Hebrew Roots/Eternal Word
THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE SON OF GOD
He whom we know as the Man, Yeshua the Messiah spoke of Himself as having existed and having had a relationship with the Father God prior to coming to earth. He referred to the glory which He had with the Father before the world was and that it was the Father who sent Him into the world – John 17:5, 18.
He said, “I am not of this world “ (John 8:23; 17:14).
That necessitates pre-existence. His pre-existence before His incarnation has reference to His divine origin. John testified “He was before Me” (John 1:15); yet in the natural order of things, John was born before Yeshua.
Prior to the creation of mankind, the Glorious Person whom we know as the Son of God, existed in heaven with the Father. Yeshua said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” -i.e. “I already existed” (John 8:58)
Since the creation of man, He has made appearances on this earth where He manifested Himself as a divine Being. In the period before His incarnation, these were known as 'theophanies'. This word is taken from the Greek words, THEOS (God) and PHANEROO (appearance) – i.e. an appearance of God. Theophanies are manifestations of the Son of God prior to His incarnation where He would appear on assignment in His Father's Name, YHWH, to represent Him, in a form which was visible to man. In scripture He was referred to as “the Angel of YHWH”.
We have the account that He walked with Adam in the 'cool of the day' (Genesis 2 & 3:8); He appeared to Abraham as such also (Genesis 12;7; 17:1; 18:1); as well as to the other patriarchs (Genesis 26:2; 32:34; 35:9). He appeared to Moshe (Exodus 3:2); and led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land (Exodus 13:21-22 ). He continued to guide the nation in the time of the Judges, prior to the monarchy, with various visitations to key figures at pivotal times – for Yehoshua's endorsement to conquer the land (Joshua 5:13-15); to encourage Gideon (Judges 6-7); for deliverance through Samson (Judges 13).
When spoken of as the “Angel of YHWH”, He was known as “Metatron”, to whom was given great reverence as He who taught them Torah and was the “rod” of YHWH and the High priest of the supernal, celestial Temple in the New Jerusalem (Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 159a; 169b & Bershith, Section 1, Page 27a) and as the “Memra” (Aramaic) or Davar (Hebrew) for the Word. This is the terminology which John gives Him in his gospel. He was also allegorized as “Wisdom” by Solomon in his proverbs (Ch.8).
THE SON WAS BROUGHT FORTH FROM THE FATHER
“YHWH possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” (Proverbs 8:22-23) The Hebrew gives an insight into the nature of the pre-existence of the Son and the relationship which existed in eternity between the Father and the Son through the root words used in this passage of scripture.
“He possessed me” - the root here denotes something which is acquired by being purchased or redeemed and therefore brought forth as one's own possession. So here, before creation, he was brought forth as a Son.
“in the beginning” - this has the sens of that which is first, chief or foremost; and therefore carries the idea of being the first, chief or foremost manifestation of God.
“of His way” - the word 'way' is indicative of a well trodden path, and used here to mean something well established as a way of going, or as it were, the very precepts and essence of the Father's Being and character.
“I was set up” - this comes from two root meanings, 'to pour out' and 'to set up' or install. The language here gives the picture of the Son being poured forth from the Father and being established in his own identity.
So we draw out of this statement that the Father 'possessed' the Son, the beginning of His way, in that, the Son was the progenitor of all that which was contained within Himself. He became the Son after he had been brought forth, but previously he was in the Almighty as part of Himself until He “spoke” him forth as “the Word” and released Him into the cosmos and caused the abiding, engrafted Word which was part of Him and within Himself, to go forth from His Bosom and emanate externally from Himself. Thus the Son was of the same essence as the Father, poured out from Himself into another independent personality. Therefore He had within Himself all the inherent qualities of the Father in His nature and attributes. We might say that all that was in the 'genes' of the Almighty One was brought forth and projected into His sole offspring, His Son. As such, He had the capacity to be all that the Father was, as the manifestation of Him, and could say that he and the Father were one in their purpose and in their roles, except that he was the manifest expression of the Unseen One.
The life of the Father was centered in Him – He was the focal point through which the Father manifested Himself in all His attributes. When Micah prophesies of He who was to be the “ruler of Israel”, he identifies him as eternal, having been with the Father from everlasting; “Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of he Father, he has declared Him.” John 1:18 The word 'begotten' means to 'generate' (not just physically) and was often used for teachers reproducing themselves in their disciples. It was a term used for reproducing after one's own kind. The term “I was brought forth” in Proverbs 8:25 is an equivalent term in Hebrew used for 'begotten'. The Son was generated or brought forth from the Father.
He is the unique reproduction of the Almighty - one of a kind!
THE SON WAS IN THE FATHER'S BOSOM
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2) The only begotten of God who is in the bosom of he Father, he has declared Him.” John 1:18
The Son was in the bosom of the Father and was the Father's first act of personal manifestation of Himself, before all creation. The Father purposed to project from within Himself, from His bosom, i.e. - His inner Being, the manifestation of Himself as the Word – that which could give expression of Himself – i.e. His Person or 'soul'. And He purposed to bring this extension of Himself forth as an independent 'Person'. He was brought forth from the Father in eternity, but he did not become the only-begotten Son of the Father until His incarnation into Adam's race. He existed “in the beginning”, as One brought forth from Him and yet in the “bosom” of the Father.
