Joseph and His Brethren
In due time Joseph revealed himself to his
brethren. After speaking sternly to them he made them a feast, sending them portions from
his own table. They were astonished and fearful, wondering what the kindness signified.
Then, sending away the Egyptian servants, Joseph made himself known to his brethren,
assuring them of his forgiveness, and that God had caused all of his trying experiences to
work out for his good, and that he was glad to be the saver of their lives as well as the
lives of the Egyptians, under the Providential guidance which sent him to Egypt.--Genesis
It is assumed by Bible scholars that if Joseph
typically represented Christ and His Church, exalted to Kingdom honors, so Joseph's
brethren would represent the Jews, and the Egyptians represent the remainder of mankind.
If this be true, it tells us that neither Jews nor Gentiles have aught to fear from the
glorious exaltation of Messiah. On the contrary, the Glorious One who was crucified,
premeditates a great "feast of fat things" for the whole world, including his
brethren, who sold him to be crucified.--Isaiah 25:6.
The strength of Joseph centered in his knowledge
of the Divine Promise made to Abraham. Surely a knowledge of God's Plan seems
indispensable. Trust in God was the secret of faithfulness in all the worthy ones of the
past. The same principle still holds true. It seems true, as sometimes charged, that
lawlessness is growing in proportion as Higher Criticism destroys faith in the Bible and
When later the Israelites moved into Egypt, we
see the faith of Joseph manifested in his dying request. He said, "God will surely
visit you and bring you out of this land [Egypt] into the land [Canaan] which He sware to
Abraham." He was solicitous that his bones be carried with the Israelites into
Canaan. (Genesis 50:24,25.) Joseph's various experiences seem to Bible students to typify
those of Jesus and His Church--in suffering and in subsequent glory and honor.
At the Burning Bush
Moses showed himself great in every sense of the
word. As an infant, Moses was placed by faithful parents where an Egyptian princess found
him, amidst the bulrushes of the Nile, and adopted him. Safe in the midst of his enemies,
he received an ample education in "all the learning of the Egyptians." The
honors of the Egyptian Court were his, but he was too patriotic to enjoy them while his
kinsmen suffered severe persecutions. Intent upon helping his brethren, he slew an
Egyptian taskmaster. He was disappointed that his brethren did not appreciate his
endeavors to aid them, but reported him as a traitor to Egypt.
He fled to Midian, and was gone forty years. Then
God's time having come, he was sent to deliver his people Israel; but by now he was timid
and feared his inability. By Divine command, Aaron became his mouthpiece, and the message
was carried to Pharaoh that Israel must be let go. This commission to Moses was given at
the burning bush--a bush which apparently was all aflame, yet not consumed. The Lord's
messenger used this means for communicating the Divine message in an impressive manner,
and to give him courage and confidence in his mission.
The truthfulness of the narrative is confirmed by
Jesus. Certain Sadducees, denying the resurrection, sought to entrap Him, inquiring whose
wife a woman would be if during her lifetime she had had seven husbands. Jesus in reply
defended the doctrine of the resurrection. He declared that when God said to Moses,
"I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," this surely meant that Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob were to be resurrected. The Sadducees denied the resurrection and all
future life. On the contrary, God's word at the mouth of the angel proved that there is to
be a resurrection of the dead. God thus spoke of things that were not as though they
already were. "All live unto God" in the sense that in Christ He has provided
for the reawakening of all, "in due time."
The Passover Instituted
Time and again Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh
with God's message, "Let My people go!" Time and again plagues were given as a
punishment for refusing to let them go. Time and again Pharaoh declared that if the
plagues were stopped he would let them go, and time and again he broke his word. The
Scriptures say, "And for this very purpose God raised Pharaoh up, that He might show
forth His Power through him." This is interpreted to mean that God could have brought
another prince to the throne of Egypt. He favored this particular Pharaoh because of his
wicked self- will, obstinacy and selfishness.
The Scriptures declare that the Lord hardened
Pharaoh's heart. The explanation is that it was the goodness of God that hardened
Pharaoh's heart. Divine goodness and generosity were shown in the removal of the various
plagues as soon as Pharaoh promised to do right. This, instead of inciting him to love and
obedience, led him to a greater obstinacy. He determined, as he had passed through one
plague after another, that others could not be much worse. He paid dearly for his
defiance.-- Exodus 4:21;7:3;14:4.
