3

Heb 1:5: KJV For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Was that "day" in eternity-past after the "day" when the Father was not yet a "Father" and the Son not yet a "Son"?

Some religionist's creeds and doctrine contend that Acts 13:32 and Heb 1:5 proves that the "resurrection" was that "day" of this question. My question asked ONLY about a day in eternity past--one question at a time concerning one scripture at a time, as advised.

Notwithstanding, as also requested, to show that the previous Q&As did not answer my question, the day of Jesus being raised from the dead fails miserably to point to the Day of begetting. The day of begetting, in both Acts 13 and Heb 1 is only part of the of the fulfillment of the "promise which was made to the fathers of Israel." That subject matter is very distinctly spelled out in Acts 13:32-33, beginning with the physical birth of this ONE who had just recently been raised from the dead:

And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (My emphasis)

That fulfillment began with the "begetting" of Jesus as a flesh-and-blood Jewish man who lived His life under the Law without sin. Then, 33 years after being begotten as a man, took upon Himself the sin of the world through His death. After all these things, verses 34 and 35 speaks directly to the issue of His "resurrection" being so that He would not "see corruption."

And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (My emphasis)

So as to the subject matter of the "promise" (the giving to them the sure mercies of David), Peter goes on to compare David, who saw corruption, with Jesus, who was "raised again" and therefore saw no corruption.

Heb 1:5 also shows that Jesus was "made" better than the angels by His resurrection--inheritance--not "made" the Son, as clearly demanded by verses 3 and 4 setting out the subject matter--His inheritance by reason of His death and resurrection.:

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Verses 5 and 6 are adamantly tied to that subject matter by the words, "For", and, "And again", showing the point of the very day as being the day that Jesus was brought "into the world", NOT the day He was raised from the dead or taken up into Heaven:

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? and, And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

This reference to Jesus as being the "firstbegotten" rather than the "only begotten" is proof that the instant subject matter is primarily the resurrection", not the "begetting", but that the history of fulfillment of the promise began 33 years prior to the resurrection when He was begotten. That promise was explicitly repeated as a restatement again in Heb 9:28:

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

So, what I am after here is not what the various doctrinal statements and creeds of men say that "this day" was, but rather what "day" in "eternity past" could possibly be the day Jesus was begotten. Surely, great men of God should be able to answer such a simple question if Jesus was the Son of God in eternity past as some answers were made before this restatement of the question. The doctrinal statements and various creeds cited have failed to answer that one simple question. Please believe me, I am not confused about meaning of the term, "day". Without a good scriptural showing about a "day" existing in "eternity past", I would be completely happy to admit that there is no such as a thing as a "day" in eternity past--prior to that very first evening and morning cited in Gen 1:5:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (My emphasis)

7
  • Duplication of, or close to the question asked hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/22990/… – Gina Apr 13 '20 at 21:52
  • Paul the apostle attributes this psalm quote to the resurrection : God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Acts 13:33. – Nigel J Apr 14 '20 at 6:28
  • 1
    You fall into deep and dark error to claim that there was ever a state (not a 'time' for eternity is not a period of time) in which the Person of the Father was not father or the Person of the Son was not son. What were they, then ? Two gods ? No gods at all ? Unknown 'gods' with no relationship to one another ? The Council of Nicea dealt with all this in AD 325. This is the error of F E Raven and James Taylor Senior. – Nigel J Apr 14 '20 at 6:43
  • @Gina, I read through each element of that question and its answers and did not find an answer to my question ion any of that. – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 14:27
1

Messianic Nature

I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. (Psalm 2:7)
אספרה אל חק יהוה אמר אלי בני אתה אני היום ילדתיך

יוֹם is day which can mean a period of time, but the literal meaning of היום is "the day, this very day" which supports understanding what is described as occurring on a specific day.

