~His Majesty King Jesus~

 

Theós = Highest Magistrate = Exalted King

By Craig Bluemel

Dedicated To My Wife Pam ~ Thank you sweetheart!

 

Contrasting Deity With Humanity

 

Throughout the Old and New Testament scripture there’s a clear distinction between Yahweh’s Supreme Deity and Jesus’ humanity.  Yahweh (God’s Hebrew name) Elohim (God’s Hebrew title) reveals Himself in various modes, such as speaking thru His prophets, or by manifesting His power thru the angel of Yahweh, neither prophets nor angels are considered to be, “God,” in ther sense of Deity. 

 

Western culture mistakes the cultural use of the term ‘god’ in the east, even today.  For example, in India, the local gurus are called by those that seek their occult help as, ‘god-man.’  It is true some gurus are perceived as living gods, and this is not underestimated, but even so, the Indian culture limits the powers of such gods to specific areas of religion.  The god of one river, or one animal cannot be the god of another river of animal.  Shiva, the god of destruction cannot be equal with Krishna, god of peace and love, and so on.  That is, sadly, why they have so many ‘gods’ in India and other parts of the east that follow similar traditions.

 

The concept of limited gods is very different from that of the Semitic peoples of the ancient Scripture, who held faith in one Supreme Deity the Creator of all things, who alone has all-power.  The Hebrews were somewhat unique in that they would not worship or serve any other God but One, and the Hebrew title ‘el, which is translated, “God,” in the Old Testament was a term borrowed and used by pagan nations that were polytheistic and/or idolaters.

 

Church doctrine over the course of the last two millenniums has distorted and blurred the distinction between God the Father and His son, the man Christ Jesus.  To a great majority of born-again Christians “Jesus” and “God” refer to one and the same, in spite of the huge contradictions created by this view.  Many believers no longer buy into this Christological error and they now see Jesus as a man and not as “God.”

 

“Do we pray to and worship Jesus if he is a man?” is a question I hear asked online from time and time again at the Bible Answer Stand Ministry web site.  By changing their doctrinal view of Jesus and identifying him as a man, Christians today also have to change how they relate to him and how they relate to God.  This might sound basic to those who have always seen Jesus as a man and the Father alone as Deity, but the chasm for many is wide and needs to be bridged using scripture as final authority.   

 

It is only in the last 12 years I myself came to understand Jesus is not God, so answering other believer’s questions is often difficult because I’m on the same learning curve as them.  Contrasting the difference between God the Father (as Deity) and Jesus Christ the Son of God (as a man, strictly human) is so rudimentary it should hardly be worth mentioning.  Nevertheless, it has to be mentioned and given thorough hermeneutical application for those who are not scholars, but hold to the truth when they see it in writing.

 

To begin this study, God the Father is Yahweh Elohim and He alone is the Creator and Jesus is His son, a man, albeit an exalted, glorified and worthy of honor-type-of ‘man’.  The position held by Jesus encompasses many roles and functions.  At this present time (June of 2005) he is Lord and Master to servants on the earth (i.e. – the church); these are servants that willingly obey him.  He is not master of the wicked or the unbelieving at this present time or in this present age (eon).  However, that will change in the future, which will be discussed later.

 

In the spiritual realm known as, “heaven,” to most, Jesus as a man is also a King with the Majesty (glory) bestowed upon him from God and his servants on high that have passed into this eternal realm.  His kingdom at this present time or in this present age (eon) is a spiritual kingdom and his present rule does not extend to all mankind because that day and hour, which God the Father has fixed, is unknown to Jesus and unknown to his church; that day will come, and when it does, Jesus the King will reign the entire earth to fulfill the promise of God made to King David. 

