Book reviews 4/21/14

Time again to review this stack of books I’ve read over the past several months so I can finally clear them off my desk to make room for more. :)

jesus_every_pageJesus on Every Page (David P. Murray)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Given my long-term study here of Jesus in the Old Testament, I couldn’t resist picking up this book when I came across it.  I didn’t really catch much new that I hadn’t already in other studies, but I definitely think it would be a great book for anyone who wants a relatively condensed primer on how to see Jesus Christ throughout the entire Old Testament.  Just for a taste, here are the several categories he goes through in chapters throughout the book, titled “Discovering Jesus in…”

  • … the Creation
  • … the Old Testament Characters
  • … His Old Testament Appearances
  • … the Old Testament Law
  • … Old Testament History
  • … the Old Testament Prophets
  • … the Old Testament Types
  • … the Old Testament Covenants
  • … the Old Testament Proverbs
  • … the Old Testament Poems

Of course, checking that book out might also be a nice way to skip to the punchline in some areas and skip all my deep-dive blog posts.  Your call. :)

delighting_trinityDelighting in the Trinity (Michael Reeves)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Here is another outstanding, relatively short book that is not only a primer on the Trinity, but really covers a great deal of material in an easier to read manner than other books on the nature of the one true God.  Reeves does justice to the study of the nature of God, turning what some see as a dry doctrinal subject into something we can simply dwell on and delight in.  I found some of the best parts to be the many sidetracks where he let us hear statements from several early church fathers as well as later reformers.  Another great, quick read you should check out.

christ_covenantsThe Christ of the Covenants (O. Palmer Robertson)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Robertson does a great job working his way through the various covenants throughout Scripture, explaining the distinctiveness of each while always pointing out the unity and continuity of God’s work throughout history.  He additionally throws in a nice chapter discussing dispensationalism and some of the issues with the theological system.  The reason I end up rating this four stars instead of five is that it felt a bit too meaty for much of the book on the earlier covenants, and then ended way too quickly with little material on the new covenant inaugurated with Jesus Christ.

killing_calvinismKilling Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside (Greg Dutcher)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

At barely over 100 pages, this book is a quick read, but it felt like it glossed too much through the issues with Calvinism as it has resurged with the “young, restless, reformed” in recent past.  Much feels filled with caricatures of Calvinists, but it does have enough good points to make it worth the read.  A couple of the chapters I appreciated most were the ways we potentially kill Calvinism “By Loving God’s Sovereignty More Than God Himself” and “By Learning Only from Other Calvinists.”  Oh, and “By Being an Arrogant Know-It-All” had some good points, but I think hit too much on the caricature picture of Calvinists.  If you wanted to learn about various viewpoints on Calvinism, you would do much better with the next two books in my list.

for_calvinismagainst_calvinismFor Calvinism (Michael S. Horton)

Against Calvinism (Roger E. Olson)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

These two books discuss Calvinism in a thorough, yet nicely condensed manner.  They also do well to note the many differences between the modern caricature representations of both Calvinism and Arminianism vs. more historical and reasonable representations of the two sides of the theological spectrum.  Both authors seem to be gracious to the other sides of the argument, though I have to admit I found it quite tiring that Olson continually described the God of Calvinism a “moral monster.”  While I may not agree with all of Calvinist theology, the frequency of that statement pretty much defeated much of his attempts to carefully steer around the caricatures.  Regardless, if you are curious at all about the debate between the two theological systems, or often find yourself in the middle of the debate, definitely check them both out.

zions_sakeFor Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby (Paul Richard Wilkinson)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I’ve linked to a video of Wilkinson’s in a previous post on “Christian Palestinianism,” which I found to be very well done.  That video led me to check out this book, and due to it’s scholarly format (i.e., in-depth and meaty), it sat around quite a while.  I’m glad I finally braved through it, because it was very meaty on the history of the topic.  I had heard of Darby through previous studies of dispensationalism, but this book had far more on his life and in-depth discussions on other theologians throughout history, including their views of God’s plan for Israel as revealed in Scripture.  I would recommend checking out the video first, and then jump at the book only if that piques your curiosity for more information.

jacob_prodigalJacob and the Prodigal (Kenneth E. Bailey)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

