The Old Testament teaching on the Holy Spirit paves the way for the New Testament depiction of the “Third Person” of the Trinity
For many Christians, speaking about the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament seems like an oxymoron and anachronism. First, there is the presupposition that this Gift of God is with believers only after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2) and His activities afterward (chapters 3–28). Against this claim stands plentiful material about the work of the Spirit of the Lord/God in the Hebrew Bible. Second, there is the misunderstanding of the statement: “Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:39, NIV).1
Christ’s proclamation does not mean that the Holy Spirit was not present, active, and engaged during the Old Testament period. Ample evidence testifies against this popular standpoint. In this context, however, it signifies that the action of the Spirit of the Lord was in anticipation of Christ’s glorification: Jesus’ victory on the cross, resurrection, and ascension.
James Hamilton states: “The sense in which the Spirit is yet to be given is that believers are about to receive Him at the glorification of Jesus.”2 In other words, the cross of Jesus—His glorification (John 13:31, 32; 17:1-5)—was authentication for the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament period of time and thereafter. The triumphant death of Jesus historically validated His activities, and His glorification was a seal for the involvement of the Holy Spirit in ancient times. Thus, the Cross was the prerequisite for the giving of the Spirit of God to the world, and at the same time the justification and affirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament dispensation. His activity was real and in full measure but depended as always upon the openness, cooperation, and readiness of God’s people.
In the same way, the forgiveness of sins and guarantee of salvation for the Old Testament saints, believers in a living Lord, was secured at the Cross. They were saved by God’s grace through faith in view of His death (Eph. 1:4-10; Rev. 13:8). In anticipation of Jesus’ victory over Satan on the cross, grace was already applied to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they sinned (Gen. 3:9, 15, 21). In anticipation of Jesus’ victory, they were justified and saved.
There was never any other way of salvation except through Jesus (Acts 4:12). His death began not only a new dimension of His life but also approved and authenticated all that was done before in Old Testament times. John affirms the theological meaning of Christ’s death by underlining that the Lamb “was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), even though historically speaking, Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago. Thus, God forgave Adam and Eve their sin, because of grace that streamed from Calvary. The Old Testament believers could experience the assurance and joy of salvation.
It is highly significant to recognize that in comparison to the written material from the Ancient Near Eastern texts, the biblical teaching about the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord has no parallel. Lloyd Neve correctly observes: “No other nation in the Ancient Near East spoke of gods as having a spirit. In a peculiar people with a singular Lord it was a unique concept.”3 Nowhere in those texts can one find an expression “the spirit of [such and such god or gods].” Names of pagan gods are not associated with their own spirit or any spirit.
Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to elaborate on the Spirit of the Lord because the Holy Spirit is a very humble Person. He does not like to speak about Himself but about the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father (John 16:12-15) and influences the lives of people (Matt. 12:31, 32). It has to do with His role within the Godhead: He stands in the background and points to the other members of the divine We in the plurality of fellowship, in the community of the Godhead that we call the Trinity or Triune God because we have no better vocabulary to describe Divinity). This is probably why the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is an overlooked topic in biblical studies.
Alister McGrath speaks about the Holy Spirit as “the Cinderella of the Trinity.”4 In Christian studies, stress is usually placed on Jesus Christ and Christ-centered teaching because He is our Savior; or on the Heavenly Father, who is our Creator. As it is in the fairy tale of Cinderella, the main attention is given to the two sisters, so the theme of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is somehow on the periphery of Christian thinking, and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is built on New Testament teaching. In addition, the Holy Spirit was behind the writing of the Holy Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), the only reliable source for knowing God. The Spirit of God is the ultimate Author of the Bible, and because He is humble and does not like to speak about Himself but points to the Father and to the Son, there is only little mention of or material about Him in the Scriptures. What is revealed, however, is very important, beautiful, and powerful.
The Hebrew Scripture contains rich and sometimes unique material about the Spirit of the Lord, so those specific thoughts are not repeated in the New Testament. To summarize the priceless teaching of the Hebrew Bible on the Spirit of God into one article is almost an impossible task. Crucial questions are: What can one know about the Holy Spirit on the basis of the Old Testament, from the Bible of Jesus Christ, His apostles, and the early church? Who is the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord?
The topic of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament is usually approached from a doctrinal point of view because people want to know if the Holy Spirit is a mere influence or a Person. Nevertheless, the main reason that the Bible speaks about the Holy Spirit is to point to His different functions and to testify that the Holy Spirit needs to lead us, and not that we should possess the Holy Spirit. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who must use us.
Basic Terminology and Statistics
The Old Testament word for “the Spirit” has a very broad semantic range. It can mean “wind,” “breeze,” “spirit,” “Spirit,” “life,” “mind,” “character,” “attitude,” “side,” and so forth. Its root most probably means to “breathe life,” “to be refreshed,” or “to revive.”5 The fundamental idea is that the Spirit gives, holds, and sustains life.
