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Finger of God


Magyar

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Perhaps my long, painful journey through Augustine's City of God will have been worth it for this one astounding insight. In Book 16, verse 43, expounding upon the Exodus, Augustine mentions the "finger of God." That is a very rare Biblical term, in Hebrew etsba Elohim, and first appears as a description of God's power against the magicians of Pharoah. In the N.T., it resurfaces, in Greek of course, dactylo theo, in reference to the Spirit of God. (Cf. Luke 11:20 and Matthew 12:28). The scholar R. Steven Notley

http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/Default.aspx?tabid=27&ArticleID=1450

notes that the Greek text, by construction, appears dependent on a Hebrew original. I.e., is a Semitism. He also notes that on Passover, Jews customarily recite an ancient Rabbinical commentary on the concept of the finger of God empowering the Exodus.

Of course, the Book of Mormon has a well-known, singular, finger of God episode, appearing in Ether. The finger of God touches stones upon a mountain, enabling a group of God's chosen to travel across the sea to their promised Land.

Jaredites weren't Hebrews and the Exodus of Israel was still a future event at the time of this theophany. But it is interesting to contemplate God using the same symbolism here as He would later. Can we really credit farm-boy Joseph with such an insight? I doubt he had been to very many Passover sedars when he translated the Book of Mormon, nor was very familiar with St. Augustine.

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Here are all scriptures chronologically with that expression:

Moses 6:46

For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language.

Ether 12:20

And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of his word which he had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.

Exodus 8:19

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh

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When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained (Psalms 8:3)

Augustine has more on the finger imagery on his commentary on this psalm, by the way. I like the finger imagery as well. It seems that God's creative and writing acts are ascribed to his finger. Note how the Savior is writing with his finger when the scribes and Pharisees approach him with the women taken in adultery (John 8:6).

Cheers

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Perhaps my long, painful journey through Augustine's City of God will have been worth it for this one astounding insight. In Book 16, verse 43, expounding upon the Exodus, Augustine mentions the "finger of God." That is a very rare Biblical term, in Hebrew etsba Elohim, and first appears as a description of God's power against the magicians of Pharoah. In the N.T., it resurfaces, in Greek of course, dactylo theo, in reference to the Spirit of God. (Cf. Luke 11:20 and Matthew 12:28). The scholar R. Steven Notley

http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/Default.aspx?tabid=27&ArticleID=1450

notes that the Greek text, by construction, appears dependent on a Hebrew original. I.e., is a Semitism. He also notes that on Passover, Jews customarily recite an ancient Rabbinical commentary on the concept of the finger of God empowering the Exodus.

Of course, the Book of Mormon has a well-known, singular, finger of God episode, appearing in Ether. The finger of God touches stones upon a mountain, enabling a group of God's chosen to travel across the sea to their promised Land.

Jaredites weren't Hebrews and the Exodus of Israel was still a future event at the time of this theophany. But it is interesting to contemplate God using the same symbolism here as He would later. Can we really credit farm-boy Joseph with such an insight? I doubt he had been to very many Passover sedars when he translated the Book of Mormon, nor was very familiar with St. Augustine.

Nice observation.

I like it, too, when God gives Satan the finger.

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Heavenly Father loves Lucifer and would never "give him the finger".

Father no longer loves Satan because Satan has so estranged himself from the Celestial family that he (Satan) cannot be humble, cannot worship Father, cannot be near Him without pain. Father would not be able to forgive Satan, even if he, Satan, could repent (which is impossible) because Satan has made himself so incredibly evil.

Satan kept not his first estate, and is cast out forever.

Lehi

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Father no longer loves Satan because Satan has so estranged himself from the Celestial family that he (Satan) cannot be humble, cannot worship Father, cannot be near Him without pain. Father would not be able to forgive Satan, even if he, Satan, could repent (which is impossible) because Satan has made himself so incredibly evil.

Satan kept not his first estate, and is cast out forever.

Lehi

I disagree. HF still loves Satan.... but he can in no way relieve Satan of the misery upon which Satan feels. Law of justice being the reason, I think =/.

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notes that the Greek text, by construction, appears dependent on a Hebrew original. I.e., is a Semitism. He also notes that on Passover, Jews customarily recite an ancient Rabbinical commentary on the concept of the finger of God empowering the Exodus.

They read a midrash given in R. Yose the Galilean's name. It is about the number of plagues God inflicted on the Egyptians. He uses Exodus 8:19 as a proftext for the plagues in Egypt being ten. Finger symbolism is used in the funnest part of the seder. This tradition was instituted by the German Pietists. When the plagues are recited, you sprinkle some wine with you finger.

How the midrash Exodus Rabbah explains etsbah Elohim is that the sorcerers confessed this to be the work of God, not of some other power, because they could not stop or replicate it.

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