Section 2 .. Reasons To Believe/
Biblical Prophecy and Typology

003whiteSection 2.... Reasons To Believe         >       Prophecy In The Bible       >        Prophecy And Typology             


Prophecy and Typology

Carol Brooks

The inspiration for this article came from a piece written by Jacob Prasch entitled Future History of the Church..

Introduction. What is Typology - Scriptural Patterns Or Christian Imagination?

Broad Classification of Biblical Types

Ritual Types
The Sacrifice For Sin
The Seven Feasts of Israel

Personal Types
Isaac and Rebecca
The Virgin Shall Conceive

Historical Types
(The final fulfillment of most historical types is yet to come)
Out of Egypt
The Abomination of Desolation
Elijah and John The Baptist
Peter and Joel's Prophecy
Joshua and The Seven Trumpets

Biblical Patterns That Were Not Types
Tisha B'Av and The Destruction of The Temple
Moses and Joshua
Jesus and Paul

Footnote I - The Various Ways Prophecy is Interpreted

Footnote II - The Prophecies of Revelation - Past or Future?

Introduction - What is Typology?
A Type is a figure, a representation, or prefigurative symbols (something that represents something else) of something to come.

Typology is the classification or study of types. Christian typology is quite obviously the study of types in the Scriptures in which one or more event (or person) was a sign that foreshadowed, pointed to, and culminated in one final and very important event (or person) called the antitypeScriptural types can be divided into two groups 

    1) An actual historical thing or event which, at the time it occurred, was a rough draft or glimpse, of one or more actual events yet to come, although the significance may not have been apparent at the original occurrence.

    2) A person who, in some way, prefigured the Messiah. Personal types are not to be confused with the many specific Old Testament Messianic prophecies.

Also See Footnote I - The Various Ways Prophecy is Interpreted

Scriptural Patterns Or Vivid Christian Imagination
Opinions range quite widely when it comes to typology.

A.) On the one hand, there are those who categorically deny that any such thing exists in the Bible.

One has to remind those who claim that types are simply the invention of over fertile minds that Scripture itself used typology in numerous places. For example, in Exodus 20:8, the creation week was said to be a pattern for the Sabbath.

    "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11 NASB)

In the New Testament Jesus Himself cited Jonah as a type...

    But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40 NASB)

As Jonah was miraculously rescued from the belly of the fish after three days, Jesus resurrected from the dead after three days. Additionally in the second chapter of his book (Vs. 2) Jonah called the belly of the fish "Sheol" - the land of the dead.

Note: The Old Testament Sheol and the New Testament Hades are the same place. Details

B.) At the other end of the scale are those who see a type in every little detail in the Old Testament.

There is no question that a mere resemblance between two persons or events does not automatically make something a type. One has to very carefully distinguish between what is merely incidental and what God has designed as a preview. which is not always easy. A Biblical event or person has to clearly serve as a pattern for another person or event in order to be called a type

    Additionally, there is always a graduation from type to antitype - from the lesser to the greater. For example, when in Romans 5:14 Paul said that Adam "is a type (tupos) of Him (Christ) that was to come", Adam was obviously the lesser type and Jesus Christ the greater antitype.

C.) Situated somewhere between those two extremes are those who believe that we cannot apply types without definite scriptural support for them. That even the strongest resemblance between one person and another or one event and another cannot be called a type unless Scripture specifically says it is. An example of what they are looking for is seen in Paul's confirmation of Adam as "a type of Him (Christ) who was to come" (Romans 5:14).

Although Joseph's life and Christ's life were parallel is so many ways they do not consider Joseph as a type of Christ because the Bible does not explicitly say he is

    The problem here is that types are another form of prophecy and, if we were to follow this line of reasoning, we would be forced to throw out all Old Testament prophecy - except the prophecies that are specifically mentioned in the New Testament as being prophecy. This would be ludicrous.

