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Salt, Dust, Light, and Water in the Bible

Study of Salt, Dust, Water, & Light in Bible

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The Study of Salt, Dust, Water, and Light in the Bible

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Studying Salt, Dust, Water, and Light in the Bible
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Studying Salt, Dust, Water, & Light in Scripture

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Studying Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

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Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

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Definition for I AM
Glossary

I AM That I AM

As it turns out, God Himself tells us His Name, thereby informing man of his Essence. In response to a request by Moses for the voice from the burning bush to tell him what is his name, God replies: I AM THAT I AM[1] (Exodus 3:14). Never have a mere five words ever said so much. Never have a mere five words ever contained such an infinite depth of Truth. Let us explore deeper.The Hebrew for the conjunction between the two I AMs is listed below.
'Aher ash-er' is a primitive relative pronoun[2] (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as an adverb and a conjunction)[3] when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.:—X after, X alike, as (soon as), because, X every, for, + forasmuch, + from whence, + how(-soever), X if, (so) that ((thing) which, wherein), X though, + until, + whatsoever, when, where (+ -as, -in, -of, -on, -soever, -with), which, whilst, + whither(- soever), who(-m, -soever, -se). As it is indeclinable, it is often accompanied by the personal pronoun expletively, used to show the connection [a family relationship such as father and son — SML]. [All emphasis and highlighting — SML].
אחר (Aher) – The verb[4] אחר ('ahar) means to come after or later, to derive or even to delay (to make to come after or later). Adjective אחר (aher) means another.
אשר (Ash-er) – Our word primarily expresses relation [such as the Father begetting the Son — SML]: this which that, or he who such and such. In some cases, it may express result: so that if a man could number the dust ... (Genesis 13:16), or purpose: in order to find favor (Ruth 2:2), or causality: because of their sister (Genesis 34:27), or concession: although you made me see trouble (Psalm 71:20).
Exodus 3:14 is the passage where “Moses when he asks, who shall I say sent me. And God said to 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” (Ex 3:14, KJV). The next four notes help to explain exactly who the last “I AM who “sent” Moses is: [paragraph note 1][paragraph note 2][paragraph note 3][paragraph note 4]. The Hebrew word most commonly translated as that or who, is either aher (אחר) or asher (אשר). Aher, as an adjective, means another. Asher [https://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/a/a-si-r.html], “occurs in two different ways: There's the verbal root אשר ('ashar), which indicates progression, and there's the particle אשר ('asher) that indicates relation.” According to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, the word can be translated as: “so that” or “in order that”. Putting all of this together, it is clear that I Am that (so that) I Am can be summarized thusly: I Am (the Father) so that I Am (the Son — indicating Divine and infinite Fruitfulness). Additionally, the single “I” for the two “I Am”’s indicates a Unity that can only come through the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph 4:3-6).
PARAGRAPH NOTES:
[paragraph note 1] I Am That I Am indicates the Trinity. The single I Am at the end of the verse (Ex 3:14) indicates a single Person of the Trinity (likely the Son) who is sending Moses. Why is it likely the Son? In all of Scripture, only two Persons of the Trinity are ever described as sending — the Father and the Son. So that narrows it down. According to Augustine, it was likely the Son. The Son who is described as the face of God.[5]
[paragraph note 2] St. Hildegard writes, “We cannot recognize someone from his or her bodily appearance unless we can see that person’s face. But if we see the face, we will praise also the whole form of that individual. This is the way that God’s providence and work are within us human beings.”[6]
[paragraph note 3] St. Augustine writes, “But when Moses was sent to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, it is written that the Lord appeared to him thus: “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” He is here also first called the Angel of the Lord, and then God. Was an angel, then, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? Therefore, He may be rightly understood to be the Saviour Himself, of whom the apostle says, “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” He, therefore, “who is over all, God blessed for ever,” is not unreasonably here understood also to be Himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”[7]
[paragraph note 4] According to St. Augustine, “The Catholic Church Only is the Place from Whence the Back Parts of God are Seen. The Back Parts of God Were Seen by the Israelites. It is a Rash Opinion to Think that God the Father Only Was Never Seen by the Fathers. Not unfitly is it commonly understood to be prefigured from the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, that His ‘back parts’ are to be taken to be His flesh, in which He was born of the Virgin, and died, and rose again; whether they are called back parts on account of the posteriority of mortality, or because it was almost in the end of the world, that is, at a late period, that He deigned to take it: but that His ‘face’ was that form of God, in which He ‘thought it not robbery to be equal with God,’ which no one certainly can see and live.”[8]
By understanding what name means in Scripture, we have only to look at God’s name (YHWH)/(I AM [so] That I AM). The name of something in Scripture describes who/what that thing is. Its substance, if you will. Let us look at a couple more examples of names used to indicate what the subject is. Our first parent, Adam, was given that name because it told us what he is. For example, in Genesis, Adam is described as made from the dust of the earth (Gen 2:7). Adam's name derives from the Hebrew noun ha adamah, which means the ground or earth.[9] The Hebrew word for dust in Genesis is ‘aphar’, which translates as “dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud [Strongs 6083].” Adam’s name describes his substance [http://www.stossbooks.com/is-dna-in-the-bible.html], his personality. As for Eve, Scripture tells us, “Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’” (Gen. 2:23). How did Eve get her name? Genesis tells us, “The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Gen 3:20). Eve is the name describing what she is, i.e., the mother of all the living.
From this Scripture passage, we can determine that Divine unceasing fruitfulness is part of the very Essence of God.
Updated: 04/29/2022

ENDNOTES:

[1] (Strongs #834).
[2] A relative pronoun is a word that introduces a dependent (or relative) clause [I AM (so) That I AM] and connects it to an independent clause [who shall I say sent me]. A clause beginning with a relative pronoun is poised to answer questions such as Which one? How many? or What kind? Who, whom, what, which, and that are all relative pronouns. Source: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/relative-pronouns/.
[3] Relative clauses are also sometimes referred to as adjective clauses, because they identify or give us additional information about the subject (e.g., what is your name?) of the independent clause they relate to. Like adjectives, these clauses in some way describe that subject. Other relative pronouns, like conjunctions, are words that join clauses—in this case, a relative clause to its main clause. As an adverb and a conjunction: when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.. The type of relative pronoun used depends on what kind of noun is being described. Source: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/relative-pronouns/.
[4] A verb and adverb indicate act. Since I AM (that) (so that) (in order that) I AM all indicate act between the first and second I AM. An act such as begetting another. We know that the Trinity (God) is in eternal and unceasing act. There is nothing potential in God. At least six of the eight parts of speech clearly indicate that Exodus 3:14 Hebrew words aher and asher are clearly indicating the Essence of a Triune God — His Name.
[5] A Select Library of The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, ed. by Philip Schaff, D.D., LLD., Professor in The Union Theological Seminary, New York. T&T Clark Edinburgh Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan Volume III, Chapter 13, n. 223 St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity Doctrinal Treatises Moral Treatises.
[6] Hildegard of Bingen, Hildegard of Bingen's Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs, (Kindle Locations 575-590). Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. Kindle Edition.
[7] Augustine, On the Trinity, Chapter 1, n. 223.
[8] Augustine, On the Trinity, Chapter 17, n. 228.
[9] Wikipedia contributors, "Adam (given name)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Adam_(given_name)&oldid=951271687, (accessed April 23, 2020).
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