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Isaiah 43:11

New American Standard Bible 1995

11 “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.

43:11 The Westminster Leningrad Codex

11 אָנֹכִ֥י אָנֹכִ֖י יְהוָ֑ה וְאֵ֥ין מִבַּלְעָדַ֖י מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

Isaiah 43:25

New American Standard Bible 1995

25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.

43:25 The Westminster Leningrad Codex

25 אָנֹכִ֨י אָנֹכִ֥י ה֛וּא מֹחֶ֥ה פְשָׁעֶ֖יךָ לְמַעֲנִ֑י וְחַטֹּאתֶ֖יךָ לֹ֥א אֶזְכֹּֽר׃

In Isaiah 43:11 & Isaiah 43:25, one can see the "I, even I" phrase being used. From my perspective, said verses are an example of a Duet in Literature. To elaborate, the "I, even I" phrase refers to the Father & Son persons of the Trinity/Triune God respectively.

In Isaiah 43:25, I can sort of give an explanation:

Isaiah 43:25

New American Standard Bible 1995

25 “I(Father God), even I(Son of God), am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I(Father God) will not remember your sins.

In said verse, both "Father God" and The Son of God are involved in wiping away transgressions of people because

  1. "Father God" willing put His Son to Death on The Cross in order to wipe away transgressions.

  2. Furthermore, The Son of God willingly accepted being led to Death on The Cross for transgressions.

  3. Finally, the aforementioned Death needed to happen in order to "Father God" to Not remember sins.

Is the use of the aforementioned phrase an example of a Duet in literature that involves the Father & Son persons of the Trinity(Triune God) speaking in an interleaving manner?

Related Postings: Use of "I, even I" and similar phrases

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  • 2
    Do you mean "duet" As in "a performance by two people, especially singers, instrumentalists, or dancers"? In this case it would be two people speaking alternately?
    – David D
    Feb 28 at 17:41
  • 1
    @DavidD Yes, something like that. For lack of better words & phrases, I called it a "Duet in literature" for this case. Please feel free to correct me. :) Feb 28 at 18:09
  • 1
    @Anne Please see my answer below.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 28 at 18:39
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    The "problem" here is that almost all these texts in Isa 41 - Isa 45 are quoted in the NT as applying to Jesus - your "duet" claim makes Jesus two people. The "I, even I" idiom is simply reinforcing the fact that God did this without help and personally. That is, God did this without delegation.
    – Dottard
    Feb 28 at 20:29
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    @Dottard The "duet" is clearly identified as Father and Son. It does not make Jesus two persons. The fact Isaiah 41-45 is cited in the NT can be seen as part of the answer. OT has I, I. However, the Son was sent and speaks only what the Father says. What is spoken and heard in Isaiah is I, I what is spoken and heard in NT is only I but always has an implied unspoken I [Father]. Feb 29 at 2:38

2 Answers 2

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There is some evidence that this construction is, in Hebrew, indicative of a duet.

The same construction is used in Deborah's song, which is a duet involving both Deborah and Barak.

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. [Judges 5:1-3]


  1. Praise ye the LORD who did avenge his people Israel.

When willingly themselves did give, ‘twas then they did prevail.

  1. Give ear O kings and princes, hear; I, I, a song will raise,

unto the LORD. To Isr’el’s God, the LORD, will I sing praise.

  1. When, LORD, thou wentest out of Seir, in marching thou went’st forth;

out of the field of Edom, then strong trembling shook the earth.

  1. The heavens dropp’d, as did the clouds drop water to the ground.

The mounts did melt before the LORD; e’en Sinai was not sound.

'Songs of the Witnesses' Belmont Publications

(Versed by Nigel Johnstone.)

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    Good points. When the Q was first posted, it said "Deut", not "duet"! Thankfully, "duet literature" has now been edited in to the Q, so all is clear!
    – Anne
    Feb 29 at 15:27
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The "I, even I" theme in Isa 43:11 & 25 is simply Hebrew idiom which is explained in the next phrase. Let us observe the following:

  • In the common translations of "I even I", the conjunction "even" or equivalent is absent. However, many English versions add this to make sense of the Hebrew.
  • the following verbs are singular

Isa 43:11

The Hebrew would most literally read, given the implied noun train:

I [am] me, Jehovah, [there is] no Savior but me.

This simply emphasizes the previous clause which declares that there is no God but Jehovah. The NT takes up this theme and says that Jesus is the only Savior, Acts 4:12.

Therefore, given the implied reference to the Shema in Deut 6:4, 5, that Jehovah is One, it is difficult to read this any other way.

Isa 43:25

This verse uses a similar Hebrew emphasis - Jehovah is simply saying that He personally blots out transgressions and that this task is not delegated to anyone else.

Now, while Jehovah is One ("echad", Deut 6:4) this does not prevent Jehovah being more than one person, any more than husbands and wives are said to be "one" (Gen 2:24) but are more than one person. Jesus appears to allude to this in John 10:30 but that is another question.

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  • A Hebrew idiom? Why is an idiom found only in Isaiah 43:11, 43:25, and 51:12? Aren't you being dismissive of something which is quite rare in the OT? Feb 28 at 22:12
  • @RevelationLad - it is not as rare as you suppose. There are other places where God says "I am Iam", and, "I am he", etc. But that is another question.
    – Dottard
    Feb 29 at 1:25
  • Where beside Isaiah 43:11, 43:25, and 51:12 is אנכי אנכי found? Feb 29 at 1:37
  • @RevelationLad - there is a similar construction in Deut 32:39, Isa 48:15, Hos 5:14, Eze 5:8, Isa 45:12, 19, 51:12, etc.
    – Dottard
    Feb 29 at 1:56
  • Similar constructions might lead to similar English translations but they are not idioms in the original language. The phrase is unique to Second Isaiah which makes the use of אָנֹכִי even more notable since is אֲנִי considered to be preferred by later writers. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/5853/… Feb 29 at 2:28

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