I really enjoyed this book.  Bailey has a unique background in that he has spent much of his life living, teaching and travelling in the Middle East.  In his book, he works through Jesus’ parables in Luke 15, including the parable of the prodigal son.  Now, I thought I had heard it all when it comes to that parable, but Bailey’s perspective was definitely a unique one, especially when viewed alongside his discussion of the other parables in the chapter.  It was a joy to read the cultural background of the area as applied to Jesus’ parables.  This is another relatively short book and is a very easy and worthwhile read.

jesus_mideast_eyespaul_mideast_eyespoet_peasantJesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Paul Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Poet & Peasant, and Through Peasant Eyes (Kenneth E. Bailey)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I’m going to group these three books together as they are very similar.  In these books, Bailey continues to bring his unique perspective to bear on far more Scripture than the parables of Luke 15.  In the “Jesus” book, he covers areas such as Jesus’ birth, the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.  In the “Paul” book, he works his way through the entirety of 1 Corinthians.  In the third “two books in one,” Bailey covers much of the same ground as the prodigal book I reviewed above, though in more depth.  I would recommend you first read the prodigal book, and if you enjoy his style, move on to the Jesus book.  Only if you’re aching for more, or really want a decent 1 Corinthians commentary, go with the Paul book next.  Finally, I would actually skip the 2-in-1 book since it is much older material than his updated and nicely concise prodigal book.

dreams_visionsDreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? (Tom Doyle)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

We received this book from one of the missionary families we support, and I will admit I was a bit skeptical what I would find in here before reading.  Normally, I throw out most dream/vision material as possibly demonic in nature rather than from God, especially when you dig just a little under the surface and find things that conflict with God’s Word.  However, in this book, I was nicely surprised that the author provided a good amount of warning against that very thing when dealing with dream/visions.  Along with that, he documented many of those being seen by Muslims who are turning to Christ throughout the Middle East, making it clear that whether or not these are true ones from Jesus Christ, these people are at least turning dramatically to Him… which is the real importance of the events occurring there with increasing frequency.  I did find it interesting that some of these I had actually heard of before through Joel Rosenberg as well as a video from Iran Alive Ministries.


gleanings_genesisgleanings_exodusGleanings in Genesis, Gleanings in Exodus (Arthur W. Pink)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Given my Jesus in the Old Testament study, Pink’s “Gleanings” resources have been priceless.  He has a great wealth of material within these commentaries focused on seeing Jesus Christ as the central figure of the entirety of Scripture.  While I don’t agree with all of his types of Jesus Christ found throughout Genesis and Exodus, I certainly would not have noticed as many in my personal studies that I do agree with.  I’m mentioning these now since I finally completed them as we’re already starting study of the book of Numbers this next weekend.  Perhaps one of these days I will mention all the other various books, including whole-Bible commentaries such as that of Matthew Henry, that are my go-to resources for Jesus in the Old Testament study since it will be years before I’m able to finish up.  We’ll see.  :)

feasts_lordThe Feasts of the Lord (Kevin Howard)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Speaking of invaluable resources in my studies, Howard’s book was quite helpful in providing material beyond what I had gleaned via my own studies of the feasts laid out in Leviticus 23.  If you’ve never studied the Jewish feasts closely from the perspective of how Jesus Christ fulfills the spring feasts and how He will one day fulfill the fall feasts, you really owe it to yourself to dig further.  This would be a fantastic place to start, especially given it will probably be another year or so before I get to blogging that particular study!  :)

christ_passovermessianic_passoverpassover_haggadahChrist in the Passover (Rose Publishing)

Messianic Passover Haggadah (Barry Rubin)

Katz Passover Haggadah: The Art of Faith and Redemption (Baruch Chait)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

As part of our study through the feasts of Leviticus this winter and spring, our Bible study group decided I should perform a major deep-dive into Passover, especially given the approaching Easter season.  I was truly blessed by the study, and these are again three resources that proved priceless (in fact, the first two were quite cheap price-wise).  The first turned out to be a pamphlet on seeing Jesus Christ in the Passover tradition as well as what is found in actual Scripture.  It is small, but very worthwhile as an inexpensive primer on the subject.  The second was a small booklet, but was a great resource to guide one through a Messianic version of the Passover celebration (“Messianic” meaning taking the Jewish tradition and seeing how Jesus Christ shows up through and through).  The third was a resource to guide one through the modern traditional Jewish celebration, and yet one can still see glimpses of Jesus throughout.  The artwork of the Exodus story throughout was also very neat.  Let me know if you’re ever interested, and I will loan these out any time so you can explore the Passover celebration in-depth yourself… again, without having to wait another year for me to get around to blogging my research notes.  :)

tabernaclerose_guide_tabernacleThe Tabernacle: Shadows of the Messiah (Levy)