There are six basic meanings of the word translated as “spirit”:
● Natural: wind, breeze, air, blast
● Human: spirit, life, breath, mind, attitude, character
● Divine: Spirit (of God/the Lord, the Holy Spirit)
● Supernatural: unclean or evil spirit, ghost
● Abstract: spirit of falsehood, lying spirit, spirit of prostitution, spirit of judgment, spirit of wisdom
● Spatial: side, direction
The word translated as “spirit” occurs 389 times in the
Old Testament (378 times in Hebrew and 11 times in Aramaic).6 In carefully going through all of them, it must be stressed that some texts are quite difficult to categorize because of context, so the exact meaning of some occurrences is a matter of interpretation.
The first three occurrences of the term translated as spirit in the Bible are the following (italicized):
● “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2).
● “The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).
● “‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever’” (Gen. 6:3).
Two of these verses relate to the divine Spirit.
Only three Old Testament texts use the explicit terminology “the Holy Spirit”:
● “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11).
● “They rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them” (Isa. 63:10).
● “Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people—where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them” (Isa. 63:11).
In other texts of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “the Spirit of the Lord” or “the Spirit of God.” A sufficient example is found in Isaiah 63:10 to 14, where the Holy Spirit is identified as the Spirit of the Lord. That the Spirit of the Lord and the Spirit of God is the same is well attested in 1 Samuel 10. “The Spirit of the Lord” in verse 6 is named in verse 10 as “the Spirit of God.” Thus, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God refer to the same entity. The older testament likes to speak about the divine Spirit in terms of the “Spirit of the Lord” or the “Spirit of God,” but the New Testament translation of the Greek equivalent prefers the term “Holy Spirit.”
The Hebrew canon consists of:
● The Torah, the five books of Moses;
● The Prophets, the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings), and the Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 minor prophets); and
● The Writings (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles). How is the Holy Spirit presented in those sections?
and Writings—elaborate on the Spirit of God/the Lord in a special way. It is also significant to observe which Old Testament books teach what about the Holy Spirit. The subject is gradually developed until its climax in the New Testament.
In the Torah, the foundation of all biblical teaching, there are five direct passages about the “Spirit of God” and, surprisingly, none about the “Spirit of the Lord.” References to the divine Spirit occur 16 times in 15 verses, mainly in three books—Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers. These texts appear in the Pentateuch as follows:
1. Genesis 1:2. The first biblical mention of “the Spirit of God” describes His role and function at Creation. In the very beginning of the Creation account, a fundamental statement proclaims: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The word translated as “hovering” is used only here and in Deuteronomy 32:11, where it describes “to care,” “to protect,” “to cover,” and “to support” little ones by an eagle. Thus, the Spirit of God is not only at Creation, but He is also the Sustainer of the newborn planet Earth.
2. Genesis 6:3. The second occurrence is in the Lord’s statement: “‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal.’” The NKJV translates it as follows: “‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.”
The Spirit of the Lord’s activity is literally identified as “judging,” which means that He wants to justify, save, deliver, and vindicate people, but He is unable to do so, because people are stubborn or indifferent to His calling. God’s Spirit was striving with people, i.e., calling them to repentance before the Flood through His Spirit.
What would the Spirit of the Lord not do any longer? He would no longer be able to bring people to repentance and thus justify, save, deliver from their addictions to sin, and vindicate them. They were in rebellion, closed to His voice, so He was not able to do something for them; He could no more strive with them. They were living according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:4), as the next sentence indicates: “‘For he [humanity] is mortal [lit. flesh]’” (Gen. 6:3).
3. Genesis 41:38. Pharaoh said about Joseph: “‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’” This amazing statement made by a pagan ruler about the indwelling and endowing Spirit of God means that Pharaoh recognized that Joseph’s God had given him special abilities, insights, wisdom, and understanding. When one realizes that in the extra-biblical material there is no phrase like “the spirit of [name of particular] god,” then the biblical text provides a strong implication that the intention of the author (Moses) was to tell the reader that it was actually the Spirit of God in Joseph. This ambiguity is consciously left by Moses in the text. It is also crucial to recognize that it is actually the first explicit biblical occurrence of the indwelling power of the Spirit in a human being.
4. Exodus 15:8. “By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.” At the Exodus, God parted the sea and destroyed the Egyptian army through His divine judgment.
There are two possible understandings of God’s action. Does it happen: (a) “by the breath/blowing/blast of His nostrils” (anthropomorphism); or (b) “by/with the Spirit/spirit of His anger” (picture of negative judgment)? The context decides the precise meaning of these words, so the interpretation of the sentence is crucial. Due to the poetic language of Moses’s song, which is full of metaphors and intentionally conveys a double meaning, the context may then indicate that the stress is on God’s judgment in which the Spirit of God is involved.
