Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Jesus Christ – The incomprehensible Son of God and sovereign Lord of all creation

Sam Shamoun

In this article we will be examining Proverbs 30:3-4 in light of the teaching of the inspired NT writings to see if Jesus Christ is the Son mentioned by the OT author Agur. Here is the passage in question:

"I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy Ones (qadoshim). Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand? 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 the name of his Son? Surely you know!"

As we have indicated elsewhere (1, 2, 3) the author is presupposing that Yahweh has a Son who is not only coequal in essence and capable of carrying out the very same functions which God performs, but who is also incomprehensible.

We will now begin analyzing the various statements made by Agur and compare that to what the NT authors say regarding Jesus. If Christ fits the depiction of the Son who can do all that God can do, and whose nature is beyond comprehension, then this will establish the fact that, as far as the inspired Christian Scriptures are concerned, Jesus is the Divine Son whom Agur wrote about.

I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy Ones.

We know that according to the Hebrew Bible both Yahweh and his Spirit are holy:

"In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God." Isaiah 10:20-21

"Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘For your sake I will send to Babylon and break down all the bars, and the shouting of the Chalde'ans will be turned to lamentations. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.’" Isaiah 43:14-15

"For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called." Isaiah 54:5

"For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’" Isaiah 57:15

"But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses his servant. Where is he who brought up out of the sea the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit," Isaiah 63:10-11

We also know from the inspired Greek Christian Scriptures that the Son, along with both the Father and the eternal Spirit, is completely holy and righteous. The NT writings further inform us that the phrase "Holy One" is applied not just to the Father but also to his beloved and glorious Son:

"Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’" Mark 1:23-24

"The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.’" Luke 1:35

"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one… O Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have sent me." John 17:11, 26

"You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this." Acts 3:14-15

"Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever." Hebrews 7:23-28

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him [Jesus] who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Revelation 3:7

"I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God's wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: ‘Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." Revelation 15:1-4

"Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: ‘You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’ And I heard the altar respond: ‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.’" Revelation 16:5-7

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?

The idea here is that God is sovereign and can freely move about throughout the heavens and the earth as well as do whatever he pleases within them:

"There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty. The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, 'Destroy!'" Deuteronomy 33:26-27

"The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness. You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there… O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies." Psalm 68:17-18, 32-34

"Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps." Psalm 135:6; cf. 33:10-11, 115:3

In the same way the Son also moves freely about heaven and earth since he is the sovereign Lord of all creation(1):

"and what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of his might which he brought about in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:19-23

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.’ (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)" Ephesians 4:7-10

It may also be a metaphorical way of saying that Yahweh alone is able to ascend to heaven in order to bring wisdom down to man. Something similar is stated concerning the revelation of the Torah, or Law of Moses,

"See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?" Deuteronomy 4:5-8

"The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground; for the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it." Deuteronomy 30:9-14

The point of Moses is that there is no need to look for God’s revelation since God has brought it to his people in the Law which he gave through his prophet and servant. In fact, certain non-canonical Jewish writings speak of the Torah as the very embodiment of Yahweh’s wisdom, even using language reminiscent of Proverbs 30:

"O Israel, how great is the house of God! And how vast the territory that he possesses! It is great and has no bounds; it is high and immeasurable. The giants were born there, who were famous of old, great in stature, expert in war. God did not choose them, nor give them the way to knowledge; so they perished because they had no wisdom, they perished through their folly. Who has gone up to heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds? Who has gone over the sea and found her, and will buy her for pure gold? No one knows the way to her, or is concerned about the path to her. But he who knows all things (alla ho eidos ta panta) knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures; he who sends forth the light, and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear; the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, ad they said, ‘Here we are!’ They shone with gladness for him who made them. This is our God; no other can be compared to him! He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved. Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men. She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures for ever. All who hold fast her will live, and those who forsake her will die. Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light." Baruch 3:24-37, 4:1-2

In a similar fashion Jesus does what God did in that he came down from heaven and brought with him the manifold wisdom and revelation of God:

"Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicode'mus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born anew." The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicode'mus said to him, ‘How can this be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, WE [i.e. Father, Son and Holy Spirit] speak of what WE know, and bear witness to WHAT WE HAVE SEEN; but you do not receive OUR testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.’" John 3:5-13

The inspired Scriptures expressly testify that God has been pleased to make known his perfect wisdom through the Lord Jesus Christ:

"At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’" Matthew 11:25-30

Since it is in him that all of the infinite riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge are to be found:

"For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God… He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.’" 1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 30-31

"For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at La-odice'a, and for all who have not seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge… See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him all the whole fulness of Deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority." Colossians 2:1-3, 8-10

Interestingly, Paul actually quotes Deuteronomy 30:11-12 in relation to the revelation of Jesus Christ:

"For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified. Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?"’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved." Romans 10:6-10

Thus, God’s wisdom is now embodied forever in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ which means that his teachings supercede those of the Torah:

"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." Matthew 7:24-27

"And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.’" Matthew 28:18-20

"‘If you love me, you will keep MY commandments.’ … Jesus answered him, ‘If a man loves me, he will keep MY word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep MY words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.’" John 14:21, 23-24

Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?

Like the Father the Son has complete mastery over nature, having power to command the winds and seas, an ability which no mere mortal can lay claim to as even his contemporaries realized:

"And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’" Matthew 8:23-27; cf. Mark 4:35-41

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It's a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! I AM (ego eimi). Don't be afraid. ‘Lord, if it's you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’" Matthew 14:22-33; cf. Mark 6:45-52

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

According to the inspired NT record the Father used his Son, the Lord Jesus, to both create and sustain the entire creation:

"Through him [Jesus in his prehuman existence as the Word] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him." John 1:3, 10

"He [the Son] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For BY HIM all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created BY HIM and FOR HIM. He is before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together." Colossians 1:15-17

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the Heir of all things, through whom also he created the universe. He reflects the glory of God and is the exact representation of his being/nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… But about the Son he says, … ‘In the beginning, O Lord [Jesus the Son], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’" Hebrews 1:1-3, 8a, 10-12

What is his name, and the name of his son?

The NT is the revelation which fully unveils the identity of this incomprehensible Son who is coequal with the Father. He is the eternal Word of God who became flesh, the Son of the Most High who was given the name Jesus Christ at his Incarnation:

"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’" Mark 1:9-11

"But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’" Luke 1:30-33

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1, 14

"‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham came into being/was born, I AM (always existed)!’" John 8:58

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The Life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:1-3

"He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God." Revelation 19:13

Tell me if you know!

Not only can no one know God completely, no one can even know who God is exactly unless he chooses to reveal himself so that we may have an intimate and accurate understanding of him.(2)

And, as we mentioned earlier, the witness of the NT is that the only way for a person to have this intimate, adequate and accurate knowledge of who and what God is like is by turning to the Lord Jesus Christ:

"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Luke 10:22

"No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is God, the One in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." John 1:18

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father." John 6:44-46

"And this is eternal life, that they KNOW you the only true God, AND Jesus Christ whom you have sentI have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours and you gave them to Me, and they have kept your word… and I have made your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:3, 6, 26(3)

"But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,’ God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:9-16

"And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

The point of all of these NT texts is that Christ fully comprehends the unfathomable nature of God and is therefore the only One who can perfectly reveal the invisible and incomprehensible God to his creation. That is precisely why Jesus says that the Father will bring all whom he desires to know him to his beloved Son – not to some other figure such as Muhammad or Buddha – since only the Son has seen or fully comprehended the Father.

(The Holy Spirit is also qualified to do this work since he is not a creature, and is therefore not limited in his understanding, but God’s eternal Spirit that proceeds from the Father and whom the Lord Jesus sends to continue his work of revealing God to man [cf. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:33; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 quoted above; Hebrews 9:14].)

We are also told that no one can know who Jesus truly is unless the Father desires to reveal this to the individual:

"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do men say that the Son of man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.’" Matthew 16:13-17

What all of these passages show us is that it is the work of the Father to reveal the Son to a person by drawing that individual to Christ,

"Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, "I have come down from heaven"?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ … And he said, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.’" John 6:35-44, 65

"For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Galatians 1:11-17

It is then the work of Christ to make known the Father to him/her, a work which he continues to do through the Holy Spirit which he gives to all the faithful:

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." John 14:26

"But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning." John 15:26-27

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:7-15

"But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’" Acts 5:29-32

"Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:3

With the foregoing in view it is obvious that the NT writers believed that Jesus is the holy Son of God who is coequal with God in essence and ability, whose nature is unfathomable and can only be fully known by God. In other words, Jesus is the unique Son that Agur knew existed by revelation that he received from God!


(1) This was not the first time that Jesus descended from heaven, even though this was the only time that he did so for the purpose of becoming a man by his virginal conception and birth from the blessed Mary in the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Matthew 1:18, 20; Luke 1:34-35). The NT teaches that Jesus has been ascending and descending all throughout the OT period, coming down to save his people in difficult times such as the Exodus:

"I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

Hence, much like God the Father Jesus has often traversed the heavens and earth, ascending and descending on various occasions to different people.

(2) It is interesting that right after referring to God’s unfathomable ways and incomprehensible nature, Agur goes on to mention the revealed words of God and warns against tampering with them:

"Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar." Proverbs 30:5-6

The placement of these verses right after Proverbs 30:3-4 is no coincidence and is obviously meant to highlight the need for God’s revelation in order to know God adequately. Agur is basically saying that God must teach him wisdom if he is to learn it since he is the source of all knowledge and understanding. This explains why Agur threatens anyone who would think to corrupt God’s words seeing that we are all dependent upon that very witness to accurately know him. To tamper with that revelation would be disasterous to say the least since that would undermine the only sure knowledge and wisdom that we have from God.

(3) Jesus wasn’t implying that the disciples were ignorant of the Divine Name of God and that he therefore came down to make it known to them. As Jews who would have been familiar with the Scriptures they certainly knew what that Name was. Rather, Jesus meant that he had come to reveal the very nature of God, making known to them who God truly is and what he is actually like. The following translations capture this point more clearly:

"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world… I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known…" NIV

"I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world… I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self," Amplified Bible

"You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like… I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more…" Contemporary English Version

"I spelled out your character in detail To the men and women you gave me… I have made your very being known to them— Who you are and what you do— And continue to make it known," The Message

This provides further substantiation for our exegesis that the author in Proverbs 30:4 was not trying to found out the names of God and his Son, as if he was somehow ignorant of all of the various names which the Hebrew Bible uses for God. Instead, the writer was speaking to the issue of the unfathomable and incomprehensible nature of both God and this unique Son.