This question is about "interpretation of a specific Bible passage," Hebrews 1:1-2 and how it informs our view of Jehovah in the OT.

Question: Does Hebrews 1:1-2 teach that Jehovah in the OT is always the Father?

Heb 1:1-2 God , having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. (ASV)

This verse makes a very broad statement and identifies the God who spoke through the prophets in the OT as the Father because He has a Son (See Lev 1:1; Num 1:1; Dt 1:3; Jos 1:1; Isaiah 1:1,10; Jer 1:4, 2:1;Ezekiel 1:1;Hosea 1:1; Joel 1:1; Amos 1:3; Ob 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Micah 1:1; Nahum 1:1; Hab 1:1-2; Zeph 1:1; Hag 1:1; Zech 1:1: Mal 1:1, etc.)

For example, did the author of Hebrews read passages like so:

Lev 1:1 Jehovah [the God who has a Son at Hebrews 1:1-2] called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying, (ASV)

Jer 1:4 Now the word of Jehovah [the God who has a Son at Hebrews 1:1-2] came unto me, saying (ASV)

Joel 1:1 The word of Jehovah [the God who has a Son at Hebrews 1:1-2] that came to Joel the son of Pethuel


  • 3
    Are you asking whether "God" in Hebrews 1:1 refers to the Father? Or whether the use of "God" here to refer to the Father logically implies that everywhere else (in Hebrews? the OT?) it must refer to the Father?
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 2:12
  • 1
    Then maybe you are getting ahead of yourself. Shouldn't you first establish the OT premise before asking about a NT application? Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 23:29
  • 2
    You’re introducing assumptions into the OT text. It doesn’t say the Father, in fact it’s most often times the Son that talks to men on the earth because the Father is the invisible God and the Son takes on visible forms. You’ll not find the Father being seen by anyone except the Son. Everything that takes place is in the second/middle heaven the Father is in the third heaven. You can’t just mix it up because it throws off other pertinent verses and they no longer make sense. “No one has ever seen God; the only God (Jesus), who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:18‬ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 3:20
  • 2
    Which writer? Apostle Paul? Which angel? The one who accepted worship and took the title of God? Have you not read the rest of chapter 1? To none of the angels did God say you are my son. Further v6 says that he should receive worship but in the gospels Jesus says you shall worship God alone yet here he is worshipped because He is God. And v8 distinguishes him from angels by calling him God “But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:8‬ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 4:37
  • 1
    So to clarify when you add the word (Father) next to God you are assuming who God is in the text. When I read it, I read Trinity unless indicated which of the three. You assume Father based on nothing else but a 19th century interpretation from a person who lacked admittedly knowledge of the Hebrew and the Greek. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 4:41

5 Answers 5


According to Murray J. Harris, the reader must assume the writer of Hebrews did not mean ὁ θεός ("God"):

When (ὁ) θεός is used, we are to assume that the NT writers have in mind ὁ πατήρ unless the context makes this sense of (ὁ) θεός impossible.1

If this were so the letter is meant to be begin as:

God [The Father], having spoken long-ago in-many-portions and in-many-ways to the fathers by the prophets, spoke to us at the last of these days by a Son, Whom He appointed inheritor of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:1-2 DLNT)

πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς [ὁ πατήρ] λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων δι᾽ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας

Applying Harris' conclusion to Hebrews is speculative. "God the Father," is never used in this letter so there is no internal evidence in the letter to support this position. As the letter is anonymous, there is no definitive support from elsewhere in the NT. There is also a question why the writer would use only υἱῷ, not υἱῷ αὐτοῦ which must be addressed before presuming ὁ πατήρ is implied. Also, there is the practical issue of presuming a letter written to prevent someone from abandoning sound doctrine would begin by writing something other than they meant.

