And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement, Romans 5:11.
Of whom is the bible speaking when it says, whom? The answer is simple when whom is not part of a prepositional phrase. (It's really not complicated anywhere, but we'll look at it.) Look at Genesis 2:8; And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. It's pretty obvious that whom refers to the man God had formed.
The sentence could survive without the preposition whom. The NIV states: and there he put the man he had formed. It is a slack form of English and in being a slack form of English it well pleases its masters who seek to dumb down the bible to the level of its readers. No one reading it would doubt that "he had formed" referred to the man God had made. What distinguishes better English is the word "whom", in which a prepositional phrase more forcefully describes the man.
In my youth corporal punishment in schools was commonplace and expected. We thought nothing of a teacher grabbing our ear and turning our head to look straight into his or face as they corrected us or made a strong point. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Watson of whom I still have reverent memories was in the habit of walking up behind a student, grabbing a pinch of hair and pulling back the head so that the student's faces was starring straight up into hers. I remember my shock after getting a particularly close cropped buzz cut and thinking that I was immune, when she proved otherwise and was able to pinch those short little hairs with just two fingernails.
The King James Bible has its own ways of getting our attention. Its use of whom is one of them. Saying, "the man whom he had formed", is the equivalent of grabbing our ears and pointing to the man. The King James Bible dictates truth to us. It infuses truth. It doesn't just say something, leave it on the table and hope that we get it. It is pointed and direct.
Of whom does whom refer to in our opening verse, Romans 5:11? The subject of the sentence is we. There are two prepositional phrases, each having its own subject. In stating these things, I am making it far more complicated than what it really is. Obviously, we received the atonement by our Lord Jesus Christ. We joy in God, but we do it through Jesus Christ. Then our bible grabs us by the ear and says, "look at Jesus by whom we have received the atonement." The King James Bible doesn't just say things, it injects truth straight into the mind.
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots, Daniel 7:8. Of whom does whom speak in Daniel 7:8? Does it speak of the three horns or of the little horn? Again, this is not hard. It is obvious from the context that the little horn has been singled out for comment. Our bible is pointing to the little horn. The little horn is a person. The "whom" in a King James Bible is just a pointing laser to get us to focus on that person.
Let's apply that to the Book of Esther. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him, Esther 6:13. If the seed of the Jews was a person, there could be no doubt that the whom in the verse was speaking of that person. The only reason that people strain to make it go back to Mordecai is that they don't recognize the phrase "seed of the Jews" as applying to a person. Could the seed of the Jews be a person?
The Apostle Paul thinks so. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ, Galatians 3:16. The good apostle drew our attention to the fact that at times, the reference to the seed was not to many, but to one, as in, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, Genesis 22:17. The seed of the Jews is a person.
How would Haman's wise men know that? Who trained the wise men of Babylon and then later, Media Persia? Daniel trained them. It is interesting and typical of wicked people that Haman never seems to have consulted them until he got into trouble.
Let's presume for a moment that the wise men were just forcing Haman to think about whether or not Mordecai was a Jew. What sense would that make? Haman has been aware of Mordecai's identity as a Jew since his first hatred of the man. After all, he wanted to wipe out all of the Jews in the Kingdom. Such genocides were not unthinkable in those days and the Jews as a whole had certainly been subjected to wholesale slaughter for many years before that.
No, what the wise men are pointing out is that if Mordecai is not just a run of the mill Jew, but is indeed one of those who are of the seed of the Jews, Haman is in deep trouble. The Apostle Paul recognized that doctrine as not just being a New Testament doctrine, but as one that was active in the Old Testament.
Rom 9:6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
When we read the account of Ahab's two victories over Benhadad, we see that when Ahab numbered his army it states; and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand, 1st Kings 20:15. Are we to think that there were only seven thousand men left in all of Samaria? Of course not. There are only seven thousand who have been preserved by God and who have not bowed their knees to the image of Baal. These are all the children of Israel. When you read the account of the two battles, you will see that in the second battle it is the same seven thousand who went out to war. And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country, 1st Kings 20:27. They were invincible.
Is it any wonder that when Haman finally got around to including his wise men in his counsels, they were to tell him that, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him. Those men knew that not every Jew was of Israel but only those of the promise. They knew that God had promised a coming seed to the nation of Israel. They knew that seed was a person and they knew that if Mordecai was a Jew by his faith in the promise of the coming of that person, his enemies were toast.
We see that same principle in in John 1:47 when Jesus Christ saw Nathaniel; Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! He recognizes that Nathaniel is of the elect. He is a man such as David described when he said, Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile, Psalm 32:2. Jesus Christ recognizes both attributes in Nathaniel. He sees that he is an Israelite indeed, and that he has no guile.
This is not a man on his way to hell. This is a man who has trusted the promises of God by faith, and through God's grace has security under the precepts of the Old Testament. What he does not have is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is that seed of the Jews, or that Jesus was born of God. He is not born again. After Jesus Christ showed him a sign, that was accomplished. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel, John 1:49.
Like Peter in Matthew 16:17, it took a divine intervention for him to see that. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Nathaniel transitioned from being saved by grace through his faith in the coming promise, to salvation by grace through the faith of Jesus Christ who is come in the flesh. It was a gift of faith from the Father.