Rose Guide to the Tabernacle (Rose Publishing)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Finally we come to two resources that were greatly helpful in my studies of the Tabernacle during the Exodus study of Jesus in the Old Testament.  These proved valuable in covering all the ways Jesus Christ is the true Tabernacle and how that tent of meeting in the wilderness looked forward to Him.  My friend, Bruce Shauger, provided me with a presentation including much material that was also invaluable as well, though I can’t really send you to a link for his material.  :)

Well, thanks for slogging through another set of book reviews with me.  I hope you find something here you might be interested in.  Most of these I will be keeping around, so let me know if you want to borrow any!  Until next time.

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Jesus in the OT – Exodus 4

moses_returnsWe’ll make this a relatively short post in the Jesus in the Old Testament series tonight. I thought it might be good to throw one out there tonight so there’s something to read after the Easter holiday, as our spiritual walk doesn’t stop after the saturation of the past several weeks. :)

In chapter 4 of Exodus, we find Moses asking God how his Jewish brothers would ever believe he was sent to them by God.

1 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’ ” 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

Exodus 4:1–9 (ESV)

God told Moses that he would be sent performing miracles that they might believe him, though it appears some would not believe those signs anyway. The same occurred with Jesus Christ in the New Testament, as He continually confirmed He was their Messiah sent by God through performing of miracles.

2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Matthew 11:2–6 (ESV)

However, even with all the signs Jesus performed, many still did not believe in Him.

43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

John 5:43–47 (ESV)

Notice how Jesus went right back to Moses to make His point. Even worse, they disbelieved Jesus so much they were ready to kill Him.

24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

John 10:24–39 (ESV)

Back in Exodus, we find God telling Moses that He would speak through him.

10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Exodus 4:10–12 (ESV)

Jesus Christ tells us that He speaks the words commanded by His Father.

49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

John 12:49–50 (ESV)

Jesus Christ also told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would speak through them.

19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Matthew 10:19–20 (ESV)

Continuing with Exodus, we find God telling Moses that the threat from Pharaoh is over, and it is time to return to his brothers in Egypt.

19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.

Exodus 4:19–20 (ESV)

In the New Testament, we find God sending an angel to tell Joseph the threat from Herod is over, and it is time to return from Egypt to Jesus’ brothers in Israel.

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.

Matthew 2:19–21 (ESV)

As the final passage in Exodus 4, we find Moses being accepted by Israel upon his return.

29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Exodus 4:29–31 (ESV)

In a previous post on Exodus, we found a parallel between Moses and Jesus where Moses was rejected as judge over his brothers before he left them, and Jesus was rejected as King by most of the Jews when He first came to earth. In prophesy by Zechariah as well as Paul’s letter to the Romans, we find that the Jews will one day accept Jesus as their King on His return.

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)

1 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Zechariah 13:1 (ESV)

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Romans 11:25–27 (ESV)

In summary, here is what we found in Exodus 4:

  • Exodus 4:1-9 – type/picture – Jesus confirmed He was the Messiah through performing miracles, which many would not believe
  • Exodus 4:10-12 – type/picture – Jesus Christ speaks what His Father tells Him to
  • Exodus 4:10-12 – type/picture – Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would speak through them as well
  • Exodus 4:19-20 – type/picture – God told Joseph to return from Egypt after the threat to Jesus’ life was over
  • Exodus 4:29-31 – type/picture – Jesus Christ will one day be accepted by the Jews on His return

I think I’ll follow this up shortly with a set of book reviews (the stack of finished books on my desk has been growing). See you next time (if there are any of you left out there :).


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Jesus in the OT – Exodus 3


Ok, so only two weeks drifted away since last post.  Maybe there’s still hope I can catch up this year. :)  Let’s jump right in.  As we continue with Exodus 3, we find Moses still away from his Jewish brothers under slavery in Egypt, tending to his father-in-law’s flock.

