Devotional Studies of Old Testament Types by Fred Wight


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 Fred Hartley Wight

 devotional studies of old testament types





The First Adam, A Type of the Last Adam.. 12

The Offering of Abel, A Type of the Sacrifice of Christ 13

The Translation of Enoch, A Type of the Translation of Believers  15

The Ark of Noah, A Type of God’s Salvation. 16

Melchizedek, A Type of Christ as King and Priest 17

Events in the Life of Isaac That Point to Christ 18

Jacob’s Ladder, A Type of Christ as the Way to Heaven. 22

The Character and Experiences of Joseph That Typify the Saviour 23


The Passover, A Type of the Cross. 28

Crossing the Red Sea, A Type of Turning the Back on the World  32

The Manna, A Type of God’s Provision Through Christ and the Word  33

Water from the Rock, A Type of Christ’s Gift of the Holy Spirit 36

The Pillar of Cloud and of Fire, Type of the Protection and Guidance of the Holy Spirit 38

The Pillar of Cloud and of Fire, Type of the Protection and Guidance of the Holy Spirit 40

The Tabernacle In the Wilderness, A Manifold Type of Christ and His Church  41

The High Priest and His Garments, A Type of Christ as Our Priest 58


The Classes and Varieties of the Offerings of Israel, A Type of Christ and the Freeness of His Salvation. 63

The Burnt Offering, A Type of the Consecration of Christ and Ourselves to God  65

The Meal Offering, A Type of the Consecration of Christ’s and Our Lifework  67

The Peace Offering, A Type of Friendship Between God and Believers Through Christ 70

The Sin Offering, A Type of Atonement for Sin Resulting in Forgiveness  74

The Trespass Offering, A Type of Compensation for Offenses  77

The Ceremony for the Consecration of the Priests, A Type of the Consecration of Christian Workers. 79

The Strange Fire of Nadab and Abihu and Modern Strange Fire  84

Leprosy, A Type of Sin. 87

The Day of Atonement, A Picture of Atonement for and Removal of Sins  92

The Feasts of Israel, Types of Special Events and Blessings From the Cross to the Second Advent 96

The Year of Jubilee, A Type of Gospel Deliverances and Millennial Blessings  102


The Nazarite, A Type of an Extraordinary Christian Worker 107

Aaron’s Rod that Budded, A Type of Resurrection Life. 111

The Ordinance of the Red Heifer, A Type of Cleansing from Defilement for the Christian  114

The Twice-smitten Rock, or Spoiling a Type of Christ by Unbelief 116

The Brazen Serpent, A Type of Christ Crucified for Us. 118

The Continual Burnt Offering, A Type of Constant Access to God through Christ 120


Clean and Unclean Food for Israel and Its Meaning for Christians Today  123

Christ, the Prophet Like unto Moses. 124

Forbidden Diversity, for Israel and for Christians. 128


Joshua a Type of Christ 130

Rahab’s Deliverance, A Type of Salvation by Grace. 132

Israel Crossing Jordan, A Type of the Christian Entering into the Victorious Life  132

Conquering Jericho, A Type of Prayer Strategy against the Enemy of the Church  136

Overcoming Giants in the Promised Land, A Challenge to Christians Today  138

The Old Testament Cities of Refuge, A Type of Christ as a Refuge for Sinners  140


Reasons for Success or Failure in Driving Out the Enemy in Israel and in Christian Life and Service. 144

Ancient Types of Modern Foes of the Church. 147

A Type of the Church Overcoming the Enemy. 150


Naomi, A Type of the Returning Backslider 153

Boaz, A Type of Christ as Our Kinsman-Redeemer 155


The Kingdom of Saul, A Type of the Self-Life. 159

The Friendship between Jonathan and David, A Type of the Friendship between Christ and the Believer 161

David at the Cave of Adullam, A Type of Christ Our Captain  164

Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, A Type of Revival in the Church  167

Mephibosheth, The Type of a Sinner Saved by Grace. 170

Bringing Back King David, A Type of Bringing Back the King of Kings  175


The Temple of Solomon A Type of the Church as God’s Spiritual Temple  178

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, The Type of a Seeking Sinner’s Relationship to Christ 192