The tenth plague was the crisis. All the
first-borns of Egypt died, but the first-borns of Israel under the sprinkled blood were
safe. Thus God pictured the "Church of the First- borns," now being
"called" out from the world. After glorification by the First Resurrection they
will be the "Royal Priesthood," Spiritual Levites, for the blessing of all
Israel, and through Israel, all the families of the Earth.
Bible students hold the Passover night to have
typified this Gospel Age of nearly nineteen centuries, during which the spirit begotten
ones, the church of the First-borns, are to be passed over, or specially saved, and made
partakers of the Divine nature and associates in the Messianic Kingdom for the blessing of
the later born, during Messiah's Reign. The blood sprinkled on the door-posts typed faith
in the blood of Christ.
Israel was taught lessons of faith in the
wilderness. God sent them Manna. It came in the night in very small grains. It required
time and patience to gather and prepare it. Not only was it a necessity, but it
corroborated the Divine sentence, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
until thou return to the ground." Labor has been one of our most valuable lessons.
Without it our race would have sunken still lower. Countries in which labor has been a
necessity attest this by their greater intelligence.
Jesus explains that He Himself is the antitypical
Manna, or Bread from Heaven, of which we must partake if we would have everlasting
The conspiracy of Korah and his associates
against Moses' leadership resulted in their all going down alive into the pit (Hebrew,
Sheol), the tomb. So all opponents of Messiah will perish in the Second Death.--Acts 3:23.
God sent Israel a miraculous supply of quail. Our
Common Version permits the inference that quail fell around the camp several feet deep.
This is pointed to by critics as absurd. The correct and reasonable thought is that
quails, wearied from flight across the Red Sea, flew within a few feet of the ground,
where Israel easily captured great quantities.
The lesson of the Smitten Rock is noteworthy.
When the people were famished, Moses smote a rock in the name of the Lord, water gushed
out and the people were refreshed. St. Paul says that this was prophetic of Christ who by
His death supplies the Water of Life, which is for all--Israelites indeed.
A plague of "fiery serpents" attacked
the Israelites. By Divine direction Moses made a serpent of brass and raised it up. The
Israelites were directed to look to that serpent for healing. The "fiery
serpents" represent Sin, inflicting death. God has provided life for the sin-bitten
world through the crucifixion of Christ. He was treated as a sinner, in order that sinners
might be freed from sin and death.
The Law Covenant
at Mt. Sinai
Moses served as mediator between God and Israel
at Mt. Sinai. The people there covenanted to keep the Divine Law. God promised that if
they could do so, perfectly, they should have everlasting life. Furthermore, they could
then comply with the sacrificial conditions of the Seed of Abraham, typified in the
offering of Isaac, and inherit the Promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of
the Earth be blessed."-Deuteronomy 5:1-6;Genesis 22:18.
The people eagerly accepted the arrangement,
saying, "All these things will we do," not realizing the full import of the Law.
Jesus explained it to mean, to love God with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, and
one's neighbor as one's self. Imperfect, like all mankind, the Jews could not keep this
perfect Law. Unworthy of life, they could not redeem others; hence could not bless other
When they became discouraged, God assured them
that later He would make a New, or more favorable, Covenant with them through a greater
than Moses, who would help them out of their fallen condition and fit them to be the
channel for the Divine blessing to men.--Jeremiah 31:31; Malachi 3:1-3.
In due time Jesus came, the promised Messiah, not
in glory as they had expected, but in a lowly condition, to die for Sin. "He came
unto His own [nation] and His own received Him not"--they crucified Him. (John 1:11)
Nevertheless, Jesus began His work of selecting Spiritual Israel, the Spiritual Seed of
Abraham. He accepted first the loyal Jews. (Romans 11:7.) Still there were not enough to
complete the foreordained number of the Elect. Consequently the Call to be the Elect
Abrahamic Seed was extended to the Gentiles. For more than eighteen centuries He has been
gathering the Elect Spiritual Seed of Abraham, the holy from every nation and sect. When
complete, these, the "Bride," or "Body" of Christ, will be God's
channel of blessing to all the families of the Earth, in harmony with the Promise made to
The Typical Tabernacle
God foreknew the Israelites would be unable to
fulfil the Law Covenant, and although He gave minute instructions respecting the
Tabernacle, and the sacrifices to be offered therein, yet it was only for the lessons it
would convey to us. The Tabernacle, in its Court, Holy and Most Holy, in its furniture,
priests and sacrifices, illustrated the most important features of the Divine Plan.
