Type of Christ

Q. Which OT characters do you consider to be humanly speaking perfect, who exhibit the character or qualities of Christ? I thought of Joseph but he has a cup which he uses for divination.

A. What you are asking is for the “types” of Christ, which could be persons or objects. The word “type” is generally used to denote a resemblance between something present (OT times) and something future (NT times), which is called the “antitype” (Christ).
Several people walked with God and were called “pleasing to God” or “blameless” in the Bible:
Gen 5:22, 24 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. … Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
• Gen 6:8-9 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
• Job 1:8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 2:3 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”

But if you want longer narratives where you can study their biography for yourself, instead of only a few verses for Enoch, or recording Noah’s flaw in getting drunk and uncovering himself, consider Daniel. Some books on types (e.g. Torrey’s New Topical Textbook has a section on Types of Christ with 45 entries) do not list Daniel among them. However, when you read Daniel in detail, you will discover that the Bible did not record any sin in his life, and his courage, dependence on God, wisdom certainly reminds us of Christ’s qualities.

As to Joseph’s cup:
Gen 44:5 Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.
• Gen 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed practice divination?

V 5 is what Joseph taught his steward to say to his brothers when he overtake them. V 15 is what Joseph himself said to his brothers to test them. It could be that he used the cup for divination, or it could be that he said them only to trick them into thinking that he can discern what they were hiding. Joseph had this cup because his wife was Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On (Gen 41:45, 50; 46:20), and he was just saying this as an excuse. In any event, this is circumstantial and not concrete evidence to prove that he practiced divination. I believe his position is stated in:

Gen 40:8 Then they said to him, “We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”
• Gen 41:16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
• Gen 41:25 Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
• Gen 41:28 It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do.

Repeatedly Joseph attributed the interpretations to God, not to his divination. So I would not hold the possession of the cup against him.

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Twelve Tribes of Israel

Rev 7 5-8

Q. Why is the list of the twelve tribes of Israel in Rev 7:5-8 (Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin) different from other places in the Bible? Where is Dan? What about Ephraim?

A. The list in birth order includes Levi, Dan and Joseph. However, Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons (Gen 37:3), and gave him a double portion for his inheritance by adopting Joseph’s sons as his own:
Gen 48:5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.

By replacing Joseph with Ephraim and Manasseh, the list becomes 13. But God chose the sons of Levi to serve in the tabernacle and they have no inheritance among the sons of Israel:
Num 18:23-24 Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance. For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.’
So Levi received no land and the list becomes 12 again.

In Rev 7, both Dan and Ephraim were dropped because of idolatry:
Judg 18:30 The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.
• 1 Kgs 12:28-29 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
• 2 Kgs 10:29 However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan.
• Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols; Let him alone.

Bethel was allotted to Ephraim:
Josh 16:1 Then the lot for the sons of Joseph went from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east into the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.
So Dan housed the graven image and together with Ephraim the golden calves which led Israel into idolatry and were disqualified. Joseph therefore replaced Ephraim to retain the double portion. Dan was replaced by Levi, possibly because land inheritance is no longer the issue and the Levites will share in eternal blessings.
Heb 7:11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?

God rewards everyone according to what he has done, both good and bad:
2 Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
• Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Judah too young to be a great-grandfather at 43?

Jacob's sons 1

Q. Most people would usually accept that Joseph’s age was 39 when he reunited with Jacob, from the sum of the following numbers: He was 30 when he became ruler, then came the 7 years of prosperity and 2 years of futility (Gen 41:46, 53, 45:6). Jacob was 130 at that time (Gen 47:9), so he should have given birth to Joseph when he was (130-39=) 91, substantiated by the biblical account that Jacob bore Joseph when he was old (Gen 37:3). However, my immediate reaction was Joseph appeared to be too young. If he was 39, then Judah would at most be 42 because Judah was the 4th son in a row from Leah while Joseph was the last son (from Rachel) in the second 7 years of Jacob’s servitude, so at most the two would only be 3 years apart. For Judah to be 42, there would be great chronological difficulty, because his son Perez had already been a father of 2 kids at the time of such reunion (Gen 46:12). Though Perez was Judah’ son, age-wise, he could be considered as Judah’s grandson because he was only conceived by Tamar after Judah’s two elder sons Er and Onan became adults, married Tamar and died, so Perez could be considered as the 2nd generation descendant from Judah, and hence his son considered as the 3rd. How could a man aged 42 have a 3rd generation descendant?

