The term, "Holy Spirit," seldom occurs in the Old Testament. Actually it is found only three times; once in Psalm 51:5, and twice in Isaiah 63:10-14. The most frequently used terms or expressions for the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament are:
the Spirit of the Lord
the Spirit of God
the spirit of (Judgment, fire, justice, etc.)
In nearly all of these cases, the reference to the Holy Spirit is clear, although there are some instances where the Holy Spirit and the human "spirit" seem almost to merge, so that the Holy Spirit is referred to as the "Spirit of Elijah" (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15). This is also the case with the "Spirit" which was on Moses, which also came upon the seventy elders who were to help him (Numbers 11:17-29). If there were any doubt in our minds as to whether or not the "Spirit" of the Old Testament were the same person as the "Holy Spirit" in the New, all we need to do is to read the inspired New Testament references to the Holy Spirit's work in the Old Testament, both by our Lord (cf. Matthew 22:43; Mark 12:36), and by the apostles and others (cf. Acts 1:16; 4:25; 7:51; Hebrews 3:7; 2 Peter 1:21).
Regardless of the infrequency of the precise term, "Holy Spirit," the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament times is much more prominent than man Christians might suppose, apart from a consideration of the many texts referring to Him. The Spirit of God is almost immediately introduced in the Book of Genesis (1:2), and He becomes a frequent focus in the writings of the prophets. The Holy Spirit had a significant role in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2) and in striving with sinful men (Genesis 6:3). He inspired men who revealed God to men, either in word, or in work. He instructed and guided men, especially the nation Israel. The Spirit of God instructed and guided not only the nation Israel as a whole, but men... [continues]
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