1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Exodus 3:1 (ESV)

We find in the New Testament that Jesus claims to be the ultimate shepherd over His Father’s flock.

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

John 10:14–16 (ESV)

We next witness the event of the burning bush, as God appears to Moses.

2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Exodus 3:2–6 (ESV)

As we have seen many previous times throughout Genesis, we again find the "angel of the Lord" appearing to someone.  Notice again how the "angel" speaks as if he were God Himself, though this time in the form of a burning bush rather than the form of a man.  So, while I see most other references to the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament as preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ, this probably does not count as one, especially when Stephen does not directly point to Jesus in his retelling of the event in Acts.

30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.

Acts 7:30 (ESV)

I did find one commentator had an interesting thought regarding this, how perhaps the angel of the Lord being in the burning bush was at the same time a preincarnate appearance of Jesus, as well as a type/picture of Jesus Christ in the sense of his fully divine and fully human nature.  The event in Exodus shows us a natural tree and divine fire/presence of God together in an astounding way (as Moses saw), and type/picture is showing us how Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man when He was manifest in the flesh… an astounding thing for us all to witness.  Something interesting to consider, I guess.

Moving on with Exodus, we find God telling Moses He has come down to deliver the Jews from captivity, through His sending of Moses back to Egypt.

7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3:7–10 (ESV)

In the New Testament, we find that God the Father sent Jesus Christ down to earth to free His people from spiritual captivity.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:14–17 (ESV)

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Luke 19:10 (ESV)

Continuing with Exodus, we find God revealing His name to Moses.

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

Exodus 3:13–15 (ESV)

In John’s Gospel, we find that Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the Jews as God. 

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

John 8:58–59 (ESV)

Before moving on, did you catch that?  "Before Abraham was, I AM."  Jesus wasn’t just making some grammatically incorrect statement.  He was claiming to be God in the flesh, which is also the only explanation for their immediate response of attempting to stone Him to death.  This passage, along with many others, flies completely in the face of those who think Jesus never claimed to be God.

Speaking of grammar, Jesus Christ in speaking to the Sadducees noted to them that grammar is important in the Word of God, as He refers back to Exodus (repetition on God’s part in 3:6 and 3:15) to demonstrate to them there would in fact be a resurrection of the dead.

18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

Mark 12:18–27 (ESV)

Also note back in Exodus 3:15 that God said this would be His name forever, which they should remember throughout all generations, and definitely recognized it in Jesus’ own words in John 8:58-59.  Hebrews reminds us that while God’s name never changes, Jesus Christ never changes either.

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)

And, just for a minor rabbit hole to wrap things up today, let’s take a look at how obvious this becomes throughout the Gospel of John.  John records a multitude of "I AM" statements of Jesus Christ.  Here is a smattering of those where Jesus directly calls out the name "I AM," as you would find in the original Greek grammar.  Note that many are translated to the more natural English phrases, "it is I"  or "I am he."  I’ll throw them in all caps just to more easily point them out.

20 But he said to them, “IT IS I; do not be afraid.”

John 6:20 (ESV)

24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I AM HE you will die in your sins.”

John 8:24 (ESV)

28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM HE, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

John 8:28 (ESV)

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 8:58 (ESV)

19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I AM HE.

John 13:19 (ESV)

5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I AM HE.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I AM HE,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

John 18:5–6 (ESV)

That last one always gets me… notice how "they drew back and fell to the ground" when Jesus said "I am he."  Is it not clear that He wasn’t simply saying, "yeh, I’m Jesus… you found the guy you were looking for," but something far more miraculous occurred?  Jesus called out His divine name, the name of God, and they had no recourse but to fall to the ground.  After all, Paul tells us:

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV)

John’s Gospel also records several other indirect statements of Jesus invoking "I AM" in some way.  Here is a smattering of those statements.