 

Hebrews 1:8-9 However, concerning the time for which the Son has been, as it were, appointed, (i. e. during which it will last)[1] He {God} says, “Your throne, exalted King (Jesus the Magistrate), will be completely established {as you move} into the age of majesty and ages that follow.  And in your kingdom, moral integrity is the royal baton, free of hypocrisy, without delay {it will be} setting {things} straight (with a just attitude).  You have delight in being and living a life that is pure, innocent, upright, and just and {you} detest contempt for {God’s} law; for this reason God (the Supreme Deity), your God, has consecrated you to the Messianic office by anointing you with the oil of extreme joy to share with your fellow-partakers.”   (TAT)

 

At this time, Jesus will ascend to the throne of David ON EARTH and will bring everlasting righteousness with him, and will immediately straighten all wrongdoing, and will rule together with overcomers using a rod of iron to mete out justice, as it is required all over the earth.  The religious hypocrisy so widespread today will no longer be tolerated, but justice, truth, love, and peace will assuredly prevail.

 

God the Father conceived Jesus in the womb of a virgin whereas God the Father has no beginning and has always existed (Genesis 1:1 with Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1-3).  Jesus was born of a woman, made under the Law, whereas God is never born and He is the One and only Lawgiver (Galatians 4:4; James 4:12). 

 

Jesus is a Jew whereas God has no genetic identity (Numbers 23:19; John 4:9, 22; 18:35-36).  Jesus had an earthly mother and father (Joseph) to whom he remained in subjection to whereas God is the Father of all humanity and He has no parents and is never in subjection to anyone (Luke 2:40-43, 48, 51).  God calls us His children, whereas Jesus calls us brothers, sisters, and mothers (Matthew 12:47-50; Mark 3:34-35).  Jesus is called the ‘son of man’ and the ‘son of God’ whereas God is never called the son of anyone (Numbers 23:19; Matthew chapters 8-13 & 16). 

 

Jesus was tempted by the devil forty days and nights in the wilderness whereas God can never be tempted by the devil (Matthew chapter 4; James 1:13).  Thru obedience in the things he suffered Jesus was made perfect whereas God IS perfect with no need to be tried or tested (Hebrews 5:8-10; Hebrews 7:28).  Jesus is a man who prays TO God whereas God is God and He listens to and answers prayer (e.g. - John 17, Matthew 26). 

 

Jesus shares in human flesh and blood whereas God the Father is spirit without a body of flesh and bones (Hebrews 2:14; 5:7; 9:13-14; 10:20; 1 Peter 3:18; John 4:22-26; John 20:27).  Jesus is the Christ, or Anointed One whereas God the Father is the Spirit that anoints him (Luke 4:16-18; Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6).  Jesus worships God the Father in spirit and in truth whereas God the Father worships no one (John 4:24-25).

 

God is supreme in His power that knows no limits whereas Jesus can do nothing of himself (John 5:30; 8:28, 42; 10:18; 12:49; 14:10; 16:13).  Jesus says he is a servant in the kingdom of God whereas God is servant to no one (Matthew 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43; Mark 1:15; 4:11, 26, 30; 9:1, 47; 10:14-15, 23-25; 12:34; 14:25; 15:43; Luke 4:43 6:20; 7:28; 8:1,10; 9:2, 11, 27, 60, 62; 10:9, 11; 11:20; 13:18, 20, 28-29; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20-21; 18:16-17, 24-25, 29; 19:11; 21:31; 22:16, 18; John 3:3, 5).

 

God forgives sin with sovereign authority whereas Jesus as the ‘son of man’ (his messianic capacity) was given delegated authority from God while on earth to forgive men’s sins (Matthew 9:6).  God receives and accepts sacrifice for sin whereas Jesus IS the Lamb sacrifice for sin (John 1:29, 36).