The Psalm was also understood as Messianic:

The Sages taught: To Messiah ben David, who is destined to be revealed swiftly in our time, the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: Ask of Me anything and I will give you whatever you wish, as it is stated: “I will tell of the decree; the Lord said unto me: You are My son, this day have I begotten you, ask of Me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession” Sukkah 52a

Today
A later passage can be used to affirm how Hebrews 1:5 should be taken:

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:7-8) [ESV]

διό καθὼς λέγει τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε μὴ σκληρύνητε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὡς ἐν τῷ παραπικρασμῷ κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ πειρασμοῦ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ

Greek distinguishes between today as a specific day and day as a general period of time:

  • σήμερον - this very day, what happened today [...if you hear His voice]
  • ἡμέρα - day, daytime, time in general [as in the day of testing]

It is "today," σήμερον, which is used by the writer:

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? (Hebrews 1:5)
τίνι γὰρ εἶπέν ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων υἱός μου εἶ σύ ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε καὶ πάλιν ἐγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι εἰς υἱόν

This is also how the LXX translated the phrase:

by proclaiming the Lord's ordnance: The Lord said to me, 'My son you are; today I have begotten you (LXX-Psalm 2:7)
διαγγέλλων τὸ πρόσταγμα κυρίου κύριος εἶπεν πρός με υἱός μου εἶ σύ ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε

Actually, the phrase "υἱός μου εἶ σύ ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε" (son of mine you are I today begotten you) follows the LXX verbatim. So by all accounts, what is conveyed as a specific event on a specific day.

It is true an event which takes place on a single day may also be correctly described as falling within a period of time: When is "this day" that Jesus was "begotten"? And how is this related to Jesus being called God's "son"? Likewise the event being past means the results continue to be true. So He is [now] the Son. Yet the writer of the letter used a word which points to a specific event on a specific day, as did the translator of the LXX, which agrees with the Hebrew text. Therefore, there was an event which took place on a specific day on which it was said, "You are my Son" and that day was the day on which the Son was begotten.

The Resurrection
One "day" is the Resurrection. This is an event which occurred on a specific and Paul specifically cites Psalm 2 in his speech at Antioch in Pisidia and alludes to it in the letter to the Romans:

this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ (Acts 13:33)

and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4)

The Resurrection is not without difficulties because Jesus repeatedly identifies Himself as the Son before the Resurrection; the phrase "You are my Son" is never specifically attributed as being spoken on that day; others, including Paul identify Jesus as the Son before the Resurrection:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)

It is the death of His Son which reconciles and the life (i.e. Resurrection) which saves. Both are needed and both have been realized, and yet, if He was not a Son until after His death, then His death was not as Son. Moreover, the people who had seen Him as the Promised One, saw His death as proving otherwise:

and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel... (Luke 24:20-21)

The people hoped before His death He was the one to redeem Israel; their hope follows the Messianic understanding of Psalm 2. His death dashed their hopes but the Resurrection restores hope in an earlier event. Then what Paul is saying is the Resurrection affirmed the identify of the Son to Israel:

28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ (Acts 13)

Crucifixion gave the appearance Jesus was not the Son. However, His Resurrection, proved otherwise; it affirmed to the nation of Israel by power according to the Spirit of holiness Jesus was the Son spoken of in Psalm 2. So there is a sense the Resurrection was the fulfillment as it confirmed an event which had previously occurred. Also the Resurrection is necessary because He died and without being brought to life the earlier event could not have been the fulfillment. Nevertheless, the Resurrection is the day on which Jesus was affirmed to be the Son and not the day predicted in the Psalm.

Baptism
The Baptism fits all the criteria for fulfillment:

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22)

It took place on a specific day. The voice from heaven called Him "Son." The Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form. After this He is rightly called "Son" a fact which the Resurrection confirmed.

Jesus was begotten as Son by the Father fulfilling Psalm 2 on the day He was baptized. He was affirmed as Son by the Holy Spirit. Thus both the "begetting" and the "affirming" took place on a specific day and in ways that speak to a triune nature of God:

               Baptism                Resurrection
Declared Son   By the Father          According to the Holy Spirit     
Triune Nature  Holy Spirit descends   Reunited with Father
Fulfilling     Psalm 2                Resurrection Scriptures

Conclusion
It is true that for God an event which He plans may be considered as fulfilled from eternity. Yet, as with anything God predestines, the actual event will also take place. The day on which this took place was the day of baptism when the voice from heaven spoke. His death gave the temporary appearance He was not the Messianic Son but the Resurrection proved what was spoken at His baptism had been the fulfillment.