Elijah Bringing Fire from Heaven, A Type of Getting Revival from God  195

The Double Portion of Elijah’s Spirit, A Type of a Christian Young Person’s Enduement for His Lifework. 197

Filling the Empty Vessels, A Type of Being Filled with the Spirit 200

The Healing of Naaman’s Leprosy, A Type of the Cleansing of a Sinner 203


The Lover, A Type of the Lord as Israel’s Bridegroom.. 207

The Lover, A Type of Christ as the Church’s Bridegroom.. 208

The Lover, A Type of Christ as the Bridegroom of individual Believers  209


The Resurrection of Dry Bones, A Type of Spiritual Life Imparted to That Which Is Dead  211

The River of Ezekiel, A Type of Abundant Life in the Golden Age Now and in Heaven  213

The Fiery Furnace Experience, A Type of Fiery Trials for Courageous Christians  215

Jonah, A Type of the Jewish Nation in Relation to Its Divine Commission  218

Jonah, A Type of the Church in Relation to Its Missionary Task  220

Jonah, A Type of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ 222

devotional studies of old testament types 







 devotional studies of old testament types

PREFACE Devotional Studies of Old Testament Types

THE MATERIAL in these studies has been given as lessons in Bible study classes, or sermons preached from the author’s pulpit, through the course of many years. It has been brought together in this form that it might be a help to busy pastors and Bible teachers in their preparation of messages, and that it might be of practical and devotional value for all Bible students and Christian workers, who want to understand the rich teaching of Old Testament types.

The author does not claim to have exhausted the possible types of the Old Testament in these studies. But he has endeavored to deal with some sections of Scripture that without the typical approach would find little of practical application for the Christian today. For this reason the chapter dealing with types in Leviticus has been made the longest chapter in the book. We trust that that book of the Bible will mean more to the reader after studying this chapter.

The study of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness from the typical viewpoint has always been a joy to the hearts of Bible students. But the author has discovered that a study of the typical truths of Solomon’s Temple is equally valuable and precious. We suggest that Bible teachers give more attention to this neglected subject.

These studies are of necessity fairly brief. Many Scriptures have been included that throw light on the particular subject. But the material herewith presented should be suggestive, and wise students of Scripture can add other details to what has been given. May the Lord use these studies to help many to understand and make practical application of Old Testament truth to the lives of modern-day Christians.

devotional studies of old testament types


Definition of a type. For the purpose of our study, a type is a person, thing, or event in the Old Testament designed to represent or prefigure some person, thing, or event in the New Testament. The one resembles the other in certain particulars. The two things thus related are called type and antitype. The antitypes for the most part center about the person of Christ and His redemption; the conversion, life, and the service of the Christian; and the Church.

Why we should study types. A wise study of types clarifies and illustrates spiritual truth. Some parts of the Old Testament would have little meaning for us today if we did not make use of typical teaching. And many godly ministers and teachers have used the study of types successfully. Thus there is plenty of warrant for such a study.

Jesus used types as a method of teaching. In John 1:51 He claimed to be the antitype of Jacob’s ladder. In John 3:14, 15 He referred to Himself as the antitype of the Brazen Serpent in the wilderness. In John 6:35 He taught that He Himself was the antitype of the manna sent down from Heaven to the children of Israel. Then in Matthew 12:42 He spoke of Solomon as a type of Christ.

Paul used types as a method of teaching. In Romans 5:14 Paul mentions Adam as a type of Christ. In I Corinthians 5:7 he speaks of the Passover as a type of Christ. In I Corinthians 10:4 he refers to the rock as a type of Christ. And in Colossians 2:16, 17 he talks of “the shadow of things to come,” of which the body or antitype is Christ.
How we should study types. We should avoid two extremes in our study of types. Some have sought for types in every detail of Scripture. This was done by certain of the Church fathers, and resulted in fanciful interpretations. On the other hand, some Bible teachers have limited the study of types to those declared to be types by writers of the New Testament. These writers were teaching us how to gather spiritual lessons from the storehouse of the Old Testament by the examples of typical teaching they used; they were not indicating that they had exhausted the possibility of such a study.

