaoh has made himself out to be a god, as it says: My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself (Ezek. XXIX, 3); let him, therefore see thee and say: “This is God”‘ (Midrash Rabbah Exodus VIII.)
Some Christian translations of the Tenach in Exodus 7:1 where God calls Moses a god (Elohim) add the word “like” or “as” a god to pharaoh. The words “like” or “as” are not in the Hebrew text. The translators added “like” or “as” to support their opinion of what the verse should say. The word they are translating “god” is “Elohim”. This word is usually translated “God” or “judge”. We can tell from the context in verse one that it should be translated “God” because Aaron is to be his prophet. A judge does not have a prophet. Is Moses God ? No!
The thought that Moses was God because he was Called “Elohim ” and had Aaron as his prophet never occurred in Judaism.
See Midrash Rabbah Exodus II. 6 page 57; VIII. 1 page 115, and Midrash Rabbah Numbers XV. 13. these are ancient rabbinical expositions on the Hebrew Scriptures.
“….And He ( God ) spoke to Israel again and said: “I have imparted my glory to the judges and called them Elohim, and they condemn them. Woe unto the generation that judges its judges!” (Midrash Rabbah Ruth I, 1 page 3)
Angels who are sometimes called “Elohim ” in the Tenach are also referred to as “man” or “men”:
“The angel of the L-rd appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. ” (Judges 13:3-6)
Notice how from the woman’s perspective she sees a “man of God ” yet we know from reading verse 3 that this “man of God ” is the Angel of the Lord. In the Christian Bible (Luke 24:4) an angel is referred to as a man.
Angels were sometimes called “God” or “Lord” but as we just saw sometimes those same angels are called men. Are angels gods or men ? they’re neither God nor men they’re angels. They’re agents , messengers of God who carry the authority of God as a deputy carries the authority of the state.
Christianity is not consistent when it comes to choosing who is God. They have chosen Jesus to be God. But what about all the other places it states there are other “Elohim” like Abraham , Moses ,Angels and Judges?
Judaism is consistent. There is only one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who created the world and prophets , judges and angels are his special agents.
The Jews didn’t believe God would ever become flesh. If God was to become flesh the prophets would have revealed this fact to the people in lengthy discussions and thus prepare them to accept and worship a god of flesh. There aren’t any such discussions in all of Tenach. This alone is enough to prove Jesus is not God incarnate. Nothing else is needed. Isaiah 9:6-7
Here is the Christian version of Isaiah 9:6-7(KJV):
“For unto us, a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
The Reply is:
The Hebrew Tenach reads Isaiah 9:6-7:
“For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has called (Pele-Joez-el-gibbor-abia-ad-Sar-Shalom) “The Mighty God is planning grace, the Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler” (Masoritic Hebrew Text)
The first thing you might notice is the difference in tenses. Jews translate it correctly as past tense. This is not about interpretation. The Christians have translated the passage incorrectly by bringing the whole verse into the present tense. (Note: some Christian versions translate it incorrectly by bringing it into the future tense.)
Chapter 9 of Isaiah is about the fall of Assyria and the announcement of the birth of Hezekiah. Isaiah 9:6-7 announces Hezekiah’s rule, his ascending the throne. Notice that it says “a child HAS been born to us”.
This is an event that has just occurred, not an event in the future. A future event would say ” a child will be born to us ” but this is not what the verse says. Since the birth happened in Ahaz’s day, it could not refer to Jesus, who was born many hundreds of years later.
More importantly: if you look in the Hebrew text, you will see that the verb ‘Vayikra’ (and he called) is used here. ‘Vayikra’ does not mean ‘and he shall be called.’ as the Christians mistranslate it. In ancient Hebrew, ‘V’yikoray’ is the way to say ‘and he will be called.’ Whomever ‘Vayikra’ is speaking about is the subject (the “do-er”) of the verb, not the object (the recipient) of the verb. If they wish to say that ‘Vayikra’ is speaking about Jesus, Jesus must be the subject of the verb. Who was it that Jesus was to call “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace?”
A Christian may ask: “What about the words” from now to eternity?
