Passover is coming up fast, and one of the Scriptures that we will be reading for our fellowship Seder is the following:
Exodus 6:6 (NKJ) 6 “Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
This is one example of many which uses a particular metaphor for God accomplishing something supernatural within the creation through His personal Agent, one referred to often as God’s “mighty hand and outstretched arm.” This theme occurs repeatedly in reference to the exodus from Egypt.
Deut. 4:34-35 (NKJ) 34 “Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.
Deut. 5:13-15 (NKJ) 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Deut. 7:17-19 (NKJ) 17 “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ – 18 “you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 “the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So shall the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
Deut. 9:27-29 (NKJ) 27 ‘Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin, 28 ‘lest the land from which You brought us should say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them to the land which He promised them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.” 29 ‘Yet they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty power and by Your outstretched arm.’
Deut. 26:8-9 (NKJ) 8 ‘So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 ‘He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”;
This “mighty hand and outstretched arm” was a metaphor for a Person, God’s Agent, through whom He powerfully delivered Israel from Egypt, led them through the wilderness, and conquered the land of Canaan. He is “the Messenger of the LORD” upon whom God placed His own Name. (The Hebrew word “malak” and the Greek word “angelos” are often translated “angel” yet they simply mean “messenger,” and are used of both human and heavenly “messengers”).
Exod. 23:20-23 (NKJ) 20 ‘Behold, I send [My] Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 “Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. 22 “But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 ‘For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.
Exodus 33:1-2 (NKJ) 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ 2 “And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusites.
Judges 2:1-4 (NKJ) 1 Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 ‘And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? 3 Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'” 4 So it was, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.
Here the “Messenger of the LORD” claimed to have led Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He also referred to the Law of Moses as “My covenant with you.”
Isaiah clearly identified the “Messenger of the LORD” who led Israel out of Egypt as God’s glorious right ARM.
Isa. 63:9-14 (NASB) 9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence [Heb. “Face”] saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them; And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. 11 Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them, 12 Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, 13 Who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; 14 As the cattle which go down into the valley, The Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So didst Thou lead Thy people, To make for Thyself a glorious name.
The “Messenger of His Face” is the one through whom God delivered the Israelites and “carried them all the days of old.” Then in vs. 12 this Messenger is identified as the “right hand” and “the arm of His glory.” The LXX reads as follows: “ὁ ἀγαγὼν τῇ δεξιᾷ Μωυσῆν ὁ βραχίων τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ, literally, “Having led Moses with the right [hand] – the Arm of His glory.” This is exactly what Hebrews 1:2-3 alluded regarding the preexistent Son of God: “God, formerly speaking at many times and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets, upon the end of those days has spoken to us in the Son whom He appointed Heir of everything, through whom He also fashioned the ages. Who, being the radiance of the glory and the likeness of what undergirds Him, even carrying everything with the declaration of His power …” (LGV). This passage identifies the “Son” with the one described in Isaiah 63 as both “the Messenger of His Face” and God’s “Right hand” and “Arm of His glory.”
In the Psalms, what “the Messenger of the LORD” did for Israel is attributed to God’s “right hand and holy arm,” and His “strong hand and outstretched arm.”
Psalm 44:3 (NKJ) 3 For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, Because You favored them.
Psalm 98:1-3 (NKJ) 1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. 2 The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Psalm 136:10-14 (NKJ) 10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; 11 And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; 12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; 13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; 14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever;
The “strong hand and outstretched arm” of the LORD was God’s personal Agent through whom He brought Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He was a real being (Person), “the Messenger of the LORD” upon whom was God’s own name. This is why He referred to Himself as “the God of your father Abraham” and Scripture often called Him both “God” (Elohim) and “LORD” (Yahweh). While He was not Yahweh Himself, as God’s Agent, authorized to speak and act in God’s name, He alone had the right to use God’s names and titles because God’s authority was marked by His name, so that the authority was one and the same.
Exod. 3:2-6 (NKJ) 2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
The “Messenger of the LORD” repeatedly used God’s name, and those who saw Him were said to have seen “God” and “Yahweh.” We find exactly the same role regarding Jesus in the New Testament.
John 14:8-11 (NKJ) 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Thus the role as God’s personal Agent, who speaks in God’s name, is the same for “the Messenger of the Lord” in the Old Testament and the Man Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus is actually called the “Messenger” of God in the first chapter of Revelation.
The prophet Isaiah foretold the commission of John the Baptist, and the very words he was commanded to speak to Israel.
Isaiah 40:3-11 (NKJ) 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” 6 The voice said, “Cry out!” And he [John the Baptist] said, “What shall I cry?” [to which God answered, commanding John to proclaim the following:] “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. 9 O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
This was the “Gospel of the Kingdom” that John preached. In verse 9 above John the Baptist’s job was to “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Note that “LORD” (all caps) is Yahweh, God’s personal name in Hebrew. As John was announcing to Israel “Behold the Lamb of God,” He was also declaring to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God.” It is not that Jesus Himself is “Yahweh” and “God,” but as Paul stated in Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God,” and Hebrews 1:3 stated that the Son was “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.” Just as the pagans had “images” of wood, stone, and metal to represent their unseen “gods” (who were demons), the one true God has an “image” that has been the “Face” of “the invisible God” to mankind. For the same reason one of the prophetic names for the Son was “Immanuel,” literally meaning “God with us.” God was manifested to Israel in and through the person of Jesus Christ, His personal Agent, the “image of the invisible God,” the “express image of His Person.”
