Thanks Paidion,Paidion wrote:I was just wondering how you fit Genesis 19:24 with the concept that Yahweh is a single Individual:
Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Yahweh out of heaven.
In this sentence, there seems to be two Individuals denoted as "Yahweh", One on earth to whom Abraham had been speaking, addressing Him as "Yahweh", and who was the means of the sulfur and fire, and One in heaven who was the source of the sulfur and fire.
It seems to me that the Father and the Son share the name "Yahweh". I gained this understanding through reading Justin Martryr who used Genesis 19:24 in his discussion with the Jewish man,Trypho, and his fellow Jewish companions.
First, I think there's nothing in the verse to indicate that there are two individuals, nor does the verse specifically say that one was on earth. I think this is saying that ONE individual is mentioned TWICE, so we can understand the verse to mean that 'YHWH rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from HIMSELF out of heaven." There is a passage in 1 Kings that shed some light on this for me. It states that King Solomon gathered elders to King Solomon. This sounds really strange, but we understand that it is talking about the same person; we would not say that there were two Solomons.
"Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the city of David, which is Zion." 1 Kings 8:1 (NASB)
Changing gears a little bit...It is extremely common for angels to be AGENTS of YHWH speaking and acting for Him as though they ARE Him.
In Mark 12:26 it says that YHWH spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, but in Exodus 3:2 it says "the angel of YHWH" appeared to him. Later, Steven, being full of the Spirit, in Acts 7:30-35, declared “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.’ “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush."
I think this is greatly overlooked...An angel spoke in the first person declaring "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
I think the terms men, angels and YHWH are, in the Genesis passage, interchangeable.
If we understand that angels can speak and act in God's place, we can see below, how scripture can state that YHWH destroyed Sodom when it was actually two angels who did so.
Gen 19:1 Two angels came to Sodom
Gen 19:12-13 The two men tell Lot to get his family out of the city because THEY are going to destroy it because YHWH sent THEM to destroy it.
Gen 19:14 Lot tells his sons-in-law to get out because YHWH is going to destroy the city
Gen 19:15 In the morning the angels again urge Lot to leave
Gen 19:16 Lot hesitates so both men grab him and his family and take them out of the city because YHWH had compassion on them
Gen 19:17 One of the men tells them to escape to the mountains
Gen 19:18-20 Lot thanks them for their grace, but pleads for them to allow that he flee to a small town instead of the mountains
Gen 19:20-21 The angel grants the request, exhorting Lot to hurry, because he cannot do anything until Lot arrives there
Gen 19:24 Then YHWH rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from YHWH out of heaven,
Gen 19:25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
All this is akin to saying that President George Bush invaded Iraq; he may have ordered the invasion, but he didn't actually go himself. Ultimately it is God who destroyed Sodom, but two angels actually did the work.