How can Hezekiah’s kingdom last forever?
let’s look at Exodus 21:5-6:
“But if the bondsman shall say, “I love my master, my wife, and my children — I shall not go free”;  then his master shall bring him to the court and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore through his ear with the awl, and he shall serve him forever (“ahd”).”
The word “forever” in the Tenach is the Hebrew word “ahd” (everlasting) which can mean for all eternity or for “a long time ” depending upon the context. Obviously a slave can’t serve his master forever he will eventually die or be set free. We know that Jewish slaves go free at the Jubilee year.
Hebrew names within a Cultural and Spiritual context.
Most Hebrew names contain the syllables Ye (Je) ,Ya(Ja), El or Ab signifying God. For example:
- Absalom: Father of peace
- Abi’a: My Father is God
- Ariel: Lion of God
- El’asah: God created
- Matityahu: gift of God (Translated Matthew)
- Elisha: to whom God is salvation
- Joel: “Jehvah” is God
- Yochanan: God is Loving
- Jeremiah: Exalted by God
- Ruachel: Spirit of God (Ruachel is translated “Rachel” in English.)
- Samuel: Name of God
- Yihoshua: God is salvation (Yihoshua should be translated Joshua in English. Yet Christians translate Yihoshua as “Jesus” since they translate from the Greek)
Some Christians find a secret/mystical meaning in the name (Yihoshua/Joshua) and say:
“see Yihoshua is God incarnate his name means ” God is salvation”.
Using this same line of reasoning I can say the Prophet Joshua/Yihoshua ( the one who lead the people after Moses ) in the Tenach is God incarnate.
Yihoshua/Joshua is a common Jewish name even today among Jews and Gentiles. through out History there have been many Yihoshuas including the Yihoshua who founded the essence sect years before the Christian Yihoshua was born.
How many Rachels have you met or know now? are they “The Spirit of God”?. I would like to note that what Christians call the “Holy Spirit” is translated in Hebrew as the “Ruach Hakodesh”.
Sons of God
Main article: Sons of God
Christians believe Jesus is the only Son of God and this proves he is God Incarnate.
Let’s go to the Tenach:
(The following verse is God talking to David about Solomon):
“I will be His Father and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor.” (Chronicles 17:13)
“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which can not be measured or counted. In the place where it is said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10)
The kings of Israel are referred to as Sons of God because they are to be His representatives, ruling in his place on earth over His people.
“I said, You are ELOHIM ; you are all sons of the Most High” (Psalm 82:6)
Do we have too many gods yet?
In ancient rabbinical writing Midrash Rabbah Ruth I, 1, page 3 discusses this verse and there is no understanding that this is to be taken literally. Again the Jews are being consistent. Why does not Christianity select this verse to be literal? Obviously from the above verses there are many sons of God and it does not make them God.
Many Christians are unaware of the fact that it was not unusual for a Jew to call God “Father” in Yihoshua’s (Joshua “Jesus”) Era. This Term later became distinct Christian usage. Talmudic literature is full of examples to the designation of God as Father:
“…..What shall I do when my heavenly Father hath so commanded me?” (Sifra to Lev; Qedoshim 20,26)
“….Since I have done the will of Abba (Father) who is in the Heavens “(Lev R para 32)
“……These buffetings have made me Love my heavenly father” (Midr.Tehillim 12:5)”
“I will exalt the lord saying ‘thou art my father” (ibid 51:10)
“Beloved are Israel for they are called Sons of the Highest” (Aboth 3:3)
If Yihoshua used the term “Abba” as the Christian claim then it was in the same sense in which it is used in the Talmudic literature. To claim that he was executed for calling G-d Abba/ father is absurd.
To drive this point further lets see what the Jews wrote in their Apocryphal books:
“But thy providence O Father Governeth it” (Wis. 14:3)
“O Lord, Father and governor of all my life..” (Eccl 23:1)
“O Lord , Father and God of my life..”(Eccl 23:4)
The term “Our Father which art in Heaven” is one of the three major forms of the address in Jewish liturgy.
There is much more Information / evidence on this issue of God and why he isn’t a created being.