5
  • I have up-voted this answer as it is a very meticulous account of the timeline and purpose of the begetting of this "Son of God", as well as the absolute ability and power of God to make plans before the foundation of the world which would be fulfilled after Day One of creation. I have yet to see proof in responses to my question that the Son of God was begotten before time began. As to His baptism being that day, John 1:14-15 remains a problem. It appears that being "made flesh" revealed His glory as the only begotten of the father was known to John the Baptist before he baptized Him. – Bill Porter Apr 17 '20 at 1:26
  • @BillPorter I think the problems with John 1:14-15 go away if it understood as referring to the resurrected Christ (and 1:10-11 refers to his life before His death). Then the true/final "Incarnation" was when His dead body came to life in the flesh (like men will be when they are resurrected 1 John 3:2). John saw His true glory (17:5,24) as the only Son of the Father after He was raised from the dead. – Revelation Lad Apr 17 '20 at 2:01
  • Would Luke 2:11 be a problem "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."? Christ the Lord" is born here "this day" (just what we are talking about) both as the Son of man (which is evident) and also as the "Savior" who is Christ the Lord. He immediately had power to forgive sin both as the Son of God (John 5:21 and 25-26) and as the Son of man (Luke 5:22-24), but it appears that only the Son--not the Father--will "judge mankind" ALSO because He is the Son of man ( John 5:27). These powers were concurrent early in His ministry. – Bill Porter Apr 18 '20 at 1:51
  • If the begetting of the Son was upon baptism, who was it came into the world ? Who was the Person who was born of Mary ? For what was born of Mary was not a human person, having no human father. Who is the Person of whom it is said that he is 'the life the eternal, which was with the Father, I John 1:2 ? Who is the Eternal Person who came into the world in Bethlehem ? ? ? – Nigel J Jul 9 '20 at 0:52
  • @NigelJ There original statement was likely made in reference to David, who was already in the world: it was not speaking about his birth. "Begetting" as it was applied to David would brought forth. The writer in Hebrews is quoting the Psalm and applying it to Jesus. Thayer's says it is used metaphorically "formally to show him to be the Messiah (υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ), viz. by the resurrection: Acts 13:33." So the words spoken at His baptism were proven to be true at His Resurrection. The words spoken are revelation revealing Him to His own...who still rejected Him. – Revelation Lad Jul 9 '20 at 2:46
0

I think that we should be careful about taking the Psalms too literally. They are poetry, not narrative, and the authors use metaphor to convey their meaning. In addition, the OT often anthropomorphizes God, that is, describes him using human characteristics. It does this to convey aspects of God in a way that ordinary people can understand. In the same way, God does not experience days as we do, as he is not sitting on a spinning ball facing a light source.

IMHO, we are limited in our ability to understand God; he is too "big" for us to comprehend and too far beyond our observation. We should not press beyond what the Bible clearly reveals.

2
  • So are you saying that the word "day" is beyond our understanding. (See Gen 1:5) – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 0:40
  • Lol. I don't think I did. I'm saying that God is vastly beyond our comprehension, and we need to be cool with that. – Steve11235 Apr 14 '20 at 21:25
0

This reply will not fully answer the question but it may help to start the ball rolling.

Heb 1:5 quotes two OT passages, namely:

  • Ps 2:7, I will proclaim the LORD's decree: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have become your father.
  • 2 Sam 7:14, I will be his father, and he will be my son. (See also 1 Chron 17:13). Note that this passage is talking about King Solomon and how God would be a Father to King Solomon and Solomon would be God's son.

Now, some suggest that this passage (Heb 1:5) was literally fulfilled when Jesus was conceived in Mary. However, according to Matthew 1:18 and 20, Mary was inseminated by the Holy Spirit.

Thus, the phrase "son of" and "father of" must be understood (in this context) in a different way. Note the following:

  • Jesus described some unrighteous Jews as "children of your father the devil" (John 8:44)
  • All Christians are described as "sons of God" (Rom 8:14, 19, Gal 2:26, etc).
  • Peter described "Mark" as his son (1 Peter 5:13)

In this sense, "son of" describes a person who is like their teacher/mentor. That is, one who is close. (See BDAG #2 b & c, etc).

This, if Jesus is the Son of the Father, in the sense that Jesus is the living embodiment of the Father and representative of the Father, then this has always the case.

There is another sense in which Jesus became the "Son" - when the plan of salvation was created between the members of the Godhead; when it was decided that Jesus was to be the "sacrificial Lamb". In several places this event is described variously as "before the world began" or "before the time began", etc (1 Cor 2:7, Titus 1:2, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Peter 1:20) depending on the version quoted.