 

Jesus died whereas God cannot die; Jesus is mortal whereas God is immortal; Jesus was resurrected from the dead, whereas God is the One Who raised him (Mark 15:37, 39; Luke 23:46; John 20:22; 1 Peter 3:18).  Jesus is exalted to sit at God’s right hand of authority and share in his Father’s throne, whereas God is sole Owner of His own throne and Ruler of all (Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42; 22:69).  There is only ONE God (the Father) and only ONE mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus.  (1 Timothy 2:5)

 

Jesus acknowledges that God is greater whereas God acknowledges He alone is Sovereign (John 5:30; 8:28, 42; 10:18; 12:49; 14:10; 16:13).  Jesus was sent by God to testify of Him to mankind whereas no one sends God anywhere (John 5:29-30).  Jesus speaks the words of God as the Father reveals them to him whereas God speaks His own words… however, whenever, wherever and whatever He pleases (John 6:37-38).  Jesus does not know the day and hour of his return but he acknowledges God the Father alone knows it (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32). 

 

Jesus did not allow the rich, young ruler to call him, “Good master,” but instead told him, “There is none good BUT GOD,”  (Matthew 19:16-17; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23).  God gives commandments to Jesus and Jesus obeys them, whereas nobody commands God to obey (John 4:34-35; 14:31; Matthew 7:21; 12:50).  God knows all things whereas Jesus knows only what the Father reveals to him (John 5:36-37). God IS Light whereas Jesus reveals God’s light to men (John 3:16-20 with 1 John 1:5). 

 

On earth Jesus repeatedly refers to the Supreme Deity as, “My God,” yet God the Father refers to Jesus on earth in the gospels as, “My beloved son,” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; John 20:17).  Jesus says he now dwells in the heavenly city and heavenly temple of, “MY God,” whereas God owns them both (Revelation 3:12).  Jesus said his Father has granted him a kingdom, whereas God rules every kingdom. (Luke 22:29)

 

Jesus as Master, Magistrate & King

Language & Definitions Change with Time

 

In order for born again Christians to honor Jesus for who he is (as a man) without improperly deifying him, as has been done for centuries throughout Christendom, it is imperative to familiarize you with his role as Jewish Messiah.  To do this requires utilization of Bible study reference tools that decipher the original languages in which the Scriptures were written (i.e. - Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek).

 

Because our modern Bible translations are not always sufficient to educate the serious student of scripture, I will begin by helping you understand Jesus’ position of authority and his role as, “highest Magistrate.”  The NT Greek word for God is theós and theós is the origin of English words like theócracy, theólogy, theólogian, etc. 

 

Dualism, also known as, “the dual nature of Christ,” teaches that Jesus exists simultaneously as ‘fully’ God and ‘fully’ man.  To say Jesus is ‘fully’ God and ‘fully’ man at the same time means the nature of God is changeable.  It can easily be demonstrated from the New Testament gospel accounts that Jesus the human has a beginning point of origin.  God on the other hand has no beginning point of origin, as Genesis account clearly states.  Logic tells any rational Christian this dualistic view of Jesus makes him appear to be schizophrenic, because sometimes he is being ‘God’ and at other times he is being a, ‘man.’ 

 

The Greek word for “God” is theós, and this word is usually rendered as, “God,” for the Supreme Deity, or, “god,” for lesser, false gods.  However, theós also has the meaning of a, “magistrate,” or a, “king.”  In ancient times, the term magistrate referred to a local prefect or ruler, also known as a king.

 

The word magistrate comes from the Latin root, “magis,” and this is the same root as the word, “majesty.”  Recall how the Magi came from the east to bow at the feet of the newborn king.  These Magi were among the early “magistrates,” or rulers from the east.  In essence, the words, “magistrate,” and, “majesty,” mean the same thing.  When the Jews were awaiting the coming of their Messiah, it was primarily based upon the promise Yahweh made to king David, that one from his descendents would eventually ascend to the throne of Israel, and rule in righteousness and justice forever.

 

When applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament the correct application of the Greek word theós it should always be translated as one of the equal possibilities, “magistrate, majesty, or king.”  There is another word archon that also means magistrate, ruler or king in the New Testament.   The Greek word archon means first in rank or power, and in the KJV is translated as chief (ruler), magistrate, prince, ruler.  The reference number in the New Testament provided in Strong’s Concordance for theós (God) is NT: 2316.  Strong’s Dictionary definition of theós is below.