Broad Classification of Biblical Types
Although Biblical types tend to be fluid, often fitting into more than one category, they can be loosely classified under three headings... Ritual, Personal and Historical

Ritual Types
There can be little doubt that all the tangible aspects of the Temple and worship in the Old Testament existed for a reason, the two most significant examples of ritual types are

    a) the Priesthood and the animal sacrifices for sin.

    b) the Seven Feasts that the nation of Israel was commanded to observe..

The Sacrifice For Sin
Romans 6:23 clearly states that the consequences of sin is death, while Hebrews 9:22 says

    "..all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

In the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, the animal functioned as a substitute for the offender and bore the punishment of the person who had sinned. The Jewish feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) was observed once a year. On this, the most solemn and important holy day on the Jewish calendar, the High Priest offered an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the people bringing reconciliation between God and them.

    "On this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord" (Leviticus 16:30).

However, since "it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4), the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were but a 'type' - a temporary measure put in place in anticipation of a future event - the death of the coming Messiah "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). See Salvation

In chapters 9 and 10, Hebrews compares the inadequacy of the Old Testament sacrifices with the perfection and permanence of Christ's sacrifice in the New Testament. Because the Levitical system only prefigured Christ's one time sacrifice for sin, there was no longer any need of the Old Testament sanctuary and its rituals after He died.

    "... through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:6-7, 11-14 NASB)

The Seven Feasts of Israel
The Seven Feasts of Israel are called the feasts of the Lord because God Himself instituted these feasts that took place at "appointed times". He also outlined (often in great detail) as to how these occasions were to be observed. Thus it is no wonder that these days were front and center in the Israeli calendar.

Although believers are not required to keep them (See Jesus and The Law) every Christian should be very familiar with the Feasts because their historic and prophetic significance is one of the most fascinating of all Biblical studies. Not only did they celebrate a historical event in Israel's past but, at the time they were given, each one pointed to something immensely bigger that was yet to come. In fact, God's entire plan of salvation for mankind from start to finish is outlined by these feasts and thus concerns us all.

The first four feasts were fulfilled by Jesus Christ on the actual feast days according to the Hebrew calendar. He was sacrificed on Passover, buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. While we certainly do not know exactly how the other three feasts will be fulfilled, it is reasonable to surmise that they will be fulfilled in the same manner - on the actual feast day. (See The Seven Feasts of Israel)

Personal Types
It is fascinating to examine how the lives and experiences of certain people in the Bible often reflected some aspect of Christ and His mission. For example, Aaron was a type of the Lord Jesus as High Priest. Joseph's life paralleled that of Jesus in many ways- he was betrayed for money and falsely accused of a crime but eventually held a position that was second only to the pharaoh.

    "You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you." Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." (Genesis 41:40-41 NASB)

Similarly, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and will rule the coming kingdom.

Isaac... A Type of Christ and The Church
Abraham was a type of God the father who was willing to sacrifice his son. In fact, when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son He was not asking Abraham to do anything that He Himself would not do in the future. However, it goes even further. With the exception of Moses, Isaac was perhaps more a type of Christ than any other person in the Old Testament.

    1. Both births were announced beforehand (Genesis 18:10. Luke 1:30-31), and both were miraculous — Isaac was born to a woman who was not only barren but well past the child bearing age (Genesis 17:15-18; 18:11-14) and Jesus was born to a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).

    2. Both were named before their birth (Genesis 17:19. Luke 1:31). The announcement of the births to Sarah and Mary raised questions in the minds of both women. Sarah laughed and said, "This thing cannot be. It is beyond belief." And Mary asked, "How can this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34).

    3. Both Jesus and Isaac were obedient to their Fathers to the point of death. Isaac carried the wood for the sacrificial altar up the mount (Genesis 22:6) and Christ carried the wooden cross to Calvary (John 19:17). Additionally, God resurrected Jesus from the dead (Romans 6:4) and when He stopped Abraham from slaying his son, Abraham considered that Isaac had been raised from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).

