Friday 20 December 2013

Christological Typology in the Old Testament

We know as Christians that Christ's shadow can be found within the confines of the TANAKH and it is an interesting topic to see Christ found even in the OT before he came into the world through the virgin birth.

To begin with there is the subject of Abraham in Genesis 22:8 where Abraham says that God will provide a ram for the burnt offering. What makes this interesting is the fact Abraham saw a ram with its head caught in a thornbush. Obviously, Christ wasn't burned, but what was the connection that was made, A ram was provided in the place of Isaac, just as Christ was a substitute for us, to cleanse us from transgression. The subject of the method of sacrificing is not an issue that Christians think about, it's what the ram's sacrifice was pointing to, a righteous substitute. Another thing is the hill that Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac on the altar on the very mountain that Jesus was crucified. One who raises the point about Christ not being a burnt offering as an argument miss the entire point that Christians make regarding this point.

Joseph has even some similarities to Jesus himself, both were betrayed by one of their own, Joseph was sold by his brothers because of what Judah suggested to them in Genesis 37 and Jesus was betrayed by Judas. Both Joseph and Jesus were sold for a price, pieces of silver (20 for Joseph, 30 for Jesus). Mike Pilavachi of Spring Harvest has suggested that inflation was allowed to happen regarding the pieces of silver count. Also, God used Joseph to bring about Israel's survival by saving them from a famine and Christ was used by the Father to bring salvation to his people Israel and the world. Both were used to save Israel in one way or another.

The New Testament points to Jesus being the Passover Lamb that has been slain, and Jesus was slain at Passover. Even if though the Exodus story doesn't mention repentance, which isn't what Paul is conveying when he alludes to the Passover. In other words, just as the blood was used to cover the doorpost and cause the angel of death to Passover the Israelites, so the blood of Christ which we are washed in, causes God's wrath to Passover us. Paul does mention putting away the old leaven (evil and sin), but his point, again, the blood on the door post and the blood of Jesus acting as a protective covering from God's wrath.
I am aware Asher Meza brings up the subject of goats and sheep in Exodus 12:5 in one video he did, but he still misses the entire point that Paul was once again conveying.

The sacrificial system also pointed to Jesus himself, the need for atonement and a substitute to cleanse use from our sins and make us clean. We also have Melchidezek who was a priestly king in the TANAKH who gave Abraham and his troops bread and wine and blessed them in the name of the Most High God.
In a lecture done by David Pawson on Genesis, he mentions several others including the ladder of Jacob, the punishment of the serpent being bruised and Jesus being the second man or second Adam. Here are some highlighted in the NT.

"Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous"

"John 1:43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe[h] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[i] you[j] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[k] the Son of Man.”"

And of course back in the TANAKH

"Genesis 3:14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock

    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”"

Pawson goes into greater length in his talk on Genesis when speaking on Joseph which I would recommend.

It is very interesting to see things that point to Jesus within the Old Testament, sometimes there are things that we don't even notice until we dig a little deeper.

There are also the Messianic Prophecies pointing to the servant of the LORD, found in such chapters as Isaiah 42, 49 ,50, and 52:13-53:12. The last passage especially what the Messiah would come to do, and that is to suffer and die as a ransom for many and in Isaiah 42 is sent to bring justice to the nations. In his response to Eli Cohen, Nakdimon316 goes into greater detail than I regarding these servant passages and even goes into specific details, those videos are worth checking out.

I am aware that modern day Jews have no problem with the Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 53, Some even say Messiah and Israel suffer together, but they will say this refutes the Christian view. Nothing can be further from the truth because if Jesus is the subject of Isaiah 53, who is he suffering on behalf of? The righteous remnant of Israel, but not only that, he is suffering on behalf of the Gentiles who would believe.

In one of my articles responding to Yisroel Blumenthal I have said the following. (Yisroel's objection is in italics):

""III. 7. Page 43
Brown points to the passage in Isaiah 49 where God’s servant is called “Israel” yet is sent to redeem Israel. Brown argues that this can only be referring to an individual within the nation. According to Brown this individual can only be the Messiah. Brown seems to have forgotten Isaiah 51:12-16 where Israel is being addressed in plural terminology, yet they are sent to declare to Zion that they are God’s nation. It is obvious that the servant who is sent to Israel is not an individual but rather a plural entity. It is the righteous of Israel as Rashi affirms.
It is also interesting to note that this interpretation is supported by the Christian scriptures. Acts 13:47 interprets Isaiah 49:6, which speaks of the individual servant, as a reference to the righteous community."

