Wendy read my Sept 13, 2021, blog in which I discussed Moses suggesting that it was better that God take him instead of the whole nation from His book. Wendy had two follow-up questions:
Hi Bob, reading today’s article, I have two questions for you to teach me:
- Why did you say that Moses received the Ten Commandments from the preincarnate Jesus Christ? My Bible referred to Moses receiving it from the Lord.
- What does it mean the “book of the living”?
Here are five reasons why I believe that Moses received the Ten Commandments from the Lord Jesus Christ, not God the Father:
- “No one has seen God [the Father] at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). 1 John 4:12 repeats that first sentence. That alone proves that Moses did not see God the Father.
- Old Testament texts that use the expression the LORD (Yahweh) are cited in the New Testament as referring to the Lord Jesus. Compare Exod 3:14-15 and John 8:58; Ps 23:1 and John 10:11; Isa 48:12 and Rev 1:17-18. See this article at Gotquestions.org.
- The LORD wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger. Twice. (Moses broke the first tablets.) Jesus has fingers with which to write. God the Father does not.
- The Lord Jesus stooped and wrote in the dirt with His finger (John 8:1-11). Twice. It is reasonable to speculate that Jesus was asserting that He Himself was the one who gave the Law to Moses.
- The preincarnate Lord Jesus appeared often in the OT. Most or all references to “the Angel of the Lord” refer to Jesus (see this verse by verse ministry article and this article at Gotquestions.org, which waffles a bit). Jesus appeared to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:8), Cain (Gen 4:6-15), Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-22; 18:1-33), Hagar (Gen 16:7), Moses (burning bush, Mount Sinai), the three men in the fiery furnace (Dan 3:25), and many others.
About 15 years ago I was at a meeting of Bible scholars. I attended a session in which one scholar argued that the Angel of the Lord never referred to the preincarnate Lord Jesus Christ in the OT. I did not find the presentation persuasive. It did not address the first four points I make above, for instance, and his discussion of the fifth point was not compelling. After the session, I asked Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, who was present, what he thought of the presentation. He said something to the effect of, “I don’t know who his Messiah is. But my Messiah appeared over and over again to many people in the Old Testament.”
In answer to Wendy’s second question, the book of the living is a literal or figurative book that lists all people who are physically alive at a given moment. It is not the same as the Book of Life, which lists all who have everlasting life. See my Sept 13 blog for more details.