5. Exodus 15:10. This verse is in parallelism to verse 8 and conveys the same idea: “But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.” One can also translate it: “You blew with your Spirit.” The Septuagint rightly expresses it as “you sent your Spirit/spirit.” Again, the double allusion can be in the background by Moses’ deliberate poetic choice of saying that God’s judging activity was performed by His Spirit and not only by the natural wind.
6. Exodus 28:3. “‘You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me’” (28:3, NASB). It is important to note the vocabulary used in the biblical text, namely, people are “filled with the Spirit” meaning that they receive special skills to do God’s work properly.
7. Exodus 31:3. The Lord said about Bazalel: “‘I have filled him with the Spirit of God.’” It is the Lord’s first explicit statement that He filled a person with His Spirit. It means that person is endowed with specific abilities and four of the Spirit’s gifts are enumerated. Bazalel was filled “with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”
8. Exodus 35:31. Bezalel was filled “with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.” This is a repetition of qualities stated in the previous passage.
Interestingly, the Holy Spirit does not occur in Leviticus, which is not surprising, because this biblical book deals with the sacrificial system, impurities laws, and ethics. However, the Holy Spirit is present in the symbols at the sanctuary, such as oil, light, and the shekhinah glory.7
9. Numbers 11:17. God stated to Moses: “‘I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.” The Spirit is like a fire that is not diminished when taken from Moses and given to others. The Spirit’s fire spreads on. The intention of the text is to stress that the elders received the same Spirit as Moses and that they obtained the gift of leadership to assist him. They were commissioned and enabled by God to do this enormous task.
10. Numbers 11:25a. “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with [Moses], and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders,” This is the fulfillment of God’s promise given in verse 17.
11. Numbers 11:25b. “When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.” Their prophesying was a one-time and unique event for them by which God demonstrated to others that they were set apart by Him for a special work and equipped and empowered for it by God Himself.
12. Numbers 11:26. “However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.” God confirmed the call of these two individuals to leadership even though they were not present with the other elders.
13. Numbers 11:29. “Moses replied, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them.’” Moses wished that all believers could prophesy, be spokespersons for God, and lead others into and upon the path of righteousness. This would not diminish but enhance God’s leadership role. Moses stayed humble and desired that others would have the same Spirit who enables for meaningful and effective service.
14. Numbers 24:2. “When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him.” When the Spirit of God was upon Balaam, he was empowered to prophesy about God’s blessings for Israel and the coming of the Messiah. For the first time in the biblical text, there occurs a statement that “the Spirit of God was upon” a person who was thus able to proclaim the Word of God. This is a prophetic formula.
15. Numbers 27:18. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand on him.’” Joshua is “a man in whom is the Spirit.” It is an explicit expression about the indwelling of the Spirit of God in Joshua, giving him the gift of wisdom and leadership. This time the Lord Himself declares this fact and not Pharaoh.
16. Deuteronomy 34:9. “Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.” The “spirit of wisdom” in this text may be a case of a circumlocution and/or a figure of speech, standing for the “Spirit” who gives or bestows wisdom, especially in light of Numbers 27:18: “The Lord replied, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him’” (NLT). It is important to observe that in light of Isaiah 11:2, the Messiah is filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and it is further explained that it means he received the Spirit of wisdom.
It is astonishing that there is only one statement about the Spirit of the Lord in the Book of Deuteronomy, and it is in the epilogue, which was not written by Moses. It is interesting that Moses, the man of the Spirit, does not once mention the Spirit of the Lord in his three sermons recorded in this book. Instead, he speaks about God’s love (more than in the rest of the Pentateuch), and how His love motivates our love response. Deuteronomy is a book of love, and love is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), so it may be that Moses speaks about the work of the Spirit in reference to love. This term includes the dimension of the Spirit. Only a new Moses, the prophet Ezekiel, and the ultimate new Moses, Jesus Christ, will speak powerfully and explicitly about the work of the Holy Spirit (Eze. 36:27, 28; John 14:16-18).
The Former Prophets
In regard to the Spirit of God, four observations are crucial about the Former Prophets of the Hebrew Bible:
● Surprisingly, the Book of Joshua does not use the term “the Spirit of God.” The Lord fulfills His promise and provides the promised land as a gift to His people, but there is no statement about the activity of the Spirit of the Lord in spite of the fact that Joshua, the main figure of the book, is called “a man in whom is the Spirit” (Num. 27:18). Even though the termSpirit is absent, it does not mean that God’s Spirit was not present in the lives of godly people. In Joshua 14:14, it is declared that Caleb “followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.” Isaiah reminds his readers that the Holy Spirit was among His people at the time of Exodus (63:11), and that “they were given rest [in the promised land] by the Spirit of the Lord. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name” (vs. 14). It is also true that they were not given a complete rest because of the unbelief and disobedience of many. And Nehemiah 9:20 states that God gave to His people His “your good Spirit to instruct them” and did not withhold the manna and water from them.