The NT application of Isaiah 49 wouldn't refute the Messianic application given by Christians. On the contrary, Rabbinic Jews today claim that the Messiah and Israel are found collectively in Isaiah 53, So the same thing would be the case in Isaiah 49. The Messiah is made a light to the nations and so will also those who put their trust in the Messiah. Not to mention the Messiah in Isaiah 53 suffers on behalf of the righteous remnant, as well as the nations who put their trust in him." (

This to me lends more credibility to the Christian interpretation of the suffering servant passages rather than an outright refutation of it.

It is sad that many liberal Christians today seem to disregard many of these prophecies and cut the Bible up with a pair of scissors, but that's unfortunately something that we have to put up with and try to repudiate.

One thing I can say is the return of the Messiah is drawing nearer. To all man, let him who is holy continue to be holy and may he who is unholy be granted repentance.

Amen Come Lord Jesus. Hope this article has been a blessing.

Answering Judaism.


  1. Just a few short comments regarding Isaiah 53. Many missionary websites use the fact that some Jewish commentators have stated that there are allusions to the Mashiach in this chapter. This is midrashic commentary or derash. There are sages who relate the servant to Moses, Abraham and to the prophet Isaiah as well. These comments never supersede the plain meaning taken in context which in Hebrew is referred to as peshat. Furtheremore, just because someone alludes to a messianic reference, does not equate to what you are stating, namely there is not one Jewish midrashic commentary that states that this chapter is about Jesus of Nazareth.

    Secondly, as you are well aware, the prophet identifies the servant in chapters 41,44,45,48, and 49. It is Israel (Jacob) or the righteous of Israel if you prefer. Recognizing that the Tanakh was written without any chapter structure, now you expect a rational person to believe that out of the blue the prophet is talking about Jesus!!

    Lastly, and bearing in mind there is insufficient space to go into greater detail, it is easy to understand how a Christian can arrive at your conclusions if you ignore context of the surrounding chapters and base your views on unreliable translations for the original Hebrew. Just 1 example among many.

    53.8 KJV:He was taken from prison
    and from judgment: and
    who shall declare his
    generation? for he was cut
    off out of the land of the
    living: for the transgression
    of my people was he

    Hebrew translation:From imprisonment and from judgment he is taken, and his generation who shall tell? For he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the transgression of my people, a plague befell them.

    Isaiah refers to Israel both in the singular and the plural because Israel is a nation.The last phrase reads "mipesha ami nega LAMOH" The word lamoh is a synonym for the word lachem which can mean them(selves), for/from them or to/unto them. In other words in the Tanakh it always refers to a plural entity. The plague befell THEM- this cannot refer to an individual

    1. I can't comment on the Hebrew at this time, it's something I need to look into.

      As for what you said about Moses, interesting. There is a claim that Moses is one of the candidates of the Suffering Servant, Jeremiah being another. I was wondering which sages mention Moses as the suffering servant because I have been told it is in the Talmud but I need to check.

      Although I have mentioned that Jewish Commentators have stated that Isaiah 53 can refer to Messiah, I make it clear in my writings that Jesus is not what they had in mind and that their interpretation differs from Christian ones. For example:
      Babylonian Talmud: "The Messiah --what is his name?...The Rabbis say, The Leper Scholar, as it is said, `surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God and afflicted...'" (Sanhedrin 98b)

      Jesus as we know didn't suffer from leprosy or physical diseases so obviously he is not mentioned in Sanhedrin 98b.

      I am surprised that the sages would treat the Isaiah 53 Messianic application as midrashic. As for yes you are correct that Midrash never disregards the plain meaning of the text, I am on the same page with that.

      But if the sages midrashically interpret Isaiah 53 as a reference to the Messiah, Why can the NT not use that same technique? Because I have been told by Limitbreak9001, a jewish fellow I have spoken to a few times states that Midrash cannot be inspired. I wouldn't hearing what you have to say.

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  3. Jake,

    Since you do not know Hebrew, I can provide you some other opinion.