"The Father" in the OT
The New Testament, "God the Father," is applied differently in the Old Testament:

For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. (Isaiah 63:16) [ESV]

The verse reads: For thou art our Father; for Abraham knoweth us not and Israel doth not recognise us; Thou Jehovah art our Father; our Redeemer from of old is Thy Name. Jehovah is the Father of Israel, i.e. the Creator and founder of the nation (Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 2:10; cf. Exodus 4:22; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 1:2; Jeremiah 3:4; Jeremiah 3:19; Malachi 1:6). The idea of the divine Fatherhood is not yet extended in the O.T. to the individual believer, although a remarkable anticipation of the N.T. doctrine is found in Sir 23:1; Sir 23:4 : “O Lord, Father and Master of my life, … O Lord, Father and God of my life.” (Cheyne.)2

One might consider "God as Father" in the context of the nation of Israel (cf. Exodus 4:22-23), but not with "Son" as in the letter.

When looking to the Old Testament, ὁ θεὸς would more reasonably be seen as referring to אלהים (Elohim) not יהוה (YHVH). This may be seen in the letter:

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (1:8)

8 πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ θεός εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας σου 9 ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέν σε ὁ θεός ὁ θεός σου ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου

6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions (Psalm 45)

כִּסְאֲךָ אֱלֹהִים עֹולָם וָעֶד שֵׁבֶט מִישֹׁר שֵׁבֶט מַלְכוּתֶֽךָ׃ 6
אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק וַתִּשְׂנָא רֶשַׁע עַל־כֵּן מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָׂשֹׂון מֵֽחֲבֵרֶֽיךָ׃7

ὁ θεός is consistently used for אֱלֹהִים.

Hebrews 1:1-2 says nothing about YHVH in the Old Testament.

1. Murray J. Harris, Jesus as God, WIPF & Stock Publishers, 1992, p. 47
2. Cambridge Bible Commentary

  • 1
    I'm shocked at the conclusion that Hebrew 1:1-2 says nothing about YHVH in the Old Testament given Deut 6:4. Is Elohim to you someone other than YHVH?
    – Austin
    Commented Mar 29 at 3:09
  • +1. Kudos, you grasped the essence of the mystery of Godhead when you realized the difference between "Elohim" and "Yahweh"; a truth I too came to realize a couple of years before! Commented Mar 29 at 6:27

The short answer: is no. This verse does not teach us that Jehovah in the Old Testament is always the Father.

Let's start with a definition:

Jehovah is the Hebrew name for God in the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament. He is introduced in the book of Genesis, or beginnings, as creator of the universe and everything in it.

Let's first take a look at the Greek and then on what this verse does and doesn't teach us:

Hebrews 1:1 enter image description here

Hebrew 1:2 enter image description here

What I want to note here is that the Old Testament is primarily written in Hebrew. Therefore, in the New Testament, "Jehovah" is not used to refer to God. Instead, the Greek term "Theos" (θεός) is commonly used to refer to God. "Theos" is equivalent to "God" in English.

Theos is the common word for God in the Greek New Testament. It normally refers to the true God. However it can also refer to false gods and even humans. The context must determine how it is to be understood. [1]

What we know is that Jehovah refers to the true God in the Old Testament and that Theos here also refers to the true God, but specifically the Father. However, we can't say that they are the same because Jehovah may not always refer to the Father. We also cannot say that "Theos" in Hebrews 1:1 teaches that Jehovah in the Old Testament is always the Father. That is, unless we can prove that Jehovah, "God", is always the Father and that the Theos, only true "God", can only be the Father!

Below are two tables I have compiled to delineate between the information Hebrews 1:1–2 specifically does convey and the information it does not specifically convey.

