The Many Expeditions of the Son of God (Micah 5:2)
The Jewish Encyclopedia, which is by no means Christian, has an article on the concept of the preexistence of the Messiah in ancient Judaism.
“Preexistence of the Messiah: This includes his existence before Creation; the existence of his name; his existence after the creation of the world. Two Biblical passages favor the view of the preexistence of the Messiah: Micah v. 1 (A. V. 2), speaking of the Bethlehemite ruler, says that his ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting’; Dan. vii. 13 speaks of ‘one like the Son of man,’ who ‘came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days.’ In the Messianic similitudes of Enoch (xxxvii.-lxxi.) the three preexistences are spoken of: ‘The Messiah was chosen of God before the creation of the world, and he shall be before Him to eternity’ (xlviii. 6). Before the sun and the signs of the zodiac were created, or ever the stars of heaven were formed his name was uttered in the presence of the Lord of Spirits (= God; xlviii. 3). Apart from these passages, there are only general statements that the Messiah was hidden and preserved by God (lxii. 6-7, xlvi. 1-3), without any declaration as to when he began to be. His preexistence is affirmed also in II Esdras (about 90 C.E.), according to which he has been preserved and hidden by God ‘a great season’; nor shall mankind see him save at the hour of his appointed day (xii. 32; xiii. 26, 52; xiv. 9), although no mention is made of the antemundane existence either of his person or of his name (comp. Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxix. 3). … “The ‘Spirit of God’ which ‘moved upon the face of the waters’ (Gen. i. 2) is the spirit of the Messiah (Gen. R. viii. 1; comp. Pesiḳ. R. 152b, which reads as follows, alluding to Isa. xi. 2: ‘The Messiah was born [created] when the world was made, although his existence had been contemplated before the Creation’). Referring to Ps. xxxvi. 10 and Gen. i. 4, Pesiḳta Rabba declares (161b): ‘God beheld the Messiah and his deeds before the Creation, but He hid him and his generation under His throne of glory.’ Seeing him, Satan said, ‘That is the Messiah who will dethrone me.’ God said to the Messiah, ‘Ephraim, anointed of My righteousness, thou hast taken upon thee the sufferings of the six days of Creation’ (162a; comp. Yalḳ., Isa. 499). The preexistence of the Messiah in heaven and his high station there are often mentioned. Akiba interprets Dan. vii. 9 as referring to two heavenly thrones—the one occupied by God and the other by the Messiah (Ḥag. 14a; comp. Enoch, lv. 4, lxix. 29), with whom God converses (Pes. 118b; Suk. 52a).”
Apart from the extra-biblical references above in Jewish writings, the Jewish Encyclopedia article mentions two main Old Testament passages that were understood by ancient Jews to refer to Messiah’s pre-human existence in heaven, Micah 5:2 and Daniel 7. The former refers to the Messiah’s “going forth” from Bethlehem, and the latter refers to the “Son of Man” coming in the clouds of heaven to reign in His Kingdom.
It is critical to understand that the ancient Jews did not understand two distinct Advents of the Messiah, his coming first to suffer, an interlude at the Father’s right hand in heaven, and then His coming from heaven to reign in HIs Kingdom. They envisioned one arrival of the Messiah to subdue the nations and establish His Kingdom. The prophecy of Psalm 110, which describes the Messiah being seated at God’s right hand in heaven prior to the time of His Kingdom, requires a literal preexistence prior to His arriving as Messiah, coming down from heaven. However, Christians understood this interval in heaven from these passages, and that His coming to reign would be at His second Advent not His first. Both Psalm 110 and Daniel 7, which describe the Messiah in heaven prior to His Kingdom, are critically important for properly understanding the Jewish expectations of a heavenly Messiah prior to and during the time of Christ.