● Paradoxically, in the time of unfaithfulness and apostasy during the period of the Judges, God’s Spirit was working extensively. The Lord sent them judges, and God acted, helped, and delivered His people from the oppression of their enemies and gave them freedom. In this way, the word of God assures readers that God was always ready to lead and help His people, and that He was not absent even in those days of disorder. If only they would have listened and cooperated, He would have put things in order and revived their lives.
The Book of Judges mentions seven times the work of the Spirit. According to this book, the Spirit of the Lord “came upon” the following individuals: Othniel (3:10); Gideon (6:34); Jephthah (11:29); and Samson (13:25; 14:6; 15:14). These seven occurrences of the phrase “the Spirit of the Lord” demonstrate that it was the Lord who commissioned the judges in Israel for their special work. He enabled them to deliver Israel from oppression, give them freedom, care for them, and lead them.
● 1 and 2 Samuel mention the activity of the Holy Spirit nine times mainly in relationship to the life of the first two kings in Israel, Saul and David. In this crucial time of salvation history when the monarchy was formed, it is recorded that Saul was filled with the Spirit of God and prophesied (1 Sam. 10:6; 11:6), and that his heart was changed under this influence. When the Spirit of God came upon Saul, he was a different person.
It is specified also about the second king that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1 Sam. 16:13). The Spirit was leading and giving him insights in order to do God’s will and stayed with him “from that day on” (vs. 13, NLT). The Spirit of the Lord inspired David to speak as he himself expresses it: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). From these instances one learns that the Spirit of the Lord can change lives, give a new heart and power, and stir people to speech and to actions.
In sharp contrast to these positive works of the Holy Spirit, the biblical narrator reports that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul because of his unbelief and rebellion against the Lord. As a result, instead of being full of the divine Spirit, he was possessed by an evil spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him” (1 Sam. 16:14). Saul began his reign very well but became a model of disobedience. That personal tragedy led to national disaster and defeat. It is stated four times explicitly (1 Sam. 16:15, 16; 18:10; 19:9) and once implicitly (16:23a) that the evil spirit of God/the Lord was controlling him. This tragic change and strange phenomenon in Saul’s life is explained by the preposition from: the “evil spirit from the Lord” came into king’s life to govern it (1 Sam. 16:14, 23a). One needs to understand the Hebrew thinking that is in the background: What God allows is viewed as an action of God; what He permits is portrayed as coming from Him (Job 1 and 2).
One possible additional occurrence regarding the Spirit may be found in 2 Samuel 22:16: “The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of breath from his nostrils.” The last phrase is quite difficult to translate literally, but the alternative rendering of this sentence may be: “At/from the blast/breath/blow of the Spirit of His anger.” Thus, this formulation can give the explanation to a parallel thought about the “rebuke of the Lord” mentioned previously in the verse. This rebuke would be God’s negative judging activity, namely, His anger expressed through the Spirit.
● Only five verses in 1 and 2 Kings speak of God’s Spirit. These are mainly related to the work of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, two of them in a hidden or “cryptic” way:
1 Kings 18:12 deals with Elijah’s sudden move or traveling from one place to another accomplished by the Spirit. Obadiah, the king’s servant, tells Elijah: “‘I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn't find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth.’”
In 1 Kings 22:24, “Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. ‘Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?’ he asked.”
In 2 Kings 2:9 and 15, Elisha wanted a double share of Elijah’s spirit, which should be taken as a reference to the Holy Spirit in light of Elisha’s desire to experience a spiritual power in his ministry that could come only from God. Elisha’s faithful ministry and mighty actions testify that the same Spirit who led Elijah guided and empowered Elisha. The group of “the sons of prophets” confirmed that Elisha continued the work of Elijah in the same power when they witnessed how he divided the Jordan River (as did Joshua and Elijah). In this way, Elisha’s ministry was authenticated: “‘The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha’” (vs. 15). The termspirit points beyond these two godly men to God, who commissioned them to ministry and equipped them for it by God’s Spirit.
2 Kings 2:16 refers to the hypothetical sudden movement or transportation of Elijah performed by the Spirit of God. After Elijah was taken by the Lord into heaven, the group of prophets said to Elisha: “‘Look, . . . we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.’ ‘No,’ Elisha replied, ‘do not send them.’”
