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Hebrews 1:1-2 WEB

God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.

Do the verses above show that there was a period of time when the son was not active in divine revelations?

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    This looks very suspiciously like an attempt at a "gotcha" question. I will not be drawn by such questions. That is, it is an attempt at logical entrapment.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 8:27
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    Sonship is a temporal office with respect to the incarnation. The Son only began with Jesus, the son of man.
    – Michael16
    Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 11:27
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    @Dottard Good nose! Yes, it could be potential viewpoint swarming bait. So, I will allow it for my part, but I will also keep an eye on it. All, let's keep it civil. Cheers!
    – Jesse
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 10:11
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    Sorry, was not aware of this Q. until about 2 hours ago and have been pondering it and the subsequent answers ever since. I'm giving it a "thumbs up", although I do see why it has caused some consternation. The pre incarnate Jesus (the "Word" that is), being the "Monogenes", the only begotten - John 1:14,18, I construe as a "Son" of a sort, consequently, from my perspective, the "Son" has always been active (at least from the begetting) in divine revelations. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 11:49
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    @OldeEnglish. No problem. It is good to hear from you again. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 11:55

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To think that in pre-incarnate times the Father and the Holy Spirit were busy in revealing to the prophets Their divine will, while the Logos lay idly on an immaterial 🏖 in front of an immaterial ocean and drank immaterial pina coladas, is preposterous, for He would not give such a bad example to both two other divine Hypostases and the prophets themselves :)

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  • I think this is the first time I've up-voted an obviously bad answer. (And "laid⇒lay" and "drunk ⇒drank" aren't the only reasons for "bad"). Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 16:35
  • @RayButterworth oh, thanks for the feedback and corrections, I have changed those two words! As to my post, I just expressed through a joke a reductio ad absurdum) Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 20:12
  • LOL I'm not going to rain on a parade when you've drawn some positive responses. However, for the sake of preserving academic quality, your current answer has an "appeal to the stone" fallacy. You might at least quote and cite St. Augustine "He was preparing hell for those that pry into mysteries" smh.com.au/entertainment/books/… to support that appeal. And, thanks for this.
    – Jesse
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 10:04
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    @Jesse Thanks) actually that quote does not belong to St Augustine, he just says that he will abstain to using this famous pious joke, but rather try to answer on a theological level. Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 10:08
  • Fair enough. I think with these comments, the point stands that some hermeneutical questions about the Bible present a curiosity that cannot be answered, and we only know they can't be answered from a philosophical answer. This may be an example. And, the historical footnote about St. Augustine having at least addressed an essentially similar question proves that your answer isn't completely out of line. So, this answer has been reviewed. Thank you and let's all avoid getting too chatty.
    – Jesse
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 10:16
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If we read on into the next chapter, it becomes evident that the writer is identifying the Son with Jesus, who is introduced by that name in ch2 v9. John ch1 does the same thing, speaking of the role of the Word in creation (vv1-2) and then telling us that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (v14), finally identifying him as Jesus Christ in v19.

The time when the Son was active in divine revelation was when he was walking about the earth as Jesus, speaking in God's name. This is what the writer of Hebrews is talking about when he says that salvation "was declared at first by the Lord and it was attested to us by those who heard him" (ch2 v3).

So yes, there was a time when he was not active in revelation on his own account because he was not yet born as man,

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In these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages; YLT

"Do the verses above show that there was a period of time when the son was not active in divine revelations?"

God's Word has been sent forth in many forms and the last form the word of God took was as His as the son of man, as well as the son of God. The word of God may have taken form as the angel of the Lord in the past.

NOW the word of God became flesh and taking a brand new form as the Son of man, and the Son of God. He now speaks from a whole new different perspective. Israelites are learning the greatness of who is now speaking to them. It is a brand new voice and who He is, what he has done, is written throughout the whole book of Hebrews.

God used many different voices, forms and ways of speaking to His people in the past.

4187 polytrópōs (an adverb, derived from 4183 /polýs, "many in number" and 5158 /trópos, "way, manner") – properly, many manners (avenues); (figuratively) the multitudinous (infinite) number of ways God shares His Word to (in) people. This includes revealing Himself in the OT when speaking through (in) the Hebrew prophets in dreams, visions, etc. It is used only in Heb 1:1.

The difference is like one person can be a judge as well as a father and speak differently depending upon the role he is speaking from. His son could come before him in a court of law and he would have to be acting as a Righteous judge before his son and may pronounce a grievous sentence on him and then stepping down from the bench could hug his son and pay his fines...

