Thus says the YHWH, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the YHWH of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. Who is like Me?'
Some Trinitarians actually claim the words, "his Redeemer, YHWH of hosts" means Yahweh's Redeemer, Yahweh of Hosts." Yahweh's Redeemer is then identified as Jesus by an act of their own will and then they declare that Jesus is therefore being identified as "Yahweh of Hosts."
Examination of the Claim
Basic Reading Comprehension
The reader should be immediately aware that there is something wrong with reading this verse as if it says Yahweh's redeemer is Yahweh. It would be like supposing King David's servant is King David. The reasonable mind will immediately perceive that such an interpretation is quite implausible. This Trinitarian claim stems from the notion that the words "His Redeemer" means "Yahweh's Redeemer. However, the context makes it quite clear that "his redeemer" means "Jacob's redeemer" and the whole passage means " YHWH, the King of Israel and Israel's Redeemer [who is] YHWH of hosts," where YHWH of Hosts is Jacob's Redeemer.
A simple way to understand the situation, is to observe the following translations and ask yourself how these translators came to see that "his Redeemer" means "Israel's Redeemer."
The following translations understand "his Redeemer" to mean "Israel's Redeemer" not "Yahweh's Redeemer."
Thus says Adonai, Isra’el’s King and Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot. Complete Jewish Bible.
The LORD is Israel's king and defender. God's Word.
This is what the LORD,the King of Israel and its Redeemer Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Lord, the king of Israel, is the Lord All-Powerful, who saves Israel. New Century Version.
The Lord, who rules and protects Israel Good News Translation.
This is what the LORD says--Israel's King and Redeemer NLT
This is what the LORD, Israel's king, says, their protector, NET Bible
This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty. NIV
And his Redeemer; i.e. Israel's Redeemer - he who had redeemed them from Egyptian bondage - who will redeem them from the power of Babylon - who, best of all, will redeem them from their sins.
Analysis of the Evidence
The text says, "Yahweh the King of Israel and his Redeemer Yahweh of Hosts. The evidence shows us that this means, "Yahweh the King of Israel and Israel's Redeemer Yahweh of Hosts.
Note the following:
Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Yahweh of Hosts.
Thus says Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and His Maker.
"His" Maker obviously means Israel's maker. In the same way, "His" Redeemer means Israel's Redeemer.
We only need to carefully regard the context to see the Trinitarian claim is an obvious blunder. Israel as a whole is known as God's "firstborn son." Jacob is also known in the Bible as "Israel," the name given to him by the angel with whom he struggled all night long. In fact, Israel derives its name from their progenitor, Israel, that is, their forefather Jacob. Because of this, Israel is figuratively called "Jacob" in the book of Isaiah and the nation of Israel is depicted as Jacob, Yahweh's chosen servant. Isaiah often speaks of the nation of Israel as if Israel was a single person, his chosen servant Jacob. Therefore, the "his" in this passage does not refer to Yahweh (Yahweh's Redeemer) but to Jacob (Jacob's Redeemer). This figurative use of Israel as Yahweh's chosen servant is a prophetic typology of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. The passage is actually not referring to Jesus as Yahweh's Redeemer but is referring to Yahweh as Jacob's Redeemer, that is, the Redeemer of the nation of Israel.
Note the vocabulary of the following contextual passages:
Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel. (Genesis 32:28).
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from YAHWEH's hand double for all her sins.... Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, "My way is hidden from YAHWEH."
But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, `You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.... Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you," declares the LORD, "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:8-9, 14).
But now, thus says YAHWEH, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!... says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.... I am YAHWEH, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.... Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have become weary of Me, O Israel.... I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement. (Isaiah 43:1-28).
Now let us read Isaiah 44:6 in context:
But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus says Yahweh who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants. And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.' This one will say, `I am the YAHWEH's; And that one will call on the name of Jacob. And another will write on his hand, `Belonging to YAHWEH,' And will name Israel's name with honor. Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of hosts: `I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.... Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.... For Yahweh has redeemed Jacob and in Israel He shows forth His glory. Thus says Yahweh your Redeemer. (Isaiah 44:1-24).
It is abundantly clear that "his Redeemer" means "Jacob's Redeemer," that is, "Israel's Redeemer."
Based on the contextual evidence, it is quite clear that the passage here is referring to Israel's redeemer who is YHWH of Hosts their God.
However, even more can be said since the Trinitarian claim ultimately backfires upon them. Note Isaiah 42:1ff. which necesssarily refers to Yahweh's chosen servant Jacob, that is, the nation of Israel, Yahweh's firstborn. But Matthew also quotes this to refer to Jesus and interestingly Jesus is also God's firstborn. How is it possible that Isaiah 42:1 refers both to Jesus and Israel? This type of thing is not uncommon in Scripture. For example, compare Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:15. Throughout Isaiah, this chosen servant is Israel depicted as a singular identity "Jacob" as God's chosen servant. But Jesus was the King of Israel and he was therefore Israel's representative. This is the reason he could legitimately die for Israel and why the sign, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews," was placed over his forehead. As King of the Jews, son of Abraham, son of Isaac, son of Jacob, son of David of the House of Judah, he embodied Israel Yahweh's chosen servant.
Since Jesus represents this chosen servant Israel then Isaiah 42:1ff is true of both Israel and Jesus. But that means that Isaiah 44:6 is both true of Jesus and Israel and YHWH is Jesus' redeemer. Also regard the following passages:
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save him from death, and He was heard because of his fear. Although he was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which he suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:7-9)
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12).
Yahweh of Hosts is Jesus' Redeemer, that is, Yahweh of Hosts is the One who redeemed Jesus.
Nevertheless, we do not need to belabour the above implications. The question at hand is about Isaiah 44:6 and the veracity of the Trinitarian claim. All we do need to see is that the Trinitarian claim for Isaiah 44:6 has absolutely no merit whatsoever. It is clearly a reference to Jacob's redeemer, Israel's redeemer. Yahweh of Hosts is Israel's redeemer.
Last Updated: September 25, 2014