The Latter (Major) Prophets
It is interesting that there is no reference to the Spirit of God in the Book of Jeremiah. He probably does not want to confuse his audience and/or readers with this notion, because he struggled with false prophets who made references to their spiritual experiences, like visions, dreams, and divinations (Jer. 14:14; 23:16). He tells plainly while playing with the meaning of the word translated as “spirit” that false prophets are not people of the Spirit but of wind (Jer. 5:13; 22:22), because there is no word of God in them.
The most occurrences in the entire Old Testament on the divine Spirit are in Isaiah and Ezekiel, altogether 47 occurrences.
The 20 instances of the term translated as “Spirit” in the Book of Isaiah are these:
1–4. 11:2 (four times). “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (NKJV).
5. 11:4. The Messiah will judge, “but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.”
6. 30:1. “‘Woe to the obstinate children,’ declares the Lord, ‘to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by mySpirit, heaping sin upon sin.’”
7. 30:28. “His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck.”
8. 32:15. “Till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high.”
9. 34:16. “It is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together.”
10. 40:7. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breathof the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.”
11. 40:13. “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?” (NKJV).
12. 42:1. “‘Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”
13. 44:3. “‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.’”
14. 48:16. “The Lord GOD has sent me [the Servant of the Lord], and his Spirit” (ESV).
15. 59:19. “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (NKJV).
16. 59:21. “‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the Lord. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,’ says the Lord.”
17. 61:1. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.”
18. 63:10. “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.”
19. 63:11. “Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them?”
20. 63:14. “They were given rest by the Spirit of the Lord. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name.”
In the Book of Isaiah, there are the strongest hints to the Trinity in the Old Testament (Isa. 11:1, 2; 42:1; 48:16; 61:1, 2; 63:8-10).
In the Book of Ezekiel, the word translated most often as “spirit” is employed 27 times, the most of any book in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the first part of his book, Ezekiel stresses the movement of the Spirit of God who transports physically (even the prophet); but in the second part, one finds very important theological statements. Without an exaggeration, one can say that the teaching of the Hebrew Bible about the Spirit of the Lord climaxes in the Book of Ezekiel, where God promises that by His Spirit He will move His people to obedience (36:27).
1. 1:12. “Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.” Ezekiel sees in the first vision how the Spirit of God leads the movement of God’s chariot with His glorious throne on which is the presence of the Lord Himself (1:28).
2-3. 1:20. “Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”
4. 2:2. “As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.”
5. 3:12. “Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound.”
6. 3:14. “The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord upon me.”
7. 3:24. “Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: ‘Go, shut yourself inside your house.’”
8. 8:3. “The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.”
9. 11:1. “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east.”
10. 11:5. “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say . . . .”
11. 11:19. “‘I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spiritin them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.’”
12-13. 11:24. “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God.”
14. 18:31. “‘Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.’”
15. 36:26. “‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’”
16. 36:27. “‘“I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”’”
17. 37:1. “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.”
18-24. There is an intentional ambiguity with the term translated as “spirit” in the vision concerning the dry bones lying in the valley. These dry bones, representing Israel, can be resurrected to new spiritual life only by God’s Spirit. This is already firmly established in the immediate context of 36:26, 27. Now an illustration is added to make the point clear. The word designates God’s breath and at the same time His Spirit (see verses 5, 6, 8 to 10), but the primary stress is on the Spirit of the Lord, because the Spirit comes from Him (vss. 5, 6, 9, 14) and gives the real and full life (in contrast to verses 7 and 8). The Word of God needs to be proclaimed to the bones, so Ezekiel prophesies to them (see verses 4, 7, 9, 10, and 12), but only when the Word of God and the Spirit of the Lord work together can true spiritual life occur.
25. 37:14. “‘I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
26. 39:29. “‘I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.’” This is in sharp contrast to God’s frequent proclamation in the Book of Ezekiel that “I will pour out my wrath on you.”
27. 43:5. “Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”
The Latter (Minor) Prophets
Only five minor prophets speak about the Spirit of God: Hosea, Joel, Micah, Haggai, and Zechariah. The full phrase “the Spirit of the Lord” is used only three times. An additional eight times, only “the Spirit” is mentioned in this corpus of the Holy Scriptures:
1. Hosea 9:7. The prophet is called “the man of the Spirit”: “The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred” (ESV).
2. Hosea 13:15. There is a double meaning intended in the text: (a) physical wind and (b) divine Spirit. The metaphor of the east wind refers to the Spirit of the Lord, because the stress is on the Spirit of the Lord who judges. The context of this verse focuses on judgment which is more than a natural catastrophe: “‘An east wind from the Lord will come, blowing in from the desert; his spring will fail and his well dry up. His storehouse will be plundered of all its treasures.’”
3. Joel 2:28. God promises that He will bestow His Spirit on different groups of people without regarding their social status. The Spirit will unite and lead people to service: “‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.’”