My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it. Isaiah. 55:11

This word of God has now become very personal since men can relate to the Word of God that became a man, and knew all of men's weaknesses and temptations. He is gentle and humble in heart and not to be afraid of, unlike the fire and lightning that thundered when Moses was up on the mountain speaking to God:

This is a brand new way of speaking to the Hebrew people in the form of His son. He was revealing God the Father to them.

OP's question;

"Do the verses above show that there was a period of time when the son was not active in divine revelations?"

The word of God is always active in divine revelations, but not active as the form of the Son of God until He was sent to them in the flesh. The word of God that was sent to them is revealing brand new things never yet been revealed in the Son of God.

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Jesus was always active in divine revelation.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1,2 NIV)

What the author of Hebrews is showing is that, ever since Moses's time the main way that the Lord communicated with his people were through a prophet: someone who would hear a message from God and tell it to the people,as we can see in many examples: Moses, Isaiah, Elijah and so on.

Some examples:

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. (Ex 33: 7-9 NIV)

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! (Isa. 1:10 NIV)

After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” (1 Kings 18:1 NIV)

But now, at the time the author of Hebres was writing, God had spoken directly to the people, through the words, ministry and life of His Son, Jesus Christ. That is, God Himself is speaking to us on the Second Person of the Trinity, as Jesus Himself said.

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10 NIV)

In summary, what is being revealed is not that Christ was not active and now is, but that our connection with God is made through a much more direct means, since our intercessor is now not just a mere human, but the Son of God Himself, as the author will show further in the book:

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.. (Hb 7:23-25 NIV)

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hb 4:14,15)

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics.SE! 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.
    – agarza
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 3:05
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    "Jesus was always active in divine revelation." Jesus wasn't born until 2000 years ago. The verse you quoted J 1:1 says nothing about Jesus, because the word wasn't made flesh yet.
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 8:29
  • Welcome to the site, Caio. That's a V.G. answer. Someone has picked you up on your 1st sentence, "Jesus was always active in divine revelation" to say there was no Jesus prior to the Word being made flesh. Technically, that is correct but if you'd quoted Jn1:1 with vs. 14-15, that would have prevented that criticism. For this Word became flesh, identified as Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist adding that "he was before me". These are not separate identities; the Word existed before John (and Abraham), revealed to humanity as Jesus. But some love to argue this matter, baiting others. Be aware!
    – Anne
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 12:42
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    What we need is more technically correct and less imaginative and traditional rewriting of the biblical text. Jesus was not always active because he wasn't born yet. This is not a minor distinction but the truth provided. If most want to change John's words, or God's, that is their risk to take. An honest biblical scholar/reader will not bend the truth to match the dogma, but point out the error dogma provides for anyone who cares. Most would rather the dogma initiated by the so-called church fathers.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 8:55
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    @Anne this is BIBLICAL hermeneutics. It isn't about rehearsing traditional information/language no matter how revered. If it conflicts with the bible then it has no use. His good-looking, but inaccurate answer had issues that I am entitled to query and hope that he may respond himself. Does he need you to defend his errors? Those ideas are best left to C-SE where anything goes. It's not 'my' hobby horse - it's what the bible says. Most prefer the trinity style of reading into the text that which is simply not there.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 11:14
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Please notice the very first word at Hebrews 1, "GOD." In other words, "God" spoke first to the prophets, and through the prophets via many "messengers" and many methods. This would include the angel of the Lord speaking prophecies to those God had chosen to reveal Himself. In short, He made His will known to them and to us.

At Hebrews 1:1-2 the writer is stating that Jesus Christ is the greatest messenger. God's purpose in manifesting Himself throughout human history has been to communicate and make Himself known to man. In this sense we can say that God's manifestation is His messenger.

This was brought out at a number of places including at Genesis 16:7 when the angel of the Lord explained to Hagar that he would multiply her descendants. Hagar stated at vs13 that she saw God and lived to tell about it. Then at Genesis 17:1-2 the Lord God Almighty appears (physically) to Abraham and says He will multiply his descendants.

One more example can be found at Exodus 3:2 where the angel of the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush. At vs4, "When the Lord saw that he/Moses had turned aside to look, GOD called to him from the midst of the bush. At vs6, "He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

I'm positive I addressed your question which was, "When did God started speaking to us through His son according to Hebrews 1:2?" If, you or others still think or believe the angel of the Lord is an actual angel I give Hebrews 2:16. "For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants to Abraham.

