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JESUS: THE ETERNALLY EXISTING ONE

In the Hebrew Bible, Jehovah employs the expression “I am He” to refer to himself as the eternally exiting One that endures forever and who alone provides salvation and comfort for all who trust in him.

What makes this all the more interesting is that the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, commonly known as the Septuagint (LXX) renders the expression as ego eimi. I will post the English rendering of both the Hebrew and Greek versions of the passages for comparative purposes:

“Who hasp erformed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.” Isaiah 41:4

“Who has wrought and done these things? he has called it who called it from the generations of old; I God, the first and to [all] futurity, I AM (ego eimi).” LXX

“You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore, you are My witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God. Indeed, FROM ETERNITY I am He; there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?… I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:10-13, 25

“Be ye my witnesses, and I [too am] a witness, saith the Lord God, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know, and believe, and understand that I am [he] (ego eimi): before me there was no other God, and after me there shall be none… I, [even] I, am he (ego eimi) that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and thy sins; and I will not remember [them].” Isaiah 43:10, 25 LXX

“And even to your old age I am He, and even to your graying years I will carry you; I have done it, and I will bear you; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4

I am [he] (ego eimi); and until ye shall have grown old, I am [he] (ego eimi): I bear you, I have made, and I will relieve, I will take up and save you.” LXX

“Listen to Me, O Jacob and Israel, whom I called: I am He; I am the First, and I am the Last.” Isaiah 48:12

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who shall die, and of the son of man who shall be made as grass,” Isaiah 51:12

I am [the] I am (ego eimi ego eimi) that comforts thee: consider who thou art, that thou wast afraid of mortal man, and of the son of man, who are withered as grass.” LXX

What makes this interesting is that Jesus Christ also employs the “I Am [He]” formula in the same exact fashion.

For instance, Christ refers to himself as the I Am that has been the existing from even before Abraham came into being, and in whom an individual must believe for the forgiveness of sins:

“He said to them, ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am He (ego eimi), you will die in your sins.’… So Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He (ego eimi), and I do nothing of Myself. But I speak these things as My Father taught Me. He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him… Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day. He saw it and was glad.’ Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old. Have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM (ego eimi).’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. Going through their midst, He passed by.” John 8:23-24, 28, 56-59

Jesus even identifies himself as the First and Last, a title which Isaiah attributed to Jehovah God Almighty in the aforementioned references:

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though I were dead. Then He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.’” Revelation 1:17-18

“The First and the Last, who was dead and came to life, says these things:” Revelation 2:8

“‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me to give to each one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last… I, Jesus, have sent My angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:12-13, 16, 20

Amazingly, not only does the risen Jesus identify himself as the First and the Last, as well as the Alpha and Omega and the Beginning and the End, he even claims to be the One who will personally come to repay every individual for what s/he has earned. This isn’t the only time Christ made such an assertion:

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like fine brass, says these things: I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience, and that your last works are more than the first. But I have a few things against you: You permit that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not repent. Look! I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will put her children to death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the hearts and minds. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.’” Revelation 2:18, 23

“For the Son of Man shall come with His angels in the glory of HIS Fatherand then He will repay every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27

“The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22, 27

This, also, is a remarkable proclamation since the Hebrew Bible explicitly states that it is Jehovah himself who is coming to reward each individual for all the things s/he has done!

“Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.” Psalm 62:12

“if you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who ponders the heart consider it? And He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to every man according to his works?” Proverbs 24:12

“See, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; see, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” Isaiah 40:10

“The Lord has proclaimed to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your salvation comes; see, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.’” Isaiah 62:11

“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10

It is, thus, clear that Jesus claims the very titles, functions and characteristics which the OT ascribe to Jehovah alone, simply because he is Jehovah Almighty in the flesh.

Scriptural citations taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.

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