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 48 I am the bread of life. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

John 6:35, 48, 51 (ESV)

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 8:12, 9:5 (ESV)

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:7, 9 (ESV)

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

John 10:11, 14 (ESV)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

John 11:25 (ESV)

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 (ESV)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

John 15:1 (ESV)

Jesus Christ’s claims of divinity are hard to miss once you start paying attention to what you read in God’s Word, and John’s Gospel makes so obvious you have nowhere to turn but to try to throw it out.  After all, John set out to convince us of the truth, as he notes in chapter 20:

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:30–31 (ESV)

And, not only the Son of God, but that Jesus Christ IS God, as John points out right from the first verse of Chapter 1:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 (ESV)

May we all come to believe in Him, as Thomas finally did only after he had nowhere else to turn himself.

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:24–29 (ESV)

"My Lord and my God!"  May we all make the same confession!

In summary, here is what we found in Exodus today:

  • Exodus 3:1 – type/picture – Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd over His Father’s flock
  • Exodus 3:2-6 – appearance? – possible preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ as the angel of the Lord
  • Exodus 3:2-6 – type/picture? – Jesus Christ was both divine and human when manifest in the flesh
  • Exodus 3:7-10 – type/picture – Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to deliver us from spiritual captivity
  • Exodus 3:13-15 – appearance – Jesus Christ is God (I AM), as are the Father and Holy Spirit

See you around next time.

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Jesus in the OT – Exodus 1-2

moses_basketSure has been a while… we’re just about to finish up Leviticus in our at-home study, so I figure I better get a move on in hopes of maybe catching up some day!  Before we start looking at specific passages in Exodus 1-2, I’ll lay just a little bit of groundwork for what we’re going to find throughout the book. 

If you’ll recall from the original post in the study (yeh, I know, it’s been a while!), one of the ways to notice Jesus and the Gospel throughout the Old Testament is as a drama, in which peoples’ lives through historical events act out in some way Jesus’ life and the Gospel message.  In the case of the events in Exodus, we will find such a drama.  I’ll note the players in the drama and whom or what they represent, and hopefully it will eventually make sense as we study through the book:

  • Moses – Jesus Christ, deliverer of God’s people
  • Pharaoh – Satan, enemy of God’s people
  • Egypt – the world, our "home" before becoming believers
  • Israelites – ourselves, slaves in bondage to sin before being delivered from the world
  • The exodus – our redemption/deliverance from bondage through Jesus Christ
  • The wilderness – our continual struggle with sin while we grow as believers through sanctification, before entry one day into the "promised land" of eternity with Christ

Let’s start our journey through Exodus with the first chapter.

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

Exodus 1:8–14 (ESV)

As Pharaoh had the Israelites in bondage, tied up with heavy burdens, we find during the time of Jesus that the Pharisees were placing their people in spiritual bondage with their distorted religion.

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Matthew 23:1–4 (ESV)

As we’ll soon find Moses being sent by God to free the Israelites, the good news for us is that God the Father sent Jesus Christ to not only free us from our sins, but to free us from a corrupt religious system as well.

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)

1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

In Exodus, we next find Pharaoh attempting to curtail the entire Israelite race by killing newborn males.

15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Exodus 1:15–22 (ESV)

A very similar event occurred near the birth of Jesus Christ, as Herod killed the newborn males in Bethlehem due to fear of the newborn King.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Matthew 2:16–18 (ESV)

One Hebrew male survived Pharaoh’s attempts at murder, as his mother placed baby Moses in a basket (same Hebrew word as for Noah’s "ark") to save him from death.

1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. 4 And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. 5 Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:1–10 (ESV)

In the New Testament, Herod’s attempts at murdering the King were spoiled as Joseph and Mary were warned to leave Bethlehem.  Notice how Jesus was saved by hiding in Egypt.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.

Matthew 2:13-15, 19–21 (ESV)

As believers, we are saved from Satan’s attempts at bringing spiritual death to us through an "ark" as well, and the picture we find in some respect in the New Testament is that Jesus Christ is our ark.

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

1 Peter 3:18–22 (ESV)

As Exodus jumps ahead many years in the life of Moses, we find him having compassion on his Hebrew brothers, though perhaps a bit too much having led him to kill an Egyptian.

11 One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

Exodus 2:11–12 (ESV)

The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ sees us as His brothers as well, though he demonstrates a perfectly righteous compassion.

9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

Hebrews 2:9–13 (ESV)

Hebrews also gives us a tiny bit of insight into Moses’ early life, in that he rejected Egypt’s and Pharaoh’s temptations throughout his life.