4. Joel 2:29. More parallel details are added to the previous verse: “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” Note the inclusiveness of different categories of people in these two verses. There is no gender barrier in the Spirit’s work. The Holy Spirit enables all who are open to His leadership to serve, to fulfill God’s mission. They need only to be His willing servants.
5. Micah 2:7. “‘Is it being said, O house of Jacob: “Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient? Are these His doings?” Do not My words do good to the one walking uprightly?’” (NASB).
6. Micah 3:8. “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spiritof the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin.”
7. Haggai 2:5. “‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’”
8. Zechariah 4:6. “‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.’”
9. Zechariah 6:8. “Then he called to me, ‘Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.’”
10. Zechariah 7:12. “They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.”
11. Zechariah 12:10. “‘I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born’” (NASB).
Unexpectedly, in the biblical Wisdom Literature, there is little about the Holy Spirit. The phrase the “Spirit of God/the Lord” is not used in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, two wisdom books par excellence. This material underlines the fear of God. The Spirit who gives wisdom and is called the Spirit of wisdom (Ex. 28:3; Deut. 34:9; Isa. 11:2) is mentioned only in Psalms and Job. Other books in this section that mention the divine Spirit are Daniel, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
The following are found in the Book of Psalms:
1. 18:15. “The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils [anger].” One can translate the end of the verse in the following way: “at the blast of the Spirit of your anger.” The doubleentendre of the text alludes to two aspects of life: one to God’s anthropomorphic behavior and the second to the divine judgment when the Spirit is involved in the punishment.
2. 33:6. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
3. 51:11. “Do not cast me from your presence or take your HolySpirit from me.”
4. 104:30. “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”
5. 106:33. “For they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.”
6. 139:7. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”
7. 143:10. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
In the Book of Job, one can find the following references to the divine Spirit:
1. 4:9. “‘At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of his anger they perish.’”
2. 4:15. “‘A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.’”
3. 15:30. “‘He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God's mouth will carry him away.’”
4. 26:13. ‘“His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent’” (NLT).
5. 27:3. “‘As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils.’”
6. 32:8. “‘It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.’”
7. 33:4. “‘The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.’”
There is no statement about “the Spirit of God” found in Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther. In Proverbs 1:23, however, is an interesting declaration of wisdom: “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you” (ESV). If one connects the wisdom of chapter 1 (when the stage is set for understanding wisdom in the whole book) with the wisdom of Proverbs 8, representing the divine Person, “Co-Creator with Yahweh,” then this word translated “spirit” in 1:23 could be understood as the divine Spirit coming from the wisdom of God.
In the Book of Daniel, the Aramaic expression translated as “spirit” about the prophet Daniel is used five times and consistently proclaimed by pagan rulers. Nebuchadnezzar states three times that “‘the Spirit of the holy God’” is in him/you (Dan. 4:8, 9, 18, NKJV). Belshazzar recognizes of Daniel that “‘the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom’” (5:14). Even though there is an ambiguity in the usage of this Aramaic phrase in Daniel, if one understands that there are no statements in extra-biblical material about the “spirit of god(s),” so their declarations need to refer to Daniel’s special faculties, which come from the living God of Daniel (6:26). The author of this biblical book purposely left this ambiguity with the terminology, which, to a reader who is a believer in the true God and familiar with biblical revelation, is a hint and a reference to the “Spirit of God” without necessarily claiming that these three pagans had all these profound insights when they uttered this phrase. Daniel makes a deliberate parallel with Joseph, in whom was the Spirit of God (Gen. 41:38).
Ezra has no verses related to the Spirit, but Nehemiah mentions two important proclamations in relationship to the leadership activities of the divine Spirit:
1. 9:20. “You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.”
2. 9:30. “For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirityou admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples.”
In the last books of the Hebrew canon are six statements about the Spirit of God mainly in connection with leadership and prophesying:
1. 1 Chronicles 12:18. “Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the Thirty . . . .”
2. 1 Chronicles 28:12. “He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things.”
3. 2 Chronicles 15:1. “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded.”
4. 2 Chronicles 18:23. “Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. ‘Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?’ he asked.”
5. 2 Chronicles 20:14. “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah . . . .”
6. 2 Chronicles 24:20. “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest.”
Thus, only the books of Psalms and Job (the beginning of the Writings section) and Nehemiah and Chronicles (the end of Writings, the last section of the Hebrew Bible) speak about the work of the Spirit of God.
A Mere Power or Influence?