    “The Hebrew-to-English translation of the last portion of this verse reads, "…because of the rebellion of my people, the blow to him/to them."
    The word in question is lamo. Depending on the context in which it is used, it can either translate 'to him' or 'to them.' Regarding Isaiah 53:8, Judaism's anti-missionaries insist that this word translates 'to them' in support of their claim that collective Israel is the suffering servant. However, there is clearly a single death because Isaiah refers to a single individual, he, not they, who was cut off out of the land of the living. Additionally, the following verse (Isaiah 53:9) refers to a single grave or tomb. As a result, Isaiah 53:8 foretells that a single servant would take the punishment that should have fallen on my people [Israel]. Therefore, the context of lamo is singular.

    Finally, the position held by Judaism's anti-missionaries regarding the translation of the word lamo in this verse is refuted and thwarted by their own Orthodox community. According to the 1917 JPS Bible, a single individual took the punishment. Isaiah 53:8 translates, "…For he was cut off out of the land of the living, For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due." Additionally, the Soncino translation of Isaiah, a highly respected translation, similarly renders Isaiah 53:8 as follows, "…For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people." ”

    1. What you are saying is absolutely false. Wrt to lamoh, first look up any proper Hebrew-English dictionary. You will see lamoh and lachem mean "them, to them".

      Secondly, in the Book of Isaiah there are 11 instances of the word lamoh and even the KJB translates the word as "them" in all cases with 2 exceptions- 53:8 and 44:15. The use of the singular at 44:15 is problematic since this is part of a passage where the prophet is talking about the futility of making idols. There is a switch from the singular to the plural but the context clearly indicates Isaiah is speaking about people making idols not one specific individual who is making an idol. In this passage the word פֶּסֶל (PEsel), idol, is being used as a compound noun.Another example is in Psalm 97:7. This is further reinforced by the passages which preceed and follow where the words are plural. Finally even the Christian Septuagint translates the passage in the plural:
      Isaiah 44:15(LXX) – That it might be for men to burn: and having taken part of it he
      warms himself; and they burn part of it; and bake loaves thereon; and the rest they
      make for themselves gods, and they worship them.

      As I have stated previously, the prophet refers to Israel in both the singular and the plural, sometimes in the same passage- 43:10.

      Finally, you state there is clearly a single DEATH. Wrong!!!
      וְאֶת־עָשִׁיר בְּמֹתָיו עַ ל The Hebrew reads v'et aseer bemotav- and to the wealthy in his DEATHS. In his death would be :bemoto. Again the prophet is referring to a the collective nation who die multiple deaths.

  4. The reference wrt Moses is found in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah.
    What follows is a summary of what I have learned from lengthy discussions with various rabbis and reading rabbinic commentaries.

    there are major differences between midrash aggadah and the Chrisitian use of types and (fore)shadowing.

    Although both use non-literal readings of scripture, midrash is homiletic teaching-it utilizes passages in scripture to a moral teaching or instruction. Such teaching always conforms with plain meaning of the text or p'shat.
    On the other hand the NT use of typology is an unverifiable method which attempts to establish p'shat. In other words, while the NT uses types and shadows to show prophetic fulfillment, there is no such thing as midrashic fulfillment of prophecy.

    Example: In the Tanakh, prophecy is directly predictive:
    We present an example of Biblical prophecy to show how it works:

    "Joshua caused [the people] to swear at that time saying, 'Cursed before G-d is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With his firstborn son he will lay its foundations, and with his youngest he will set up its gates' (Joshua 6:26)."
    We read of the fulfillment:
    "In his days, Hiel the Beth-elite built Jericho; with Abiriam, his firstborn, he laid its foundations; and with Segub, his youngest, he set up its doors, according to the word of G-d He spoke through Joshua son of Nun (I Kings 16:34).

    NT foreshadowing: . Matthew 2:15 claims that when Jesus left Egypt he fulfilled Out of Egypt I called My son (Hosea 11:1). The beginning of that verse reads, When Israel was a child I loved him and Hosea calls Israel, not Jesus, G-ds son. Hosea is not making a prediction about anyone but remembering Israels exodus long ago.

    In more basic terms, midrash supplements p'shat whereas types and shadows either replace or attempt to establish p'shat.

    Finally, midrash is rooted in the Oral Torah from Sinai- the NT has no claim to an unbroken chain of transmission of the national revelation at Sinai.

  5. Unmasnsky, Lamo in Isaiah 53:8, 44:15 is not new debates.

    Here is another objective opinion from an Orthodox Jew. I like his explanation with
    “the idea here is to show that לָמו is directing the verb וַיִּסְגָּד “bow down” back to a singular object rather than to a plural object or to more than one.”