 

“God” = NT: 2316 theós (theh'-os); of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with NT: 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate by Hebraism, very.  (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

There are three possible definitions provided above:

 

1.      A deity (a god, goddess, idol, etc)

2.      The supreme Divinity (The one true God, Yahweh Elohim of the OT)

3.      Figuratively, a magistrate or by Hebraism a prominent (‘very’) magistrate.

 

The application for theós as, ‘figuratively, a magistrate by Hebraism, very.’  A Hebraism simply refers to a style of speech common to the Semitic people, just like Spanish, Italian or any other language nuance.  For “very magistrate,” to be readable and at the same time make sense in our vernacular today, word modifications that correspond to modern English are needed. 

 

The easiest and quickest solution is to find English synonyms to “very” and “magistrate” that won’t destroy the original intended meaning.  Whenever you make modifications in scripture word studies be careful not to change the meaning of the words inherent to the language.  In this case, the goal is to find out what the words ‘very magistrate’ mean to the Hebrews at the time of Christ.

 

To begin we start by using Strong’s Concordance, a Bible study resource that was compiled by Dr. James Strong over the course of 35 years from 1855-1890.  He published the first edition in 1890; this is quite a feat considering there were no computers.  Dr. Strong devoted his life to making this irreplaceable tool for use by Bible students.  He was a professor of exegetical theology at Drew University, and he saw the need to have a numerical system by which each word of the Bible could be categorized and subsequently defined from the original languages.

 

Unfortunately, today much of his work represents the English language as it was used in the 1800’s (i.e. – the 19th century).  The intrinsic nature of any language changes over the course of time because of developments in use and the way any given culture and society progress.  The word ‘magistrate’ is hardly in use today in 21st century America and even the dictionary definitions for this word have been dramatically altered based on changes in the political structure of the country.

 

For example, below are two different dictionary word definitions for ‘magistrate.’  The first is Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definition and the second is the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary definition of the same word.

 

#1 Magistrate (plural magistrates) noun [14th century. From Latin magistratus, formed in turn from magister “master” (source of English mister and master).]

 

1.      Lower court judge: a judge in a lower court whose jurisdiction is limited to the trial of misdemeanors and the conduct of preliminary hearings on more serious charges 

2.      Local law officer: a minor law officer or member of a local judiciary with extremely limited powers, for example, a justice of the peace who deals with moving vehicular violations[2] 

 

#2 MAGISTRATE, noun [Latin magistratus, from magister, master; magis, major, and ster, Teutonic steora, a director; steoran, to steer; the principal director.] 

 

1.      A public civil officer, invested with the executive government of some branch of it. In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States. 

 

2.      But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like (e.g. The magistrate must have his reverence; the laws their authority).[3]

 

The difference between the definitions of magistrate in #1 Microsoft Encarta and #2 Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is as radical as it gets!  Encarta identifies a magistrate simply as, “a judge in a lower court whose jurisdiction is limited to the trial of misdemeanors,” or as, “a minor law officer or member of a local judiciary with extremely limited powers.”  Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines magistrate as, “invested with the executive government of some branch… In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States.”

 

The 21st century dictionary version of magistrate views this public civil office no higher than a judge in the lowest courts who passes judgment only on misdemeanors, and gives an example of, “a justice of the peace who deals with moving vehicular violations.”  Compare this example to Webster’s 19th century use of the word magistrate as, “…a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States.” 

 

Recall now the Greek word for ‘God’ in the New Testament is ‘theós’ and then apply it as a Hebraism, ‘highest or first magistrate.’  I don’t think James Strong had in mind a lower court judge ruling on traffic ticket violations when he used ‘very magistrate’ to define theós!  A magistrate in 21st century English carries a vastly different meaning than Strong’s 19th century use.  Dr. Strong used the words, ‘very magistrate’ in 1855 when he began translating and compiling his Greek New Testament dictionary and he used Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definition of ‘magistrate’ because it was established as the standard dictionary of the day. 

 

One common thread between the modern Encarta and 1828 Webster’s Dictionary is what both say concerning the Latin origin of the word magistrate.  Microsoft Encarta Dictionary says this is a 14th century word from the Latin magistratus, formed in turn from magister, the Latin for our English, “master,” and, “mister.”  Webster’s 1828 dictionary agrees the Latin magistratus is from magister, meaning, “master.”  It continues saying master is from the Latin, “magis” meaning, “major,” and “ster,” from the Germanic root (i.e. – Teutonic) “steora,” meaning, “a director.” 

 

Webster’s takes the etiology one step further saying steora is from, “steoran,” meaning, “to steer,” or, “the principal director.”  Putting all this together, the modern equivalent of James Strong’s, “very magistrate,” is properly rendered today as, “the master,” or as, “the principal director.”   The principal director is vested with executive authority, such as a king or the President of the United States.  Because the Hebraism, “very,” is used as an adjective to describe the degree of authority, it is useful to examine the 1828 Webster’s profile of this word as it applies to a magistrate, king, master, etc.

 

Very = adverb; As an adverb, or modifier of adjectives and adverbs, very denotes in a great degree, an eminent or high degree, but not generally the highest.

 

While magistrate is not a word we see used much in the Bible, it means, “master,” or “king,” and these words ARE in the scriptures and they are frequently used to describe the role of the man Jesus.  Jesus is an eminent king, but not higher in degree than God the Father.  His exalted position at God’s right hand is the highest degree any human can acquire.  There is yet another English word that comes from the exact same Latin origin as magistrate and master; this word is “majesty” and consulting once again with Webster’s 1828 Dictionary the definition opens us to great insight from scripture concerning Jesus.

 

MAJESTY, a noun from the Latin majestas, from the root of magis, major, more, greater.

 

1.      Greatness of appearance; dignity; grandeur; dignity of aspect or manner; the quality or state of a person or thing which inspires awe or reverence in the beholder; applied with peculiar propriety to God and his works.

 

2.      Dignity; elevation of manner.

 

3.      A title of emperors, kings, and queens; as most royal majesty; may it please your majesty.  In this sense, it admits of the plural; as, their majesties attended the concert.

 

This simple word search yielded many revelations and gives believers ways they can and should relate to Jesus as a glorified man, who is majestic.

 

MAJESTIC, a. [from majesty.]  August; noble; gracious; righteous; blameless; having dignity of person or appearance; grand; princely the prince was majestic in person and appearance; e.g. - In his face sat meekness, heightened with majestic grace.

 

1.  Splendid; grand; e.g. - Get the start of this majestic world.

 

2.  Elevated; lofty; e.g. - The least portions must be of the epic kind; all must be grave, majestic and sublime.

 

3.  Stately; becoming majesty; as a majestic air or walk.

 

The most common Old Testament word for God is 'elohiym, and when using Strong’s Dictionary of Old Testament words, the meaning of 'elohiym was nearly identical to the meaning of theós (i.e. – as magistrate). 

 

OT:430 'elohiym (el-o-heem'); plural of OT:433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.  (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

The concept of a magistrate is much different than the concept of a God.  The magistrate or ruler is also carried over into the New Testament scriptures.  For example, in Luke 12:58 Jesus told his disciples, “For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate…” (New American Standard Bible).  Here he uses the word archon for magistrate instead of theós.  

 

In Revelation 1:5 Jesus Christ is called the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, first to be brought back to life, and the Prince (or Ruler) of the kings of the earth.”  The Greek word for, “prince Ruler,” is, “archon,” and conveys similar meaning as theós when speaking of Jesus as a man.

 

 When Pilate had Jesus crucified because the Jewish leaders incited his death, the sign put above his head read, “King of the Jews.”  Again, this shows that Jesus as a man was considered to be a spiritual Ruler and Magistrate.