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

Hebrews 11:24–26 (ESV)

Jesus Christ rejected the temptations of the world and Satan himself, as He was tempted in the wilderness just prior to His ministry.

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”

Matthew 4:1–10 (ESV)

Continuing with Exodus, we find that early in Moses’ interaction with his people, they saw him having no right to judge them or rule over them.

13 When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” 14 He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”

Exodus 2:13–14 (ESV)

I find it interesting that Jesus seems to refer back to this event in Luke, perhaps in a bit of a sarcastic way, knowing He would later be rejected by His people as their judge and ruler.

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

Luke 12:13–14 (ESV)

14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

Luke 19:14 (ESV)

However, it is clear throughout the rest of the New Testament that Jesus Christ is the only righteous judge and ruler over everyone.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

John 5:30 (ESV)

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

Revelation 19:11-13 (ESV)

Back in Exodus, we find Moses far away from his people, meeting a woman at a well and giving her and her flock water.

15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. 18 When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

Exodus 2:15–19 (ESV)

In the New Testament, we find Jesus Christ away from his people as well, meeting a woman at a well, and He provides her with something better: living water.

3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

John 4:3–15 (ESV)

Continuing with Exodus, we notice that Moses spent many years in obscurity before God finally calls him to serve his people.

20 He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. 22 She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.” 23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.

Exodus 2:20–23 (ESV)

Not much is recorded of the thirty years Jesus Christ spent in life prior to finally starting ministry to His people as well.

23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

Luke 3:23 (ESV)

In the final passage we’ll note in Exodus for today, we find Israel groaning and crying out for rescue from slavery to Pharaoh and Egypt.

23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

Exodus 2:23–25 (ESV)

In the New Testament, Paul well describes how we groan and cry out for rescue from slavery to Satan, the world, and our own sinful nature… a rescue we find in Jesus Christ.

1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,

2 Corinthians 5:1–2 (ESV)

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:12–17 (ESV)

In summary, here is what we found in today’s chapters:

  • Exodus (as a whole) – drama of the Gospel – the exodus of the Israelites from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt as delivered by Moses, play out our spiritual exodus from slavery to Satan, sin and the world as delivered by Jesus Christ
  • Exodus 1:8-14 – type/picture – Jesus Christ frees us from spiritual slavery to sin and corrupt religious systems, giving us rest from our burdens
  • Exodus 1:15-22 – type/picture – Herod attempted to murder our King, Jesus Christ
  • Exodus 2:1-10 – type/picture – Jesus Christ was protected from Herod’s plot of murder, by God sending Him from Bethlehem to Egypt
  • Exodus 2:1-10 – type/picture – Jesus Christ is the "ark" through whom we are saved from spiritual death
  • Exodus 2:11-12 – type/picture – Jesus Christ sees us as brothers and has compassion on us
  • Exodus 2:11-12 – type/picture – Jesus Christ rejected the temptations of Satan and the world
  • Exodus 2:13-14 – type/picture – Jesus Christ was rejected as the only righteous King and Judge of His people
  • Exodus 2:15-19 – type/picture – Jesus Christ met a woman at a well and gave her living water
  • Exodus 2:20-23 – type/picture – Jesus Christ spent thirty years in obscurity before starting ministry to His people
  • Exodus 2:23-25 – type/picture – as believers in Jesus Christ, we cry out for rescue from spiritual slavery through His deliverance

Wow, my fingers are tired, as I’m sure are your eyes if you stuck with me this far.  Guess I’ve been quite out of practice after a several-month break.  We’ll see if I can stay on top of things a little better this year!  Until next time.

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Jesus in the OT – Genesis 49-50


Third post in less than a week?  Yeh, I can’t believe it myself.  I figured I was so close to finishing up with Genesis that I may as well get one more post in before the holiday to wrap things up.  "Soon" we’ll be moving right on to Exodus, but let’s make our last few stops in Genesis first.  We’ll start with Jacob’s blessing of his son Judah.

8 “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. 11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

Genesis 49:8–12 (ESV)

There are several things to note in this blessing, but before looking at them, notice that Judah is in the genealogy of Jesus Christ recorded in Matthew.