Rebekah: The typology is carried over to the relationship between Isaac and his wife Rebekah, who is clearly a type of the church - the ecclesia or "called out" virgin bride of Christ. Compare Genesis 24:16 with 2 Corinthians 11:2

    Rebekah, who was from a distant land, accepted Isaac to be her husband without ever laying eyes on him, just as the church has never laid eyes on Christ. Rebekah was given jewelry as a token sent by a man of wealth and position, just as the Holy Spirit is given as an earnest of our inheritance. (See Guarantee or Earnest) www.inplainsite.org/html/guarantee_or_earnest.html

    Rebekah had to follow Abraham's servant who safely guided her steps to her new home and only after arriving there did she get to see and marry Isaac. Christians are faced with an almost identical situation - each of us has to allow the Holy Spirit to be their guide to our eternal home, after which we will get to see Jesus.

The next type is more difficult to categorize and is more a prophecy than a type..

The Virgin Shall Conceive
The ancient prophet Isaiah was directed to tell Ahaz, king of the southern kingdom of Judah, that God Himself would give the king a sign.

    Behold, a virgin (Heb. ha·‘al·mah) will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Sadly, not only have some versions of the Bible translated the original Hebrew, but they have taken it upon themselves to provide us with an interpretation as well. This they have done by way of capitalizing the words "Son" and "His" (the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel). By doing this they have implied that the child spoken of was the Messiah.

While this may be true on some level,  Jesus was not born until some seven centuries later. Isaiah's words were not directed at Christ, but at Ahaz himself.. (Personal assumptions, regardless of whether they are correct, or not, should never be imposed upon Biblical text by those whose function was to translate the actual words).

Additionally, the definite article present in the original Hebrew clearly shows that Isaiah had a specific person in mind. It is impossible to go into much detail here but if you read the entire article (link below) it becomes clear that this woman was Isaiah's wife.

However neither Isaiah's son nor Jesus was literally named Immanuel.

    The former's given name was Maher-shalal-hash-baz which meant 'Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey'. This probably refers to the fact that the two kings Ahaz dreaded would come to an untimely end (See Isaiah 7: 14-16). God was on Judea's side.

Immanuel was a title which translated means, "God with us."

    "behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." (Matthew 1:20-23 NASB) 

    See The Virgin Shall Conceive.

Moses: Perhaps one of the most fascinating and compelling of the prophecies is when Moses specifically declared that God would raise up another Jewish prophet in the future whose life would closely resemble his own. In other words, he himself would be a 'type' of another prophet to come.

Moses rescued the people from slavery and led them to Canaan. In doing so, he played the role of savior, leader and mediator between God and the nation. In a much more exalted and universal capacity the Lord Jesus does exactly the same - He is savior, leader and mediator between God and us and is leading us out of bondage to the promised land. 

Here are a few of the parallels between Jesus and Moses most of which were well beyond any human control.

    Both Moses and Jesus authenticated their mission and teachings with signs and miracles. Both fasted for 40 days and faced spiritual crises on mountain tops. Both were mediators of blood covenants. Moses appointed 70 elders to help him deal with the people. Jesus appointed 70 disciples to go into the villages and towns. Moses promised that another Prophet would come; Jesus promised believers that His Father would send them the Holy Spirit. For many, many more see Moses' Great Messianic Prophecy

Note: The deliverance of the nation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, the wilderness journey, and the conquest of Canaan are all examples of historical types.

Historical Types
The final fulfillment of most historical types is yet to come. See Footnote II - The prophecies of Revelation - past or future?

"Out of Egypt I called My Son"
One particular statement made by Matthew has caused a fair amount of controversy. In chapter 2 verses 13-15  we are told that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to "get up" and "take the Child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him".

This Joseph did staying in Egypt until Herod died. Matthew then added,

     And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Matthew ).