    I want to start off and state first of all I am not a messianic or anything of that nature. I happen to be an Orthodox Jew and a follower of the Rambam. I do have a Bachelors degree in Hebrew language and am working on my Masters in NELC at this point in time. So i do have some knowledge of what I am talking about. Now that this is out of the way I can address why I absolutely love it when someone tries to make an absolute claim about Hebrew grammar and why Menashe is wrong.

    The Issue here is the usage of למו in Isaiah 53:8 and how many christian translations actually translate this as a singular reference. The singular translation is possible here despite the claims of CM's. The entire post doesnt spend much time proving the plural reference in Isaiah 53:8 but, it rather spends more time trying to disprove the reference in Isaiah 44:15 as if it reads as plural rather than singular. So let me focus on the claims about this verse and offer some evidence to support the singular reading of למו in Isaiah 44:15.

    Isaiah 44:15(MT)
    וְהָיָה לְאָדָם לְבָעֵר, וַיִּקַּח מֵהֶם וַיָּחָם אַף-יַשִּׂיק וְאָפָה לָחֶם אַף-יִפְעַל-אֵל וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ עָשָׂהוּ פֶסֶל וַיִּסְגָּד-לָמוֹ.

    Let’s take a moment to examine the phrase in question and see what it actually reads. If I were reading this verse I would translate the phrase in question as “he that fashions a god and worships it, he that makes a graven image and bows down to it.” It is significant that I back this view up because if you ask a CM how they would translate the verse they will take the word לָמו as if it were referring back to both the “god” and the “idol” or to “Idols” and pluralize it while saying “see it is plural after all. Honestly, as a Jew who studies Hebrew Grammar, I don’t feel that that is quite 100% accurate but I do admit it is possible to read it as the CM’s are reading it.

    Why I don’t think לָמו reads as CM’s Claim in Isaiah 44:15:

    The first argument I encountered was that פֶסֶל should be considered a compound singular meaning that it can be singular but intend a plurality much like the Hebrew word עַם “people” functions as in Hebrew. The problem with this view is that it the primary usage of the word doesn’t have this compound singular reading. In fact, this word has verifiable usages of the plural to represent the plural in a number of cases such as Deuteronomy 7:5, 25; 2 Chronicles 33:19, 34:7; 2 Kings 17:41 and so on. The idea here is to show that לָמו is directing the verb וַיִּסְגָּד “bow down” back to a singular object rather than to a plural object or to more than one.

  6. To prove this we must go to the previous clause where we find אֵל וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ “a god and worships it.” In this case there is no need to use a prepositional phrase to indicate what is being worshipped. This is instead represented by the pronominal suffix for the third person singular so that we know immediately what is being worshipped. It is referring back to the previous object “a god.” The same is happening in the next phrase with פֶסֶל וַיִּסְגָּד-לָמוֹ where the preposition לָמו, along with the verb וַיִּסְגָּד is referring back to the noun פֶסֶל. Furthermore Radak comments on this verse recognizing the difficulty of seeing למו as referring to a plural subject. His conflict is between Grammar and interpretation. Consider his comments on Isaiah 44:15:

    למו. כמו לו או כמשמעו, ופי' לפסילים אף על פי שלא זכר אלא אחד רבים הם:

    למו Lamo: Like “To him לו” or Literally, The interpretation is towards “idols פסילים” even though it is not mentioned, but (פסל) is singular, they (פסילים) are plural.

    The RaDaK knew exactly what was going on here and to rightly say that in this case Lamo למו is equivalent to “לו.” His sticking point is the interpretation and the lack of using P’silim פסילים with a preposition ל that has a seemingly plural suffix םו which is why he said what he did at the end of this comment.

    You also have to contend with the Targum's view and translation of this verses and how it views the reference as singular as well.

    Targum Yonatan to Isaiah 44:15:

    וֶהֱוֵי לֶאֱנָשָׁא לְאַדְלָקָא וּנְסֵיב מִנְהוֹן וּשְׁחֵין אַף אֲזָא וְאָפָא לְחֵם אַף עָבְדֵהּ דַחֲלָא וּסְגֵיד אִתְּכֵהּ צַלְמָא וּבְעָא מִנֵהּ

    The last little part in question of 44:15 in the targum translates as "He Makes an idol god and worships it, he forms/casts an image and beseeches from it" The preposition מִנֵהּ has a third person singular suffix ה attached to the preposition מן meaning "From Him/It." This tells us the Targumist saw this as a singular reference when he wrote the Targum.

