Try to imagine the statement “who was and is, and is to come” as a combination of heavenly time and earthly time in one sentence.
Who was, is, and is in the coming time
Yesterday, today, and forever
Jesus breaks the rules of language and tenses with the statement “before Abraham became, I am”. The verb used is not to be (#G1510) but to become (genesthai #G1096). Yahweh did this too,
And Yahweh has said, `The One-Covering is myself from Father-of-Tumult which myself is he-who-makes. 18 And Father-of-Tumult to become he is to a nation great and mighty. And the whole of the nations of the Earth have been kneeled in-himself
Genesis 18:17-18 RBT
הָיֹ֧ו יִֽהְיֶ֛ה TO BE(COME) HE IS means he is and is to become. Perhaps as Jesus is, and is to come.
It is a complete anomaly of any ancient language to play on, or with, it’s own written language in a religious or sacred text, yet the Bible does it frequently and very deliberately, as if to outsmart the so-called authorities,
And comes forth the sun, and goes in the sun. And to his place panting [running the race, Ps. 19:5, Heb. 12:1], coming forth he there.
Walking toward the south and turning around towards the north, around and around, walking the spirit, and on his circuit returning the spirit [John 3:8].
The whole of the rivers are walking toward the Sea, but the Sea is not full. Toward the place the rivers are walking, there they return to walk.
The whole of the words are wearisome [the Bible]. Man is not able to speak [mute]. The eye is not satisfied to see [blind]. The ear is not filled to hear [deaf].
What HAS BECOME, is he who IS. And what has been made, is he who will be made. And nothing of the whole is new under the sun [the sons of Day, 1 Thes. 5:5].
Is there a word [the son] of whom he says, ‘See, this is new’? He already HAS BECOME to the ages, which he HAS BECOME from-to before us. There is no remembrance for the first ones; nor also for the last ones WHO ARE; He is not for them a remembrance with those who are for the last one.”
Ecclesiastes 1:7-11 RBT
Can you wrap your mind around that? Time is not linear for these ancient writers. This challenges our understanding of the Hebrew Bible’s order, both from within and outside of time. Furthermore, we don’t even fully comprehend the concept of time, let alone eternity. According to Jesus, the Bible is a repository of insider knowledge. He encouraged seeking, and he promised that those who seek will find. However, he didn’t provide straightforward explanations; instead, he added to the mystery. His followers continued in this tradition. This is why so much of the Catholic-Protestant theological heritage can be likened to the aftermath of the biblical Tower of Babel—a tangled web of denominational confusion, inconsistency, and contradiction. When individuals begin to seriously contemplate the text upon which they have uncritically relied, things become unsettling, for the deeper one delves, the darker and more enigmatic it becomes.
You see, we have often underestimated the ancients, branding them as uneducated, culturally suppressed, nomadic beings in need of enlightenment from our supposedly superior, liberated minds. However, the reality may be quite the opposite. The Bible contains profound teachings about Elohim, order, and time, but they are shrouded in obscurity. Translators often struggle to decipher these riddles, and in their frustration, they sometimes opt for changing the texts rather than seeking to understand them. Even more concerning, they deny others the opportunity to explore these mysteries. In fact, they have collectively altered this particular verse:
For now, we are looking through a mirror, in an enigma. However then, face towards face. For now I am recognizing [ginōskō] out from a portion; however then I will recognize [epiginóskó] as also I have been recognized.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 RBT
Is the Bible an enigma of you? When you open the Bible, do you see yourself in the Scriptures? The Law? (James 1:23-24). Were you fully known from ancient times and revealed within the pages of the Book? Are you yourself a “word” of God become flesh? If so, what would that mean?
My words will never pass-by… Luke 21:33 RBT
Several verses add to the mystery,
Then will say the king to those out from his right, Come, those being praised of my Father, possess the kingdom [or queen] prepared for you from sowing/founding of the world. Matt. 25:34 RBT
I will open in parables the mouth of myself; I will spit [#G2044] hidden-ones from the sowing of the world.” Matt 13:35 RBT
And will worship him the whole dwelling on the earth of whom the name [singular] of them has not been written in the book of zoe-life of the Lamb—the one having been slaughtered from sowing of the world… Rev. 13:8 RBT
In the following verse, “to be” is not found in the text before the adjective “conformed” which is in the plural. It is added by interpreters.
For those whom he foreknew, he also predetermined, conformed to the image of His Son, into his being the firstborn in many brothers. Rom. 8:29 RBT
Our life from beginning to end already prepared, already worked out, and already conformed according to his plan hidden since the beginning of the world? That’s quite the thought to meditate upon! Enigmas are dark, obscure, and require a lot of thought. They will vex you.
Read that line again from Ecclesiastes 1:11. The first and the last are in the plural:
no remembrance for the first-ones; nor also for the last-ones, WHO ARE;
Jesus is described as the first and the last, the one WHO IS. But what if he’s not the only one? The Bible is referred to as living and active. What if, in a sense, we are actively “writing” its story today? Consider the possibility that our daily deeds, the paths we choose, our moments of rising and sitting, are being searched out today (as in Psalm 139), even before the world was conceived. In Hebrew thought, time flows in a circular manner, akin to rivers flowing into the sea, only to return to their source. Could it be that this narrative is far more intriguing and mind-bending than we’ve ever imagined?
The biblical writers frequently employ pronouns in significant statements, often requiring us to interpret the context to discern the object and subject. This demand for contextual interpretation is a prominent feature of the Bible and can, when we set aside tradition and bias, lead to some rather unconventional readings.