We should study types prayerfully in dependence upon the Holy Spirit for guidance. We should study them scripturally. We should note wherever the New Testament gives us warrant for an Old Testament type. We should study all Old Testament types in the light of New Testament teaching. And we should make our study of types practical and helpful for our everyday living.

devotional studies of old testament types

CHAPTER ONE TYPES IN GENESIS Devotional Studies of Old Testament Types

The First Adam, A Type of the Last Adam

(Genesis 1-3)

Scriptural warrant for Adam as a type of Christ. “Who is the figure of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14). In I Corinthians 15:45 Paul refers to Christ as the Last Adam, and thus He is the antitype of the First Adam. In some phases Adam is a type of Christ by contrast rather than by comparison.

devotional studies of old testament types

Adam was the Son of God in a unique sense, and as such was a type of the divine Son of God. “. . . which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God” (Luke 3:38). Because he was created without sin, Adam was son of God in a sense no human being could be. Adam is not a perfect type of Christ, for Jesus was the eternal Son of God, uncreated, whereas Adam was the created son of God. But before his sin he was a fitting type of the sinless Saviour.

Adam as the husband of Eve is a type of Christ as the Husband of the Church. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church”

(Ephesians 5:31, 32). Paul is here quoting from Genesis from the statement made about Adam and Eve. Thus he is making them types, and Christ and the Church the antitypes.

devotional studies of old testament types

Adam was promised numerous posterity, as was Christ in a spiritual sense. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Isaiah prophesied of Messiah’s posterity spiritually in Isaiah 53:10. “He shall see his seed.” This was to be a result of His suffering on the cross. In Psalm 22:31 it is said that Messiah “shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born.” His death on Calvary’s tree made possible the New Birth of millions of people, who through the years have trusted in His atoning death for the forgiveness of sins.

Even as Adam was federal head of the human race, so Christ is the Head of the Church. Paul speaks of Christ’s Headship of the Church in Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church.” As Adam conveyed the guilt and consequences of his sin to his descendants, so Christ conveys His righteousness to those who accept Him: as Saviour. “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Romans 5:18).

The coats of skin God made for Adam and Eve after them sinned are types of the garments of salvation. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). They had already made aprons of fig leaves. This was the best they could do to cover their nakedness. The Hebrew word atonement means “to cover up”

devotional studies of old testament types

God provided a skin covering after the death of one or more animals. The death of the animal made possible the covering. This is a type of Christ as our Substitute for sin on the cross. Thus the robe of righteousness is provided for us.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

devotional studies of old testament types

The Offering of Abel, A Type of the Sacrifice of Christ

(Genesis 4)

Abel’s offering was an expression of his faith in God’s Word. “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof’ (Genesis 4:4). “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4). Abel’s faith must have been based upon a divine instruction given to Adam and Eve and their family; namely, for sinful man to approach a holy God, he must do so by offering an animal sacrifice. A sinner today must approach God by faith in the offering of Jesus on Calvary’s cross as atonement for sin.

Abel’s offering was acceptable unto God. “The Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4). The Lord regarded with favor Abel’s approach to Him through an offering because he came in the divinely appointed way. He came bringing the divinely acceptable offering for sinners. Any sinner coming to God in penitence, and pleading only the merits of Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary, will be accepted by God.

The offering of Abel was not like that of Cain. “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord” (Genesis 4:3). Cain was self-righteous, not thinking it was necessary to approach God as a sinner needing a sacrifice, but rather offered God the fruit of the ground, the result of his own labors. His actions are typical of many modern men who think God will accept them on the ground of their good works, instead of coming to God as lost sinners needing a Saviour.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

devotional studies of old testament types

The offering of Abel was a blood sacrifice, and thus prefigured Calvary. “And to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). “That [blood of Abel” here means the blood of his sacrifice, which was a type of the better blood of Jesus shed on the cross. It was this blood that was lacking in the offering of Cain. “Without shedding of blood is no remission [i.e.], of sin]” (Hebrews 9:22).

In my hand no price I bring;

Simply to Thy cross I cling.