Is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord only a force according to the Old Testament? Can one speak about the person of the Holy Spirit, or is He only an emanation of God? It is true that nowhere in the Bible (in the Old or New Testaments) is the Holy Spirit designated as a person; however, the Holy Spirit acts, behaves, and does things only a person can accomplish. These hints or allusions in the Hebrew Scriptures help to uncover the Spirit’s identity. Consider the following examples in which the Holy Spirit is associated with a number of attributes only characteristic of persons and completely inappropriate for an influence or power:
● The Spirit teaches and instructs. “You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst” (Neh. 9:20).
● The Spirit leads and guides God’s people. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Ps. 143:10).
● The Spirit can be angry. “Should it be said, O house of Jacob: ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord angry? Does he do such things?’ ‘Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?’” (Micah 2:7).
● The Spirit encourages and admonishes God’s people. “For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples” (Neh. 9:30).
● The Spirit gives different abilities to do artistic work or perform leadership. “‘I [the Lord] have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts’” (Ex. 31:3).
● The Spirit reacts to human evil and leads people to repentance. “The Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years’” (Gen. 6:3).
● The Spirit spoke through His servants. The last words of David are significant: “‘The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue’” (2 Sam. 23:2).
● The Spirit dwells (“stands,” “lives,” “remains”) among God’s people. “‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear’” (Haggai 2:5).
● The Spirit came to, raised, and transported Ezekiel. “The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven” (Eze. 8:3).
● The Spirit gives instructions and plans for building the Temple. “He [David] gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord” (1 Chron. 28:12).
● On the other hand, people can rebel and grieve the Holy Spirit. “They rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them” (Isa. 63:10).
The result of these activities is crystal clear: the Spirit of the Lord/God is not a power but a divine Person. The prophet Zechariah rightly declares: “‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty’” (Zech. 4:6). This is a very explicit statement that the Spirit is not a mere might, power, or force. The Spirit of the Lord is a Person who gives power.
Functions and Roles of the Holy Spirit
The Person of the Holy Spirit has at least seven main functions in the Old Testament:
● The Spirit of God creates, but also sustains, provides for, cares for, and protects God’s creation. He is the Creator and the Sustainer of creation. The Spirit also gives life and beauty to God’s creatures. These features of the Spirit of the Lord are documented in the following texts: “The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2). “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30). “His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent” (Job 26:13, NLT). “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps. 33:6). This creating Spirit is the Sustainer, cares for creation and each individual, and is concerned about ecological problems. If the Holy Spirit is the Creator, then He is able to re-create, reshape, and put together again our life and the world.
● The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, guides people to repentance and back to God, and judges. He is the Leader and Judge. The Spirit of God is involved with judgment in a number of instances (Ex. 15:8; Ps. 18:16; Isa. 11:4; Zech. 7:12). The Spirit leads the “physical” movement of God to the temple, according to the vision of Ezekiel 1 and 8 to 11, but the Spirit also guides people in the right spiritual direction if they are willing to be led (Ps. 51:11; Isa. 63:14).
The Spirit judges but does not want to condemn people, only desiring that they return to the Lord. He also creates faith, revives people, and performs reformation in their lives. The conditions of this new life are plainly described: “‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. . . . ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions’” (Joel 2:12, 13, 28).
● The Spirit of the Lord/God commissions individuals to a specific work. He gives spiritual gifts, and enables people to perform different tasks and accomplish assigned roles. He is the Giver—the empowering Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, God gave to Joseph and Joshua wisdom for their specific mission (Gen. 41:38, 39; Deut. 34:9); Bezalel and Oholiab artistic skills and knowledge in regard to building the tabernacle (Ex. 31:1-6; 35:30–36:2); the judges leadership capacities to give God’s people freedom, break the oppression of their enemies, and care for them.
● The Holy Spirit enables prophets to proclaim orally or in written form the Word of God and to prophesy. He is the Inspirer and Illuminator of God’s spokespersons. “They [God’s people] made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry” (Zech. 7:12).
This prophetic Spirit gives visions: “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God” (Eze. 11:24). “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8).
When the Spirit of God came upon the prophet Balaam, he could only pronounce the word from the Lord: “When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face toward the desert. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him . . . ‘Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord—and I must say only what the Lord says’” (Num. 24:1, 2, 13). In this context, the Spirit also inspired Balaam to utter one of the most profound prophecies concerning the Messiah (vss. 15-19).
● The Holy Spirit can move, lift up, raise, and transport His servants from one place to another. He is the Mover. The best examples are the prophets Elijah (1 Kings 18:12), and Ezekiel: “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord” (Eze. 11:1); “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court” (43:5).
● The Holy Spirit instructs and encourages. “You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst” (Neh. 9:20). He leads people to know and experience the truth, but He also gives teaching ability as, for example, in the case of Bezalel and Oholiab, the Messiah, and God’s faithful followers.
