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“The life of Moses presents a series of striking antitheses. He was the child of a slave, and the son of a king. He was born in a hut, and lived in a palace. He inherited poverty, and enjoyed unlimited wealth. He was the leader of armies, and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors, and the meekest of men. He was educated in the court, and dwelt in the desert. He had the wisdom of Egypt, and the faith of a child. He was fitted for the city, and wandered in the wilderness. He was tempted with the pleasures of sin, and endured the hardships of virtue. He was backward in speech, and talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd, and the power of the Infinite. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh, and an ambassador from Heaven. He was the giver of the Law, and the forerunner of Grace. He died alone on mount Moab, and appeared with Christ in Judea. No man assisted at his funeral, yet God buried him. The fire has gone out of mount Sinai, but the lightning is still in his Law. His lips are silent, but his voice yet speaks” (Dr. I. M.
But the most striking thing of all in connection with this most remarkable man, is the wonderful way and the many respects in which he was a type of the Lord Jesus In the Introductory article of this series (Jan. 1924) we stated: “In many respects there is a remarkable correspond-ency between Moses and Christ, and if the Lord permits us to complete this series of articles, we shall, at the close, summarize those correspondencies, and show them to be as numerous and striking as those which engaged our attention when Joseph was before us” — see the last seven chapters in Vol. 2 of our work “Gleanings in Genesis”. We shall now seek to fulfill that promise.
Ere we attempt to set forth some (for we do not profess to exhaust the subject) of these correspondencies, let us first appeal to the Word itself in proof that Moses was a type of christ. In Deuteronomy 18:15 we find Moses saying, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken”. Thus it wilt be seen from these words that we are not trafficking in human imagination when we contemplate Moses as a type of Christ.
Such is the plain teaching of Holy Writ.
As we desire to bring to a close these “Gleanings in Exodus” in the current issue, and therefore can devote but one article to our present theme, and as the points to be considered are so numerous, we cannot take up each one separately and comment upon it at length. Rather shall we, with a few exceptions, simply give the references, and ask the reader to look them up for himself. 1. HIS NATIONALITY.
This occurred when his nation was under the dominion of a hostile power, when they were groaning under the rule of a Gentile king (Exodus 1). So the Jews were in bondage to the Romans when Christ was born ( Matthew 2:1 cf. Luke 24: 21). 3. HIS PERSON. “In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair to God” ( Acts 7:20).
How blessedly did he, in this, foreshadow the Beloved of the Father! His estimate of the “fairness” of that Child which lay in Bethlehem’s manger, was evidenced by the sending of the angels to say unto the shepherds, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” ( Luke 2:11). 4. HIS INFANCY.
How this reminds us of Matthew 2:16: “Then Herod... sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof”! 5. HIS ADOPTION.
Though, previously, he was the child of another, he yet was made the son of Pharaoh’s daughter: “And became her son” ( Exodus 2:10). Thus he had a mother, but no father! What anointed eye can fail to see prefigured here the mystery of the Virgin-birth! Christ was the Son of Another, even the Son of God. But, born into this world, He had a mother, but no human father. Yet was He, as it were, adopted by Joseph: see Matthew 1:19-21. 6. HIS CHILDHOOD.
This was spent in Egypt. So also was Christ’s: “Behold the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word” ( Matthew 2:13).
Thus was fulfilled God’s ancient oracle, “And called My Son out of Egypt” ( Hosea 11:1). 7. HIS SYMPATHY FOR ISRAEL.
He was filled with a deep compassion for his suffering kinsmen according to the flesh, and he yearned for their deliverance. Beautifully does this come out in Acts 7:23,24, “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren of the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him.”
So too Christ was filled with pity toward His enslaved people, and love brought Him here to deliver them. 8. HIS EARLY KNOWLEDGE OF HIS MISSION.
Though legally the “son of Pharaoh’s daughter”, yet he regarded the Hebrew slaves as his brethren: “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren” ( Exodus 2:11).
So it is with Christ: “He is not ashamed to call them brethren” ( Hebrews 2:11). 10. HIS GREAT RENUNCIATION. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” ( Hebrews 11:24-26).
What a foreshadowing was this of Him “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant” ( Philippians 2:6,7)!
Like Moses, Christ too voluntarily relinquished riches, glory, and a kingly palace. 11. HIS REJECTION BY HIS BRETHREN. “And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?” ( Acts 7:26,27).
This is very sad; sadder still is it to read of Christ, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” ( John 1:11). This same line in the typical picture was before us when we considered Joseph. But mark this difference: In the case of Joseph, it was his brethren’s enmity against his person ( Genesis 37:4); here with Moses, it was his brethren’s enmity against his mission. Joseph was personally hated; Moses officially refused — “who made thee a ruler and a judge over us”? So it was with Christ.
Israel said, “We will not have this Man to reign over us” ( Luke 19:14). 12. HIS SOJOURNING AMONG THE GENTILES. “But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian” ( Exodus 2:15).
