De Moor V:15: Old Testament Confirmation of the Doctrine of the Trinity, Part 3



In the next place, we set forth those Pronounements of the Old Testament, in which the Trinity of Persons is determinately noted. To which pertain, 1. Passages, in which is found a Threefold appellation either of the Divine Name, or of an Essential Attribute: Perhaps not all things pertain to this, says our AUTHOR, that are wont to be alleged, since in some places another reason of the repetition is possible: for example, in Daniel 9:19, in which Daniel addresses God three times under the Name אֲדֹנָי/Adonai/Lord; but in verse 17, God, whom he is addressing, he has distinguished from the Lord, for whose sake he was seeking audience, לְמַ֖עַן אֲדֹנָֽי׃, for the Lord’s/Adonai’s sake, and concerning whose Advent at a definite time Gabriel was then rendering more certain, verses 24 and following. Nevertheless, ALPHEN is worthy of a look on verse 19, Commentario on Daniel 9, pages 235-238, who is completely convinced that we are led to the Trinity by the three fold repetition of the name אֲדֹנָי/Adonai in verse 19, with which Daniel addresses God in prayer; for, if this repetition of the divine Name is to be attributed to the zeal of the one praying, the same could be done at least four times. And so, since no other more agreeable reason of this threefold repetition is able to be given, than what is fetched from the mystery of the Trinity; he asserts that certainly to be preferred is that exegesis which gives an agreeable reason for this matter, than that which lacks the same. Certainly the prayers poured out in verse 19 are able to be considered distinct enough from those that occur in verse 17, that a somewhat different use of the word אֲדֹנָי/Adonai in verse 17 is not at all inappropriate here.


Johannes a Marck

Our AUTHOR judges that Zechariah 1:3 hardly pertains to this in like manner, in which we read three times: וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֗ם כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת שׁ֣וּבוּ אֵלַ֔י נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת וְאָשׁ֣וּב אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת׃, Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith Jehovah of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. VITRINGA the Elder, in his Commentario on Zechariah, pages 89-91, writes: “I judge, that it is not absurdly thought that the τρίπλωσιν/tripling of the Lord’s name, Jehovah of Hosts, in this place is referred to the μυστηριον/mystery of the Sacred Trinity…. Yet I would not dare confidently to subscribe to this meditation on this passage…. If one should indulge in this pious meditation on this place also, I gladly allow it to be done, neither would I wish or dare obstinately to refute it.” COCCEIUS subtly distinguishes in this way, that the saying, Jehovah God of hosts said, is on one occasion the word of the Prophet about to set forth the Word of God, and twice occurs in the very words of God, where he maintains that one divine Person speaks in the name of two Persons, for example, the Holy Spirit speaking in the Prophets in the name of the Father, who commands the Jews to return to Him, and of the Son, who promises His own Advent. On which things MARCKIUS, in his Commentario ad Prophetas minores on this passage, observes: 1. That saying, thus Jehovah of hosts hath said, is found similarly everywhere in this text in the setting forth of the words of the Prophet in the name of God, and it is not found that any one distinguished with the Name Jehovah speaks in the name of another addressed in this way. 2. The same is regarded as about to return, to whom the Israelites were obliged to return; rather than that He is another, even indeed regarded in His Advent. While MARCKIUS himself observes that this description of God speaking, after it had once preceded in a general way, is repeated, first for words of commandment, then for words of promise, so that the obedience of the people toward God, more than toward the King of the Persians, might be urged, and its faith in God might be so much more urged against all human power.


Therefore, our AUTHOR judges that an argument is not to be sought from a bare repetition of this sort, unless the Context itself also leads us to Distinct Persons. He considers this to be done in Numbers 6:24-26, where the threefold repetition of the Name יְהוָה/Jehovah/Lord is not to be attributed merely to the Zeal of the Priest setting forth the blessing: since, 1. the formula of the blessing is prescribed to him by Jehovah; and, 2. if this were to be attributed to the Zeal of the one asking the blessing from Jehovah, the Name יְהוָה/Jehovah could have been used even six times in this formula. But we most agreeably represent to ourselves the Triune God here as the Author of the blessing, being of which sort, He has been abundantly revealed to us elsewhere; while attentive consideration of this formula teaches that those things that are here sought from Jehovah, thrice invoked, are able very suitably to be referred, according to the order kept here, to the three distinct Persons of the Diety, as they follow each other in natural order: and that also the actual argument of it completely agrees with the Pauline benedication, 2 Corinthians 13:13, although the Persons of the Deity are set forth there in a different order: see my Dutch Sermon on this passage, printed in the volume that is called Gedachtenis, etc., pages 93-117.