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Proverbs 30:2-4 says:

Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up 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? Surely you know!

There is a related question here: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/38937/who-is-he-and-what-is-the-name-of-his-son-proverbs-304 and, though the question seeks to ascertain the name and existence of the son from OT sources alone, many of the answers indicate that the trinitarian view incorporating the NT renders Jesus as either the one who fulfills the first 5 questions or as the son. A few answers and comments seem to hold that the questions are entirely rhetorical and the point is to not answer them.

How do Biblical Unitarians answer the six questions posed in these verses?

  1. Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
  2. Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
  3. Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
  4. Who has established all the ends of the earth?
  5. What is his name?
  6. What is his son's name?
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  • 3
    I think I would also like to know (possibly first of all) what Trinitarians say of 'Who has ascended to heaven and come down ?' It is a very mysterious question. Ascended, first ? Like the angels on the ladder, ascending first. Perhaps I would say that Christ ascended, first, in humanity, then descended, in Spirit, as a 'quickening Spirit' 1 Corinthians 15:45. (Up-voted +1.)
    – Nigel J
    Apr 20, 2021 at 12:22
  • Can you say a bit more in the question about why you think Biblical Unitarians would have a particular answer to these questions? Apr 20, 2021 at 16:49
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    Relevant related question on Hermeneutics: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/38937/…
    – user50422
    Apr 20, 2021 at 17:23
  • i am struggling to see what this question has with unitarianism or trinitarianism. perhaps the question needs more information to make it clearer why it relates to either
    – Adam
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:47
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    This scripture is asking rhetorical questions to demonstrate the limitations of mankind. Perhaps you should include what your answer to each question is.
    – Kris
    Apr 21, 2021 at 12:06

1 Answer 1

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As a non-Trinitarian, my answers would be as follows.

  1. Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
  2. Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
  3. Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
  4. Who has established all the ends of the earth?
  5. What is his name?
  6. What is his son's name?
  1. This is a rhetorical question challenging the listener to suggest any human to have accomplished such a feat. Obviously, Jesus had not yet walked this earth, had not yet ascended to Heaven and returned, as happened later.

  2. Again, this is a rhetorical question, invoking thoughts of God's omnipotence.

  3. Rhetorical question, as above.

  4. Rhetorical question, as above.

  5. His name is Yahweh (YHWH).

  6. His son's name is also Yahweh (YHWH)--they have the same name.

Textual Support

And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD (יְהוָ֖ה/Yahweh), the everlasting God (אֵ֥ל/el). (Genesis 21:33, KJV)

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh (יְהוָ֣ה-יִרְאֶ֑ה/Yahweh-yireh): as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD (יְהוָ֖ה/Yahweh) it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14, KJV)

13And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15, KJV)

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Deuteronomy 5:11, KJV)

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4, KJV)

If in fact God and His Son were both "God" and "Lord", these verses saying there is only one Lord God would be false. According to the Scriptures, we have only one God. Nor is this God said to have multiple personalities. He (not "they") is said to be one, to never change, and to be the great "I AM" (not the we are).

Nowhere in the Old Testament, or even in the entire Bible, are we given "names" for God. The Bible consistently refers to God as having a singular name--just as we see even in the passages that many might like to interpret in other ways, such as in Isaiah 9:6 and in Matthew 28:19. In both of these verses, the "name," in Hebrew and in Greek respectively, is grammatically singular.

According to the Ten Commandments, believing in any other god is a violation of the very first of the Ten. There is, and can be, only one God.

Jews have never been Trinitarian, yet Jesus affirmed that the Jews had the correct understanding of who God is.

21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (John 4:21-23, KJV)

Jesus, the Son, taught that the Father was "the only true God."

1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:1-3, KJV)

Jesus was sent by "the only true God," the Father, and in the name of the Father.

I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43, KJV)

So, in the New Testament, both the Father and the Son bear the name "Jesus." This name is of paramount importance to us.

10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12, KJV)

Conclusion

In the Old Testament, the name of both Father and Son is "Yahweh." In the New Testament, the name is "Jesus." The Father is "the only true God," according to God's Son, and is the Son's God just as He is to be our God. Even after his resurrection, Jesus taught this.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17, KJV)

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  • In the OT both the Father and Son bear the name Yahweh and in the NT they both bear the name Jesus and yet they are not the same being? Aug 5, 2023 at 13:27
  • @MikeBorden They share the same divinity--in that sense they can be considered to be the same being. But God is not a man (see Num. 23:19 & 1 Sam. 15:29), and Jesus was a man. As a man, Jesus cannot have been God. So there are two beings involved here: God and man. But "all the fulness of the Godhead" dwelt in the man bodily (Col. 2:9). This "Godhead" does not change names just for the fact of having possessed a human being. The name does not change. God is still God. The interesting question might actually be: Why doesn't the human Jesus have a separate, human name?
    – Biblasia
    Aug 5, 2023 at 13:55
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    Numbers and 1 Samuel have nothing to say regarding whether God, who is Spirit, can fully inhabit flesh. They only speak to His inability to fluctuate and deceive as men do. "They share the same divinity--in that sense they can be considered to be the same being. " Agreed. Isn't Jesus the separate human name for the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in a man bodily? "You shall call his name Jesus" Aug 5, 2023 at 18:54

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