LAWGIVER (חָקַק, H2980, to decree; νομοθέτης, G3794, one who gives a law). In the OT the term ordinarily used to describe one who issued the decrees of the Lord. Moses’ last address in Deuteronomy that blessed the tribes spoke of God as having “executed the commands and just decrees of the Lord” (Deut 33:21). In other places it was tr. as a symbol of power, the authority to act, such as the statement in Israel’s song in the wilderness that celebrated the well of water that the Lord provided: “Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—the well which the princes dug, which the nobles of the people delved, with the scepter and with their staves” (Num 21:17, 18). The term “scepter” is a symbol of the lawgiver’s authority (Gen 49:10; Ps 60:7; 108:8).
In the NT, God is described as the only “lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12). Likewise, the fourth gospel describes Moses as the giver of the law, God’s instrument and agent (John 1:17; 7:19). The same function of delivering the law of God to men was ascribed by Stephen to the intermediate agency of angels, describing the Jews as those “who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it” (Acts 7:53). Paul echoed the thought that the law was given through angels, “and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary” (Gal 3:19). The Epistle to the Hebrews contrasts the role of angels as mediators of the old revelation of law with Christ, the mediator of the new revelation (Heb 1:6-14).