    In My opinion I would translate 44:15 as singular but with evidence from Chazal the interpretation is plural. CM's wont tell you this is why they see the reference in 44:15 as plural but, that is why. It's not Grammar based, it interpretation based.

    Isaiah 53:8, IMO, can go either way. For me, it doesn't really matter since I know that the chapter can refer to both Israel and Mashiach on different levels of interpretation. It depends on your bias and whether you view the subject as a single person or as compound singular reference. I personally side with the compound singular reference in 53:8 because of the Hebrew word play in Isaiah 52:15 and 53:1 with שמעו "they heard" in 52:15 and לשמעתנו "our report" in 53:1 both being plural references most likely back to the מלכים and גוים in 52:15. The role of speech switches and goes from a third person plural pronominal suffix to a first person plural pronominal suffix on the same verbal Shoresh ש-מ-ע. ”

  7. Hosea 11:1
    “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    And out of Egypt I called My son.
    The coming out of God’s Son out of Egypt has two references in the Hebrew Bible.

    Numbers 23:22
    God who brought them forth out of Egypt is for them like the lofty horns of the wild-ox.
    מוֹצִיאָם one bringing forth them

    This verse above refers to Isreal.

    However, if you read further, you can see that the prophecy refers to a future king – the Messiah.

    Numbers 24:7-9
    7 Water shall flow from his branches, and his seed shall be in many waters; and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted
    8 “God brings him out of Egypt;
    מוֹצִיאוֹ one bringing forth him

    He has strength like a wild ox;
    He shall consume the nations, his enemies;
    He shall break their bones
    And pierce them with his arrows.

    9 ‘He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
    And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

  8. “Whatever may be said regarding the plural form “deaths,” such will in no way militate against the dual use of the pronoun “his” in this very sentence. However, there are several idiomatic possibilities as to why the prophet may have employed a plural term in this instance.
    (1) Some see the plural as an expression of “intensity,” signifying “the condition of death,” in contrast with “in life” (Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972, III, p. 353).
    (2) Others, with a somewhat similar thrust, see the plural as expressing an intensity of glory, i.e., “his supreme, wondrous death” (J. Alec Motyer, Isaiah, Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999, p. 337).
    (3) This plural also is viewed as suggesting a “violent death” or a “martyr’s” death (Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament, London: Oxford University Press, 1907, p. 560). In this connection see Ezekiel 28:8,10 where “death” in the plural is employed of violent activity.
    (4) A similar expression is found in the book of Job. The patriarch, responding to a speech of Zophar, says, of the evil man, “he shall be borne to the grave [pl. graves]” (21:32). The plural here may indicate merely the realm of the dead.
    It is therefore clear that there are several reasonable explanations for the plural “deaths” in Isaiah 53:9. There is no justification for resorting to textual manipulation in order to avoid the obvious interpretation, namely that a solitary person and his death are in view.
    Aside from the foregoing, Peter, in his first epistle, quotes from Isaiah 53:9 and makes the application to Jesus (1 Pet. 2:22). While this would carry no weight with a modern Jew, this compelling point should be made.” – Christian Courier

  9. Correction:

    The opinion of the Orthodox Jews on Lamo is found in

    1. I prefer the explanation of Menashe which preceeded the one you gave. Even this person admits his preference is for the compound singular reference rather than to a singular person in 53:8.

      The Targum is a paraphrase not a translation.

      How about looking at statistics where one can be more objective.
      The word lamo occurs 55 times in the Tanakh and is translated by the Chrisitan KJB in the plural 53 out of 55. In Isaiah it's 9 out of 11. Isaiah identifies the servant as Israel in 5 preceeding chapters. Yes, the verse can midrashically refer to the mashiach, but also to Moses, Jeremiah, etc and as noted previously midrash never changes the plain meaning of the text. Ultimately, there is not one iota of evidence in anything you have stated that leads to the conclusion that Isaiah is talking about Jesus.

  10. "lamo" is a poetic expression and has been proved to be either plural or singular, depending on the context.

  11. What do you think of the arguments put forth by search refuting Messianic drew

    1. I haven't looked at them so I can't comment on them at this time. I don't visit the website to often.