When the disciple said that God called His Son out of Egypt he was quoting Hosea 11:1 the problem being that Hosea was referring to God's deliverance of the nation from bondage in Egypt that took place several centuries earlier without any apparent Messianic overtones. Many have accused Matthew of arbitrarily using the passage from Hosea ascribing a meaning to it that suited his purpose.

So how could Matthew take this verse, seemingly out of all context and claim that Jesus' flight from Egypt fulfilled what Hosea said? What is often forgotten that Matthew was aware of patterns that we do not usually see. In fact, this pattern of 'out of Egypt' originated many centuries earlier with Abraham.

    When the Pharaoh was struck by Sarah's beauty and took her into his hose, God judged Pharaoh by striking him and his house with great plagues. As a result Abraham was able to leave Egypt with his wife and all his possessions. (Genesis 12:14-13:2)

    In Exodus, God brought down the ten plagues that enabled Abraham's descendants to leave Egypt.

    Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled to Egypt to escape Herod who was looking to slay Jesus. It was only after Herod died that Jesus and His family returned to Israel. Applying Hosea's words to Jesus is also supported by the fact that Israel was described to Pharaoh as God's "firstborn son" in Exodus 4:22 and "My son" in Hosea 11:1. And, of course, the disciple believed Jesus to be God's "beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17)

The final fulfillment of this pattern will be when we ourselves come out of this world (symbolized by Egypt). Just as Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt through the water of the Red Sea into the Promised Land. Believers are led by Jesus out of the world into the promised land - also called Heaven.

What and Where is Heaven?
Christians who believe they will spend an eternity in "heaven", seem to have little or no idea where this heaven is, what it will look like, or what they will do there. Either they have fleeting, half formed ideas about some ethereal place 'out there'or resort to pious phrases that amount to little more than spiritual gobbledy gook. If this is the best we can do then it is little wonder that non Christians are not in the slightest bit interested in our "heaven", and Christians themselves so rarely seem to look forward to the coming of the day of God. Luckily the Bible isn't at all silent on where "heaven" is and, even more importantly, what it will be like. In fact, the Bible's description of the coming kingdom is far, far, more practical than that of our theologians.

The Abomination of Desolation
In Matthew 24:15-33 Jesus told His disciples that when they saw the Abomination of Desolations spoken of by the prophet Daniel, then they would know the end is near. In other words, it was something would occur in the future. The difficulty some face is that it had already occurred some 200 years before Jesus mentioned it..

    a) Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid king who reigned from 175 BC until 164 BC is known for his brutal persecution of the Jews, which spurred the Maccabean revolt. Antiochus went as far as to invade Jerusalem and defile the Temple by placing an image of Zeus inside and offering a pig on the altar. The Jews eventually recaptured Jerusalem, and immediately set about cleansing the Temple. Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabees triumphed over the powerful Greek armies in 165 B.C and the subsequent miracle of a one day supply of oil lasting eight days. It was observed by Christ in the New Testament. See John 10:22-23.

However, what Jesus was doing was speaking about a past event in the future tense thus prophesying it would happen again. Since Jesus spoke there have been several Abominations of Desolation, all of which are part of an escalating pattern. One even continues into the present day...

    b) The Christians who were in Jerusalem at the time recognized Cestius Gallus' assault upon the city in A.D. 66 as the fulfillment of our Lord's prophecy. The mere presence of the Roman army in the "holy city" was an abomination, standing where it ought not.

    c) After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the town was still mostly a heap of ruins when Hadrian built a new city on the ancient ground some sixty years later. Called Aelia Capitolina, it was crowned by a temple of Jupiter, on the site of the ruined Temple.

d) The Dome of the Rock was constructed over the site of the Second Jewish Temple which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. A band encircling the inner side of the octagonal arcade, is inscribed with various prayers and citations from the Qur'an. Between the north and west sides is found a verse from the Qur'an part of which reads

    "Bless your envoy and your servant Jesus son of Mary and peace upon him on the day of birth and on the day of death and on the day he is raised up again. It is a word of truth in which they doubt. It is not for God to take a son. Glory be to him when he decrees a thing he only says be, and it is." [01]

All of these preceding Abominations of Desolation lead up to the final one that is yet in the future and will in all likelihood come about under the Antichrist whose actions are likely to mirror those of Antiochus Epiphanes in some way. See Antiochus IV Epiphanes - The 'Type'

Elijah and John The Baptist - A Recurring Pattern
John the Baptist was, very clearly, a type of Elijah, one of Israel's greatest prophets. Both appeared on the scene very suddenly, dressed alike (both wore garment of camel hair and a leather belt - 2 Kings 1:8 and Mark 1:6 NASB), and both sought to turn people back to God.

Elijah's First Appearance
These signs were not lost on the priests and scribes from Jerusalem who were sent to ask John whether he was the promised (Malachi 3:1) figure of Elijah the Prophet?” (John 1:20-21). They were apparently expecting a real life Elijah and did not seem to understand that in his prophecy, Malachi did not necessarily mean the literal, historical Elijah, but simply someone who would come in the spirit and power of the ancient prophet. Paraphrasing Isaiah 40:3  Malachi said...

    "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1 NASB)

We know Malachi was referring to John The Baptist because when Zacharias, a righteous first century childless priest was told by an angel that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son who was to be called John, he was also told that ...

    "It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:17 NASB)

Jesus verified that Malachi 3:1 was indeed speaking about John the Baptist, 

    "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. "This is the one about whom it is written, 'behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.' (Matthew 11:9-10 NASB)

Elijah's Second Appearance
However, Malachi seemed to blend the first and second coming of our Lord. Verse 3:1 above definitely referred to the First Coming of Christ however, just a few verses later Malachi made the following prophecy

    "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.  (Malachi 4:5 NASB)

Quite obviously Jesus' first coming did not bring the great and dreadful day of the Lord thus it has to apply to Jesus' Second Coming. The Savior Himself seemed to confirm Elijah's two separate appearances. After the Transfiguration three of the disciples were descending from the mountain with Him when they asked why the scribes stated that Elijah must first come. Jesus answered,

    "Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:11-13 NASB)

In His reply Jesus seemed to switch time frames in mid sentence - speaking of an Elijah that had already come (John the Baptist) and one that had yet to come.  Many commentators believe that one of the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3 might be "Elijah". As in the case of John the Baptist, this does not necessarily mean the literal, historical Elijah, but simply someone who comes in the spirit and power of Elijah and performs a similar function. (See The Two Witnesses of Revelation)

Peter and Joel's Prophecy
In addressing the crowd on Pentecost Peter quoted from Joel chapter 2, saying,

    For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: '

    'And it shall be in the last days, God says, "that I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: Yea even on my servants and on my hand maidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day. (Acts 2:17-20)

Peter's words have led many to erroneously assume that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled on Pentecost. However, a close look at everything that took lace on Pentecost makes it quite clear that not everything spoken of by the prophet came to pass. While the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by some remarkable signs and wonders - no prophecies were made, no one dreamed dreams or saw visions. The promised awesome displays of celestial phenomena were conspicuous by their absence. There was no blood, fire, or pillars of smoke, The sun did not turn to darkness nor the moon to blood.

The events of Pentecost were only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy made by Joel. The rest is yet to come.

It is not until the breaking of the Sixth Seal that the sun and moon are darkened. Also to be noted is that  it is only at this point that the wrath of God is mentioned for the first time. In other words, as terrible as the phenomena of the Sixth Seal will be they are only the first indication that God is about to make His anger known on earth.

    I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. (Revelation 6:12-13 NASB)  See The End Of The Age Part II... The Seven Seals

The early church experienced a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit that corresponded with the spring rains, but Acts 2:16-21 predicts that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Last Days will also be accompanied by signs and wonders, by prophecy and visions. There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early church, and there will be again on the church of the last days. The latter rain is yet to come. See End Time Revival Or End Time Apostasy?

Joshua and The Seven Trumpets
Joshua 6 and Revelation 10 and 11 both contain the same numerical pattern. In Joshua 6:8, seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns marched around Jericho once every day for six days, blowing the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant followed them. On the seventh day they marched around the city as before, except they marched around the city not once, but seven times. the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city". When the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they shouted with a great shout, and the walls fell down flat.

    "You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. "Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead." (Joshua 6:3-5 NASB)

This same numerical pattern is repeated in Revelation. Jesus opened the book of seven seals (5:1), the seventh seal starts the process of the seven Trumpets (8:1-2). The Seventh Trumpet introduces the Seven Bowls or the end of all things when the cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains 'disappear'. Also as 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16 NASB) See The End of The Age.

Biblical Patterns That Were Not Types
Destruction of The Temple

Av is the fifth month of the Jewish year, that occurs sometime in July or August. Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av) is a day of mourning that commemorates various tragedies that have befallen the Jews. It is believed that it was on this day that, after the people balked at invading the land of Canaan after hearing frightening reports from the spies, God banished them to wander in the desert for 40 more years.

However, Tisha B'Av primarily commemorates the fact that both Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date.

    The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. which resulted in the Babylonian exile. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the same date in 70 A.D. This led to the Jews being scattered all over the world and stateless, they became the victims of numerous other crimes perpetuated against them.

It is also said that after the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 133 A.D. ended in defeat "The Jews of Betar were butchered on the 9th of Av and the Temple Mount was plowed one year later on the same date". [02]

Moses and Joshua
Both Joshua and Moses were told exactly the same thing by God or one of His angels

     Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."  (Exodus 3:5 NASB)

    The captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:15 NASB)

Moreover, how Moses crossed the Red Sea on his way out of Egypt bears marked similarities to how Joshua crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land. Both the waters of the Jordan and the waters of the Sea of Reeds split and stood up in a 'heap', i.e. piled up

    "At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, The flowing waters stood up like a  heap (Heb. nęd); The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. (Exodus 15:8 NASB)

    "It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap (Heb. nęd)."  (Joshua 3:13 NASB)

As a by the way, It is very likely that the Lord used 'natural' forces (that He created) to part the waters in both instances. A

During hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay residents experienced a bizarre and rather eerie phenomenon. "As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, Tampa Bay suddenly went dry. People hopped down onto the bay bottom, now a vast sandy expanse, and walked around, stunned. There are different terms for what happened: "a negative surge," "a blowout tide," a "water level set-down. [03]

According to software engineer Carl Drews,

    a 'wind setdown,' in which strong winds -- a little over 60 miles per hour -- create a "push" on coastal water which, in one location, creates a storm surge. But in the location from which the wind pushes -- in this case, the east -- the water moves away. Such occurrences have been observed in the past in Lake Erie, among other places -- and, note Drews and Han, also in the Nile Delta itself in the year 1882. [04]

Another example of a repeating pattern is the..

Interestingly, Paul's ministry and his last days replayed the events that transpired in Jesus' last days.

    1. The Rabbis made false charges against Jesus to the Roman authorities in John 9:4 & 6 however, Pontius Pilate wanted no part in judging Jesus. (John 19:4-6) False charges were made by the Rabbis against Paul to the Roman authorities, but the Roman governor wanted no part in judging Paul. (Acts 18:12-18).

    2. Prior to His arrest, Jesus met with His disciples at Passover in an upper room to break bread (Mark 14:12-15). Paul met with his disciples in an upper room to break bread before he was arrested (Acts 20:6-8,)

    3. Jesus predicted His death to His followers, accepting it as God's will for His life (John 10:15 and Mark 10:32-34). Paul does the very same things in Acts 20:24, 25

    4. In John 18:11, Jesus' disciples attempted to convince Him to avoid this death, not to go to Judea in order to spare His life. In Acts 21:11-13, Paul's disciples also try to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem in order to save his neck.

    5. Matthew 7:15, 24:11, Mark 13:6, and Luke 21:8 contain warnings from Jesus about wolves that would come to devour the sheep once He left, and He did this at the end of His three-year relationship with them. Acts 20:29,30 shows Paul at the end of three years warning his disciples about false prophets who would come in among them.

    6. Mark 15:12-15, John 19:15, Luke 23:21, and Matt. 27:21-23 record that the multitudes cried out for the death of Jesus, having been incited by the Rabbis. In Acts 21:36 and 22:22 we find the multitude demanding Paul's death after having been incited by the Rabbis.

    7. Matthew 26:59-61 shows the Rabbis trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus; He was falsely accused of teaching against the Torah and the Temple. Acts 21:28 records the same thing happening to Paul - the Rabbis falsely accused him of teaching against the Torah and the Temple.

    8. In Luke 23:8 we see how Jesus aroused curiosity, then intrigue, with the civil Roman government; in Acts 22:30 we find that Paul, too, aroused curiosity and then intrigue with the civil Roman government.

    9. In John 19 and Matthew 27 the Roman government tried to release Jesus, but then turned the entire affair over to the rabbinic authorities once they were unable to free Him, knowing He was innocent. In Acts 22:30 and 18:15 it happened to Paul.

    10. Matthew 27:24 reveals that the Roman authorities were forced to re-intervene in the case of Jesus in order to prevent rioting; Acts 23:10, 21:34-36 records that the Roman government also had to intervene in Paul's case to prevent rioting.

    11. The Roman governor in Matthew 26:4 came from Caesarea to Jerusalem to judge Jesus when the Rabbis formed their conspiracy to kill Him; the Roman proconsul came from Caesarea to Jerusalem to judge Paul under the same circumstances, in Acts 23:12, 21.

    12. Jesus was delivered by His Jewish brothers into the hands of Gentiles and the governor in fulfillment of a specific prophecy, as seen in Luke 23:1, Matthew 27:2, Luke 18:32. In Acts 10:18 Paul underwent the same ordeal, again in fulfillment of a specific prophecy.

    13. John 18:22 tells of Jesus being struck for the way He spoke to the high priest; Acts 23:2 tells of Paul also being struck for the same reason.

    14. In Matthew 23:27 Jesus called the religious hypocrites 'whitewashed tombs', alluding to the whitewashing of sepulchers for the Passover. In Acts 23:3 Paul calls the priest a 'whitewashed wall'.

    15. Jesus used the Resurrection to counter-manipulate the Pharisees and Sadducees against each other when they had come together against Him, in Luke 20:26-40. In Acts 23:9, Paul uses the same strategy.

Footnote I - The Various Ways Prophecy is Interpreted
Although I would venture to say that most Christians lean towards Futurism, there are three other ways that Biblical prophecy is interpreted. Here is a summary of all four

     Futurism holds that Revelation describes Last Day events and tells us that after the destruction of the Two Babylons, Christ will return with His church and will set up his kingdom.  See The End of The Age.

    Preterism The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, meaning "past". It holds that some or all Biblical prophecies concerning the End Times were fulfilled in the first century after Christ's birth, specifically in AD 70 when Jerusalem was overrun by the Romans and the temple destroyed.  In other words, nothing remains to be fulfilled apart from  Christ's Second Coming and the literal resurrection of believers. (However, extreme preterism goes as far as to say that even these were fulfilled in the past).

    However, key events described in the book of Revelation simply did not occur in A.D. 70. For example, neither "a third of mankind" nor "every living creature in the sea" was killed as predicted in Revelation 9:18 and 16:3. In any case, since Revelation was written after A.D. 70 (as confirmed by some of the earliest church fathers) it could hardly have been prophecying events that has already taken place.

    Historicism does not limit the fulfillment of prophecy to a particular time frame (the past or future) but instead believes that the fulfillment of biblical prophecy has taken place throughout history and continues to take place today. In other words, the Book of Revelation was a pre-written history of the Church covering over 2000 years, i.e. the period from the time John penned the book to the future Second Advent of Christ.

    The seals, trumpets, and bowls may have already been fulfilled by different events in Church history or are possibly being fulfilled even today. William Tyndale expressly rejected the teaching that the Antichrist would rise in the future. He believed that the Antichrist was a deceptive spiritual force that would be with us until the end of the age under different religious disguises. Any religious organization that distorted Biblical doctrine displays the work of Antichrist.

    While it is true that many antichrists do arise, this opinion ignores the fact that the Bible makes many references to the literal Antichrist who comes to power at the end of the age.. See The Antichrist

Also Antiochus IV and The Nature of Hebrew Prophecy on THIS Page 
The fact that Daniel had so much to say about Antiochus IV Epiphanes has to mean that he was very significant in some way - and so he was. Antiochus IV was what is called a 'type' in Hebrew prophecy - a rough draft or glimpse of someone yet to come. The question is who and what did he prefigure?

    Idealism says the events described in the book of Revelation do not prophesy any actual historical events, but symbolize the ongoing struggle between good and evil during the church age until Christ returns.

    This view ignores the fact that, in Revelation, Jesus clearly told John that He will show him (John) what must take place next (4:1).

There is little question that Futurism is the most correct of all the views. However, it too ignores the fact that a first century Jew (as Jesus Himself was) would have seen all four views as having some basis in reality. The western ideas of prophecy involves one prediction and one fulfillment.

While this may be true in some instances, Biblical prophecy can also be a pattern that is repeated. In other words, although there is one ultimate fulfillment (Futurism), there may be more than one 'smaller' fulfillment along the way (Preterism - Historicism?) each of which is both a type of, and a lesson on (Idealism), the ultimate fulfillment. {PLACE IN TEXT}


Footnote II - The Prophecies of Revelation - Past or Future?
Preterists believe that most or all of the prophecies were fulfilled in the first century when Jerusalem was destroyed along with the Temple. There is little question that, statements in the book of Revelation seem to indicate impending fulfillment.

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,  (Revelation 1:1 NASB)

    And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. (Revelation 22:6 NASB)

However, although we do not know exactly what the Lord meant by soon it is impossible for all of Revelation to have come to pass in 70 AD. Among other factors, Revelation 3:10 tells us that future time of trial will come upon all the world. (Also See Revelation 13:7,8,12,14,16)

The Jewish war was a time of great trouble for Israel, but did not particularly affect the other nations of the world and certainly does not match the descriptions of the great tribulation which point to a world-wide time of distress. The Bible repeatedly states that the great tribulation is a unique time of trouble such as has never been before and ill never be in the future. Consider the following verses..

    "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.  (Daniel 12:1 NASB)

    "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22 NASB)

Additionally Revelation 13 tells us about a political leader so powerful that no one can make war with him (v.4), the forced worship of this man by all those who dwell on the earth (v.8), etc. etc. (See The Name and Number of the Beast ) {PLACE IN TEXT}



[01] The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem,

[02] What Is Tisha B'Av? Chabad.org  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/144575/jewish/What-Is-Tisha-BAv.htm

[03] Why Irma Drained The Water from Tampa Bay. Monday November 27th 2017.

[04] Chris Mooney. No, really: There is a scientific explanation for the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus. December 8, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/08/no-really-there-is-a-scientific-explanation-for-the-parting-of-the-red-sea-in-exodus/?utm_term=.7707d2cfad57


To Old Testament and Messianic Prophecy