Question _ Walvoord said the Holy Spirit indwelt some Old Testament believers. Here are the verses he cited. What do you think?


(Note to the questioner and to those who will read this afterwards. After each cited “proof text” I will interject my response to that text and then at the end give my final conclusion.

– Michael Ford)


                      {Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in O.T. ?}

pp.71-73 Joseph   


Proof Text cited: Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

My Observation In whom – אשר - ash·er'

Using this as a proof text is disingenuous coming from a man who is supposed to be a language scholar, though I admit he is better known for the Greek tongue.

Both the word for Spirit and God are terms for the God of the Bible.

The problem with the statement for arguing for doctrine is the statement is made by a person outside the faith and we cannot be totally sure he was divinely inspired to make the utterance only that divine inspiration caused the account to be preserved in Holy text..


Exodus 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.


My Observation: The indicator in this text is using the word “male’” for fill. This means that they have the spirit of wisdom in abundance. It does not mean they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.


Exodus 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,


My Observation – The word for fill is the same as in the previous verse. It does not mean that the person so described is indwelt.


Exodus 35:31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;


My Observation – Again the same word is used as in the previous two verses. It is a verb denoting action. Proving nothing of the assertion to being indwelt. Scripture makes it plain that holy men in the O.T. acted as the Spirit of God came upon them.


Exodus 35:32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,


My Observation – Exodus 35:32 & 33 are descriptive of the work only proving nothing of the assertion.


Exodus 35:33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. (look at observation above)


Exodus 35:34 And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.


My Observation – Though teaching is part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament “nä·than'” for put indicates a placement, a bestowal, granting of ability. Says nothing in favor of the assertion he is arguing. I begin to wonder if these “proof texts” were supplied by the man or some student doing undergraduate work.


Exodus 35:35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.


My Observation – We are back to “male” again and its meaning has not changed.


Numbers 11:17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.


My Observation – This verse is actually making the assertion that we have held that the Spirit came upon men of old. This is the laying upon as a burden and in no way requires an abiding or continual presence even of the Spirit.


Numbers 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.


My Observation – Here the limited presence was indicated and a measure of the Spirit was upon them, not the Spirit abiding permanently and without measure. The limited duration is indicated because the elders could only prophesy when the Spirit was upon them.


Numbers 27:18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;


My Observation – Nothing in this text or any other text related to Joshua that I am aware of indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit was different than with him than it was with any other of the O.T. heroes of the faith. His heart was inclined toward the Lord and the Lord used him as He did others who would follow divine direction.


Othniel    Judges 3:10 And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel , and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.


My Observation – This text actually proves our assertion that they Holy Spirit came upon the man for a limited duration of time that he might serve the Lord.

Gideon      Judges 6:34 But the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.


My Observation – The account of Gideon’s life plainly shows he was not permanently indwelt just as the text indicates the Spirit was upon him.


Jephthah    Judges 11:29 Then the spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.


My Observation – This text once again proves our assertion concerning the Holy Spirit’s presence upon men in the O.T. not any assertion of continual abiding.


Samson   Judges 13:25 And the spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.


My Observation – Like Gideon the account of Samson’s life argues against continual abiding as does this verse which plainly says he was moved at times.


Judges 14:6 And the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.


My Observation – This account of Samson once again proves our point for the Spirit came down. It was not indwelling.


Judges 14:19 And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.


My Observation – See my above comment. The text continues unchanged in its implication.


Judges 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.


My Observation – Though we have changed chapters the description of the working of the Holy Spirit in Samson is consistent.


Deborah     Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.


My Observation – In the entire account of Deborah, I know of no description of how the Holy Spirit worked in her.

Saul and David    1saih 10:9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.


My Observation – Somehow it seems they just threw passages of Scripture out thinking people would accept them blindly. Poor scholarship at best, dishonest at worse.


1saiah 10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.


My Observation – Again the text proves that the Spirit did not indwell.


1saiah 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.


My Observation – David was the only person to my knowledge of whom it might be argued the Holy Spirit continued with routinely, but that continuance was conditional as we see in the Psalm 51. So the indwelling of the Spirit was not as it is in the believer.


1saiah 16:14 But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.


My Observation – The dealing of the Spirit in Saul’s life was limited and connected with his anointing as king. It could be withdrawn or quenched contrasted with that of the Christian who might grieve the Holy Spirit but cannot lose Him.


Daniel     Daniel 4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,


My Observation – Here is a pagan statement reflecting pagan belief and as such cannot be accepted as a doctrinal statement according to the principles of biblical interpretation.


Daniel 5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;


My Observation – See above statement.


Daniel 5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.


My Observation – Here is a statement of observation, not of doctrine, and it has nothing to do with whether the Holy Spirit permanently indwelt Daniel or not.


Daniel 5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah , whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?


My Observation – Go down to 5:14


Daniel 5:14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.


My Observation – Again we are looking at a pagan statement that is polytheistic.


Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.


My Observation – The reason for elevation says nothing of the doctrinal question at hand.


Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.


My Observation – I touched on this in reference to Isaiah 16:14.


My final conclusion to the question:

I want to congratulate on not accepting the great man’s assertions blindly. Too often theologians become so impressed with their own learning they reason themselves into places contrary to where the wisdom of men who went before them indicated otherwise.

The theological position that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer is unique to the Church Age is one that has been around a long time and it was not dismantled by what Walvoord said in his book.

Several times I have written to men about things put into their books to discover they had not caught an error made by some students doing graduate work for them while turning out the effort. This might be the case here, in which situation the problem is more sloppiness and error in over trusting others for their help in something he was putting his name on. I do not remember Walvoord asserting this in any other place but then I am not a great reader after him preferring older writers from bygone days.

Nothing has been offered here that could move me from the position that the Holy Spirit came upon believers in the Old Testament but indwells believers in the Church Age. I can  give Scriptural evidence for that position though it is often hard to produce evidence of the fact from observation of believers in this present day, I hope this limited effort in response to your question is helpful. Keep studying and accept no man’s assertions blindly but rather ask “What sayeth the Scripture?” Then you will always be on solid ground!

            Jonsquill Ministries

P. O. Box 752

Buchanan, Georgia 30113