If the covenant of Christ only permits men to call God "Father" (Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5) - How can the prophet Isaiah call YHVH "Father" under Mosaic Law?

[Yeshayahu יְשַׁעְיָ֣הוּ | Isaiah 63:16] "For You are our father, for Avraham did not know us, neither did Yisrael recognize us; You, YHVH, are our Father; our redeemer of old is your name." (כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה אָבִ֔ינוּ כִּ֚י אַבְרָהָם֙ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֔נוּ וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֹ֣א יַכִּירָ֑נוּ אַתָּ֚ה יְהֹוָה֙ אָבִ֔ינוּ גֹּֽאֲלֵ֥נוּ מֵֽעוֹלָ֖ם שְׁמֶֽךָ)

  • Yeshayahu יְשַׁעְיָ֣הוּ never knew Jesus of Nazareth, but recognized יְהֹוָה֙ YHVH as Avinu אָבִ֔ינוּ "Our-Father".

Why was a recognition of Jesus as Christ not required for Israelites like Yeshayahu יְשַׁעְיָ֣הוּ "Isaiah" to call YHVH their Father, under Mosaic Law?

  • See Isa 9:6 for the example of where Messiah will be called "everlasting father".
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 4:38
  • If the covenant of Christ only - I think it should read If only the covenant of Christ.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 10:01
  • 1
    It's not obvious what "only" applies to. As it is now, I first read it as "only permits" (meaning "doesn't require"). It could also mean "only men (not women)", or "only God" (meaning not a priest), etc. When you ask the question out loud, which word or phrase do you stress to indicate what the "only" applies to? Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 13:58
  • I don't see how any of this follows. Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5 do not say that only the covenant of Christ permits men to call God father.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 5:29

2 Answers 2


You are conflating ‘man’ with ‘nations’….

EXODUS 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn.

When Isaiah says … “For You are our father”, he is speaking on behalf of the people [nation]. A prophet speaks to ‘the people’ on behalf of God and to God on behalf of ‘the people’.

GAL 4:6 And because you are sons [snip]

Where as in Galatians Paul is saying that they themselves [believers] are sons.


Heres some notes.

Verse 16 Thou art our Father. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 32:6 ).

Father. A rare word in this connection. Compare Isaiah 64:8 .

Redeemer. See note on Isaiah 60:16 .

Bullingers notes.

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