Following Christ’s rejection by the Jews, we read, “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name” ( Acts 15:14). 13. HIS SEAT ON THE WELL.
Away from his own land, we read of Moses, “And he sat down by a well” ( Exodus 2:15). So the only time we read of the Lord Jesus seated by the well, was when He was outside Israel’s borders, in Samaria ( John 4:4,6). 14. HIS SHEPHERDHOOD. “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law” ( Exodus 3:1).
This is the character which Christ sustains to His elect among the Gentiles: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd” ( John 10:16). 15. HIS SEASON OF SECLUSION.
Before he entered upon his real mission, Moses spent many years in obscurity. Who had supposed that this one, there “at the backside of the desert”, was destined to such an honorable future? So it was with the incarnate Son of God. Before He began His public ministry, He was hidden away in despised Nazareth. Who that saw Him there in the carpenter’s shop, dreamed that He was ordained of God to the work of redemption! 16. HIS COMMISSION FROM GOD.
He was called of God to emancipate His people from the house of bondage: “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt” ( Exodus 3:10). So Christ was sent forth into this world to “seek and to save that which was lost” ( Luke 19:10). 17. HIS APOSTLESHIP.
Thus he was God’s apostle unto Israel, for “apostle” signifies one “sent forth”: “Now therefore go” ( Exodus 4:12). So Christ was the Sent One of God ( John 9:4 etc); yea, in Hebrews 3:1 He is designated “the Apostle”. 18. HIS CREDENTIALS.
His commission from God was confirmed by power to work miracles. So also Christ’s mission was authenticated by wondrous signs ( Matthew 11:4,5). It should be noted that Moses is the first one mentioned in the O.
T. that performed miracles; so is Christ in the N. T. — John the Baptist performed none ( John 10:41). 19. HIS FIRST MIRACLES.
Moses wrought many wonders, but it is most striking to observe that his first two miraculous signs were power over the serpent, and power over leprosy ( Exodus 4:6-9). So after Christ began His public ministry, we read first of His power over Satan ( Matthew 4:10,11), and then His power over leprosy ( Matthew 8:3). 20. HIS RETURN TO HIS OWN LAND.
In Exodus 4:19 we read, “And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life”. The antitype of this is found in Matthew 2:19, “An angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young Child’s life”! 21. HIS ACCEPTANCE BY HIS BRETHREN.
This is recorded in Exodus 4:29-31. How different was this from his first appearing before and rejection by the Hebrews (Exodus 2)! How beautifully it prefigured Israel’s acceptance of their Messiah at His second appearing! 22. HIS POWERFUL ROD.
Again and again he warned Pharaoh and his people of the sore punishment of God if they continued to defy him. So also Christ declared, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” ( Luke 13:3). 24. HIS DELIVERANCE OF ISRAEL.
Moses perfectly fulfilled his God-given commission and led Israel out of the house of bondage: “The same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer” ( Acts 7:35). So Christ affirmed, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” ( John 8:36). 25. HIS HEADSHIP.
Remarkably is this brought out in 1 Corinthians 10:1,2, “All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Morea”. So obedient Christians are “baptized unto Jesus Christ” ( Romans 6:3). 26. HIS LEADERSHIP OF ISRAEL’S PRAISE. “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel” ( Exodus 15:1) Of Christ too it is written, “In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee” ( Psalm 22:22). 27. HIS AUTHORITY CHALLENGED.
Though Israel were so deeply indebted to Moses, yet again and again we find them “murmuring” against him: Exodus 15:24, 16:2, etc. For the N. T. parallel see Luke 15:2, John 6:41. 30. HIS LIFE THREATENED.
Moses felt keenly the base ingratitude of the people. Mark his plaintive plea as recorded in Numbers 11:11,14. So too the Lord Jesus suffered from the reproaches of the people: He was “the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. 32. HIS UNWEARIED LOVE.
Though misunderstood, envied, and opposed, nothing could alienate the affections of Moses from his people. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” ( Song of Solomon 8:7).
Beautifully is this seen in Exodus 32. After Israel repudiated Jehovah and had worshipped the golden calf, after the Lord has disowned them as His people ( Exodus 32:7), Moses supplicates God on their behalf, saying “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin — ; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written” (vv. 31:32). How this reminds us of Him who “having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” ( John 13:1)! 33. HIS FORGIVING SPIRIT. “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses... Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us”? ( Numbers 12:1,2).
But he answered not a word. How this pointed to Him who, ‘when He was reviled, reviled not again” ( 1 Peter 2:23). When Miriam was stricken with leprosy because of her revolt against her brother, we are told, “Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee” ( Numbers 12:13). 34. HIS PRAYERFULNESS.