Biblical Unitarians attempt to explain away several passages in John and Paul which refer to the Son’s preexistence in heaven and His coming down from heaven at His first advent. They have fabricated a false Jewish narrative which claims that certain things were spoken of as preexisting in heaven (such as the Law of Moses), yet the Jews understood that they had no tangible existence, only in the mind of God. Using this device, they claim that John’s and Paul’s preexistence statements must be viewed through this alleged Jewish way of thinking. Yet this is a false paradigm which cannot be demonstrated from the Scriptures, and which Jewish tradition does not readily support. Nor is there any reason to suppose that Paul’s and John’s audiences, who were primarily Gentile, could possibly impose this alleged Jewish paradigm and thus understand those preexistence Scriptures in the way that Biblical Unitarians interpret them. The Biblical Unitarian device is simply a fabricated mechanism for explaining away what the New Testament says in plain and easy to understand language. It is the epitome of subjective and forced handling of Scripture.
As stated above, the Jewish accounting of Daniel 7 required that the Messiah literally arrive from heaven to establish His Kingdom. A literal understanding of Psalm 110 was also impossible to reconcile with the interpretation of a purely human Messiah (which is why Psalm 110:1 is the most cited Old Testament Scripture in the entire New Testament).
For Christians who acknowledge two Advents of Messiah, neither of these passages prove a preexistence of Messiah in heaven prior to His first Advent. However, Micah 5:2 is a pivotal Old Testament prophecy for understanding why the ancient Christians believed the preexistence of Messiah before His birth in Bethlehem. The correct translation and understanding of this passage are absolutely critical for Christians who are grappling with the various theological systems regarding God and His Son, and for understanding why the earliest Christians consistently taught that the Son only preexisted from the beginning of creation, not from all eternity.
Most of our English versions incorrectly translate Micah 5:2 to make it conform to the Trinitarian concept of a co-eternal three-Person Godhead. The Jewish Bible (JPS), however, cannot be charged with having a Trinitarian bias, nor can the Septuagint (LXX) which was translated into Greek by Temple priest-scribes centuries before the birth of Christ. Here is the (non-Christian) Jewish Bible’s rendering of this passage.
Micah 5:2 (JPS) But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.
Of the Christian translations, Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Version are the most faithful to the Hebrew text.
Micah 5:2 (YLT) And thou, Beth-Lehem Ephratah, Little to be among the chiefs of Judah! From thee to Me he cometh forth – to be ruler in Israel, And his comings forth are of old, From the days of antiquity.
Micah 5:2 (CLV) 2 And you, Bethlehem Ephratah, inferior to be among the mentors of Judah, from you shall One fare forth for Me to become the Ruler in Israel; yet His farings forth are from aforetime, from days eonian.
The Hebrew term translated “goings forth” (JPS) and “comings forth” (YLT) is וּמוֹצָאֹתָ֥יו, defined by Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Lexicon as “1. his origin. 2. places of going out to, …”. Note that the Hebrew word is plural. As such it cannot refer to “origin” (which would be a singular event), but must refer to multiple actions, excursions or expeditions of the Messiah in ancient times. Some Christian versions translate it as a plural, but others incorrectly use the singular referring to a single event.
Also, what the JPS translates as “from ancient days” and the YLT renders “from days of antiquity” many Christian English versions render as “from eternity” or “from everlasting.” The NASB even has “days of eternity” which is an oxymoron because “days” only began to exist on “day one” of the six-day creation week.
All of the English translations which render this clause as referring to eternity are incorrect. They have imposed Trinitarian presuppositions onto the text and fail to accurately convey the meaning of the Hebrew text. This most important text regarding the pre-human activity of the Son of God is obscured in order to place the Trinitarian “God the Son” in eternity past as co-eternal with God, and to deny that He had an origin in time, as “the Beginning of the creation of God” and “the first-produced of all creation.”
We now turn our attention to the Septuagint, the Greek version that was read in the synagogues all over the Roman empire at the time of Christ.
Micah 5:2 (LXX) καὶ σύ Βηθλεεμ οἶκος τοῦ Εφραθα ὀλιγοστὸς εἶ τοῦ εἶναι ἐν χιλιάσιν Ιουδα ἐκ σοῦ μοι ἐξελεύσεται τοῦ εἶναι εἰς ἄρχοντα ἐν τῷ Ισραηλ καὶ αἱ ἔξοδοι αὐτοῦ ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, ἐξ ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος
The literal word-for word translation reads as follows.
Micah 5:2 (LXX) And you, Bethleem, house of Ephratha, are insignificant among the thousands of Judah; [yet] out of you shall go forth for me one to be for a ruler in Israel; and the expeditions of Him [were] from the beginning, out of days of the age.