In other words, the work of Christ influences the whole universe (Ephesians 1:9-10, "He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him, vs10, "with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth, In Him."

Christ redemptive work was not done for angels but for mankind. The author pointed out that the Son identified himself not with angels but with the nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham and for those who have faith.

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  • Context is key! In 2:16, it's not so much that Jesus is not partial to helping/taking hold of, angels, period. A differential is being made here, between the spirit world and the earthly seed of Abraham, as to who is to truly benefit from his redeeming act. Exodus 3:2, is just like the President of the USA being initially introduced by the appropriate government official, at say the "State of the Union". Gen, 16:7,13 Hagar here is found by the "angel of the Lord", who later wonders, by way of question to God, Himself, if she has actually seen Him, something forbidden after all. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:02
  • Old English Those "divine revelations" (actual physical appearances") began in the OT where the preincarnate Son was known as angel of the Lord. He multiplied Hagar's descendants at Gen. 16:9. Tell me, at Gen. 17:1-2 the Lord God Almighty appeared physically to Abram and multiplied his descendants. Did the same being who multiplied Hagar's descendants the same being who multiplied Abram's descendants? At Gen 22, read vs11, 12, 15,16,17-18. Who swore the oath to Abraham? Was it the angel of the Lord? Btw, the Hebrew word for angel is "malak." It simply means messenger and not an actual angel.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 22:22
  • You, and many a theologian even, assume too much when you imply that God spoke "face to face" with the likes of Abraham (to take the most likely candidate), but this cannot have been, despite what would appear to have happened... No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten god (small g) who is in the bosom of the Father, he (small h) has explained Him. - John 1:18 NASB, (but without the obvious mis-capitalizations). The only begotten god here is that preincarnate son, aka, the AOTL, who should NOT be construed as (G)od in the flesh. That would be trinitarian bias. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 1:18
  • ..... Plain and simple. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 1:25
  • Instead of giving your opinion by telling me I "assume" to much why don't you at least try and make an attempt to address my question? I know all about John 1:18. I know all about God cannot be seen even according to Jesus Himself at John 5:37 and John 6:46. I also know all about God speaking to Moses "face to face etc. So again, here's my question? Since God cannot be seen can you please explain who appeared to Abraham at Genesis 17:1-2? The one who identified Himself as the Lord God Almighty? Also, Genesis 18:1 says "the Lord "appeared physically to Abraham, who was it Mr. plain and simple?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 1:38
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Jesus was speaking directly to the people - which is the comparison with how God spoke to the people in ages past through and by His prophets and messengers - during His earthly ministry of 3-1/2 years from about 26 - 31 AD, Since we know when Jesus was speaking directly to the people, then that makes Heb. 1:1-3 one of the time text definitions for "the end of these days".

The end of "these days" referred to the end of the old Mosaic covenant which is one of the center messages of Hebrews - the passing away of the old covenant, the annulling of the Mosaic law.

"3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." (heb. 8:3-7, KJV)

"In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Heb. 8:13, KJV)

The last days, and the end of these days spoken of in the New Testament books referred to the end of the Mosaic age / covenant, and not as some suppose to the end of the physical cosmos / world. It is the same meaning we find in 1 Pet. 1:20:

"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," (KJV)

We know that Jesus was manifested on earth in the 1st century AD, therefore "these last times" which Peter spoke of happened in the 1st century AD, and were the last days of the Mosaic covenant.

"For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." (Heb. 7:12, KJV)

"For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Heb. 9:26, LJV)

When did Jesus die on the cross? During what we know as the 1st century AD. So, when was the "end of the world" Hebrews refers to? During the 1st century AD.

See more at my blog:

  1. What Does The Bible Really Say About These Last Days - ShreddingTheVeil

  2. Time Texts of The New Testament - ShreddingTheVeil

  3. Testing The Spirits- Part II: The End - ShreddingTheVeil

  4. Testing The Spirits - Part III: Daniel's Lot - ShreddingTheVeil

And many more. The scriptures define the last days spoken of throughout both old and new testaments as the last days of the Mosaic covenant, and the last days of that old animal sacrificial temple in Jerusalem which became profane once Christ died for all (Heb. 7:27; Heb. 10:10).

