Several weeks ago when studying out the Holy Spirit in the Bible, I turned to the Old Testament to see what I could find. It seems to me that the Spirit of God is another way of saying Holy Spirit. Given that, this is what I found…
The Spirit of God Moved
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Gen 1:1-3 KJV)
This is the first mention of the Spirit of God.
A Man In Whom The Spirit of God Is
The next mention in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 41.
And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. (Gen 41:37-40 KJV)
Joseph was identified as being a man in whom the Spirit of God is, being the most discreet and wise.
Discreet and Wise
The Hebrew word translated as “discreet” is “biyn” (H995) and means to discern, understand, consider, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs. And the word translated as “wise” is “chakam” (H2450), which comes from the verb that means to be wise.
I decided to do a quick search on these terms together to see who else is described as such, and this is what I found…
Spoken by Joseph, Concerning a Leader over Egypt
The Hebrew words translated as “discreet” and “wise” first appear together in verse 33 just prior to the passage quoted above, spoken by Joseph after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. Evidently, it was his idea to set a man holding those traits over the land.
Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. (Gen 41:33 KJV)
Spoken by Moses, Concerning Leaders over Israel
The next mention is found in Deuteronomy 1, being spoken by Moses, concerning the government of the children of Israel:
And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. (Deu 1:9-15 KJV)
Spoken by Moses, Concerning Israel in the Face of Nations
Next, these words are used together a few chapters later, again by Moses, but this time concerning the children of Israel as a nation, in the sight of the nations which will hear of God’s statutes and judgments:
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; (Deu 4:1-9 KJV)
Spoken by God, Concerning King Solomon over Israel
And the next mention of these terms together, which is the last one I want to point out, is found in 1 Kings 3, spoken by God, concerning King Solomon after he prayed for discernment to judge God’s chosen people, the children of Israel:
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (1Ki 3:5-14 KJV)
The Prophet Isaiah Speaks
And then there’s this, concerning the Spirit of God…
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (Isa 11:1-4 KJV)
While I could not find the exact Greek words used in the Greek Old Testament in parallel passages to those previously mentioned also used together in the New Testament, I did find this…
Jesus Waxed Strong in Spirit
When Jesus was an infant, after being presented in the temple, the author of Luke tells us:
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. (Luk 2:40 KJV)
And then when Jesus was 12 years old, we’re told of an account where Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem after a Feast. Luke reports:
And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (Luk 2:45-47 KJV)
And after an exchange between Jesus and his parents immediately following this, the author writes:
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luk 2:52 KJV)
And then, during Jesus’ ministry as an adult, he is compared to Solomon as it relates to wisdom:
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (Luk 11:31 KJV)
I find all these references to be very interesting. Now, let me get back to the subject of this post…
Joseph Chosen to Rule
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.
And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. (Gen 41:37-46 KJV)
We see Joseph is set over all of Pharaoh’s house, as well as over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh said to him, “Only in the throne will I be greater than you.”
And Joseph, whose name in Hebrew means “Jehovah has added” (H3130), was given an Egyptian name, which means “treasury of the glorious rest” (H6847), along with a wife.
Then we’re told Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh. This detail given concerning Joseph’s age reminds me of the account given in Luke addressing Jesus’ water baptism.
The Baptism of Jesus
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, (Luk 3:21-23 KJV)
About Thirty Years of Age
Regarding the age of thirty years, tying all of this in to the initial subject of this post, I have wondered if the author of Luke was alluding to Joseph’s coronation over Pharaoh’s household and kingdom by including that detail in the narrative.
I wonder this because of my understanding of what God was saying concerning Jesus being His son, relating to Psalm 2.
Wherefore did the heathen rage, and the nations imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together, against the Lord, and against his Christ; saying, Let us break through their bonds, and cast away their yoke from us.
He that dwells in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn, and the Lord shall mock them. Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his fury. But I have been made king by him on Sion his holy mountain, declaring the ordinance of the Lord: the Lord said to me, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel.
Now therefore understand, ye kings: be instructed, all ye that judge the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice in him with trembling. Accept correction, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and ye should perish from the righteous way: whensoever his wrath shall be suddenly kindled, blessed are all they that trust in him. (Psa 2:1-12 Brenton)
I believe this Psalm is primarily speaking of David in the day of his reign, but also it is prophetically speaking of a Messiah to come, which I understand to be Jesus/Yeshua.
After considering the possibility that Luke’s author may have been alluding to Joseph, I did a word search on the words translated as “thirty years” in the Old Testament to see if there was anything significant about that age being tied to someone else.
I not only found the reference to Joseph, but I also found this:
Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. (2Sa 5:1-5 KJV)
These are the only two mentions that I could find of anyone being 30 years old tied to an event other than giving birth to a son (as in the cases with Salah, Peleg, and Serug recorded in Genesis 11:14,18,22).
Tying Jesus to Solomon, as well as Joseph, as it relates to being the wisest man in all the land, and tying Jesus to David, as well as Joseph, as it relates to being 30 years and anointed to reign, so to speak, I find this all to be very interesting.
It appears to me that both Joseph and Jesus are men in whom is the Spirit of God.
Some insist Jesus to be God, but the more I study the Bible, the more it seems clear to me that Jesus is the Anointed Man of God.
The Spirit of God rests on him, particularly that of wisdom and understanding, and he is given authority, power and dominion over the whole house of God, as well as over all the Land.
Given what Pharaoh said to Joseph, Only in the throne will I be greater than you, it seems to me that the same could be said concerning God in relation to His Messiah.
Jesus: The Most Powerful Man Alive
In my desire to clarify that Jesus/Yeshua is not God, I do not want to be mistaken by others as demoting Jesus/Yeshua as just another man. I fully recognize that he is a man chosen over all mankind, to rule over all mankind. He is the most powerful man alive.
Identifying Jesus as being a man, and not God Himself, only demotes him from the pedestal mainstream Christianity has put him on.
Jesus is not the Lord God Almighty. He is not the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and I think people really need to come to grips with that.
Without this understanding, I believe many people are being led astray to either (a) worship a man as the Eternal God, putting another god in the face of the One True God and taking the name of the One True God in vain,
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto 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 water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exo 20:2-7 KJV)
or (b) dismiss the Anointed Man of God and his teachings, risking the Messiah’s denial of them before God.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Mat 10:32-33 KJV)
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (2Ti 2:10-13 KJV)
Either way, they are both Bad News.
The Good News is:
A Song of degrees. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psa 130:1-8 KJV)
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Act 5:29-32 KJV)
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Act 26:13-18 KJV)
Ultimately, it is the Eternal God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, who sits on the throne above all.
And it is Jesus/Yeshua that is the Anointed (Messiah/Christ) man designated to rule over not only the house of God, but also His entire kingdom, the world as we know it.
I believe it is God whom we ultimately serve, when we serve His anointed man, but the two are distinctly separate.
May the Heavenly Father, who is God, and His unique Son, who is the Messiah Man, grant us peace, as we seek the Father’s ways and walk according to them to the best of our understanding and ability.