Who Is The Savior and/or Elohim of Israel: Yahweh, Messiah Yeshua, or Both?
Isaiah 43:11 - “ I, even I, am Yahweh; and beside me there is no saviour.”
Hosea 13:4 - “Yet I am Yahweh your Elohim from the land of Egypt, and you shall know no elohim but me: for there is no saviour beside me.”
These verses have led many people to question how Yeshua the Messiah can be the Saviour of Israel and the world. Some have concluded that, since there is no saviour beside Yahweh, Messiah Yeshua must be Yahweh. Others have even renounced Yeshua as their Saviour and turned to Yahweh as their only Saviour. Are such conclusions and drastic, hasty decisions warranted? Let’s examine the issue in more detail.
The word “Saviour” in both verses is the Hebrew “yasha” (Strong’s #3467) and means “to be open, wide or free, that is, (by implication) to be safe; causatively to free or succor:”
Here is how “yasha” was used in Judges 6:14-15:
“And Yahweh looked upon him [Gideon], and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save [yasha] Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent you? And he said unto Him, Oh my Adonai, how shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”
These words were spoken to Gideon long before Yahweh used Isaiah and Hosea to prophesy about there being no Saviour besides Him. I’ll comment on how this can be after I give a few more examples.
“And Yahweh gave Israel a saviour [yasha], so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.” 2 Kings 13:5
We learn that the saviour Yahweh gave them was Joash (vs.25).
Isaiah prophesied that Yahweh would send a future saviour to Egypt to deliver them from their oppressors.
“And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Yahweh of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto Yahweh because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a saviour [yasha], and a great one, and he shall deliver them. “ Isaiah 19:20
Nehemiah 9:27 speaks of saviours that Yahweh sent to save Israel.
“Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto you, you heard them from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviours [yasha], who saved [yasha] them out of the hand of their enemies.”
Obadiah also prophesied about future saviour that will be sent to Israel.
“And saviours [yasha] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Yahweh’s." Obadiah 1:21
From the Scripture references given above, it is clear that there were other saviours besides Yahweh both before and after the words spoken by Isaiah and Hosea in our opening verses. How are we to take those apparent contradictions? Do we think the Almighty made a mistake and abandon Him because He is not omniscient? Do we reject His prophets because they prophesied falsely? Or do we seek to harmonize all the texts?
It seems obvious to me that when Yahweh said there was no other Saviour except Him, He was declaring Himself the ONE TRUE SAVIOUR. As such, He can choose any method He wants to save people. He can choose to save by Himself or He can choose to save by raising up men to act as saviours. The men He raises up do not replace Yahweh as the ultimate Saviour from whom all salvation flows. They are vessels through whom Yahweh saves. If Yahweh can and has used men in the past to be saviours, then why can’t He use His Messiah to save people as well? If Yahweh can use men to bring about a temporal salvation to His people, why can’t He use His Messiah to bring about an eternal salvation for His people? He can and He has.
He has also placed in Torah the life of Joseph which is an uncanny parallel with the life of Yeshua. Yahweh used Joseph to save not only the children of Israel, but many others from the nation stricken by the famine. Consider the following two verses.
Genesis 45:7 - And Elohim sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Genesis 50:20 - But as for you, you thought evil against me; but Elohim meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
The starving nations had to come to Joseph for food and to save their lives. He was a type of Messiah Yeshua to whom the world must come for spiritual food and salvation. Yeshua is the bread of life and the Yahweh appointed Saviour of the world. If Yahweh could use Joseph to save people, He could use His Messiah, Yeshua, to save people as well. However, the salvation we receive through Yeshua is far more efficacious than the temporal salvation received through Joseph. For salvation through Yeshua is eternal.
A similar issue to that of “no Saviour besides me” is “no Elohim besides me”.
Isaiah 43:10 - “You are my witnesses, says Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no el formed, neither shall there be after me. “
Isaiah 44:6 – “ Thus says Yahweh the King of Israel, and his redeemer Yahweh of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no Elohim.”
Concerning the Hebrew “El”, it was used for strong men, a mighty warrior, and pagan mighty ones.
Ezekiel 32:21 – “The strong [el] among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. “
Isaiah 9:6 – “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty el [el gibbor – mighty warrior], Father of Eternity, The Prince of Peace.”
Daniel 11:36 - “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every mighty one [el], and shall speak marvelous things against the El of [elim], and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”
Concerning “elohim”, it was used for judges in Israel and angels.
Exodus 21:6 - “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges [elohim]; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.”
Exodus 22:8 - “If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges [elohim], to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbor's goods. “
1Samuel 2:25 - “If one man sin against another, the judge [elohim] shall judge him: but if a man sin against Yahweh, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because Yahweh would slay them.”
Psalm 8:5 - “For you have made him a little lower than the angels [elohim], and have crowned him with glory and honor.”
Based on the word “elohim” being used for others besides Yahweh, we must conclude that when Yahweh said there was no other “El” or “Elohim” beside Him, He was declaring Himself to be the ONE TRUE ELOHIM.
So, now we know Yahweh is the Saviour and Elohim of Israel, but that there are other saviours and elohim beside Yahweh. The question remains, “is Yeshua the Messiah also a saviour and Elohim of Israel?”
Luke 2:11 - “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Messiah the Master.”
1 John 4:14 – “ And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
Isaiah 9:6 - “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty el, Father of Eternity, The Prince of Peace.”
Psalm 45:6-7 – “ Your throne, O elohim, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of your kingdom is a right sceptre.” You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore elohim, your Elohim, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. “
Yahweh has made His only begotten Son Yeshua both Saviour and Elohim (a mighty one among his people). Yeshua is not the one true Saviour or the one true Elohim (John 17:3), but he is undoubtedly a saviour and an elohim appointed by Yahweh. Praise Yahweh for giving us His Son to save us and rule over us in righteousness. HalleluYah!