The Septuagint was translated from the Hebrew text as it existed before Christ was born (prior to the Hebrew text being in the custody of the later unbelieving Jewish scholars). It was translated into Greek by Temple priest-scribes before Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, this version alone gives us both the most ancient reading as well as the unbiased Jewish scholarly understanding of the Hebrew text of this passage prior to the Christian era. It is not tainted by anti-Christian bias.
Where the Hebrew has “goings forth” (JPS) / “comings forth” (YLT) / “farings forth” (CLV), the LXX has αἱ ἔξοδοι (ai exodoi) “the exoduses” (plural of the word “exodus” which was repeatedly used in reference to Israel’s “exodus” from Egypt as in Exodus 19:1). Such a concept fits extremely well with the John’s repeated references to the Son’s coming down from heaven, especially with John 3:13 which is itself dependent on Proverbs 30:4 and the many appearances of the Angel [Messenger] of the LORD, such as in Judges 13:21.
Where the Hebrew (Masoretic) Text has “from of old” (which is not very specific regarding time vs. eternity), the LXX has “ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς” (from the beginning), exactly the clause in 1 John 1:1 and 1 John 2:13-4 which John applied to Jesus, who was ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς (from the beginning). This term refers to the creation week.
Where the Hebrew has “from ancient days” (JPS) and “from the days of antiquity” (YLT), the LXX has ἐξ ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος “out of days of the age.”
It is significant that many Christian versions omit the word “days” altogether, even though it is in both the Hebrew and the Greek texts. It is also significant that the terminology which clearly refers to finite time (such as “age”) are completely ignored and replaced with English words that refer to timelessness, “eternity” or “everlasting.” This mistranslation of the text is driven by Trinitarian bias, so as to make the text consistent with Trinitarianism’s eternal coexistence of the Son with the Father.
Finally, for a proper understanding of this verse it is critical to notice that both the Hebrew וּמוֹצָאֹתָיו (“goings forth” or “comings forth”) and the Greek LXX ἔξοδοι (“exoduses” or “expeditions”) are plural nouns, referring to multiple excursions or repeated past expeditions. However, Micah prophesied that in the future Messiah would “go forth” (singular) from Bethlehem to be the Messiah, the ruler in Israel.
The Greek word ἔξοδοι (exodoi) is the plural of ἔξοδός (exodos). This is the word used many times of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It is also used many times of people leaving a particular place, or of a particular king “going forth” to war against another nation. This is why I translated ἔξοδοι in Micah 5:2 as “expeditions.” It refers to leaving a place for a particular reason or mission. The plural form implies that Messiah left and returned multiple times in the past.
What is abundantly clear from this passage is that the one who was to “go forth” from Bethlehem has been on multiple “expeditions” previously, ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς (from the beginning”), and ἐξ ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος “out of days of the age.” “The beginning” refers to creation and “days of the age” refers to the period of time from creation to the birth of Christ. Therefore, the one to go forth from Bethlehem as the Messiah is the same one who has been sent on many previous expeditions. However, this passage says nothing at all about His existing before the creation, only “from the beginning.”
Who is it that has ascended and descended from heaven on multiple expeditions from God to mankind? It was “the Messenger of the LORD.” Here is one of several examples:
Judges 13:15-22 (NKJV) 15 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.” 16 And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.) 17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?” 18 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on – 20 it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar – the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”
Several times in the Old Testament when people are said to have encountered the Messenger of the LORD they then claimed to have seen God. Yet the New Testament is quite emphatic that “No one has seen God at any time.” Paul calls the Father “the invisible God” and “Him who is invisible.” Jesus Himself said to the Jews, “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” John was quite emphatic that it was the Son who appeared in ancient times. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” These pre-human appearances of the Son of God on earth as “the Messenger of the LORD” are the many “expeditions” (in Micah 5:2) on which God sent Him to mankind “from the beginning” and “out of days of the age,” prior to His human birth in Bethlehem. Solomon tells us that this was God’s Son.
Prov. 30:4 (NKJV) 4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?
The first bold statement asks the critical question, “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?” To help provide the answer, Solomon then asks the obvious, “Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?” The Jews knew His name, it is YHVH (Yahweh) which means “self-existing one.” But then Solomon provides the answer to the original question by asking the following rhetorical question, “What is His Son’s name, if you know?” This riddle was Solomon’s response to Agur the son of Jakeh (vs. 1), who had said to Ithiel and Ucal, “Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned Wisdom, nor have knowledge of the Holy One.” Agur was confessing his ignorance about Proverbs 8:22-31, where “Wisdom” is portrayed as having been begotten out of God at the beginning of creation, and working alongside God as a “master-craftsman” in forming the creation. Solomon provided the answer here in the form of a riddle. The one who ascended and descended was the Son of God according to Solomon.
This same “Son of God” was sent on another expedition to protect Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace into which Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown.
Daniel. 3:24-25, 28 (NKJV) 4 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” … 28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, …
Even Nebuchadnezzar understood that the “Messenger of the LORD,” of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, was the Son of God. No doubt he had heard from Daniel his adviser about the “Son of God” who descends and ascends from heaven as the “Messenger of the Lord.”
The One who gave the Law also descended to Mt. Sinai and ascended into heaven according to the following Psalm.
Psalm 68:17 (NKJV) 17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, Even thousands of thousands; The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place. 18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
The one who gave the Law on Mt Sinai according to Steven was the Messenger of the LORD (singular) who also appeared in the burning bush. Paul applied the above Psalm to Jesus as the “Lord” who was accompanied by many thousands of angels of God present on Mt. Sinai when the Law was given.
Eph. 4:7-10 (NKJV) 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended” – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
John wrote the following concerning the Son’s expedition to earth to redeem mankind, borrowing language from Proverbs 30:4.
John 3:13 (NKJV) 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
Notice that both Paul and John stated that the Son descended from heaven before He ascended to the Father’s right hand.
The prophet Micah declared in plain and unmistakable language both the preexistence of the Messiah from the beginning of the creation and His expeditions on which His Father sent him, ascending and descending from heaven. There is one final expedition of the Son of God from heaven, as Son of Man, to reign as King.
Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14 (NKJV) 9 “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. … 13 I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
Go to: Jesus’ Riddle that stumped the Unitarian Pharisees
 Jewish Encyclopedia, Article: “Preexistence” http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12339-preexistence
 Jewish Publication Society Version
 Gen. 1:5
 Rev. 3:14 (LGV)
 Col. 1:15 (LGV)
 My translation. Some of the English translations of the LXX have also been skewed due to Trinitarian bias.
 The same writer places Satan ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς “from the beginning” (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8).
 Ex. 2 Chron. 16:1
 Ex. Gen. 16:6-13
 1 John 4:12 (NKJV)
 Col. 1:15 (NKJV)
 Heb. 11:3 (NKJV)
 John 5:37 (NKJV)
 John 1:18 (NKJV)
 Some translations incorrectly render this as “a son of the gods.” The Hebrew term “Elohim” is spelled the same whether it is singular or plural. However, the LXX shows plainly that the Temple scribes understood this as the God of Israel because they translated it as υἱῷ θεοῦ (Son of God – singular). This interpretation is also affirmed by the Hebrew because Nebuchadnezzar then blessed “the God of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego who sent His Messenger and delivered His servants.” Thus both the Hebrew and LXX indicate that Nebuchadnezzar understood that this was both the Messenger of the LORD and the Son of God, not a son of the pagan gods which his people worshipped.
 Acts 7:30-35,38
 Paul’s quotation of Psalm 68:17 differs from our copies in that it states that He gave gifts to men while our copies of this Psalm have He received gifts from men. However, Justin Martyr quoted Psalm 68:18 from an older copy of the LXX exactly as Paul quoted it here, showing that Paul’s quotation is correct and is the more ancient reading (Justin, Dialogue, ch. 39). The Talmud interpreted this Psalm as referring to Moses’ ascent of Mount Sinai to receive the Law (Babylonian Talmud, Sabbath, Folio 88b-89a), but Paul interpreted it as the Son’s ascent to heaven.
 The “lowest parts of the earth” refers to the womb of Mary. As Messiah speaking, David wrote: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth” (Psalm 139:13-15 NKJV).
6 thoughts on “The Many Expeditions of the Son of God (Micah 5:2)”
My name is Christian and I come from Germany.
First of all I would like to thank you for your work
(Thanks be to GOD the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ)
I have searched for answers especially for the bible passage from (Micah 5,2) and now i have some more clarity regarding the position of the Father and the Son.
After continuing to read through your blogs, I also realized more and more that the Father revealed Himself through the Son. (In the old testament as well as in the new).
I found this verse a few minutes ago that opened my eyes a little more and I would like to share it….
“And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” – 1 Samuel 3:21
Would it be correct to say:
GOD the Father revealed Himself to Samuel through Jesus (the Son – the Word)?
I would be glad about an answer from you.
May GOD the Father bless you and your family with strength in these interesting times in JESUS name.
Welcome, and thank you for the kind words.
Yes, God has never interacted with man personally in the Old Testament, it has always been by His Personal Agent who is shrouded in mystery in the OT. The New Testament confirms that this was His only-begotten Son, by placing Him in the beginning with God, as God’s Agent in creation, as well as making several statements that God is “invisible” and has never been seen nor can be seen by man.
1 Samuel 3:21 is one of several passages that the ancient Jews understood as referring to this personal Agent of Yahweh. The text says “Then the LORD APPEARED again in Shiloh.” The word translated “appeared” means something that is seen with the eyes. The next statement defines exactly HOW this occurred. “For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the LORD.”
In Aramaic the word “Memra” is equivalent to the Greek “Logos” (Word). The Jewish Targums frequently interpreted passages from the Old Testament, where the Hebrew said that the LORD appeared to someone, writing instead that the Memra (Word) of the Lord appeared to them. The passage you cited is one of those that formed the basis for this idea in ancient Jewish interpretation even before the time of Christ. This ancient Jewish interpretation of the “Memra” (Word) forms the basis for John’s prologue, that “In the beginning was the Word” (Memra/Logos). “And the Word was with God” (showing external accompaniment) “and the Word was God” (that is He was “God” to those to whom He appeared, as the “Face” of God revealed to man). Thus Paul called Him “the image of the invisible God” and Hebrews 1 calls Him “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person.” These terms refer to the Son prior to His becoming flesh.
The following article has a more complete explanation of this idea and how the ancient Jews understood it.
Thank you very much for the quick and detailed reply.
I will continue to study your articles and God willing gain more knowledge.
Have a wonderful day and may our Father in Heavens bless you in Jesus name
Hi Tim once again thank you for this article, I’m just a bit confused about something.
John 1:18 and Jonh 5:37 both tells us that no one has seen the father at any time but it has always been his agent (messenger of the Lord- Christ) who has declared the father but this scripture in Daniel tells me otherwise:
Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14 (NKJV) 9 “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened 13 I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
I somehow get the impression that Daniel has seen the Father ( The Ancient Of Days). V9 tells us that he saw the Ancient of Days (he saw his garment, his hair and his Throne) and V13 tells us that Daniel also saw the Son of Man and “he came to the Ancient of Days” as well as seeing the Ancient of day in V9.
I Understand that these are different time frames – V9 being the time when the 10 Kings will be in place and V13 being the Time of Christ coming but I’m just a little confused at the above scripture.
What Daniel observed (the Ancient of Days) and what John observed in Rev. 4:2-3 were “visions” of the future which has not yet occurred. They did not actually see God Himself. In the Transfiguration the three disciples saw a “vision” (cf. Matt. 17:9) of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in the Kingdom after the resurrection. They did not actually see Moses and Elijah, because they were dead in their graves at the time. So what they observed was a collective “vision” of the future, a future that did not as yet exist. So while a few have seen visions of the future in which God Himself is a part, those events were not such persons actually seeing God Himself, only a representation of Him.
If you see a photograph, a drawing, or a sculpture of a person you have never met, have you actually seen that person? No. You have seen a likeness or representation. So it is with Daniel and John.
Some think that Isaiah saw God when he was called as God’s prophet in Isaiah 6. But John informs us that Isaiah saw the Son (John 12:40-41).
This makes sense because Jesus said that “no one has seen his form at any time”-John 5:37.
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