The Translation of Enoch, A Type of the Translation of Believers

(Genesis 5:21-24)

Enoch’s life pleased God because he walked with God in faith. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch, the great­grandfather of Noah, walked with God by faith so that the Lord was pleased.

devotional studies of old testament types

Enoch was translated before the judgment of the Flood came upon the world. The Hebrews’ account has the significant words: “And was not found.” Men of Enoch’s day searched for him but found him not. The reason they could not find him was because God had translated him without his having to go through the experience of death. It was not long until the great Flood was to devastate the world, but Enoch was gone to Heaven before this great event took place. What happened to Enoch was a type of the translation of believers at Christ’s coming. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17). “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:40, 41). Believers living when Christ comes will be translated without their seeing death, like Enoch was. Men shall look for them as they did for Enoch but shall not find them. When believers are caught up, then shall the judgments of the Book of Revelation begin to be poured out upon the earth. Thus true believers shall escape these judgments. “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

The Ark of Noah, A Type of God’s Salvation

(Genesis 6-8)

The ark was a refuge from the Flood, even as God’s salvation is a refuge from God’s wrath against sin. The Flood was God’s visitation of righteous judgment against the awful sinning of mankind.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). But the family of Noah was provided for within the ark. “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by [through water” (I Peter 3:20). God’s ark of salvation, provided by Jesus through His death on the cross, is a most remarkable refuge today for sinners who look to Christ for salvation. “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Even as Noah’s family found a place of safety inside the ark, so believers today find security “in Christ.” Once the family of Noah was inside the ark, they were safe from the flood waters. “And the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). The Lord shut the door against the storm waters. And now all those who take refuge in Christ and abide in Him find in Him a place of security and shelter from life’s storms. “Your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

The ark took the full force of the floods of rain, even as God’s punishment for sinners fell upon Jesus on the cross. “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 7:18). The ark rode upon the storm waters, and they beat upon it with awful fury, but all within were sheltered. And this is a type of what Christ had to endure on our behalf on Calvary’s cross. “For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Isaiah 53:8). Instead of the stroke falling upon the sinners who deserved it, it fell upon Jesus, the sinless One. All who seek refuge in Him find shelter from God’s righteous wrath against iniquity.

devotional studies of old testament types

God invited Noah and his family into the ark, even as the Lord invites sinners to enter His ark of salvation today. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Genesis 7:1). Noah’s family in going into the ark accepted God’s gracious invitation. And the Lord invites men today to enter His ark of salvation. Revelation 22:17 is the last invitation in the Bible: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Melchizedek, A Type of Christ as King and Priest

(Genesis 14:18-20)

Who was Melchizedek? When Abraham returned from his victorious battle with the five kings, having rescued Lot, we find Melchizedek going out to meet him.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:18, 19). This strange character was called king of Salem, meaning King of Peace. Doubtless he was king of the city of Jerusalem of that day. He also had the title of Priest of the Most High God.

devotional studies of old testament types

Melchizedek was a type of Christ as King. The meaning of his name is king of righteousness, and he was called king of Salem which probably refers to the old city of Jerusalem. At his second coming, Christ will be a righteous king. “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4). Melchizedek’s being King of Peace typifies Christ’s reign of peace on earth at His return. Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “Prince of Peace.” Wars shall cease when He becomes earth’s King of kings.

Melchizedek was a type of Christ as Priest. “Without father, without mother, without descent [i.e.], pedigree as a priest], having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3). Melchizedek can typify Christ as Priest because as a priest he had no recorded genealogy; he had no record of the beginning of his life or of the end of his life. Thus he fittingly pictures Christ our Priest, who had no human father, and who was and still is eternal. “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24, 25). Let us go to Christ as our ever-living Priest, and trust Him to save us completely and forever.

devotional studies of old testament types

Events in the Life of Isaac That Point to Christ

(Genesis 21, 22, 24).

His birth was supernatural and so is a type of Christ’s birth. “And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:1, 2). Sarah was ninety, and Abraham about one hundred. Thus the birth of Isaac was indeed supernatural. God performed a miracle to fulfill His promise to Abraham and Sarah that they should have a son. In this respect the birth of Isaac was a type of the birth of Jesus. “And the angel answered and said unto her. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Actually, Jesus was the Son of God and not the son of Joseph. Jesus was virgin-born, thus His birth was supernatural. Of course, we must be careful to note that the birth of Isaac and that of Jesus were not alike in every respect, but both were supernatural births. The one was a type of the other in this respect only.

devotional studies of old testament types

Isaac’s being offered up by his father is a type of Christ’s death on Calvary. He was considered to be the only son of Abraham. “And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son” (Genesis 22:16). These were the words of the Lord Himself. Isaac gave himself willingly. There is no record of his refusing to be tied on the altar as a sacrifice. In the same way Jesus gave Himself willingly to die. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17, 18).

