Isaiah 40:13, the DSS and The Holy Spirit

“Who has directed the Spirit of YHWH,  Or man of counsel of Him he makes Him known?  With whom [did] He consult,  That he causes Him to understand? And teaches Him in the path of judgment,  And teaches Him knowledge? And causes Him to know the way of understanding?” (verses 13-14)

The Words “who taught Him”, is in the Masoretic Text (MT), of the Hebrew Old Testament, “יודיענו”. However, in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), it reads, “יודיענה”, which is literally, “who taught Her”, as it is feminine and not masculine. The MT refers back to “יְהוָ֑ה (YHWH)”; whereas the DSS, refers to, “ר֖וּחַ (Spirit)”. The reading of the DSS does not mean that the “Spirit” is “female”, but is grammatical, for agreement with “Spirit”, and not “YHWH”, though in this case, “The Spirit of YHWH”, is One and the same Person. Even with the feminine reading, the English would read, “Him”. All of what is said in this passage, is spoken of the Holy Spirit, Who is Almighty God.

The difference between the MT and DSS is only one letter. The MT, “ו” and the DSS, “ה”. This is also the case for another very important text, on the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. In Psalm 22:16, which is on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the MT reads, “כארי”, which is, “like a lion”; and the text is found in DSS Nahal Hever (5/6HevPs. 50BC-150AD), reads, “כארו”, “they pierced”. The difference is “י”, in MT, and “ו”, in the DSS. The DSS agrees with the LXX, as does the Syriac Peshitta and Latin Vulgate. Evidences that show the wilful corruption of the MT text, by opponents of Jesus The Messiah!

The difference in the readings of Isaiah 40:13-14, is of great importance, as the words in verses 13 and 14, in the DSS, refer, not to YHWH, but to “The Spirit of YHWH”, that is, “The Holy Spirit”, Who is here a distinct Person. The language is clear, “ר֖וּחַ” cannot mean something “impersonal”, as some suppose, “a thing”. The Spirit has “knowledge, and Judgement, and Understanding”, and can be “Consulted”. None of these are possible for a “thing”, that is “impersonal”.

The Masoretic text, was begun around the 6th century AD and completed in the 10th by scholars in Babylonia and Palestine. This text is supposedly based on those of the 1st century AD. The oldest source of the MT Bible is the Aleppo Codex, about 925 AD. The oldest complete source for MT is Codex Leningrad, about 1009 AD. The great Isaiah Scroll that was discovered near the Dead Sea (1QIsaa), and dates around 125 BC. This is before the Church Age, and therefore cannot be said to have been tampered by Christians.

From the evidence that we have, it is clear that the scribes of the MT, have changed the verb, in the Hebrew, from the feminine, to the masculine. The change made is very small, in the Hebrew, but what it means, is very big, for our understanding of the Person of the Holy Spirit, in the Old Testament. As this is before the Church Age, what this passage teaches in the DSS, is very important on what the Hebrew Bible says on the Holy Spirit, especially on His Person and Deity.

On the Hebrew verb, “תּכן”, which is translated, “directed”, we have the Jewish School and Family Bible, by Dr A Benisch, where it reads, “investigated”. The 12th century Jewish commentator, Ibn Ezra, uses “directed”. As does The Targum Jonathan Ben Uziel (150-250 AD), . In Proverbs 16:2, and 21:2, the verb is used metonymically, “to prove, try, examine”. Jerome in his Latin Vulgate (4th cent. AD), uses, “adiuvit”, which is “to assist, help”.

The reading of verse 13 in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), which was completed about 100 BC, but has been revised/edited in the first three centuries AD, is no doubt a copyist error:

“Who has known the mind of the Lord (νοῦν κυρίου)? and who has been his counsel or, to instruct him?” (Lancelot Brenton, The Septuagint in Greek and English; Charles Thomson; Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright)

Where “Spirit” has been substituted by “mind”. There is not a single Hebrew manuscript that has this reading. The two Greek Old Testaments by Aquila a Jewish proselyte and Symmachus an Ebionite, in the 2nd century AD, both read, “πνεῦμα κυρίου, Spirit of the Lord”  (Fridericus Field, Origenis Hexaplorum, Tomus II, p. 510). Like the LXX, these were made from the Hebrew manuscripts, but, unlike the LXX, they both read “Spirit”, as found in the Hebrew text they used.

The reading of the early Syriac Old Testament, known as the Peshitta, which is dated between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, is very interesting here:

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD?” (G Lasma; Peshitta Syriac Old Testament)

In the translation by Pastor Glenn David Bauscher, verse 13 reads:

“Who has directed the Spirit of LORD JEHOVAH?”

Of the Syriac Peshitta, we are told;

“The Syriac translation of the Old Testament was undoubtedly made directly from the Hebrew; though at Antioch, during the third century of the present era and at later periods, it was revised so as to make it conform to the Septuagint. The history of its origin is obscure; but it was probably made in Mesopotamia during the first century” (Jewish Encyclopaedia. III, p.188)

“The earlier form [original] of the Peshitta, a daughter version of the Septuagint” (P R Ackroyd and C F Evans; The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. I, pp.158)

The Peshitta was made directly from the Hebrew (text as the MT), as early as the first century AD, and is supposed to have been “revised so as to make it conform to the Septuagint”. And yet it reads, “Spirit”, and the LXX has “mind”. Shows the early corruption in the LXX.

We also have the important early Version known as the Latin Vulgate, by the scholar, Jerome, in the 4th century AD.

Quis adiuvit spiritum Domini?, Who has assisted the Spirit of the Lord?”

Jerome used the Hebrew Bible as his basis for the Old Testament, instead of the LXX. This shows that the Hebrew manuscripts at his time, 4th century A.D., had “ר֖וּחַ (Spirit)”, and not “לֵב (mind)”

Not only do we have the MT change the feminine to the masculine; we also have the LXX change “Spirit” to “mind”, a reading which is completely unknown in any Hebrew manuscript.

We have another passage in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew grammar is very clear on the Person of the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Samuel 23:2, we have a very clear reference where The Holy Spirit is called YHWH and Elohim

“The Spirit of  Yahweh speaks by me; His word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me”

The Hebrew word “Spirit”, is “ר֥וּחַ”, which is feminine in gender. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a “female”, but, the word is grammatically in the feminine. The word “speaks”, is the Hebrew “דִּבֶּר־”, is masculine, as is “וּמִלָּת֖וֹ” (and His Word). This means that it is “ר֥וּחַ יְהוָ֖ה”, Who is the subject here, is the One Who Speaks by David. Not simply “the Spirit”, but, “the Spirit of Yahweh (ר֥וּחַ יְהוָ֖ה)”, as there is no distinction here. The words, “The God (אֱלֹהֵ֣י) of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me”, also refer to “ר֥וּחַ יְהוָ֖ה”. The Holy Spirit is here Yahweh and Elohim.

Here we have more solid, very clear, Biblical evidence, on the Personality and absolute Deity of God the Holy Spirit. We can also see the fact that Scripture has been tampered with by the Jews, who are against the Bible’s Teaching on the Trinity, as do others, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.