St. Paul informs us that the bullock of the
sin-offering on the Day of Atonement typified Jesus in the flesh. The killing of the
bullock represented the sacrifice of Jesus, begun at His baptism. In His sacrificing,
Jesus was also the antitypical High Priest. The offering of incense on the Golden Altar
represented Jesus' heart endeavors in doing the Father's will.
Carrying the blood into the Holy represented the
consecration of the antitypical priest, the veil thus symbolizing the death of his will,
because of which he is accepted as a New Creature. The High Priest passing under the veil
typified The Man Christ Jesus pouring out His soul on Calvary, laying down in death the
body which God prepared Him.
The High Priest sprinkling the Mercy-Seat
typified Jesus, in Heaven itself, offering to Justice, first His own sacrifice, and then
His Church's sacrifice. Nothing could be done with the blood of the Goat (the Church) till
the blood of the Bullock (Christ Jesus) had made it holy and acceptable.
The High Priest washing and dressing in the Court
represented The Christ complete, changing from the "Body of humiliation" to
conditions of glory and power. Clad in his robes of glory, the High Priest represented
Messiah, empowered to bless mankind.--Exodus 28:2; Philippians 3:21.
Aaron blessing the people typified Messiah at His
Second Advent blessing all who will become true Israelites during the Messianic Reign. The
people shouting and falling on their faces represented recognition of the end of the reign
of Sin and Death. Their arising represented resurrection.
Crossing the Jordan
Finally, after their wilderness journey of forty
years, the Israelites were brought to the Jordan, and shown where they were to cross over
under the leadership of Joshua. Moses meantime, after blessing Joshua, had died in Mt.
On this occasion, a stupendous miracle permitted
the Israelites to pass through the bed of the Jordan into Canaan, the waters being cut
off. Everything was so well timed by the Lord that when the Priests stepped up to the
waters, bearing the Ark, and their feet touched the outer edge, the waters began to
subside. The Priests advanced as the waters subsided, and stood in the midst of the river
Jordan until all the hosts of Israel had passed over.--Joshua 3:3-17.
Infidelity has scoffed at this incident as an
impossibility, but recent research shows that the miracle did take place, and the means
which the Lord adopted for it. Be it understood that every miracle, from the Divine
standpoint, is simple enough. Yet God, even in miracles, usually operates along the lines
of natural means. It is now ascertained that the waters of the Jordan were cut off some
miles above the place of crossing, at a place called Adam. There a great hillside slid
into the river, filling its bed and causing the water to back up, forming little lakes.
Gradually it cut its way through. It was then that the Israelites passed over Jordan
Antitypically, the crossing of Jordan would
represent the fact that God's people now pass from death unto life, through faith in the
blood of Jesus. The new life begun, they walk by faith, they live by faith, and by faith
they fight the good fight, in the name of the Lord and under His guidance. And the name
Joshua means Jesus, Savior, Deliverer.
Respecting the types and prophecies of the past
the Apostles tell us that the Law was a shadow of better things coming after, and that
those things were written for the special instruction of the Church.--Romans 15:4; Hebrews
Joshua's Long Day
There was some foundation for the Bible narrative
of Joshua's long day. Some Bible students claim that the language of the Hebrew text
teaches that the day was dark, that the Sun did not shine at all--an extremely unusual
thing for Palestine. The enemies of Joshua were Sun worshipers, and the darkness of the
day foreboded that their Sun- god was eclipsed. In the narrative, the immense hailstones
killing so many seems quite in line with this interpretation-- that the day was dark
instead of light--that the obscurity of the Sun and the Moon was really a great
phenomenon, which Joshua made use of to discomfit the foe, commanding the Sun and the Moon
to stay hidden!--Joshua 10:11-14.
