What does it mean that God has a son? Isn’t that a pagan concept?

What does it mean that God has a son?
Did God have intercourse, go into labor and deliver the son of God?

Of course not!

In the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), the angels, who partake in the heavenly and spiritual nature of God (in contrast to the fleshly and earthly nature of us human beings) are referred to as “sons of God”. At times, God refers to the people of Israel as “sons”. The kings of Israel also are called “sons of God”. Is it any wonder then, that the King Messiah – the most high and the ideal representative of God, when he arrived from within the people of Israel – is called the “Son of God”?

The Messiah is not supposed to be an ordinary man like all other men, but God’s incarnation into humanity. Therefore, His birth should also be supernatural and extraordinary, as a sign from God. We have dedicated another video to the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 which speaks of the Messiah being born of a virgin, but here we will examine the term “Son of God”.

The Hebrew Scriptures show that Messiah would be “the Son of God”

The Qumran Scrolls, which were found at the Dead Sea, were written during the 3rd century BC. Scroll 4Q246 describes the expectation in Judaism during their era: the Messiah will be “Son of God”. The Jewish Essenes based this on descriptions found in the Hebrew Scriptures. They lived hundreds of years before the time of Jesus and the New Testament, so they cannot be accused of being “pagan Christians”. So, what are some reasons for them to believe that the Messiah will be the Son of God?

In Proverbs 30, the following questions are presented:

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
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 his son’s name? Surely you know!”

The chapter is presenting Agur’s conclusions. Proverbs 30 is dedicated to rebuking the two boys, Ithiel and Ucal. He is asking them five rhetorical questions, to which the answer is identical.

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down?”
“Who has gathered the wind in his fists?”
“Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?”
“Who has established the universe and preserves the laws of nature?”
“What is his name?”

The answer to these rhetorical questions is of course, “God”.

But then Agur reaches the climax: his sixth and last question, whose answer he previously defined as not requiring supernatural knowledge. He said (Proverbs 30:3): “I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.” What is this deeply mysterious and special question of Agur (in Proverbs 30:4)?

“What is his His [God’s] son’s name? Surely you know!”

According to Agur, it’s not that difficult to know the answers to the rhetorical questions, but let’s see if you can give the answer to the last question. The answer to this riddle is hiding in the Holy Scriptures, and this answer presents to us the Son of God – the Messiah.

Jewish Sages agree that this “Son of God” is the Messiah

Pay attention to the way the Jewish sages understood this: In the book “Minhat Eliyahu”, which quotes from “Yalkut Mishley”, explaining how the anticipated answer can be found:

“‘Who has ascended to heaven and come down’, is the Holy One, blessed be His name – for God rose up with a shout and came down on Mt. Sinai… And he answers, ‘What is his son’s name? Surely you know!’ Meaning, so you will study and understand what his name is who is called Moses after the name of Metatron, the Minister of the Face.”

According to the Jewish book, Zohar, and the literature of the Jewish sages, Metatron is the Minister of the World; a representative with absolute divine embodiment! Metatron holds the characteristics of God Himself, he is the highest entity in the heavenly hierarchy.

The Jewish Zohar describes that, just like God Himself, Metatron also sits on God’s Holy Throne while he is “wearing God’s skin”; he is even called “The Little God”. And on his head, the crown with words by which the universe was created.

The New Testament is consistent with the Jewish Scriptures

Now, pay attention to how hundreds of years before the book of Zohar was written, John describes Jesus in his gospel:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any  thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

Prof. Idel, head of the Department of Jewish Thought in the Hebrew University, summarizes the nature of Metatron and his role as: “Half man and half god… As one who repairs Adam’s sin, and fulfills his original destiny.”

The book of Zohar describes Metatron’s character and nature, as one who is dressed in God’s image, as God’s representative to His creation, as the Angel of the Covenant, as the Son of God, as the “little God”, as God’s firstborn, as an intermediary for God, as the way to the Tree of Life, as a representative to the king, as the one responsible for the entire creation, and by other descriptive terms.