Here's what the verse does tell us:

enter image description here

Based on the question: Does Hebrews 1:1-2 teach that Jehovah in the OT is always the Father? Here's what the verse does not tell us and would be wrong to just assume without evidence:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I'm surprised at the conclusion that information about God in Hebrew 1:1-2 provides no information about YHVH in the Old Testament given Deut 6:4. Is Elohim, God, to you someone other than YHVH?
    – Austin
    Commented Mar 29 at 3:11
  • +1. A logical analysis Commented Mar 29 at 6:25
  • @Austin Let me clarify as it was only in the assumption table. Hebrews 1:1 provides no information about YHVH/"Jehovah" being the Father in the OT. I added this note: We cannot say that "Theos" in Hebrews 1:1 teaches that Jehovah in the Old Testament is always the Father. That is, unless we can prove that Jehovah, "God", is always the Father and that the Theos, only true, "God", can only be the Father!
    – Jason_
    Commented Mar 29 at 11:32

Question: Does Hebrews 1:1-2 teach that Jehovah in the OT is always the Father?

Answer: Hebrews 1:1-2 does not teach that Jehovah in the OT is always the Father.

The fact is, most often, we do not come to know who the Jehovah referred to, is in the OT. But sometimes, we come to know definitely who is referred to, from the context.

For example, Psalms 110:1 shows clearly that the Jehovah mentioned here is definitely God the Father:

“A declaration of Jehovah (God the Father) to my Lord (Jesus the Christ): sit at My right hand, until I place Your enemies as Your footstool.” (as confirmed by our holy apostles in the NT).

But, Jesus Christ proves beyond any doubt that the Jehovah whom Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and 70 elders of Israel saw was the pre-Incarnate Christ (Exod 24:9-11):

“And Moses and Aaron went up with Nadab and Abihu, and seventy from the elders of Israel. And they saw (it was a real seeing) the God of Israel (Jehovah – verse 1 clarifies this). And under His feet was as the work of a pavement of sapphire (it was real), and the same as the essence of the heavens for clearness. And He did not stretch out His hand (because they really saw Jehovah) to the nobles of the sons of Israel. And they saw God, and they ate and drank (no, it was no hallucination)”.

Question: How did Jesus prove that this Jehovah was not God the Father?

Answer: Jesus says: “not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One being from God, He has seen the Father” (John 6:46). (Also confirmed by the apostles in John 1:18; 1 John 4:12; Mat 11:27; Luke 10:22).

Let us think logically. If “no one” has seen God the Father “at any time”, then whom did Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the 70 elders of Israel see here? Scripture says it was not God the Father. Yet, they all saw Jehovah God.

There can be only one conclusion: they all saw the pre-Incarnate Word of God, Jesus the Messiah. This is confirmed by apostles also.

There are rare occasions when we see both Jehovah in one instance in the OT.

“And Jehovah (the One who in physical form accepted hospitality and talked to Abraham) rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from Jehovah out of the heavens (the One who is the Father God in the NT whom no one has seen except the Son)” (Gen 19:24).


The Scripture does not teach that Jehovah God is always the Father. In fact, most of the time, the Scripture doesn’t distinguish between them. But sometimes the context clearly identifies the Father and the pre-Incarnate Word (unless someone wants to twist the Scripture).

[PS:- “In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth, that You hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, because so it was pleasing before You” (Luke 10:21). And the “babes” do not need to follow the scholars of the world like Jason David Beduhn]


Yes the God of the old testament is the Majesty on high in Heb 1.3

Heb the whole chapter 1 demonstrates the unique, privilege, exclusive relationship Jesus has with his Father.

It also demonstrates that Jesus is subordinate to his father for it says his father appointed him hier of all things

The word appointed means to receive authority from someone that is superior to your self.

It also means to receive a position of authority you previously had no legal right to.

For in that Jesus is receiving an inheritance demonstrates that Jesus is not God the father. God the father owns everything he can't inherit anything for all possessions are his already .

Furthermore This chapter also demonstrate that the writer understood that the creator Jesus is not the majesty on high and the majesty on hi is not the Son.

For he places the creator Son at the right hand of someone greater than himself

Thus consisted with what Jesus said My father is Great than I .

And why does he say Jesus has this special relationship that no other angle has

Heb 1:4 he has this unique, privileged, exclusive relationship because he was Made better than the angels. Jesus is not an angel Jesus was the first creature the majesty on high created. That's why he is is called the only begotten. Only means one of a kind unique.

The first thing God directly created and the last thing God directly created.thats why he is the first and the last

Jesus creating everything thing else at the command of the Majesty on high.

The ansi to your question is

God in Heb 1:1-2 is the Majesty on high who is not the creator Son .Nor is the creator Son the Majesty on high

Why,because the Son was made ,created and the Majesty had always been

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented Apr 1 at 14:06
  • A good grasp of biblical truths displayed here, Paul. Most "newbies" don't impress me, but you have. Well done. You have my vote. Commented Apr 9 at 3:35

To say YHWH of the OT is not always the Father would be similar to saying that God lied and is untruthful with his statements. Who is Jesus' God and Father if it is not YHWH? Some claim that Jesus is YHWH of the OT, but how could this be, Jesus has a father. God/YHWH of the OT does not have a father, He is the Father. Jesus declared the Father alone to be God. Jesus did not mean the meaning of those words to be obscured until an expert in languages explain and cite some unusual rule which clarifies that he really meant a multi person God.

The bible's plain words show that YHWH is one, not 2 ,3 or 10, as 1=1. Deuteronomy 6:4 ; Mark 12:29, John 5:44, John 17:3.

There is no record in the bible where the prophets, Jesus and the apostles worship a multi person God named the Word, Jesus or holy spirit.

The word "God" in the Bible does not mean a multi person God. The name of the only true God in the bible is YHWH. Jeremiah 10 :10. There is no proof that this is not the God that sent Jesus whom Jesus sometimes address as Father as John 17:1-3, 17.

The name of Jesus' God is embedded in Jesus' name. The name Yehoshua/Yeshua means the Lord is salvation.

The Jewish origin and name of Jesus tells us the God and Father of Jesus is none other than the YHWH of the OT.

The scripture describes God as unique, Exodus 8:10, John 5:44, Galatians 3:20. God himself stated he is singular, solitary, unique, incomparable and has no equal, as Isaiah 40:25; 43:10; 45:5-6, 18 show.

How many is one?

Others may postulate that God is a multi person God, but the bible does not have a name or a verse that teaches this multi person God postulation.

Thus, if a teaching is not taught in the bible, it is not biblical.

The author of the book of Hebrews, Paul, affirmed God's uniqueness and identified God as the Father. Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 4:6 1 Timothy 2:5.

The very fact that the God who is YHWH speaks of Himself as “I” and “Me” and is referred to as “You” (singular) and “He” and “Him” thousands upon thousands of times should convince all Bible readers of the singularity of God. In addition, words like "by myself" and "all alone" further proves this.

Some assert that the Hebrew word "echad" imply more than one and use Genesis 2:24 as basis for their assertion. I believe the Hebrews know their language better. But let us examine the sophistry of the proponents of the "compound" meaning of echad. Their assertion that the word echad includes two persons, the man and his wife, hence, the "echad" in Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29 also contains two persons. But echad is a numerical adjective that modifies a noun. Echad is the ordinary word for the number one. In counting in Hebrew one says , echad (one) sh'nayim (two).

The word one in the phrase "one God" does not impart plurality to the word God. Even if the compound noun is made up of a number of parts or items, the word 'one which stands before it is not in any way altered because of its closeness to the compound noun.

How would proponents of one as a "compound one" explain Ecclesiastes 4:9 "two are better than one" Ecclesiastes 4:11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? Ecclessiastes 4:12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.

Echad is the word for the number one in counting. The use of Genesis 2:24 does not mean that one is really plural. The idea of the plurality cannot be found in the word echad at all.

The Shema declares YHVH's singular uniqueness as Israel's God. There is no evidence in the Hebrew Bible that any generation of Israelites understood the Shema as a reference to a compound unity in God.

If they did, who are the others? There is no record in the bible showing the Israelites knew and identified the other members/parts of this compound/composite God, nor is there such evidence in the New Testament. When the scribe asked Jesus which commandment is the foremost, Jesus quoted the Shema. Mark 12:28-30. The scribe asserted Jesus' answer. It is difficult to believe that Jesus or any person that is postulated to be a part of this composite God, is co-equal and co-eternal with God from the beginning of time, and yet he never appears in the Old Testament.

