Last Updated on :Thursday, November 20, 2014







Chapter 6




Moses was the great-great grandson of Jacob in the line of Levi, Kohath and Amram. He was born in Egypt in the year of the world 2383, which, according to our computation published in Elpis Israel, was 727 years after the Flood, and 350 years after the confirmation of the promise of Canaan to Abraham and his Seed for an everlasting possession. He was named Moses by Pharaoh's daughter, importing that he was saved out of the water. We do not propose here to compile a history of this, the greatest man of his time, and of the sixteen centuries and a half which succeeded the passage of the Red Sea. It cannot be better related than it is in the admirable writings current in his name. Our object is to call attention to him as a representative man -- a man representing or typifying another man, even "the Man Christ Jesus". (1 Tim. 2:5)

The history of Moses is representative from his flight into the country of Midian, Arabia Petrea south of Mount Sinai, to his decease when the Lord hid him from his nation. There was a likeness, indeed, between Moses and Jesus in their infancy; for while the life of Moses was jeopardized by the decree of Pharaoh, Jesus was also endangered by the mandate of Herod against Rachel's children of two years old and under. But Jehovah [Yahweh] preserved them; and thus were they cast upon Him from their birth, and kept in safety, or "made to hope" upon their mothers' breasts (Matt. 2:13-18; Psa. 22:9,10). There was a resemblance also in the high qualifications and faithful self denial of these two personages in their manhood. "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words, and deeds." (Acts. 7:22) This was previous to his attaining the age of forty years. To this time, though the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, and heir apparent of the Egyptian throne, and surrounded by the licentious notables of its court, where the God of Abraham was unknown, Moses was a man of faith - - a learned, mighty and faithful man, who might have worn the crown of the greatest monarchy of the age, with all its treasures; but he renounced them all, and became a fugitive, and companion of oppressed bondmen, that he might share in the kingdom to be established under Abraham's Seed in the adjoining country of the Canaanites (Heb. 11:24-26).

Jesus, too, was the most learned and the wisest man of that or any other age before or since. He was wise and learned by divine intuition (John 7:15-17); and in the language of Cleopas, "was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people" (Luke 24:19). His political self-denial was as conspicuous as that of Moses. Thrice he refused dominion and a crown at the hand of any power inferior to God (Luke 4:5-8; John 6:15). "All these tetrarchal kingdoms of the land", said their possessor, "will I give to thee, if thou wilt do homage for them to me"; but on such terms he rejected them. He knew that all upon Israel's land was his, and the world in its widest sense beside. A then present possession would have saved him much suffering, and have exalted him at once to honour and glory. But he knew that to receive even his own at the hand of the enemy would be to forswear the supremacy of Jehovah [Yahweh], and to become Satan's king instead of God's. "Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." These were the words of Moses to which he had respect as the words of Jehovah [Yahweh]. He knew that to receive the kingdom, glory and dominion of the world from any other power than God would be to descend from the high position of the predestined representative of the Divine Majesty upon the earth for ever, to the degradation of a mere equality with Caesar and the world-ruler of the age. Yea, like Moses, "he had respect unto the recompense of the reward"; and "for the joy that was set before him" he refused to let the people make him king, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season".(Heb. 11:24-26) The "kingdom is not from hence" (John 18:36). It can only be received with eternal honour and glory from thence; that is, from God, not from Satan nor the people. Moses and Jesus understood this well; therefore Moses forsook Egypt, and Jesus forsook Palestine, that they might receive the royalty from God at the appointed time.

Thus far the resemblance between Moses and Jesus is complete. Cradled in peril, saved of God, and hopeful of the same promise, they were men of renown in word and deed, whose faith was "made perfect" (John 17:23; Gal. 3:3; Heb. 5:9; 11:40; 12:23; James 2:22; 1 John 4:17,18) by their works after the example of their father Abraham (James 2:22), leaving behind them illustrious exemplifications of the truth that the enjoyment of the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb. 11:25) is incompatible and fatal to an inheritance of the kingdom of God.


But here the present similitude between them is suspended. Moses and Jesus were indeed the rejected of the nation, as is already implied in the allusion to their departure from their people, the one into Midian, where he met with God in the bush; and the other to a far country, where he is still in the presence of Him whose glory illumined the rocky Arabia: but as yet, unlike the case of Moses, Jehovah [Yahweh] has not sent Jesus from "holy ground", (Ex. 3:5; Acts 7:38) shining unapproachable light, to be a ruler and a deliverer, to bring the tribes of Israel out of the land of the enemy, even those tribes which said unto him, "Who made thee a ruler and a judge? Away with such a fellow; we will not have him to reign over us!" (Ex. 2:14; Acts 22:22; Luke 19:14)

But Moses, whom they refused, they afterwards received as their commander, legislator, and king. They placed themselves under him as Jehovah's [Yahweh's] representative, through whom the nation should obtain political independence and organization, and by whom it should be put into possession of a country, even of that country from which their fathers came before they migrated into Egypt, and which was promised to Abraham and his Seed for an everlasting possession (Gen. 12:1-3;13:14-17;15:7, 8,18-21;17:5-6).

This was an acceptance of Moses which finds no counterpart in the annals of Israel and the history of Jesus. They have refused him as they refused Moses, but a like acceptance of him is yet to come.

