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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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Indications of the Trinity in the Old Testament.
The truth of the Tri-unity of God is only expressed in a veiled way in the Old Testament,
only half-revealed. The Old Testament testimonies of the Trinity are revealed and explained in
the light of Christian faith, as the Apostle Paul wrote concerning the Jews: “But even unto this
day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the
Lord, the veil shall be taken away . . .It is taken away in Christ” (2 Cor. 3:15-16, 14).
The chief passages in the Old Testament which testify to the Trinity of God are the following:Genesis 1:1 and the following verses: the name of God (“Elohim”) in the Hebrew text has
the grammatical form of the plural number.
Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The plural
number here indicates that God is not one Person.
Genesis 3:22: “And the Lord God said, Behold, Adam is become as one of us, to know good
and evil.” (These are the words of God before the banishment of our ancestors from Paradise.).
Genesis 11:6-7: Prior to the confusion of tongues at the building of the tower of Babylon,
the Lord said: “Let us go down, and there confound their language.”
Genesis 18:1-3, concerning Abraham: “And the Lord appeared unto him at the oak of
Mamre . . . And he (Abraham) lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him... and
he bowed himself toward the ground and said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Thy sight,
pass not away, I pray Thee, from Thy servant.” Blessed Augustine says of this: “Do you see that
Abraham meets Three but bows down to One . . . Having beheld Three, he understood the mystery
of the Trinity, and having bowed down to One, he confessed One God in Three Persons.”
In addition, the Fathers of the Church see an indirect reference to the Trinity in the following
Numbers 6:24-26: The priestly blessing indicated by God through Moses is in a triple form:
“The Lord bless thee... The Lord make His face shine on thee... The Lord lift up His countenance
Isaiah 6:3: The doxology of the Seraphim who stand about the throne of God is in a triple
form: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.”
Psalm 32:6: “By the word of the Lord was the heavens established and all the might of them
by the Spirit of His mouth.”
Finally, one may indicate those passages in the Old Testament Revelation where the Son of
God and the Holy Spirit are referred to separately. For example, concerning the Son:
Psalm 2:7: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee.”
Psalm 109:3: “From the womb before the morning star have I begotten Thee.”
Concerning the Spirit:
Psalm 142:12: “Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness.”
Isaiah 48:16: “The Lord God, and His Spirit, hath sent me.”