His being received back as it were from the dead is a type of the resurrection of Christ. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” (Hebrews 11:17-19). In God’s sight Abraham offered up his son Isaac, and then received him back as it were from the dead. And this was a type of Christ rising from the tomb triumphant over death.

devotional studies of old testament types

The seeking of a wife for Isaac is a type of the divine seeking for those who will be united to Christ. Abraham’s servant who sought a wife for Isaac is a type of the Holy Spirit who seeks those who are to become the Church, Christ’s Bride. “And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac” (Genesis 24:2-4).

The servant used the testimony concerning Isaac to win Rebekah for his master, Isaac. “And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath” (Genesis 24:34-36). In order to win Rebekah, the servant talked about how rich Isaac’s father was. And all that wealth was to be inherited by Isaac, and this would be shared by her if she married him.

devotional studies of old testament types

Similarly, the Holy Spirit uses testimony concerning Christ to win those who become a part of the Bride of Christ. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine” (John 16:13-15). Christ’s Father in Heaven is rich, and all that wealth is His, and will be shared by those who make up the Church, His Bride. Thus the Spirit paints a picture of Christ to the one who is ready to receive Christ as his Saviour.

From the time Rebekah consented to marry Isaac until the wedding took place is a type of the life of believers until the marriage supper of the Lamb is celebrated in Heaven. The servant took the things of Isaac and showed them unto Rebekah. “And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah” (Genesis 24:53). Thus does the Holy Spirit take the things of Christ and show them unto believers. “Therefore said I, that he [i.e.], the Holy Spirit shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:15). The things of Christ are to be found in His Word.

devotional studies of old testament types

Rebekah did not see Isaac until their marriage, but loved him because of the testimony of the servant. Thus we have not seen Jesus with our physical sight, but we love Him because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8).

As Isaac came out to meet Rebekah, so Christ will come down from Heaven at the rapture to meet His Bride in the air and escort her to Heaven. “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming” (Genesis 24:63). Thus Isaac met the caravan, and escorted his bride to her new home. And Christ will do this for His Church, the Bride, for whom He is coming down from Heaven. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17). We shall ride on the clouds of Heaven with Christ to our home in Heaven.

The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah is a type of the future marriage of Christ and His Bride, the Church, at Christ’s return. “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her” (Genesis 24:67).

devotional studies of old testament types

And this is a type of that happy event in the happy future of true believers in Christ which John describes for us in Revelation 19:7, 9: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Jacob’s Ladder, A Type of Christ as the Way to Heaven

(Genesis 28:10-22)

Jesus claimed to be Jacob’s ladder. “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12). Jesus made His claim in relation to this incident in John 1:51: “And he saith unto him [i.e., Nathanael], Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” Jesus was saying: “I am Jacob’s ladder; I am the link between heaven and earth.”

devotional studies of old testament types

On another occasion He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Jacob’s ladder was a ladder of grace, and thus is an appropriate type of Christ and His salvation. Jacob’s ladder reached all the way to Heaven from where an unworthy man was lying asleep. He was fleeing from his brother Esau after having received the blessing from Isaac by deception. Jacob might well have said: “I do not deserve such a vision.”

In a similar way every truly saved person feels like saying: “I deserve to go to Hell, but I am going to Heaven because Jesus died for me. I am only a sinner saved by grace.” “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

Jacob’s ladder reached down to a needy person, even as Christ today has opened the way of help for needy souls. The angels ascending the ladder represent the taking up to Heaven requests for things needed. The angels descending the ladder represent the bringing down of Heaven’s help in time of need to the one praying. Jesus is the ladder upon which the angels ascend and descend.

devotional studies of old testament types

All true prayer is in Jesus’ name. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Jacob’s ladder was like Christ because it brought down to earth the promise of Heavens blessings. A fitting climax to the vision was God’s voice speaking to Jacob from the top of the ladder, promising many blessings. This message ended thus: “Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of’ (Genesis 28:15). God’s promise included just what Jacob needed. And that is like God’s promise to Christians in Philippians 4:19: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

The Character and Experiences of Joseph That Typify the Saviour

(Genesis 37-45)