From the accession of Moses to the leadership of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, his history is that of the nation also. He is no longer to be contemplated as an individual isolated from his people; but as a prophet (Deut. 34:10), a mediator (Exod. 24:2; Deut. 5:5; Gal. 3: 19), a lawgiver, a man of war (Exod. 14:25-27; Num. 21:34), and a king (Deut. 33:5). These were his relations to Israel from his second appearing in their midst to the end of his career. He was a mediator- prophet, a lawgiving-prophet, a warrior-prophet, and a royal-prophet. He was not simply a man through whom God spoke to the tribes of Israel as he spoke to them through Ezekiel -- a man whose functions were restricted to the utterance of the divine purpose; but a man who was not only to speak but to execute the will of Jehovah [Yahweh], whose servant he was.

Now the reader will see by consulting the references that Moses was precisely the kind of prophet we have indicated. During his administration of the national affairs, Jehovah [Yahweh] spoke by him alone. At the commencement of his career, before he was accepted by the nation, he was sent to the people as a prophet-preacher, announcing that the time had arrived to redeem Israel from the power of them that hated them, and to establish the kingdom of God in the promised land - that glorious kingdom of which they were to be the priestly and holy nation (Exod. 19:5,6). This proclamation of "the Everlasting Gospel" (Rev. 14:6) they believed for a while; and in consequence placed themselves at the disposal of Moses, that they might obtain its promises at his hand. "The gospel", says Paul, "was preached unto them"; (Heb. 4:2) that is, by Moses: but it did not profit that generation, because their faith failed them. They had faith enough to escape from Egypt, but they had not faith enough to enable them to enter the promised country, and to possess it Mosaically; much less faith had they to obtain a right to it everlastingly, under the covenant which provides for the priesthood and royalty of Christ.

But, as is well known, the character of Gospel-preacher was merged into that of the prophet-judge of Egypt, and the warrior-prophet of Israel; for Moses, having preached salvation to the tribes, executed judgment upon their oppressors, and by the hand of Jehovah [Yahweh] his strength gave the nation baptism into himself in the cloud and in the sea, as its sovereign under God. Henceforth, Moses was every thing to the Twelve Tribes. When they had once heard Jehovah's [Yahweh's] voice thundering forth the Decalogue from Sinai's cloud-capped, burning, and trembling mountain, He granted the petition of their terror- stricken hearts that henceforth He would speak to them only through His servant Moses, lest they should die. Jehovah [Yahweh] spoke to Moses in their hearing thus that they might believe him for ever (Exod. 19: 9); for if they should believe Moses, they would not fail to believe in him of whom he was afterwards to write. As Moses was to Aaron, so he was to all Israel, "in the place of God". He gave them the bread of heaven to eat, and water out of the flinty rock to drink, and clad them with raiment that waxed not old upon them. What a prophet-king was this! Truly the father of his people, who sustained them in life and food and raiment, and taught them wisdom from above. What nation ever had such a king as Moses? and what were David and Solomon to Israel after him? As the servant of Jehovah [Yahweh], he gave the nation an existence, ushering it into being, amid storm and fury, and the ruin of a mighty host, from the depths of the sea; he sustained it from the stores of heaven for forty years; beat down their enemies, and trampled them as the mire of the streets; gave them a holy, just and good, but inexorable law; and brought them to the verge of Canaan's land, a well trained and disciplined nation, fit and prepared to take possession of it under the conduct of a successor worthy of himself. He was Jehovah's (Yahweh's)_ servant, "faithful in all his house, for a testimony", or representation, "of those things which were to be spoken after". (Heb. 3:5) He was the greatest character the world has known, with one exception. The world's great ones are not to be named in the same breath. Moses! What meekness, disinterestedness, faithfulness, self- denial, wisdom, knowledge, power, honour, glory, and exaltation, doth that name represent!

Dost thou not, O thoughtful reader of the living oracles, recognize in the foregoing sketch the Moses of the Pentateuch? Yea, verily, it is a true portrait of the original in outline, left unfinished in detail, that thou mayest fill in the lights and shadows of the picture at thy convenience. Study Moses, and see if he was not the kind of prophet herein described. Do you think you would have a true conception of his prophetic character, if you knew no more of Moses than as a preacher of the gospel to Israel before he visited the court of Pharaoh? No indeed. You must know the whole written history of the man to be able to say, "I know the prophet Moses": for Moses was a prophet to the end of his career. You cannot separate his prophetic office from his mediatorship, or his legislatorial, or regal functions. His code is a great symbolic as well as verbal representation of the truth -- a speaking prophecy to the eyes and ears of his nation, and to all others who comprehend it. You must contemplate him in the entirety of his mission; you must view him as a whole, and then, and not till then, will you be able to say if Ezekiel or any other prophet be "a prophet like unto him".

Moses, the prophet thus fully manifested in Israel, was a representative man. This is evident from the following passage in his writings. Addressing the Twelve Tribes he says, "Jehovah [Yahweh] thy God shall raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren, LIKE UNTO ME; and unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desirest of Jehovah [Yahweh] thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah [Yahweh] my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And Jehovah [Yahweh] said unto me, they have well spoken what they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet of their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words into his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him" (Deut. 18:15-19). This passage attests the truth of what we have said. It plainly and explicitly declares that the prophet Moses was typical of a future prophet who was to appear in Israel. In other words, that this future prophet was to be like Moses.




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