Presence, Power and Promise: The Role of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament, Edited byDavid G. Firth and Paul D. Wegner

Presence, Power and Promise

The Role of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament

Edited by David G. Firth and Paul D. Wegner

Presence, Power and Promise
  • Length: 415 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 06, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 3957
  • ISBN: 9780830839575

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From the first verses of Genesis, the Spirit of God makes a dramatic appearance in the Bible. Yet there is surprisingly little scholarly work on the Spirit in the Old Testament. On examination, what we find are similarities but also some significant differences in emphasis from the New Testament.

To unpack these emphases on creation, wisdom, prophecy, leadership, creativity and more, the editors of this volume have brought to the task a host of first-rate Old Testament scholars. Together they present a comprehensive examination of the issues facing interpreters and exegetes on the identity and activity of the Spirit in the Hebrew Bible.

This volume provides readers with an able guide to the interpretative background of ancient Near Eastern literature, the major themes and motifs, and particular texts and passages that contribute to an understanding of the Spirit in the Old Testament.

Contributors include:

  • Andrew Abernethy
  • Richard E. Averbeck
  • Daniel I. Block
  • Robert B. Chisholm
  • Rosalind Clarke
  • Daniel J. Estes
  • Jamie A. Grant
  • Richard S. Hess
  • Robert L. Hubbard
  • Tremper Longman III
  • Geert W. Lorein
  • Hilary Marlow
  • Eugene Merrill
  • Erika Moore
  • John Oswalt
  • Robin Routledge
  • Willem VanGemeren
  • John Walton
  • Lindsay Wilson

"The 's/Spirit of God' in the Old Testament has a fairly wide semantic range with much often riding more on the context than on the usage of the word 's/Spirit.' Twenty-one contributors have thoroughly examined the thirty-nine times the term 's/Spirit' is connected with 'God/LORD' or 'Holy' in the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. Not all will agree with all their results, for they even do not always agree with each other, but readers will be pleased that every effort has been made to determine each nuance or contextual meaning that can be found in each of the usages. I think this volume will be the starting point for discussions of this topic for years to come."

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Altogether this collection of essays is inestimably significant for continuing studies on the person and work of the Spirit, particularly pertaining to the Old Testament. . . . Any person wanting to pursue further investigation into this topic should avail himself or herself of this volume."

Rick Wadholm, Enrichment, Fall 2012



David G. Firth and Paul D. Wegner

Part 1: Orientation to the Spirit in the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East

1. Breath, wind, spirit, and the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
Richard E. Averbeck

2. The Ancient Near Eastern background of the Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament
John H. Walton

Part 2: The Spirit and Creation

3. The Spirit and creation
Robert L. Hubbard, Jr

Part 3: The Spirit and Wisdom

4. Spirit and wisdom
Tremper Longman III

5. Job 27:3: The Spirit of God in my nostrils
Rosalind Clarke

6. Spirit and the psalmist in Psalm 51
Daniel J. Estes

7. Spirit and presence in Psalm 139
Jamie A. Grant

8. Spirit of wisdom or Spirit of God in Proverbs 1:23?
Lindsay Wilson

Part 4: The Spirit and creativity

9. Bezalel and Oholiab: Spirit and creativity
Richard S. Hess

Part 5: The Spirit and prophecy

10. The view from the top: the Holy Spirit in the prophets
Daniel I. Block

11. Is Balaam?s donkey the real prophet? (Numbers 24:1-4)?
John N. Oswalt

12. The Spirit of Yahweh in Isaiah 11:1-9
Hilary Marlow

13. Isaiah 48:16: A trinitarian enigma?
Paul D. Wegner

14. Joel?s Promise of the Spirit
Erika Moore

Part 6: The Spirit and leadership
15. The Spirit and leadership: testimony, empowerment and purpose
David G. Firth

16. The Samson saga and spiritual leadership
Eugene H. Merrill

17. Is Saul also among the prophets? Saul?s prophecy in 1 Samuel 19:23
David G. Firth

18. The 'Spirit of the LORD' in 2 Kings 2:16
Robert B. Chisholm, Jr

Part 7: The Spirit and the Future

19. The Spirit and the future: a canonical approach
Willem VanGemeren and Andrew Abernethy

20. The Spirit and the future in the Old Testament: restoration and renewal
Robin Routledge

Part 8: The Spirit at Qumran

21. The Holy Spirit at Qumran
Geert W. Lorein

Author index
Scripture index
Ancient sources index


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David G. Firth is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol. He is the author of 1 & 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), The Message of Esther, and The Message of Joshua, and the coeditor of Interpreting the Psalms, Interpreting Isaiah, Words and the Word, and Presence, Power and Promise.

Paul D. Wegner

Paul D. Wegner (PhD, Kings College, University of London) is distinguished professor of Old Testament at Gateway Seminary, Ontario, California, with a specialty in the study of Isaiah. He taught at Phoenix Seminary for eleven years and, before that, at Moody Bible Institute for nearly thirteen years. He is the author of A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism, The Journey from Texts to Translations, Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching, and An Examination of Kingship and Messianic Expectation in Isaiah 1-35.