 

In the Old Testament, only Yahweh, the covenant name for God, is to be honored as the Almighty and only Supreme Deity.  Just the same, Jesus is the Ruler of God’s kingdom by appointment, and He is the Mediator/Advocate between God and man.  When we come to worship God, it should always be done in the name of Jesus, honoring Go the Father (Yahweh) thru him (Jesus).

 

When doubting Thomas saw the Lord Jesus resurrected in the flesh, in John 20:28 he said, “My Lord and my God.”  This typical mistranslation should read, “My Lord and my King.”  Otherwise, John 20:17 makes no sense whatsoever; because Jesus said he had not yet ascended to his own God.

 

John 20:16-18 Jesus said to her, "Mary!"  She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!”  (This means, Teacher).  17 Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"  18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her. New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

Once you realize the Greek word theós is properly translated as magistrate or king, it reconciles many New Testament scripture verses formerly attributing deity to Jesus.  One classic example is John 1:18, which in the best Greek manuscripts reads, “only begotten theós.”  The New American Standard translates this verse as, “only begotten God.” 

 

John 1:18 No man has seen God (Theón) at any time; the only begotten God (ho theós), who is in the bosom of the Father, he has explained Him. NAS (insertions mine)

 

God cannot be, “begotten,” because to be born contradicts God’s nature; Numbers 23:19 says clearly, “God is not a man, nor the son of man…”  However, if rendered according to the proper use of theos, John 1:18 reads as follows:

 

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only begotten (hoos monogenoús) Magistrate, Ruler, and King (Theos) who IS (presently) in the bosom of the Father, he unfolds (reveals) Him.  The Appropriate Translation

 

This makes so much sense and simplifies our concepts of Jesus throughout the Old Testament and New Testament.  The Old Testament has a counterpart to theos in its use of the Hebrew word elohym.  The Hebrew word elohym is the most widely used word for “God” in the Old Testament but it also applies to magistrates or rulers, such as we see in John 10 and Psalms 82.  This famous psalm is that which Jesus refers when rebuking the Pharisees, whom God intended as rulers, but they failed as miserably as did the judges or magistrates of old in Israel.

 

John 10:30-36 Jesus said, I and the Father are one.”  31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.  32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning me?”  33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy; and because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God.” (God = Theón – anarthrous noun).”  34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, “I said, ‘you are gods (theoí)’?”  35 "If He (Yahweh) called them gods (theoús), to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

                                          

Note carefully in verse 33 above that “God” is Theón, the Greek noun, anarthrous in construction; anarthrous means there is no definite article used, and at the very best, should be rendered, ‘a god.’  However, it is more accurately rendered as, “a ruler, or a magistrate.”  The Jews were not accusing Jesus of being God Almighty, for Jesus only said he was the ‘son of God.’  However, in calling himself the son of God, this meant Jesus claimed to be a ruler, or a magistrate from God and as such, a ruler over the Jewish leaders.  This really pissed them off!

 

In John 10:34-36 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, “I said, ‘you are gods (theoús)’?”  This is a reference to Psalms 82, a familiar passage known by all Jewish leaders of that era.  In this psalm, Yahweh called the ancient judges and rulers of Israel, “gods,” which is elohiym, the Old Testament counterpart for New Testament theoús, and theoús is used by Jesus.  In fact, the Septuagint uses theoús in Psalms 82.

 

Psalms 82:1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the gods (elohiym).

 

This phrase means God stands in the congregation of the mighty.  The mighty in the ancient assembly of the rulers (magistrates) and judges of Israel.  The Book of Judges records many events among those magistrates of most exalted rank and station.   Yahweh observe the rulers or magistrates to give them law, to direct their decisions, and also to judge them as they judge their brethren.  He is supreme over them; and He holds them responsible to Himself.

 

The word rendered “congregation” is that which is commonly applied to the assembly of the people of Israel, considered as an organized body, or as a body politic.  However, here it refers to magistrates considered as a body or class of people; as those who have assemblages or meetings, with special reference to their duties as magistrates.