An example of this has just been before us, but many other instances are recorded. Moses was, pre-eminently, a man of prayer. At every crisis he sought unto the Lord: see Exodus 5:22, 8:12, 9:33, 14:15, 15:25, 17:4, etc. Note how often in Luke’s Gospel Christ is also presented as a Man of prayer. 35. HIS MEEKNESS. “Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” ( Numbers 12:3) cf. Matthew 11:29. 36. HIS FAITHFULNESS. “Moses verily was faithful in all his house” ( Hebrews 3:5). So Christ is “The faithful and true Witness” ( Revelation 3:14). 37. HIS PROVIDING ISRAEL WITH WATER.
See Numbers 20:11 and compare John 4:14, 7:37. 38. HIS PROPHETIC OFFICE. Deuteronomy 18:18 and compare John 7:16, 8:28. 39. HIS PRIESTLY ACTIVITIES. “Moses and Aaron among His priests” ( Psalm 99:6). Illustrations are found in Leviticus 8: “And Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar... and he took all the fat... and burned it upon the altar” (vv. 15, 16 and see 19:23). So Christ, as Priest, “offered Himself without spot to God” ( Hebrews 9:14). 40. HIS KINGLY RULE. “Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was king in Jeshurun” ( Deuteronomy 33:4,5).
So Christ is King in Zion, and will yet be over the Jews ( Luke 1:32,33). 41. HIS JUDGESHIP. “Moses sat to judge the people: and they stood by Moses from the morning until the evening” ( Exodus 18:13).
Compare 2 Corinthians 5:10. 42. HIS LEADERSHIP.
Moses was the head and director of God’s people, as He said to him, “Lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken” ( Exodus 32:34). So Christ is called, “The Captain of their salvation” ( Hebrews 2:10). 43. HIS MEDIATION.
What a remarkable word was that of Moses to Israel, “I stood between the Lord and you” ( Deuteronomy 5:5): “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” ( 1 Timothy 2:5). 44. HIS ELECTION.
In <19A623> Psalm 106:23 he is called, “Moses His chosen”. So God says of Christ, “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold, Mine elect” ( Isaiah 42:1). 45. HIS COVENANT-ENGAGEMENT. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel” ( Exodus 34:27): so Christ is denominated, “The Mediator of a better covenant” ( Hebrews 8:6). 46. HIS SENDING FORTH OF THE TWELVE. “These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land” ( Numbers 13:16 see previous verses). So Christ sent forth twelve apostles ( Matthew 10:5). 47. HIS APPOINTING OF THE SEVENTY. “And Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people” ( Numbers 11:24).
Compare Colossians 2:3. 49. HIS MIGHT. “And was mighty in words and in deeds” ( Acts 7:22). Behold the antitype of this in Matthew 113:34: “They were astonished, and said, Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works”? 50. HIS INTERCESSION. “And Moses brought their cause before the Lord” ( Numbers 27:5).
So, on earth, Christ was “The only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father” ( John 1:18). It is striking to behold in Exodus 31 to 34 how Moses passed and re-passed between Jehovah in the mount and the camp of the congregation: expressive of his equal access to heaven and earth — compare John 3:13. 52. HIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
What a lovely foreshadowing was this of Him who could say, “I have kept My Father’s commandments” ( John 16:10)! 66. HIS ERECTING THE TABERNACLE.
See Exodus 40:2, and cf. Zechariah 6:12. 67. HIS COMPLETING OF HIS WORK. “So Moses finished the work” (Exodus 40:33). What a blessed prefiguration was this of Him who declared, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” ( John 17:4). 68. HIS BLESSING OF THE PEOPLE. “And Moses blessed them” ( Exodus 39:43). So too we read in Luke 24:50, “And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them”. 69. HIS ANOINTING OF GOD’S HOUSE. “And Moses took the anointing oil (the O. T. emblem of the Holy Spirit), and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein” ( Leviticus 8:10).
Carefully compare Acts 2:1-3,33. 70. HIS UNABATED STRENGTH. “His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” ( Deuteronomy 34:7): compare Matthew 27:50, and note the “loud voice”. 71. HIS DEATH WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF GOD’S PEOPLE. “It went ill with Moses for their sakes” ( <19A632> Psalm 106:32); “But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes” ( Deuteronomy 3:26).
What marvelous foreshadowings of the Cross were these! 72. HIS APPOINTING OF ANOTHER COMFORTER.
Moses did not leave his people comfortless, but gave them a successor: see Deuteronomy 31:23 and cf. John 14:16,18. 73. HIS GIVING AN INHERITANCE. “The land which Moses gave you on this side of Jordan” ( Joshua 1:14): in Christ believers “have obtained an inheritance” ( Ephesians 1:11). 74. HIS DEATH NECESSARY BEFORE ISRAEL COULD ENTER CANAAN. “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to thee” ( Joshua 1:2). “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” ( John 12:24). 75. HIS SECOND APPEARING.
Our space is already exhausted so we shall leave it with our readers to search the Scriptures for at least twenty-five other points in which Moses foreshadowed our Lord. The subject is well-nigh exhaustless. And a most blessed subject it is, demonstrating anew the Divine authorship of the Bible. May the Lord bless to many this very imperfect attempt to show that “in the volume of the Book” it is written of Christ.