There is nothing in this account that Jesus reinforced the idea of a compound unity or his place in the Shema. Jesus tested the scribe with a question about his identity. Mark 12:35-37 which speaks of a Lord that sits next to YHWH. Mark 12:36 was quoted from Psalm 110:1

Mark 12:36 ASV

David himself said in the Holy Spirit, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.

Examining Psalm 110:1 we find,

The LORD יְהוָ֨ה ׀ (Yah·weh) Noun - proper - masculine singular Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

said נְאֻ֤ם (nə·’um) Noun - masculine singular construct Strong's 5002: An oracle

to my Lord: לַֽאדֹנִ֗י (la·ḏō·nî) Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular Strong's 113: Sovereign, controller

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the Hebrew word adoni. The word adoni is a title which never refers to God. It does not mean God the son. Peter narrated God's plan based on the truth of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:33-36 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

The God of Jesus made him both Lord and Christ.

LORD” or “the LORD” in the OT represents (YHWH) God. This is not to be confused with the Greek word Kurios, which is used of Jesus and is a title of respect, honor and authority. The title “Lord” is used of many people in the Bible not just God and Jesus. God made Jesus both lord and Christ. Nobody makes God lord. Jesus as the Son of God, yes. But, God the Son, no. There is no God the son in the bible.

Peter already identified who the second lord of Psalm 110:1 is and it is Jesus whom he says was crucified. This further proves that the second lord of Psalm 110:1 is adoni because crucifying Adonay is not possible.

John 10:30 could not be taken to mean one God since the Greek word for 'one' here is 'hen,' and is neuter. Theos (Greek for God) is masculine, so if it refers to God then the masculine heis should be used instead of hen.

In addition, if the Father and the Son were but one being, they would be the same being, and they could not be the two being bearing required witness, as John 8:17,18 say they are.

Jesus sums up the Christian quest for eternal life as belief in You (the Father) as the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ. John 17:3. The Father is the only God John 5:44. This simple definition unites the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament.

  • 1
    “The bible's plain words show that YHWH is one, not 2 ,3 or 10, as 1=1.” – Alex. Personally I wished to agree with this. But Scripture is our guide and we see: “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one (echad) Jehovah” (Deut 6:4). “And Jehovah God said, Behold! The man has become as one (echad) of Us” (Gen 3:22). The Scripture defines its own “one” (echad). It doesn’t give that choice to us. The “one” (echad) Jehovah God says “Us”!! (cont’d) Commented Mar 31 at 9:00
  • (cont’d) “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one (echad) flesh” (Gen 2:24). “And there was evening, and there was morning the first (echad) day” (Gen 1:5). Scripture qualifies its own “echad”. We have no freedom to define it our own way. Commented Mar 31 at 9:01
  • ”There is no record in the bible where the prophets, Jesus and the apostles worship a multi person God named the Word, Jesus or holy spirit.” – Alex. There are several records of the apostles worshipping Jesus. But some people change the meaning of “worship” into “paying obeisance” and thus dilute the Scripture. However, there are some undeniable records of the apostles worshipping Jesus and asking others to do the same. Commented Mar 31 at 9:01
  • @NepeshRoi. Where are these records of the apostles worshipping Jesus and asking others to do the same?. Was Jesus Jesus advocating idolatry in Revelation 3:9 when he said "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."? Can you cite who changed the meaning of worship into "paying obeisance? Commented Mar 31 at 9:32
  • 1
    When I first looked at this Q, it was because of the 2nd and 3rd answers, but after reading same, I felt that I couldn't entirely go along with either one of them. Then I realized that the Q was before my time on this site and that the OP was no longer active and consequently moved on. After your edit however, I decided to give it another look. This answer I can definitely go along with, so it's an upvote from me. I can even go along with the New Contributor, Paul, so will give him a favorable response too. Commented Apr 9 at 3:25

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