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation” Colossians 1:15 He is the 'image', or tangible form of He who is not visible in this physical realm. EIKON is a likeness which is a representation of character, i.e. a precise reproduction, a duplicate created by an impression, the copy from an archetype.
He bears the imprint of the Father by being generated from the Father. So also, in every form of manifestation which He has assumed, He has always borne that same likeness to the Father. As He Himself said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). As well as being the exact representation of the Father, the Greek word “image” (eikon), also conveys the meaning that He is the manifestation of that which is not otherwise revealed or seen which is further emphasized by saying that He is the Firstborn, in the sense that He is the primary revelation of the Father.
PROTOKOS (Strongs 4416 from 4413) means chief, foremost or prime
He is said to be the “Firstborn of all creation”, but that does not mean that He was a created being (Rev.3:14). He was the “firstborn” of the Father – implies two things: priority to all creation and sovereignty over all creation. In the sense of priority, we see the absolute pre-existence of the Son. Since He pre-existed to all creation, He is not created in the normal sense of the word and therefore He is eternal. He came from the realm of eternity. Seeing He came forth from the Father as His chief or prime manifestation, He is also divine.
Wuest gives this translation of the verse: “Who is the derived reproduction and manifestation of deity, the invisible One, the One who has priority and sovereignty over all creation.” (Col.1:15)
This same concept is cited in Revelation 3:14 where the Son is called the “beginning (chief) of the creation of God” ARCHE (Strongs 746) meaning first in the sense of primary, highest or chief manifestation of Himself. But this does not mean that He was a created being, but that he was the primary generation of life from Himself from whom all else was brought into existence. In Hebrews 1:3, His eternal state is described as, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person .....”
The word “brightness” APANGASMA actually means effulgence and reflection, it conveys the idea of a receiving and transmitting, shining forth or to coin an appropriate word, “out-raying”. The meaning then, is that He is the 'out-raying' of the divine glory, exhibiting in Himself, the glory and majesty of the divine Being.
Weiss says, “God lets His glory issue from Himself, so that there arises thereby a 'light being' like Himself” Alford says, “the Son of God is, in this His essential majesty, the sole expression of divine light.” Therefore, we could say that the Son receives receives the reflection from the Father and transmits this effulgence from Himself of divine light.
The word used for “glory” is DOXA and refers to the expression of divine attributes collectively, the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections. It is used of various displays of divine light and splendor – e.g. Exodus 33:18-23; 24:5, 7. From being brought forth as the exact image of His Person as is cited in Colossians 1:15, the concept is taken further here to illustrate that having been brought forth, from the Almighty, He gives expression to all that He is by an effulgence, or shining forth from himself, of the divine essence.
The word used here for “image” is different from that in Colossians, it is UPOSTASIS; which means 'substance' or 'foundation' – i.e. that which underlies and supports the outward form and properties, and hence, the substantial nature and essence. The Greek word for “person” is HARAKTER from which we get our word character. This comes from the root word “to engrave” or “to inscribe', and is used to signify the impression made by an engraver from a die or a stamp. Here then, the essential being of God is conceived as setting it's distinctive stamp upon Him, so that He bears the exact impression of the divine nature.
In Colossians, the scripture is relating to the outward character and attributes being a replica of the unseen God; and here, that the basic essence of the Almighty is borne out in that outward manifestation of those characteristics and attributes. Thus the scripture here is saying that He radiates the divine essence and glory of God in His manifested presence. Not only does he have the same essence and nature as seen in his attributes and character, but he also has the same glory in His pre-existence with the Father.
Yeshua spoke of the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, in the realm of eternity, of which he divested himself when he came to earth. The Interlinear of John 17:5 reads, “And now, You glorify Me Father with Yourself, with the glory that I had before the (foundation or beginning) of the world.”
“Glorify me with Yourself” expressed oneness of Being, yet separateness in identity which they possessed in that eternal state. We might conclude it as “fill me with Yourself” in light of the following statement in verse 22, “the glory which You gave me i have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one”. In verse 24 he refers to a measure of the future glory which the believers would have in their glorified bodies. The glory which his mortal frame contained was limited compared to the glory of the eternal state. But that glory which he had known in the eternal state, he looked forward to having once again.
On the mount of transfiguration, He was seen with Moshe and Elijah enveloped in that glory which was a foreshadow of that which is to come (Luke 9:32).
In the Book of Revelation we see the Son restored to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was created, and He is seen as the visible emanation of the Father - One whom John could see, and yet He is portraying the image of the Father. When John looked to see the voice that talked with him, he saw One like the Son of Man, whose appearance was like the sun shining in its strength, and He said, “Fear not: I am the First and the Last; and who lives and was dead; and behold I am alive forever and ever, Amen.” Revelation 1:17-18