Sacks on the God of History

But this is the God of Aristotle and the philosophers, not the God of Abraham and the prophets. Ehyeh asher ehyeh means none of these things. It means ‘I will be what, where, or how I will be’. The essential element of the phrase is the dimension omitted by all the early Christian translations, namely the future tense. God is defining himself as the Lord of history who is about to intervene in an unprecedented way to liberate a group of slaves from the mightiest empire of the ancient world and lead them on a journey towards liberty. Already in the eleventh century, reacting against the neo-Aristotelianism that he saw creeping into Judaism, Judah Halevi made the point that God introduces himself at the beginning of the Ten Commandments not as God who created heaven and Earth, but by saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’

Sacks, Jonathan (2012-09-11). The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (pp. 64-65). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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