Interestingly, anyone who reads the New Testament, will find that Jesus the Messiah is described in the exact same way! But the New Testament was written long before the book of Zohar  and the rest of the sages’ literature. While Metatron does not appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, conveniently, the Jewish sages  invented him as a substitute for Jesus, whom they rejected.

The Hebrew Scriptures make use of the term “son” quite often, to describe those from the sons of Israel who do obey and follow God. In the New Testament as well, the believers in Jesus are called “sons of God”. Therefore, God has many sons. But while the kings, the angels and the sons of Israel were adopted by God as sons, the Son of God was not adopted. He always existed. He is eternal. The Son of God is the way in which the Creator of the universe reveals Himself to His creation.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Prophet Daniel wrote that the Son of God will come in the clouds of heaven; that means, in a supernatural way. And he describes His eternal nature, as “Ancient of Days” (Daniel 7:9).

The Prophet Micah says “whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).

In Isaiah 9:6, God says: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom.”

It is interesting that God is speaking of Himself in plural form, and speaks of a child. But not just any child: a unique child – a child who receives the names of God.

“Wonderful Counselor” means that he has supernatural knowledge.

“Mighty God” is LORD of Hosts; indicating He will take part  in the nature of God Himself.

“Everlasting Father” means He is the eternal Father.

“Prince of Peace” means He Himself is the definition of “peace”. Anyone who would like to receive spiritual peace will have to go through this Son of God.

Psalm 2 is another prophecy of the Messiah, as even the Jewish sages admit. Both Rashi and the Radak attributed Psalm 2 to the “King Messiah”. But pay close attention to verse 7:

“The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.'”

God says to the Messiah that He is His Son. Then in verse 12 God commands to kiss this Son, meaning, to worship and bow to Him.

Isn’t that interesting?

There is no doubt that these verses refer to the Messiah, who in contrast to David (who ruled over a small group of people, and not over all the gentiles), will one day rule over the entire creation. In this passage as well, the Son of God is the Messiah. Pay attention to the interesting commentary on this section found in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sukkah, chapter 5:

“To the Messiah, son of David, who is destined to be revealed speedily in our days, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say, ‘Ask something from Me, and I shall give it to you,’ so it is said I will tell of the decree… this day have I begotten you (Psalm 2:7) ask of me and I will give the nations for your inheritance, when He sees the Messiah, son of Joseph, killed.”

So, even the Babylonian Talmud attributes the “Son of God” to the Messiah.

There are other passages and prophecies on the Messiah as being the Son of God to which we have dedicated several other articles (available in Hebrew).

So, to conclude…”Son of God” is a name for the Messiah. To worship and praise the Son of God is the same as to worship and praise God.

All this is in absolute contrast to the pagan mythologies, in which one god connects with a goddess, and together they produce a son. The term “Son of God” is a biblical and scriptural term, intended to represent the way God reveals Himself to us human beings, in the image of the Messiah. Yet we are not surprised that many rabbis still would rather try to paint our belief in Jesus as idolatrous and pagan.

Eitan Bar

Eitan Bar is a native Jewish-Israeli who was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel (1984). Graduated with his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Israel College of the Bible (Jerusalem, 2009), his M.A. in Theology from Liberty University (2013) and is now pursuing his Doctorate with Dallas Theological Seminary. Eitan currently serves as ONE FOR ISRAEL's Director of Media & Evangelism. (From 2006 to 2013, Eitan worked for CRU, in which his roles included serving as Israel's VLM-SLM leader.)

Eitan's professional background is in "Multimedia Design and Visual Communications" working for various secular advertising agencies in Tel-Aviv.

Eitan is the producer of:
1) I MET MESSIAH (Jewish testimonials).
2) Answering Rabbinic Objections to Jesus.

Follow Eitan's public updates on Facebook: