It is not good to despise any part of Scripture, least of all such parts as are directly related to Jesus Christ.
It is our great misfortune that the study of the types has fallen on evil times, and that as a method of Bible Study it has almost ceased to be taught or used. It is even treated with contempt, and there are books on Bible Study in which the attempt to trace the hidden spiritual meaning and intention of the regulations of the Tabernacle worship is denounced as a " riot of undisciplined thinking." The censure is perhaps deserved by some writers who have put forward their own extravagant fancies in place of the sober and restrained teaching. of the Bible itself ; but the abuse of a method is no argument against the right and proper use of it, and the first result of the revival of a rational systematic study of the types will be to enforce the exclusion of all these inventions of mere human fancy, and to demand a definite Scripture warrant for every type that is taught.
The study of the types is the only method of entering into the real and primary meaning of large portions of Holy Scripture. The Temple is a mere shambles, and the books of Exodus and Leviticus are sealed books to those who have no insight into the types. But to those who would enter into the true intent and purpose of these books, and gather from them the mind of the Spirit, they are fragrant of Christ in every verse, and full of grace and truth in every line.
It was entirely agreeable to man's nature, as a being compounded of body as well as soul, that God should represent spiritual things by means of sensible things, and it was particularly well adapted to the needs of God's people in the infancy or non-age of the Church. Nevertheless, there is need for the study of the types in the present day, in order that the people of God may obtain clearer and more vivid insight into all the wealth of Gospel truth, and into the whole mystery and glory of the grace of Christ.
A consideration of the words used in Scripture to express a type will show how extensively the system of what we may call kindergarten instruction, or teaching by types, pervades the Old Testament, and how fully this method is employed in the interpretation of the Old Testament by the writers of the New Testament.Eight words are used to express the nature of a type
(i) The word type itself is used in John 20: 25: " Except I shall see in His hands the type (print) of the nails, and put my finger into the type (print) of. the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." This verse gives us the clue to the meaning of the word. As the hole corresponds- in size and shape, and in other respects is an exact counterpart to the nail which makes it, so the type corresponds to the, antitype, or the reality of which it is the type.
(2) The word shadow is. used in Col.2: I6, 17: " Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days : which are a shadow of things to come."
(3) The word example is used in Hebrews 8: 4, 5 : " There are priests that offer gifts according to the law : who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle."
(4) The word sign is used in Matthew 12: 39: " An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the 'prophet Jonas."
(5) The word figure is used in Hebrews 11:19 : " From whence also he received him in a figure."
(6) The word allegory is used in Galatians 4: 24: " Which things are an allegory."
(7) The word seal is used in Romans 4: 11 : " And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness' of the faith which he had being yet uncircumcised."
(8) The word letter is used in 2 Corinthians 3: 6. " The letter (i.e. the law) killeth, but the spirit (i.e. the gospel) quickeneth."
Similarly eight words are used to express the nature of the antitype or reality to which the type corresponds, and which it prefigures or shadows forth:
(1) The word antitype itself is used in 1 Peter 3: 21: . "The like antitype (figure) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us."
(2) The word body is used in Colossians 2:17: "Which are a shadow of things to come ; but the body is of Christ."
(3) The words very image are used in Hebrews 10:1: " For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
(4) The words good things to come are used in Hebrews 10:1 : "The law having a shadow of good :things to come."
(5) The words things in the heavens are used in Hebrews 9:23: " It was necessary therefore that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these."
(6) The words the true are used in Hebrews 9: 24: "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true."
(7) The word spirit is used in 2 Corinthians 3: 6 : " For the letter killeth but the spirit quickeneth."
(8) The word spiritually is used in Revelation 11: 8 : " The great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
It will greatly assist us in this study if we have a clear definition of what is meant by a type, and this is given us in Scripture itself. A type is " a shadow of good things to come" (Hebrews 10:10). A type involves three things (i) an outward sensible object or thing which represents some other higher thing; (2) that other higher thing represented, which we call the antitype or the reality and (3) the work of the type which is expressed in the term " representing " or " shadowing forth." A type is a sign, a resemblance, a pattern, a figure, a shadow. As a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, so a type is an outward and visible earthly thing by which God has designed to teach us some invisible, spiritual, heavenly thing. A type is some outward and sensible thing ordained of God under the Old Testament to hold forth something of Christ or something in relation to Him in the New Testament. The type is the shadow, the antitype is the substance ; the type is the shell, the antitype is the kernel ; the type is the letter or the law, the antitype is the spirit or the gospel. The work of the type is to adumbrate-or shadow forth something of Christ and His benefits.
It will be well for us to draw a clear distinction between types on the one hand and similes, parables, ceremonies, and sacraments on the other.
A type is a divinely instituted resemblance.
A simile is an arbitrary comparison or natural illustration. Marriage is a comparison setting forth the mystic union of Christ and the Church ; but it is not a type, for it was instituted for another purpose. It is a sign but not a sacrament. In the parable of the Marriage Supper, the bread is only a similitude. In the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, it is designed and set apart to represent Christ, and is therefore typical.
A parable is a similitude which has God for its author, but it is not a type, for God does not set the stamp of institution upon it and make it an ordinance.
A ceremony is always a type, but a type is not always a ceremony. The pillar of cloud and fire was a type but not a ceremony. A ceremony was a law or an observance prescribed to teach some gospel mystery.
A sacrament differs from a type in two ways. There are many types, but there are only two Sacraments-Baptism and the Lord's Supper. In nature they differ only in this : types are the signs of Christ coming-sacraments are the signs of Christ already come.
The following four rules for the understanding of the types of the Old Testament are taken from Samuel Mather's Figures or Types of the Old Testament," the great standard work on this subject. They embody all that it is necessary for the beginner to know in order to prosecute the method of Bible Study by types with rich and fruitful and fascinating results.
Rule i.-God is the only Author of the type.
That which the type bears of likeness to Christ is stamped and engraven upon it by Divine institution. A type is not a mere natural similitude or resemblance which may be chosen arbitrarily and used by way of illustration by anyone. As the Church in the New Testament has no power to make sacraments, so they of the Old Testament had no power to make types. It is of the essence of a type that it should be divinely instituted, and set apart by God, for the express purpose of setting before us something of Christ.
We cannot safely say that anything is a type unless we have Scripture warrant for it. It is the error of allowing fancy and imagination to run riot in the matter of the types which has brought the whole study into disrepute.
Scripture warrant for regarding anything as a type is given in three forms.
(1) By express statement, e.g. Adam was "the figure of Him that was to come" (Rom. 5:14). " The law was a shadow of good things to come" (Heb.10:1). The land of Canaan was a figure of " a better country, that is a heavenly." (Heb.11:16).
(2) By permutation, or change of names between the type and the antitype, e.g. when Christ is called David (Ezekiel 34: 23), or Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), or the Lamb of God (John 1: 29), or our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7) ; or when Moses is called a mediator (Gal.3:19), or a sheep is called a sacrifice, or is said to make - atonement, or to expiate sin, there being in truth but one Mediator, one Sacrifice, one Atonement, and one Expiation, of which Moses and the victims offered on the altar are but types.
(3) Where there is a clear and evident analogy and parallel between things under the law and things under the Gospel, enabling us to conclude that such legal dispensations were intended and given by God as types of the Gospel mysteries whose image they bear. Thus Joseph may be looked upon as a type of Christ, though Scripture nowhere expressly calls him such, and the deliverance out of Egypt may be regarded as a type of the deliverance of the Church from the bondage of sin. The analogy is so clear that we may justly infer that God intended the one to be a type of the other. But we must not indulge in our fancy and make anything a type unless we have Scripture ground for it. The constitution of the type, like every other method of Revelation, is the prerogative of God and God alone.
Rule 2.-Types are not only signs but seals.
As signs they shadow forth, but as seals they pledge and make sure the benefits of Christ to which they are related. Abraham received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith (Rom. 4:11 ). If they were signs at all, then they were more than signs, for if they signified to our intellect what the Messiah would be, they at the same time assured our faith that the Messiah certainly would be that which the type signified.
Rule 3.-The types relate not only to the Person of Christ but also to all His benefits, to all Gospel truths and mysteries, and even to our miseries without Christ.
Thus Circumcision is a type of Baptism. The Passover is a type of the Lord's Supper. Leprosy is a type of our natural pollution through sin. Hagar and Ishmael are types of the Covenant of Works. Doeg and Ahithophel are types of Judas. Gehenna or the Valley of Hinnom is a type of Hell.
Rule 4.-As there is always a similitude and an analogy in something, so there is ever a dissimilitude and a disparity between the type and the antitype in certain other things.
Adam is a type of Christ, but the second Adam infinitely transcends the first. Some types are partial and represent Christ in one particular only, as Jonah, who foreshadowed Christ in the one thing of His abiding in the grave for three days and rising again : David is sometimes called a total type of Christ, because he resembled Him in so many points; but no type can be called total, certainly not David, for he was only prophet and king, whereas Christ is Prophet, Priest, and King.
The following books may be recommended as helpful to those who propose to undertake a course of Bible Study by types.
(1) " The Study of the Types," by Ada Habershon (Morgan & Scott.) is a convenient and a comprehensive little text-book on the subject.
(2) C.H.MacKintosh's "Notes on the Pentateuch: Genesis to Deuteronomy " (Loizeaux Bros. Inc) are a perfect gold-mine to those capable of appreciating the wealth of spiritual teaching contained in Scripture types. But there is nothing to compare with
(3) Samuel Mather's " Figures or Types of the Old Testament" (published in 1705, and now out of print, but sometimes obtainable second-hand), from which the principal contents of this section are drawn.
The following classification embraces all the principal kinds of sensible objects or things selected and used in Holy Scripture, as types representing or shadowing forth corresponding spiritual realities:
1. Individual persons, e.g. Adam.
2. Orders of persons, e.g. priests.
3. Actions, viz. deliverances and destructions, e.g. the passage of Israel through the Red Sea.
4. Things, e.g. Jacob's ladder.
5. The institutions of the ceremonial law, e.g. circumcision.
6. Holy places, e.g. the burning bush.
7. The Tabernacle and the Temple.
Rom. 5 Adam, a type of Christ, the head of a new race.
I Thess. 4 Epoch, a type of Christ's ascension, and a pledge of ours.
1 Pet.3 Noah, a type of Christ preaching and saving believers.
Heb. 7 Melchizedek, a type of 'the eternal priesthood of Christ.
Gen.22. Abraham, a type of Christ's absolute obedience to God.
Heb. 11. Isaac, a type of Christ's miraculous birth.
Gen. 32. Jacob, a type of Christ's sojourning and wrestling.
Ps. 105. Joseph, a type of Christ in suffering and exaltation.
Exod. 3 Moses, a type of Christ delivering us from bondage.
Josh. 1. Joshua, a type of Christ bringing us into rest.
Judges 16. Samson, a type of Christ in strength, suffering, and death.
2 Sam 8 David, a type of Christ in his conquests and victories
1 Kings 4 Solomon, a type of Christ in wisdom and world-wide dominion.
Matt. 17. Elijah, a type of John the Baptist, the forerunner.
2 Kings 2 Elisha, a type of Christ continuing with His people.
Matt. 12. Jonah, a type of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
Ezra 5 Zerubbabel, a type of Christ leading out of captivity.
Zech. 3. Joshua the high priest, a type of Christ restoring purity of worship.
II.-ORDER OF PERSONS
Is. 49. The Jewish nation, a type of Christ who is called Israel
Gal. 6 The Jewish nation a type of the Church which is also called Israel.
Rom.8 The first-born, a type of Christ : " the firstborn among many brethren."
Heb. 12. The first-born, a type of "the Church of the first-born."
Num. 6 The Nazarite, a type of Christ, separated unto God.
1 Pet. 2. The Nazarite, a type of the Church, a holy people.
Deut. 18. Prophets, types of Christ, who taught the will of God.
I Cor 14. Prophets, types of the Church, with its gift of prophecy.
Heb. 5 Priests, types of Christ, our great High Priest.
Rev. 1. Priests, types of the Christian, a priest unto God.
Ps. 2 Kings, types of Christ in their authority.
2 Sam.7 Kings, types of Christ in their perpetuity.
Ps. 72. Kings, types of Christ in their executive activity.
III.-ACTIONS, viz. DELIVERANCES AND DESTRUCTIONS
Ex. 12. Deliverance out of Egypt, a, type of our
Ps. 105. deliverance out of the spiritual bondage and misery of sin.
Ex. 14. and 15. The passage of the Red Sea a type of our deliverance from the relentless pursuit of spiritual foes.
Deut. 1. and Ps. 95 The march through the wilderness, a type of the earthly pilgrimage of this present life.
Josh. 3 and 4 The passage of the Jordan, a type of Christ going before His people through the waters of death.
Deut. 11. and Josh 5 Entrance into Canaan, a type of Christ introducing His people to the rest of the promised land.
Is. 35 and 40. Deliverance out of Babylon, a type of the destruction of the yoke of the world.
2 Pet. 2 and Jude. Destruction of Sodom, a type of all unnatural lusts and uncleanness.
Ezek. 30. and Rev.11 Destruction of Egypt, a type of all idolatry, oppression and cruelty.
Josh. 6 and I Kings 16. Destruction of Jericho, a type of the irreparable ruin of those who fight against God.
Jer. 49. and Obad. Destruction of Edom, a type of implacable hatred toward the people of God.
Jer. l. and Rev. 18. Destruction of Babylon, a type of the destruction of the enemies of the Gospel.
Jer. 7 and 19. Tophet and Gehenna (The Valley of Hinnom), a type of hell.
Gen. 28. Jacob's ladder, a type of Christ connecting heaven and earth.
Exod.3 The burning bush, a type of the Church ,persecuted yet preserved.
Num. 9. The pillar of cloud and fire, a type Christ's perpetual presence.
John 6 Manna, a type of Christ, the Bread of Life.
1 Cor. 10 The smitten rock, a type of Christ, the Water of Life.
Num. 21. The brazen serpent, a type of Christ lifted up on the Cross, in order to save.
John 5 The waters of Bethesda, a type of Christ's healing power.
V.-THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE CEREMONIAL LAW
Gen. 17. Circumcision, a seal of admission to the Covenant.
Mark 16. Circumcision, a figure of baptism, the initiatory rite of the Church.
Lev. 1. Sacrifices-the burnt-offering, a type of obedience.
Lev. 2. Sacrifices-the meal offering, a type of service.
Lev. 3. Sacrifices-the peace offering, a type of fellowship.
Lev. 4. Sacrifices-the sin Offering, a type of expiation.
Lev. 5 Sacrifices-the trespass offering, a type of restitution.
Lev. 6. Sacrifices-the consecration offering, a type of separation unto God.
Heb. 9. Purifications-cleanings, ceremonial and spiritual.
Lev. 23: 4-14. Festivals-The Feast of the Passover Redemption.
Lev.23: 15-21. Festivals --The Feast of Pentecost-The Holy Spirit.
Lev.23: 33-34. Festivals-The Feast of Tabernacles-Incarnation.
Num. 29. Festivals-The Feast of Trumpets-the sound of the Gospel.
Lev. 16. Festivals-The Day of Afonement-the expiation of sin.
Ezek. 46, Festivals-The New Moon-a solemn assembly.
Exod. 31. Festivals-Sabbaths-the seventh day, a day of rest.
Deut. 15. Festivals-Sabbaths-the seventh year, a year of release from debt.
Lev. 25. Festivals--Sabbaths-the year of jubilee, a year of release from slavery.
Acts 7 The burning bush-holy ground.
Josh. 5. The place where God appeared to Joshua holy ground.
Exod. 19. Mount Sinai-the holy mount.
2 Pet. 1. The mount of transfiguration-the holy mount.
Zech. 2. The land of Canaan-the holy land.
Josh. 20. Cities of Refuge-holy places of refuge.
Ps. 48. Jerusalem-the holy city.
VII-THE TABERNACLE AND THE TEMPLE Reading.
Exod. 38. The altar of burnt-offering-atonement.
2 Chron. 4 The molten sea and lavers-cleansing.
Exod. 30. The altar of incense-prayer.
Exod. 25. 31-40 The golden candlestick-the Light of theWorld.
Exod. 25. 23-30 The table a of shew-bread-the Bread of Life.
1 Chron. 13. The ark of the covenant, with the cherubim, the Shekinah light, the mercy-seat, the tables of the law, the pot of manna,- and Aaron's rod-Divine G
VIII.-SAMUEL MATHER'S CLASSIFICATION OF THE TYPES
1. Individual persons:
(1) Before the law-Adam, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.
(2) Under the law- Moses, Joshua, Samson, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah Zerubbael, Joshua the priest:
2. Typical orders of persons
(1) Jewish nation.
(5) Priests. Kings.
(i) Things-Jacob's ladder.
Moses' burning bush.
Pillar of cloud and fire.
Waters of Bethesda.
i. Deliverances of God's people:
(i.) Deliverance out of Egypt.
(ii.) Passage through the sea.
(iii.) March through the wilderness.
(iv.) Passage through Jordan.
(v) Entrance into Canaan.
(vi.) Deliverance out of Babylon.
ii. Destruction of enemies
(i.) Sodom, Egypt, Jericho, Edam, and Babylon-types of Rome.
(ii.) The Deluge, Sodom, Egypt, and Tophet-types of Hell.
2. Perpetual, the ceremonial law
1. Sign or external part.
2. Mystery or what covenant it relates to.
(I) Not to the covenant of works.
(2) To the covenant of Grace implying
i. To be a God to Abraham.
ii. To give him a seed.
(i.) Great seed, Messiah.
(ii.) A church seed.
(iii. Believing Jewish seed.
(iv.) Ingrafted Gentile seed.
iii. To provide an inheritance.
3. What respect it has to this covenant.
1.As a seal
2 As holding forth Christ's sufferings.
3 Especially Christ's righteousness.
4 It respected mortification.
5.It shadowed forth baptism.
I. Burnt-offering (I) of the Herd (2) of the Flock (3) of Fowls.
2. Meat offering.
3. Peace offering.
4. Sin offering.
6. Consecration offering.
III. Purifications, whence consider
1. Ceremonial uncleanness by
(1) Unclean eating and
(2) Unclean issues.
2. Ceremonial cleansings from
(1) Unclean eating and touchings.
(2) Unclean issues.
3.How ceremonial cleansing typified spiritual cleansing.
1. Feasts-Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, Trumpets, Expiation.
2. New Moons.
3. Sabbaths-Seventh Day, Seventh Year, Fiftieth Year or Jubilee.
V. Temple Officers
I. Kinds-Priests, Levites, Nethinims.
(1) What they typified-Christ, His ministers, His members.
(2) Wherein they were types-In their personal qualifications, apparel, consecration, ministration or work.
VI. Holy Places
1. Burning bush or place of God's appearing to Moses.
2. Place where God appeared to Joshua.
3. Mount Sinai.
4. Mount of Christ's Transfiguration.
II. Permanent, during the Jewish economy.
1. Land of Canaan,.
2. Cities of Refuge.
3. Tabernacle and Temple-Builders, time, place, materials,parts, viz.
(1) House- 1.. Common Parts - Foundation, walls, doors, windows floor, roof.
ii. Special Parts-porch, sanctuary, oracle, chambers.
(2) Courts- Outward, inward.
1. Of natural necessity.
ii. Typical and instituted.
(i.) Without of brass-Two pillars, altar of burnt-offering, molten sea and lavers
(ii.) Within of gold_
In the Sanctuary - Candlestick, shew-bread table.
In the Holy of Holies-Vessels for offering incense, the Ark with its appurtenances.
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