A. My first reaction was that Judah as #4, with 6 sons and one daughter (Dinah) in between, got to be more than 3 years older than Joseph’s #11. However, as you rightly pointed out, all 11 sons were born during Jacob’s second 7 years working for Laban. [The first 7 years were for Leah, as Laban cheated Jacob by switching Leah for Rachel; the second 7 years were for Rachel, who was given to Jacob at the beginning of the term; and 6 more years for Jacob’s flock.] Even though there were 4 mothers, with 11 children before Joseph, there needs to be overlapping pregnancies within those 7 years. I worked out one possible version assuming that:

* each pregnancy was full-term at 9 months without any pre-mature births;
* for the same mother, there was a one-month gap between succeeding births due to the ovulation and menstrual cycle;
* for different mothers, there was still a one-month gap as the birth order was clearly identified in Scripture.

This is presented here: Judah’s Age but of course there are many other possibilities if one or more of the assumptions were changed.

Under this scenario Judah was born in the 39th months of the second 7 year term, and Joseph in the 83rd month. So the two are 44 months apart, and Judah is only 3 years and 8 months older than Joseph. At the time of the reunion with Joseph at age 39, Judah would be 42-43 years old. Now, can a 43 year-old man be a great-grand father, since Perez (with 2 sons) was his daughter-in-law Tamar’s son and technically also Judah’s grandson besides being his illegitimate son?

The answer is yes, it’s possible. Under Jewish law a boy becomes a man at age 13 (bar mitzvah), and a girl becomes a woman at age 12 (bat mitzvah). After they become a son or daughter of commandment they are responsible for their own actions and can marry. So technically a male can marry at age 13 and become a father at age 14, a grandfather at age 28, and a great-grandfather at age 42, if his son and grandson all got married and have a child at the same young age as he did. If Perez’s second son was born a year later, Judah would have been 43 then. This is rare but apparently what happened in Judah’s case. Some of these details don’t come out until you do a careful study of the Bible!

Curse on Jeconiah (2 of 6)

prophet priest king 2

(Continued from yesterday)

b) the necessity of having 2 genealogies to resolve the conflict that the Messiah has to be both a descendant of David through Solomon to sit on the throne of David, and also a bloodline descendant of David (Ps 132:11; Isa 7:14 fulfilled in Rom 1:3) through Solomon’s brother Nathan (the pierced Messiah from David…Nathan…Levi…Shimei in Zech 12:10-12 vs. David … Nathan … Levi … Semein in Lk 3:26, 29, 31).

• Ps 132:11 The LORD has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”
• Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
• Rom 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
• Zech 12:10-12 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves;
• Lk 3:26, 29, 31 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda … the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, … the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,

Again, the irreducible minimum is that the fruit of David’s body will sit on his throne. The promise was made to David and confirmed to Solomon. The necessary condition is that it must be a descendant of David according to the flesh; a descendant of Solomon is sufficient, but not necessary. Then why bother with the line through Nathan at all? It is because of the curse on Coniah in Jer 22:

• Jer 22:24, 30 As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; … Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.’”

Coniah was also called Jeconiah:
• 1 Chron 3:16-17 The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. The sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, were Shealtiel his son,

And Jeconiah is in Jesus’ genealogy in Mt:
• Mt 1:11-12 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel.

Now we have a problem: No descendant of Jeconiah, who is descended from Solomon (Mt 1:6-7), will prosper sitting on David’s throne. So how can God’s promise to David be fulfilled? That’s where Nathan’s line and the Virgin Birth come in. Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3 is traced through Mary, who is descended from Nathan (Lk 3:31). As such He is a descendant of David according to the flesh, but not in Solomon’s line through Jeconiah who is cursed. Mt 1 is very careful in stating “Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born” (Mt 1:16). It did not say “Joseph the father of Jesus.” Joseph was only Jesus’ legal father thus entitling Him to the throne, but not His actual father which means He would fall under Jeconiah’s curse.

The Virgin Birth reinforces the fact that Jesus is not Joseph’s son and therefore not in Jeconiah’s blood line. But tracing His lineage through Mary to Nathan the son of David would be sufficient as well.

I believe the Virgin Birth is necessary so that He can be born without sin to be our Savior, otherwise He has to offer blood sacrifice for Himself first:

• Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
• Heb 9:7 but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.

The necessity is not primarily to resolve the conflict between the roles of king and priest, nor between the Solomon and Nathan lines, although it certainly does that.

(To be continued)