SEVEN EPITHETS: SEH HA’ELOHIM (שׂה האלהים) Lamb of God

‘Seh’ means a young sheep or goat – generally referred to as a lamb and in the Bible it is the most significant of the sacrificial animals, with Leviticus and Numbers setting out detailed rules for the ritual of offering the lamb for sacrifice. An ordinary ritual simply requires a young lamb, but certain events such as the Day of Atonement (making amends for wrongs) and Passover (the lamb’s blood as the redemption sacrifice) required the sacrificial lamb to be ta’min; meaning that it had to be innocent and perfect – without blemish.

Jesus was led to sacrifice like a lamb. Caiaphas unwittingly set out the truth of the scale of that sacrifice when he said:

You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50)

And Isaiah had foretold both the perfection of Jesus and also his sacrifice for us. For Jesus is, of course, ta’min – innocent, perfect and without blemish. Isaiah contrasted us as broken, sinful humans against the perfection of Jesus even as He allowed Himself to be sacrificed for us:

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:6-7)

And so Jesus became – and is – our ultimate, innocent, perfect sacrificial lamb. He became Seh Ha’Elohim – the Lamb of God, often shortened just to the ‘Lamb.’

John the Baptiser recognised Jesus for who He is. John could have used so many names or titles for Jesus when he encountered Him when Jesus was calling together His disciples at the start of His ministry. As they met up, John could have greeted him by exclaiming, “Cousin!” He could have alluded to the power and authority of Jesus, part of the Holy Trinity, and said, “El Shaddai!” Or simply “Adonai.” But in that moment, John understood what Jesus was going to do for us all:

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, Seh Ha’Elohim [the Lamb of God], who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

We find completion in that the Lamb will be our Shepherd (Jehovah-Raah) leading us to living water (the living water being the Holy Spirit), where the Eternal One (Yahweh) will love us into perfection:

For Seh Ha’Elohim at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd;
“he will lead them to springs of living water.” 
    “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”(Revelation 7:17)

[from Timothy Pitt]

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