In verse 10, the Gospel of the Kingdom was announced by John as “Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him. So who is coming when the Kingdom arrives, the Father or the Son? Again, it is the Son coming as God’s ARM. Jesus the Messiah, who will rule in God’s name in the Kingdom, is God’s “ARM.” This is the same “outstretched arm” that delivered Israel from Egypt. He is also the one whose “reward is with Him,” something Jesus applied to Himself, the one who “will feed His flock like a shepherd” and the one who “will gather the lambs with His arm.” The Son of God is the one repeatedly called “the Arm of the Lord,” both in reference to delivering Israel out of Egypt and reigning in the Kingdom.
Isa. 42:1-4 (NKJ) 1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. 4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
Matthew 12:18-21 quotes and applies this prophecy to Jesus, but quotes this last clause from the LXX as “and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” This is important because the next passage says the same thing about the “ARM” of the Lord as a Person.
Isa. 51:5-11 (LXX) 5 My righteousness speedily draws nigh, and my salvation shall go forth as light, and on mine arm shall the Gentiles trust: the isles shall wait for me, and on mine arm shall they trust. 6 Lift up your eyes to the sky, and look on the earth beneath: for the sky was darkened like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and the inhabitants shall die in like manner: but my righteousness shall not fail. 7 Hear me, ye that know judgment, the people in whose heart is my law: fear not the reproach of men, and be not overcome by their contempt. 8 For as a garment will be devoured by time, and as wool will be devoured by a moth, so shall they be consumed; but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation for all generations. 9 Awake, awake, O Jerusalem, and put on the strength of thine arm; awake as in the early time, as the ancient generation. 10 Art thou not it that dried the sea, the water, even the abundance of the deep; that made the depths of the sea a way of passage for the delivered and redeemed? 11 for by the help of the Lord they shall return, and come to Sion with joy and everlasting exultation, for praise and joy shall come upon their head: pain, and grief, and groaning, have fled away.
The same ARM of the LORD who delivered Israel from Egypt is the ARM of the LORD who will bring Israel to the permanent inheritance of the Abrahamic Covenant, the one who will reign as “God” in the Kingdom. This is Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God of Psalm 2.
In the following passage “the ARM of the LORD” is unmistakably revealed as Jesus Christ.
Isa. 52:10 – 53:3 (NKJ) 10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. 11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the LORD. 12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. 13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider. 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
The statement, “Who has believed our report,” refers to the Apostles’ testimony concerning who Jesus truly is. John specifically referred to this collective testimony of the Apostles as follows: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Yet the majority of Israel refused to believe the Apostles’ report. This is followed immediately by the statement, “And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” In this statement Jesus is clearly called “the ARM of the Lord,” and the following personal pronouns (He, Him) show clearly that this is a Person. This is “His holy Arm” who will be made known “in the eyes of all the nations” in the Kingdom. John quoted this passage as follows:
John 12:36-41 (NKJ) 36 “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. 37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
John unmistakably applied Isaiah’s statement about “the Arm of the Lord” from Isaiah 53 to Jesus. He also identified the one who Isaiah claimed that he saw in the Temple in Isaiah 6 as Jesus. Isaiah wrote: “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” Yet John stated earlier in Jn. 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” The same “Arm of the Lord” described in Isaiah 62-63 who was revealed to the Apostles and was crucified is the “Arm of the Lord” who led Israel out of Egypt as “the Messenger of the Lord” and who Isaiah called the “Messenger of His Presence” (lit. Face – Isa. 63:9), the one who Isaiah also saw “high and lifted up” in the Temple and who called Isaiah to “go for US.”
The prophet Jeremiah claimed that God created the heavens and the earth by His “outstretched arm” and then redeemed Israel from Egypt by the same “strong hand and an outstretched arm.”
Jer. 32:17-22 (NKJ) 17 ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. 18 ‘You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them – the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts. 19 ‘You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. 20 ‘You have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, to this day, and in Israel and among other men; and You have made Yourself a name, as it is this day. 21 ‘You have brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror; 22 ‘You have given them this land, of which You swore to their fathers to give them – “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
The common expression “the outstretched Arm” of the Lord is a metaphor for God’s use of His personal Agent in all of the following circumstances. This is part of “the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.” (Col. 2:2):
- The creation of the heavens and the earth
- The deliverance of Israel from Egypt
- Carrying Israel in the wilderness
- Defeating the Canaanites and giving Israel possession of the land
- Redeeming Israel through the person of Christ
- Reigning over all nations in the Kingdom through the Messiah
But according to Isaiah 53, the “Arm of the Lord” was progressively revealed to the Apostles, yet He remained unknown to most of Israel. The New Testament reveals God’s Agent, through whom He created all things, as His Son. He is also revealed as the one who brought Israel out of Egypt into the promised land. And He is the one coming to reign as King as God’s personal Agent, “the Messenger of His Face.” According to Paul in 1 Cor. 2:6-14, these things concerning the true identity of the Son of God were concealed in mystery from Israel but only later revealed to the Apostles after Jesus’ ascension through the holy Breath of God. These mysteries are not revealed to the carnal mind but are “spiritually discerned” from the Scriptures.
The title of this article asks the question found in Isaiah 53: “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” The answer is that God has revealed Him by the holy Breath to the Apostles, and to all who are willing to take Scripture at face value and not try to explain it away in order to maintain the theological system in which they are heavily invested.
 The LXX has “My Messenger”
 Quoted and applied to John the Baptist in Luke 3:1-6
 John 14:8-11
 In Rev. 22:12 Jesus applied this to Himself
 John 10:1-16
 Luke 15:2-9
 John 1:1-18; Col. 1:15-20
 1 Cor. 10:1-12