But, who was speaking to the people as one of the messengers / angels during the previous generations of the Old Testament but the Angel of the Lord (Gen. ch. 16, 22; Ex. 3:2; Num. 22:22; Jud. 2:1, etc)? Jesus has been actively involved in revelation of God's word from the beginning.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, KJV)

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Oh Alex, it's rather obvious that if God the Father is now speaking through His Son in these last days then the Son could not have spoken in the Old Testament as the angel of the Lord.

What you really have done is make your position even worse. At Hebrews 1:2 the Father appointed His Son as the heir of all things, and in fact "through" the Son and "by" the Son He made the world. I know specifically the word "by" is not there, but it there at John 1:3 and at Colossians 1:16.

At Hebrews 1:3 the Son is the exact representation of His Father's nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. In continuing to read further in the chapter we come to vs6, "And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him."

The obvious question that comes to mind or should be realized is the fact that Jesus is "NOT" an angel which I have trying to explain to you on numerous occasions. Then at vs8, But of the Son, the Father says, "Thy Throne O God is forever and ever.

Jumping to vs10 the Father says referring to His Son, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Thy hands." This verse is completely "consistent" with John 1:3 and Colossians 1:15.

Now, getting back to you giving Zechariah 1:12-13! Do you really think that these verses are going to "negate" all that was said starting way back at Genesis through the Book of Zechariah? You keep saying that God spoke and not the angel of the Lord at Exodus 3:2-6.

Can you please tell me why the angle of the Lord is in the midst of the burning bush in the first place? What purpose does he serve? This in view of the fact that vs 4 says, "God called to him/Moses from the midst of the bush?

In any event, at Genesis 26:2-5, the Lord appeared to Isaac and tells him what land to live in. At vs3 God tells him, "I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham."

Moving on to Genesis 31:11-13 we have the angel of God saying to Jacob in a dream. Vs12, And the angel of God said, "Lift up now, your eyes and see that all the male goats etc. And I have all that Laban has been doing to you.

Vs13, "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me, now arise and leave the land, and return to the land of your birth."

Right here, as plain as day the angel of the Lord/God claimed He was the God of Bethel. This vow can be found at Genesis 28:13, "And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; and the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants."

The point of this exercise is to "again" show you that the angel of the Lord/God spoke in the burning bush and has been speaking as the God in all of these situations. Alex, you cannot be like the guy that whistles in the dark, hoping the dark will go away. I've presented nothing but Biblical facts. You have presented questions and have gone out of you way to "diminish" the identity of the angel of the Lord, it won't work.

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    Your comment "the account clearly states the angel of the Lord was speaking, read vs4." is not true, it is not shown in Exodus 3:2-6, then you said "" Alex, I agree it was God who spoke because the angel of the Lord is the preincarnate Jesus Christ" Exodus 3:2 - 6 does not show the angel spoke nor does it hint that the angel is Jesus. Where do you base your answers and comments from which you say are biblical facts? Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 1:47
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    You also did not answer how can the Angel of the Lord be God himself in Zechariah 1:12-13, who asked God for information and received comforting words. Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 1:54
  • Alright Alex, I gave you Genesis 22:15-16 so I will give it to you again. Vs, 15, "Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, Vs16, "AND SAID, "BY MYSELF I HAVE SWORN DECLARES THE LORD, because (or why) you have done this thing, and have NOT withheld your son, your only son." This event is confirmed by the writer of the book of Hebrews at Hebrews 6:13, "For WHEN GOD made the promise to Abraham, since He could not swear by no one greater, HE SWORE BY HIMSELF." Now think for a second? Do you really think that God would have Abrahams son sacrificed to an angel?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 2:09
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    You keep changing the subject. You said that the Angel of the Lord is the preincarnate Jesus. Which is an assumption without any proof, but granting that he is, why did the angel of the Lord asked the Lord Almighty for information and received comforting words if he is God Almighty. Does the Angel of the Lord not know the answer to his question? Why is the angel of the Lord always called angel? Is God an angel? Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 3:22
  • No Alex, I am not changing the subject. My question above is very specific and you did not address it except to say, (just about all the time) the angel was not speaking. And the proof is in the words themselves which you dismiss out of hand. Then what you do is raise new questions. Plus, I have told right from the start that "AOTL" is not an actual angel. I gave an example of John the Baptist being called an angel but is a human being. It's right there at Malachi 3:1 which I gave you. I can give an answer of the Zechariah verses, it will be lengthy, but first address what I said.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 21:36

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