The other explanation is equally logical. It
assumes that the Sun was visible during the day, and that heavy clouds refracted the Sun's
rays unusually late in the evening--until the Moon rose, so that there was no time without
Either explanation is satisfactory. It is quite
unnecessary that any stumble over this Bible narrative.
The triumph of Gideon's little army over a host,
typified the final victory of Christ and His followers over the hosts of Sin. The broken
vessels represented self-sacrifice to let the light shine out--the trumpets the Gospel
Message--the sword God's Word. Of Gideon and his brethren it is written that each looked
like the son of a king. Christ and His followers all are Godlike in character.--Judges
Jephthah's daughter was not sacrificed in death
as a fulfilment of her father's vow. She merely took the vow of perpetual virginity and
figuratively became dead to the world after spending a brief season with her virgin
friends. The Bible is simple and reasonable when understood.--Judges 11:30-40.
The overthrow of the Midianites by Gideon's band
and Jephthah's dedication of his daughter to the Lord in perpetual virginity, belong to
the period of the Judges, of whom Joshua was first.--Acts 13:19,20.
David Anointed By
The story of the selection of David, the shepherd
boy, to be King over Israel, is full of interest for both old and young. The Prophet
Samuel, who did the anointing, was guided specially of the Lord. Samuel himself was
dedicated to the Lord in his youth. When the time came for him to anoint a successor to
King Saul, all the sons of Jesse passed before him. They were a fine family, and he was
expecting one after another to be the proper one, but God guided him otherwise. David, the
lad who was with the sheep, was not thought of until all the others had been scanned in
vain; then David was brought, and the Lord indicated that this was the one to be
anointed.--1 Samuel 16:1-13.
The story of David is of special interest to us
because his name signifies Beloved, and because he typified The Christ-- Jesus and His
faithful brethren, the Church, God's specially beloved, the Elect, who are to inherit the
David was anointed long years before he became
king. So Christ received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at His baptism, and the Church
recieved the anointing at Pentecost--long years before the Messianic Kingdom's
establishment. The trials and testings of David were to prepare him for his office as
king. And likewise the trials and difficulties of The Christ, Head and Body, fit and
prepare them for the Kingdom.
In typical Israel, the priestly office was kept
distinctly separate from the kingly office, but in Christ the two offices combine. This
was illustrated in the double office of Melchisedec, who was a priest upon his throne, or
a royal priest. Similarly, The Christ, Head and Body, will be the antitypical Royal
Priesthood, to reign for a thousand years. This is in harmony with St. Peter's statement,
"Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people." It agrees with
the statement that those who share in the First Resurrection will be kings and priests
unto God and reign with Christ a thousand years.-- Revelation 20:6;5:10; 1 Peter 2:9.
King Saul's Life Spared
King Saul was the first of Israel's kings. He was
tall, head and shoulders above his brethren, and from the human standpoint was rather
ideal. He had considerable wisdom, too. Indeed, that was his failure. He overlooked the
fact that his Kingdom differed from all other kingdoms, and he attempted to rule after the
manner of other kings. In the case of Israel, God declared Himself King, and the person
upon the throne was really His representative, and should be guided by Him in everything.
Because David at heart was anxious to do all these things, and very repentant whenever he
learned that he was wrong, he was spoken of as "a man after God's own heart."
His heart was right.
The anointing of David was kept a secret, but
Saul nevertheless began to see that God's favor was with David, and that the people of
Israel loved him, especially after he delivered them from Goliath, and won a number of
battles. King Saul selfishly desired that his own family should be perpetuated upon the
throne, and hence he was bent upon destroying David. He made him an outlaw, and on every
occasion sought to kill him, and thus thwart God's purpose.
David, on the contrary, on two occasions had King
Saul's life at his disposal, yet did not take it. In this he was a man after God's own
heart. God had caused him to be anointed, and would give him the throne. Until God's time
should come, David would wait. In sparing King Saul's life, David acted in harmony with
the Lord's will: "Touch not Mine anointed, and do My Prophets no harm." King
Saul was God's anointed, and it was for God to depose him and to give the throne to David
in His own time. And He did.
How valuable it would be to all of us to learn
this lesson of patience and waiting upon the Lord, for Him to direct in His own time and
in His own way. This was the spirit of Jesus: "Not My will [as a man], but Thine
[Father Divine], be done."--Luke 22:42.