Joseph was beloved of his father; and Jesus is God’s beloved Son. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors” (Genesis 37:3). Joseph was his father’s favorite son. God has many sons, because every believer is a son of God. But Jesus is Son of God in a unique sense, and therefore He is God’s well-beloved Son. God spoke at the baptism of Jesus: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

devotional studies of old testament types

Joseph was hated by his brothers; and Jesus was hated by the Jewish leaders of His day. “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him” (Genesis 37:4). It was jealousy that caused this spirit of hate in Joseph’s brothers. In John 15:24, 25 Jesus tells us the attitude of the Jewish leaders toward Him: “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” These men were jealous of Jesus, even as Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. And jealousy led to hate.

God promised Joseph a place of rulership; even as the Lord promised Jesus as Messiah a place of kingship. This promise to Joseph, of course, came to him in the dreams which he had. “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words” (Genesis 37:8). The great Messianic promise in Isaiah 9:6 contains these tremendous predictions: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Ever­lasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

The statement, “The government shall be upon his shoulder,” and the title, “Prince of Peace,” both speak of rulership or kingship. At His first coming Jesus was a spiritual King; and at His second coming He will be a material Ruler over the nations.

Joseph was cast into a pit, but he was delivered out of it; and Jesus descended into the pit of Hades, the abode of the dead, but came forth triumphant over death. “And I they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:24). This pit was probably a cistern where all the water had been used up. Then in verse 28 we read: “And they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit.” Joseph spent a time in this pit, but was not left there indefinitely. This stay in the pit pictures Christ’s visit to Hades. “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave I gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things)” (Ephesians 4:8-10). When Jesus died, His body lay in the tomb, but His spirit went to Hades. After He left Hades, He took the spirits of the righteous dead from Sheol or Hades up to Heaven. Now Hades is the abode of the unrighteous dead only.

devotional studies of old testament types

Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver; and Jesus was sold by Judas for thirty pieces of silver. “Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt” (Genesis 37:28). How similar this was to what happened to Jesus! “And said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15).

Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned; and similarly Jesus was arrested and condemned by false testimony. “And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison” (Genesis 39:19, 20). Joseph was condemned on a false charge and had to suffer imprisonment. The arrest and condemnation of Jesus was on the same basis. “For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together” (Mark 14:56). False witnesses played a large part in the trial of Jesus.

devotional studies of old testament types

In prison Joseph was placed between two prisoners; he foretold the release of the one and the destruction of the other; and this is a type of Jesus dying on the cross between two thieves, promising the one entrance into paradise, while the other one perished in his sins. Two of Pharaoh’s officers were in prison with Joseph. Joseph interpreted the dream which each one of these men had. He foretold as a result of the dreams that the chief butler would be restored to his position with the king, and that the chief baker would be executed. The story of what happened is told in Genesis 40, and is a picture of a similar experience of Jesus, although the two events were not exactly alike.

John 19:18 says: “Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

In Luke 23:39-43 is the account of these two thieves on either side of the cross of Jesus. One of them railed on Jesus, while the other one acknowledged his own sin and the righteousness of Jesus. Verse 42 tells us what he said to Jesus and Jesus’ answer: “And he said unto Jesus,

Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Jesus announced the salvation of one of these thieves, and the other perished without Christ.

Joseph dealt with his brethren in such a way as to bring them to repentance for their sin against him; and Christ will allow the Jews to go through great trials in order that them may be brought to repentance for their sin against Him. “And Joseph saw his brethren and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said From the land of Canaan to buy food” (Genesis 42:7).

devotional studies of old testament types

Since their rejection of Christ, the Jews have been scattered oven all the world. But when they confess their sins and the sin of rejecting Messiah, then the Lord will bring them back to Palestine in blessing. “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me . . . Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land” (Leviticus 26:40, 42).

It was during the years offamine that Joseph revealed himself to his brethren; and it will be during the time of Jacob’s trouble that Christ will reveal Himself to the Jewish remnant of that day. His brothers came to Egypt for food in the time of famine, and it was then that Joseph made known his identity unto them. During the Great Tribulation period preceding the millennial rule of Christ, the Jews will in time of great persecution and deep distress seek the Lord and find Him, and Christ will be revealed unto them as their Messiah and Saviour. “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hosea 5:15).

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