Therefore, I am not sure it is possible to be too precise about when (if ever) Jesus was formally given the title "Son of God".

6
  • As to "Jesus" being the "son" by reason of a teacher/mentor, Luke 1:31-32 claims that He was to be both named, "Jesus", and be called the Son of the Highest by reason of a certain conception. Then, continuing in verse 25, "that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." If becoming a Son of God had occurred "before time began" (before the world began), why the supporting reference to the "day" in the same sentence. So, are you saying that Jesus could NOT become the Son of God IF that son ship was accomplished by Mary being conceived of the Holy Ghost? – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 0:32
  • That comment was simply to establish the "Son of" was not the biological sense by rather metaphorical sense. Now the other point: that fact that the angel said Jesus was to be known as the "Son of God" (among humans) does not preclude the possibility that He already possessed that title in Heaven unknown to humans. – Dottard Apr 14 '20 at 2:01
  • So, should we make it clear that any CLAIM that Jesus Christ was the eternal "Son" of God in eternity past is only a "possibility", the truth thereof which is unknown to humans? – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 4:31
  • That is starting to sound like Platonic reasoning which is foreign to Hebrew thought. You are trying to understand and know what has not been revealed. – Dottard Apr 14 '20 at 5:35
  • 1
    @Dottard, If it has not been revealed, How can you support the contention that Jesus has always been called the Son of God? ---I would rather, without a good sound showing otherwise, accept the plain text of Luke 1:35 which states, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."-- at that time a "future" son-ship arising out of of a "future" virgin birth of a future flesh-and-blood Jewish man, that is NOT hard to accept. – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 19:01
0

I think there might be a bit of a misunderstanding of what the verse was saying. the word we find translated "Day" in Hebrews 1:5 is G4594 sēmeron and it defines (in this context) as "what has happened today"

so the understanding is not a particular day but rather a Day in general. There was never a moment in time or before time that The Father God called one of his Cherubim a Son.

The verse is not to establish a day and time of when the event took place but rather to show how Great Jesus Christ truly is, that He is even held above The Cherubim.

Scripture does in some cases gives us reason to believe that Christ was always The Son of God. "So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world" John 17:5-24

Now according to Christ himself in John 10:35 for one to become a Son of God the Word of God must come to them "If he called them gods to whom the word of God came" quoting Psalms 82:6 "I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High." Now with Jesus Christ Being THE WORD itself, you would say He is THE Son of God by default.

7
  • Should we remember that the quote of the word "day" is not from the forked possibilities of the Greek, G4594 sēmeron, but rather the Hebrew, H3117 yowm of Psalm 2:7, that, without additional notation, is the evening-and-morning day. – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 4:05
  • That is not entirely true. The Hebrew word "yom" is used in two distinct ways. When used without a numerical adjective it denotes an indefinite time (eg, "in my grandparent's day"). When used with a numerical adjective it always denotes a 24 hour period. – Dottard Apr 14 '20 at 5:37
  • 1
    So are you saying that Jesus became the Son of God "within" an indefinite period of "time" before the first day? That makes no sense whatsoever. I think the plain meaning of the word day (as defined by the begettor by the begotten) would apply to a certain and remarkable "begetting." It would certainly not be something to scrap based upon such reasoning as you seem to provide here. – Bill Porter Apr 14 '20 at 18:16
  • The thing about yowm is it can be defined as a lifetime "And the days H3117 of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:" right now in understanding what was meant when using G4594 I'm relying on the Greek translators to choose the correct definition which was "what has happened today" we have no reason to doubt them since there is no real reason for the verse to be telling us a specific time and date when Christ became the son of God. But there is better reason to be establishing that there never was a day when God called an angel a Son. – שייך ליהוה Apr 16 '20 at 18:13
  • @ שייך ליהוה, In the interest of sound hermeneutics, your point is possibly overly speculative in that there is an even greater "possibility, in fact, a far more reasonable one, that the passage was to draw attention to the day of the begetting of the Son of God to whom God actually made specific reference to, whereas,there never was a mention of begetting made to, or concerning any of the the angels. Nothing in G4594 precludes the possibility--even the mandate--that the quote of H3117 was intended, but rather seems far more reasonable. – Bill Porter Apr 18 '20 at 16:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.