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Is there a plurality of two persons speaking in this verse?

I’m not certain but here is the text:

Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands. (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭11‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬)

The NET seems to deny that idea:

This is what the Lord says, the Holy One of Israel, the one who formed him, concerning things to come: “How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands! (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭11‬ ‭NET‬‬)

The NKJV says:

Thus says the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. (Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

What does the actual text indicate?

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  • 1
    The "and his maker" is simply in apposition to "the Holy One of Israel". That is, the same person, the LORD. The verb "says" is singular and there can only be one person.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 19:49
  • @Dottard Ah yes, translation ambiguities.
    – Cork88
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 20:28

3 Answers 3

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In the King James Version, the text reads:

Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (Isaiah 45:11, KJV)

No matter how one considers this, the "his Maker" must necessarily reference two persons, for no one creates himself. The only question of importance, then, is who is the antecedent for "his."

Attempting to fit a description of Jesus, the Son, in company with the Father here does not work for two reasons:

  1. The word translated as "the LORD" is actually the sacred name of God, i.e. "Yahweh" in Hebrew.

  2. This word "Yahweh" is stated to be "the Holy One," meaning these two are one and the same entity.

Because the only title remaining, "Maker," must necessarily reference the Father, it cannot be a second person. This leaves all three references, i.e. "the LORD", "Holy One", and "Maker" as being the same personage. Among these terms we cannot find a second person.

Who, then, is the second person? There is only one remaining name in the text: Israel. "The LORD," who is "the Holy One," is Israel's "Maker."

Conclusion

There is One who is speaking: the second person--spoken of in the grammatical third person--who is not speaking, is Israel. Israel's Maker is both his LORD, and Holy One. (Note that the text is ambiguous as to whether the one being addressed is Israel, a son of Israel, or someone else.)

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With a little homework you can see:

Isaiah 64:8 (NIV):

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Psalms 95:6 (NIV):

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

Psalms 100:3 (NIV):

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture

Jeremiah 51:19 (NIV):

He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the people of his inheritance, the Lord Almighty is his name

So in the OP verse, Isaiah 45:11, it should be clear that and his Maker, the maker of Israel, is another reference to God, the one and only God, the subject of the sentence in this verse. And it should also be clear from these verses that viewing God as our creator, our maker, is an OT theological tenet.

The OT books are uniformly about the unity and singularity of God, so any OT translation that looks like it might remotely be hinting otherwise needs careful review.

The MT for this verse is:

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיֹצְרוֹ הָאֹתִיּוֹת שְׁאָלוּנִי עַל בָּנַי וְעַל פֹּעַל יָדַי תְּצַוֻּנִי

The verbs אָמַר, sayeth, שְׁאָלוּנִי, question me, תְּצַוֻּנִי, you would command Me are all singular. The noun forms בָּנַי, my sons, פֹּעַל יָדַי, the work of my hands are singular.

The and in and his maker is necessary in Hebrew (וְיֹצְרוֹ) to prevent the his in his maker from referring to God, as if Israel created God, but this and is superfluous and confusing in the English translation, as the OP indicates. It appears that the NET translators recognized this problem and left out the and for clarity. Yet another example of how over-literal translations can confuse readers.

So, there really isn't any way, or reason, to read his maker as an additional subject persona.

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"and His Maker", meaning His Father or Father in Heaven, referring to two persons. The Lord, who is one and His Father is one, who created Him. Literally "the Father and the Son" He does not say "the Lord of whom I made myself", but rather "The Lord, the Holy One of Israel and HIS MAKER. This identifies two separate and distinct persons. Pinocchio and his maker Geppetto- as an example. Clearly the Lord also speaks of His "sons" as also separate or His sons and daughters who are of the covenant

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