Luke 1:68; 7:16 – God Visited His People

{Luke 1:68} “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, for he has looked upon and prepared redemption for his people;
{Luke 1:69} and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. — Restoration Light Improved Version.

{Luke 7:16} Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has looked upon his people!” — Restoration Light Improved Version.

Many refer to the above scriptures and claimed that it Jehovah God himself  became flesh in Christ so as to redeem Israel. Such overlook the fact that Luke (in Luke 1:68,69) distinguishes Jehovah, the God of Israel, from Jesus, since it is Jehovah of verse 68 who raises up “a horn of salvation” in verse 69. It is generally conceded that this “horn of salvation” in verse 69 is Jesus. Since it is Jehovah of verse 68 who raises up this “horn” spoken of in verse 69,  the default conclusion should be that “Jehovah” is not Jesus. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26.

Most translations read that Jehovah “visited” his people, which, when placed in the context of trinitarian or oneness claims that Jesus is Jehovah, would seem to make it appear that Jehovah did indeed become flesh in order to redeem Israel. However, if one looks up the meaning of the Greek word, it means to look upon, in the sense of giving attention to. The Greek word rendered “visited” is borrowed from the Hebraic usage in the Old Testament, wherein forms of the Hebrew word transliterated as “Paqad” are used.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/paqad.html

Biblestudytools’ Lexicon gives the word the following meanings:

v

1. to attend to, muster, number, reckon, visit, punish, appoint, look after, care for
1. (Qal)
1. to pay attention to, observe
2. to attend to
3. to seek, look about for
4. to seek in vain, need, miss, lack
5. to visit
6. to visit upon, punish
7. to pass in review, muster, number
8. to appoint, assign, lay upon as a charge, deposit
2. (Niphal)
1. to be sought, be needed, be missed, be lacking
2. to be visited
3. to be visited upon
4. to be appointed
5. to be watched over
3. (Piel) to muster, call up
4. (Pual) to be passed in review, be caused to miss, be called, be called to account
5. (Hiphil)
1. to set over, make overseer, appoint an overseer
2. to commit, entrust, commit for care, deposit
6. (Hophal)
1. to be visited
2. to be deposited
3. to be made overseer, be entrusted
7. (Hithpael) numbered
8. (Hothpael) numbered n m pl abstr
2. musterings, expenses

Usually, when applied to God and humans, it is used in the sense of turning His attention toward, either for blessing or to express his wrath/punishment.

Some examples, using the World English:

Exodus 3:16 – Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited [paqad – turned attention to] you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt”

Numbers 14:18 – 18 Yahweh is slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and disobedience; and that will by no means clear [the guilty], visiting [paqad] the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation.

Ruth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited [paqad] his people in giving them bread.

1 Samuel 2:21 Yahweh visited Hannah, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yahweh.

Psalm 89:32 Then I will punish [paqad] their sin with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes.

Isaiah 23:17 It shall happen after the end of seventy years, that Yahweh will visit [paqad] Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth.

Jeremiah 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I visit [paqad] them they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.

This is only a few examples.

In Luke 7:16, the corresponding Greek word is a form of the word transliterated as “Episkeptomai”. Biblestudytools’ Lexicon defines this as:

to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes

1. in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one
1. the poor and afflicted, the sick
2. to look upon in order to help or to benefit
1. to look after, have care for, provide for: of God
3. to look (about) for, look out (one to choose, employ, etc.)
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/episkeptomai.html

Any of the above definitions could apply to the way the word is used in Luke 1:68,78; 7:16, and the definitions given, although not as elaborate as the definitions given for the Hebrew paqad, do correspond with definitions given for the corresponding word in Hebrew, although all the Hebrew definitions may not apply to the Greek word. Nevertheless, these scriptures are definitely not saying the “prophet” of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) is Jehovah Himself! Any such idea has to imagined and assumed on what these scriptures state.

n Luke 1:68,78 where Zechariah speaks of God’s turning his attention to his people, He does this by sending Jesus. It is Jehovah, the God of Israel, who had prepared and sent his Son to provide redemption (Hebrews 10:5,10); thus it is Jehovah who worked redemption through Jesus. This agrees with Paul’s thought in 1 Corinthians 8:6,7, in God is the source, and Jesus is the means. Just as Jehovah gave the Law through Moses, so he has given grace and truth through His Son, for the unipersonal God reconciles us to Himself through Jesus. Jesus is the promised prophet of Jehovah who is like Moses. — Deuteronomy 18:15-20; John 1:17; Acts 3:13-26; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Hebrews 1:1,2.

Some, noting that Zechariah’s words were related to the birth of John, have suggested that Zechariah thought John was to deliver Israel from the Romans. This is not clearly stated, although it is possible that Zechariah, like the prophets in the Old Testament, did not understand the words he spoke as given to him from God’s Holy Spirit. Thus, what Zechariah may have thought concerning his words is not as important as understanding that Jehovah redeems His people through, by means of, the one He has appointed, his Son Jesus the Messiah. — John 3:17; Acts 3:24,25; 13:39; Romans 5:9; Colossians 1:13,14; Ephesians 1:3-7; 1 Peter 3:18.

At any rate, there is nothing in the words of either Luke 1:68,69,78 or Luke 7:16 about Jehovah being more than one person, or that gives any indication that Jesus was the Almighty Himself, and certainly nothing that gives us any reason to think that Jesus came in the flesh as a person of the Almighty.

Originally published October 7, 2011; Edited and republished August 9, 2015

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