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,

Matthew 1:1–3 (ESV)

Given this, it should not be surprising there are possible parallels or prophecy of Jesus Christ contained in Jacob’s blessing of Judah.  For example, in verse 9 we find Judah being compared to a lion.  In Revelation, Jesus Christ is referred to as the lion of Judah.

5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Revelation 5:5 (ESV)

In verse 10 we find the scepter will not depart from Judah, though the kingdom of Judah did eventually go into exile.  It may be this is referring more directly to the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV)

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:16 (ESV)

In verse 11 we find a reference to Judah having a donkey and its colt.  Recall from the New Testament that Jesus Christ, their true king, entered Jerusalem on a donkey.

1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.

Matthew 21:1–7 (ESV)

Actually, notice also in verse 11 of Genesis 49 that Judah has bound his donkey and colt, and then washes his garments in wine and the blood of grapes.  How fitting that Jesus Christ first came to Jerusalem humbly on a donkey as their King (though rejected), and will eventually return again to Jerusalem, this time treading the winepress in judgment.

15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Revelation 19:15 (ESV)

1 Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. 4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. 6 I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Isaiah 63:1–6 (ESV)

Note also, that while Jesus Christ comes in judgment, as believers in Him we will be washed clean in His blood.

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13–14 (ESV)

Moving on in Genesis, we find Jacob’s blessing of Joseph.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. 23 The archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, 24 yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

Genesis 49:22–26 (ESV)

Considering all the ways we found Joseph typified Jesus Christ in previous posts, we might expect to find this blessing to do the same in addition to that of Judah.  In verse 24, it appears there are at least two cases, as Jacob refers to the Shepherd and Stone of Israel from the hands of God.  In the New Testament, we find Jesus Christ being referred to with such terms.

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11 (ESV)

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19–22 (ESV)

4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV)

Back in Genesis, we find in the next chapter that Joseph’s brothers asked him for forgiveness, bowing to him as their master, though he notes he will not judge them in God’s place, yet instead will be their savior, if you will.

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:15–21 (ESV)

While Jesus Christ will one day come in judgment, Isaiah prophesies that His people will finally bow to Him as their Savior.

9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Isaiah 25:9 (ESV)

As believers in Jesus Christ, we do not have to wait for that moment, as we can confidently approach Him for forgiveness.

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:3–6 (ESV)

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV)

In that same Genesis passage, note in verse 20 how Joseph pointed out to his brothers that God use the brothers’ evil deed (in selling him to slave traders) for good.  God the Father used the Jewish leaders’ deeds (in crucifying Jesus Christ) for good.

11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Acts 3:11–26 (ESV)

Paul tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, God uses everything for good for those He has called.

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

In summary, here is what we found in the last two chapters of Genesis:

  • Genesis 49:8 – Jesus Christ is in the line of Judah
  • Genesis 49:9 – type/picture – Jesus Christ is the Lion of Judah
  • Genesis 49:10 – prophecy – Jesus Christ is the King of kings; has an eternal kingdom
  • Genesis 49:11 – prophecy – Jesus Christ would enter Jerusalem on a donkey, one day returning again in judgment
  • Genesis 49:24 – type/picture – Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Cornerstone/Rock
  • Genesis 50:15-21 – type/picture – one day Israel will bow before Jesus Christ as their Savior
  • Genesis 50:15-21 – type/picture – Jesus Christ can be approached confidently for forgiveness
  • Genesis 50:20 – type/picture – God the Father used the Jewish leaders’ evil deed in crucifying Jesus Christ for the good of those He saved
  • Genesis 50:20 – type/picture – God uses all things for the good of those He called to faith in Jesus Christ

Before I close out this final post in the study of Genesis, I’ll throw out here something I found when studying one of the commentaries I have access to, though I forget which one.  It might be a bit of a stretch, but they found the patriarchs in Genesis to be a type/picture of the progression of the lives of believers in Jesus Christ (as follows).

  • Abraham – called by God, granted faith
  • Isaac – born of the Spirit, granted sonship
  • Jacob – sanctified as old man (flesh) and new man (spirit) fight each other
  • Joseph – persecution and eventual glorification

On the surface, some of them made a bit of sense, but would take quite a bit of study to really back things up.  I’ll just leave it with that and you can do your own research if you desire. :)  Until next time, enjoy the holiday!

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Periodic ramblings by an old geek…