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God is described as Father passim in the New Testament, but where in the Old Testament is God described as a Father?

2 Answers 2

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God's parental relationship to mankind appears throughout the Hebrew scriptures, from the early Torah through the very last book, described in two different ways (lists are not comprehensive).

God is referred to as a father:

  • Deuteronomy 32:6 — "Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? …".
  • Proverbs 3:12 — "For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.".
  • Isaiah 63:16 — "Doubtless thou art our father, …".
  • Isaiah 64:8 — "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; …".
  • Jeremiah 31:9 — "… I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.".
  • Malachi 1:6 — "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? …".
  • Malachi 2:10 — "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? …".

People are referred to as children of God:

  • Exodus 4:22,23 — "… Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:".
  • Deuteronomy 14:1 — "Ye are the children of the LORD your God …".
  • Psalms 82:6 — "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.".
  • Isaiah 1:2 — "… the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.".
  • Hosea 1:10 — "… it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.".
  • Hosea 11:1 — "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.".

Family relationships can be seen in both Hebrew and Greek scriptures:

  • God as parent to Jesus, to Israel, and to mankind.
  • Jesus as eldest sibling to mankind.
  • Israel and the Church as bride.

These earthly relationships symbolize the holy relationships.

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In the Old Testament, not only is God described as a father to the Israelites, but He is also described as a Father to His begotten Son mentioned in Isaiah. The begotten Son who is revealed in the New Testament is described as the everlasting Father.

God as a Father to all

Isaiah 64:8

But now, Yahweh, you are our Father. We are the clay and you our potter. We all are the work of your hand.

Psalms 68:5

A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Psalms 89:26

He will call to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation!’

Psalms 103:13

Like a father has compassion on his children, so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear him.

Malachi 2:10

Don’t we all have one father? Hasn’t one God created us?

Isaiah 63:16

For you are our Father, though Abraham doesn’t know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, Yahweh, are our Father. Our Redeemer from everlasting is your name.

The only begotten Son - as a Son and Father

Isaiah 22:21-25

21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 I will lay the key of David’s house on his shoulder. He will open, and no one will shut. He will shut, and no one will open. 23 I will fasten him like a nail in a sure place. He will be for a throne of glory to his father's house. 24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the pitchers. 25 “In that day,” says Yahweh of Armies, “the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for Yahweh has spoken it.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Psalms 2:7

I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me, “You are my son. Today I have become your father.

1 Chronicles 22:10

He shall build a house for my name; and he will be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’

A Father to the Israelites

Jeremiah 3:19

But I said, ‘How I desire to put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the armies of the nations!’ and I said, ‘You shall call me “My Father”, and shall not turn away from following me.’

Jeremiah 31:9

They will come with weeping. I will lead them with petitions. I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they won’t stumble; for I am a father to Israel. Ephraim is my firstborn.

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