 

The word rendered "mighty" is 'eel and is in the singular number, and is one of the names which are given to God; hence, the literal rendering is, "God stands in the assembly of magistrates."  The Septuagint renders it, “In the synagogue of the gods.”  So also the Latin Vulgate.”  The reference, however, is undoubtedly to magistrates, and the idea is, that they were to be regarded as representatives of God; as acting in his name; and as those, therefore, to whom, in a subordinate sense, the name gods might be given.

 

Compare Psalms 82:6. In Exodus 21:6; 22:8-9,28, also, the same word elohym is applied to magistrates, and is properly translated judges in our common version. The idea is that they were the representatives of the divine sovereignty in the administration of justice.  Compare Romans 13:1-2,6.  They were, in a sense, gods to other people; but they were not to forget that God stood among them as their God; that if they were exalted to a high rank in respect to their fellowmen, they were, nevertheless, subject to One to whom the name of God belonged in the highest sense.

 

“He judges among the gods,” means as they to whom the name ‘gods’ (elohym), or more accurately, “magistrates,” is thus given as they are the representatives of the divine sovereignty, who judged among people; so also, God would judge among them.  If they were, in some sense (in consequence of their representing the divine majesty, and deriving their power and appointment from God), independent of people, they were in no sense independent of God himself.

 

Psalms 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?  Selah. 

 

How long will ye “judge unjustly,” is literally, “judge evil.”  This is designed, evidently, to denote the prevailing character of the magistrates at the time when the psalm was written.

 

Psalms 82:6 “I have said, ‘Ye are gods,’ and all of you are children of the most High.’”

 

“I have said, ‘Ye are gods,’” means I Yahweh have given magistrates this title; He has bestowed on them a title magistrate, which indicates a greater nearness to God than any other which is bestowed on men.  This is a title that implies they are God's representatives on earth, and that their decision is, in an important sense, to be regarded as His.  The phrase, “And all of you are children of the Most High,” means sons of God.  That is, these magistrates occupy a rank which makes it proper they should be regarded as Yahweh’s sons.[4]

 

There is further proof from John’s gospel that the Jewish leaders in Jesus era were also considered to be magistrates, and they tried to get Jesus to have the woman caught in adultery stoned using this authority. 

 

John 8:10-11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?”  11 She said, “No man, Lord.”  And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

 

Jesus’ words, “Neither do I condemn thee,” are evidently to be taken in the sense of judicial condemnation, or of passing sentence as a Roman magistrate, for this was what they had arraigned her for.  It was not to obtain his opinion about adultery, but to obtain the condemnation of the woman.  As he claimed no civil authority, he said that he did not exercise it, and should not condemn her to die.  In this sense, the word is used in the previous verse, and this is the only sense which the passage demands.  Besides, what follows shows that this was his meaning, “Go, and sin no more,” in effect means: You have sinned.  You have been detected and accused.  The sin is great.  But I do not claim power to condemn you to die, and, as your accusers have left you, my direction to you is that you sin no more.  This passage therefore teaches us:

 

1.      That Jesus claimed no civil authority.

2.      That he regarded the action of which they accused her as sin.

3.      That he knew the hearts and lives of men.

4.      That men are often very zealous in accusing others of that of which they themselves are guilty.  And,

5.      That Jesus was endowed with wonderful wisdom in meeting the devices of his enemies, and eluding their deep-laid plans to involve him in ruin.[5]

 

One need not necessarily consult the Greek to figure out the Pharisees were not accusing him of being, “God.”  At his trial, they never mentioned him as being God, but rather, accused him of teaching he was a king. 

 

Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”

 

The word “fellow” is not in the original.  It conveys a notion of contempt, which no doubt, they felt, but which is not expressed in the Greek and which should not be expressed in the translation.  It might be translated, “We found this man perverting the nation,” that is, exciting them to sedition and tumults.  This was a mere wanton accusation, but it was plausible before a Roman magistrate, for:

 

1.      The Galileans, as Josephus testifies, were prone to seditions and tumults.

 

2.      Jesus drew multitudes after him, and they thought it was easy to show that this was itself promoting tumults and seditions.