● The Holy Spirit changes and transforms lives. He is the Indweller, Sanctifier, and Re-Creator. He is the transforming Spirit. He abides with and in His people. He has the capacity to enable changes in our lives. The Spirit of God was not only empowering or endowing people in the Old Testament times, but He also was indwelling in them (Gen. 41:38; Num. 27:18; Eze. 36:27, 28).
The Spirit of God creates, regenerates, and resurrects to new life as is illustrated in Ezekiel 37:1 to 14 by the reviving and resurrecting of the dead bones. The Word and the Spirit of God brought life into completely dry bones. This is why God promises to give His Spirit to His people, because He wants to revitalize them to a new spiritual life. The fundamental biblical definition is unprecedented: the Word of God plus the Spirit of God equals life (Gen. 1:2, 3; Eze. 37:1-14). This is true for the physical as well as spiritual life. Only when the Word and Spirit of God are accepted will true life spring forth: “‘I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord’” (Eze. 39:29). “See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice . . . the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest” (Isa. 32:1, 15).
Nowhere else in the Book of Ezekiel is the divine “I” so overwhelmingly concentrated as in the literary unit of chapter 36, verses 22 to 32. This stress on the “I” of God is used 24 times. He is in action and takes initiative, and His Spirit brings and guarantees obedience: “‘“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”’” (vss. 25-27). The prophet Ezekiel explains how God will put His law in the mind of His people and how He will enable them to obey. This is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. These changes come as the result of the presence of the Spirit of God in one’s life.
Life in the Lord and in His Spirit brings a believer into harmony with God and His will. The sequence of actions is crucial: God gives grace, saves, and commands obedience, and in our response to His initiative of love, we need to make a decision to obey. (This is our part in the process.) However, we are unable to follow our decision and obey God’s law (Joshua 24:19). But God is here to help, so He gives His Spirit to His followers to accomplish it. For what God commands of His people, He always provides the means. God makes that obedience happen.
Thus, obedience is God’s gift and not our performance or achievement. We can only decide, and He provides the willingness and power to follow our decision. Both justification and sanctification are God’s gifts experienced through faith. We are justified through faith as well as sanctified through faith. All is provided by God’s grace and must be received through faith. Victory over sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit. The power of evil and slavery to sin is broken only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The literal translation of Ezekiel 36:27 emphasizes God’s doing: “‘And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.’” Thus, God’s law is put into our hearts only by the work of the Holy Spirit. And obedience is accomplished as well only by the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is the power of God to create a new life. He empowers people to accomplish God’s given tasks, enables them to live in conformity with His standards, and helps them lead others to Christ. He is the life-giving Person of the Godhead.
There is rich material about the Spirit of the Lord/God in the Hebrew Scriptures. When all 123 occurrences regarding the divine Spirit are put together, one can discover that the Old Testament thinking is open to perceive the Spirit as a divine Person as well as a manifestation of God’s presence.
This is why David prays: “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11). The psalmist’s questions in Psalm 139:7 point to the same observation: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” The prophet Isaiah stresses in Isaiah 63:11 to 14 that we need to listen carefully and be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit to do God’s will and accomplish His mission in our life. The Spirit of God helps in our everyday struggles, changes our character, enables us to serve and to powerfully witness to people about God’s goodness.
The Holy Spirit is immanent but also transcendent. His presence testifies of God’s presence but also brings this divine closeness into the lives of the believers. He is a Person who is separate from the Father or the Son, yet He is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7-12). His actions demonstrate that He is more than an influence or mere power. His powerful manifestations of His presence point to the fact that He is understood in the biblical witness as a divine Being. The Holy Spirit possesses attributes belonging only to God.
The Old Testament teaching on the Holy Spirit paves the way for the New Testament interpretation of this biblical theme. What the Hebrew Bible presents in a nutshell, the New Testament enlarges in light of the first coming of Jesus and His victory over the forces of evil on the Cross. These reflections are not radically new or different and do not contradict the Old Testament teaching regarding the Holy Spirit. It needs to be underlined that the same Spirit who worked in the Old Testament was active in the New Testament period and still is today.
Jiří Moskala Th.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology and Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references in this article are quoted from the New International Version of the Bible.
2. James M. Hamilton, Jr., God’s Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old & New Testaments (Nashville, Tenn.: B&H Academic, 2006), p. 62.
3. Lloyd Neve, The Spirit of God in the Old Testament (Tokyo: Seibunsha, 1972), p. 1.
4. Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1997), p. 279.
5. Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), pp. 924-926.
6. Abraham Even-Shoshan, A New Concordance of the Old Testament Using the Hebrew and Aramaic Text, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1993), pp. 1063-1066.
7. Michael E. Lodahl, Shekhinah/Spirit: Divine Presence in Jewish and Christian Religion (New York: Paulist Press, 1992).