 

The words used, such as, “Forbidding,” illustrate in their charges they were very cautious and cunning.  They did not say that he, “taught,” that people should not give tribute-that would have been too gross a charge, and would have been easily refuted; but it was an inference, which they drew.  They said it, “followed,” from his doctrine.  He professed to be a king.  They inferred therefore if he was, “a king,” that he must hold that it was not right to acknowledge allegiance to any foreign prince; and if they support this allegation, they supposed that Pilate, “must,” condemn him of course.[6]

 

Matthew 27:29 And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  New American Standard

 

Jesus – A King under God’s Authority

 

This final section is dedicated to God the Father, on behalf of my King and Lord, Jesus the Christ.  I love Jesus so much, and though God will always be higher than and over him, Jesus is the One I feel closest to.  I have no logic for this; it is just what my spirit feels.  Maybe I am too new in crying, “Abba Father.”  I know I feel as Jesus felt about the merchandising of the gospel by preachers and teachers in the prosperity message that are greedy, materialistic wolves.

 

John 2:13-17 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And he found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated at their tables.   And having made a lash of cords into a whip, he drove them all out of the temple enclosure--both the sheep and the oxen--spilling and scattering the brokers' money and upsetting and tossing around their stands.  Then to those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things out of here!  Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise, a marketplace, or a sales shop!”  His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house will consume me." (John 2:13-14, 17 NASU; John 2:15-16 AMP)

 

John 8:54 Jesus answered, “If I were to glorify, magnify, praise, and honor myself, I would have no real glory, for my glory would be nothing and worthless.  My honor must come to me from my Father.  It is my Father Who glorifies me, of Whom you say that, ‘He is your God.’”  AMP

 

John 9:1-5 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?”  Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  NAS

 

John 17:3 He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ”And this is eternal life: it means to know, to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand You, the only true and real God, and likewise to know him, Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed one, whom You have sent.”  AMP

 

John 21:24-25 It is this same disciple who is bearing witness to these things and who has recorded (written) them; and we [well] know that his testimony is true.  And there are also many other things, which Jesus did. If they should be all recorded one by one in detail, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain (have room for) the books that would be written.  Amplified Bible

 

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.  NAS

 

Romans 15:5-9 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify THE God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.  For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.  And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  4 We write this to make our joy complete.  (NIV)

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: Empowered with the executive government

 

Isaiah 9:6-7 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the latter time forth, even forevermore.  AMP

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: A king appointed by God

 

1 Corinthians 15:25-28 For Christ must be King and reign until He has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death.  27 For He (the Father) has put all things in subjection under his (Christ's) feet.  But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection under him (Christ),’ it is evident that He Himself (God the Father) is excepted Who does the subjecting of all things to Him (Christ). 28 However, when everything is subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to (the Father) Who put all things under Him (Christ), so that God may be all in all (be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life).  AMP

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: The highest in rank in God’s kingdom.

 

Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NAS

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: The man thru whom God will judge the world

 

Acts 17:30-31 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." NAS

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: The Shepherd and Overseer of Your Souls.

 

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  NKJV

 

The MAN Christ Jesus is: Leader

 

Isaiah 55:4 Behold, I have appointed him (Him) David, as a representative of the Messiah, to be a witness one who shall testify of salvation to the nations, a Prince and Commander to the peoples.  AMP

 

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.  NAS

 

It is my prayer that these scriptures and words of teaching portray Jesus in the way he desires, and give you better knowledge about your relationship with him, and his relationship with the Father God.  To God be the glory, thru His son Jesus Christ.

 

I dedicate this study to my wife, who shows me more of Jesus than any human I know

 

 

 


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[1] Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft

[2] Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

[3] Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (c) 1995 Christian Technologies Inc.

[4] Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved

[5] ibid

[6] Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved