« PreviousContinue »
so much as he set his foot on ; yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession mı? Isaac and Jacob were “ heirs" with Abraham “ of the same promise".” That promise, then, could not relate to the temporal possession of an earthly kingdom, as regarded Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because neither of these patriarchs had, at any time, possession of the land of Canaan, but, when they resided in it, they were strangers in it, pilgrims in a strange land. The covenant made with these fathers must, then, have been one of a spiritual nature; and we accordingly find, that they so understood it; they knew that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, seeking " a better country, that is, an heavenly,” “a city, whose builder and maker is God;" and they “ died in faith” that they should inherit ito. The promises, then, which were made unto the fathers, related, as has been before shown, to the possession of a kingdom which is not of this world p; the covenant related to spiritual blessings after death. The land of Canaan was, then, a figure of that heavenly country to which their pilgrimage in a strange land was to lead.See Sect. II. III. and PART III.
The deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, which forms the leading subject
of the commencement of the second book of Moses, was, as will hereafter appear, a figure of the deliverance of mankind from the bondage of sin, and from the operation of that covenant which “ gendereth to bondage 9.” The country which they sought, namely, the land of Canaan, was a figure of “a better country, that is, an heavenly?.” Egypt, then, represented spiritual bondage, while Canaan was a figure of that “ city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is GODS.” As the deliverance of the children of Israel was a figure of the deliverance of mankind; and as their journey in quest of Canaan represented the passage of mankind towards a heavenly country ; so did the people of Israel represent mankind, redeemed from the bondage of sin by Christ, and journeying through this world, performing their pilgrimage in the wilderness on their road to heaven. The first book of Moses closes with the death of Joseph; it ends, leaving the Israelites in the land of Egypt. As, in the commencement of this book, an account is given of the expulsion of man from Paradise, so does the book close with that part of the history of the Israelites, which places them in Egypt, and which affords a figure of mankind under the bondage of the covenant of
works. The second book of Moses records the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt; which portion of Israelitish history represents the spiritual deliverance of mankind. The covenant of Adam places man in bondage; the covenant of Christ sets man free. In Adam is our GENESIS ; in Christ is our Exodus.
EXPOSITION OF THE MOSAIC RECORD, FROM THE
DEATH OF JOSEPH TO THE DEATH OF MOSES.
Moses, the destined deliverer of the Israelites, was, in his infancy, an object of persecution, as Christ also was a. The preservation of him in the ark of bulrushes, and the deliverance of him from the water, may have afforded a figure of the salvation imparted by the ark of Christ's covenant, and of that greater deliverance which Christ effected for mankind, while it may also haye represented the resurrection of Christ, who also arose from the deep b.
The daughter of Pharaoh adopted Moses,
“and he became her son c." But " when Moses was grown, he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens d.” “When he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel e.” “ By faith, Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy sin for a season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward f.” When he went out unto his brethren, “ he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren 8,” and “he slew the Egyptian h;" “ seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian; for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them, but they understood not i.”
It appears, then, that Moses was made acquainted with the Christian scheme of redemption, whilst he was under the protection of Pharaoh's daughter; for we are told, that he esteemed “ the reproach of Christ" (that is, re
proach for Christ's sake *), greater riches than the treasures of Egypt k," which treasures, he, as the adopted son of the princess, had within his reach. And, during this time also, he had been informed, that he was the appointed deliverer of his brethren from the bondage of the Egyptians', in token of which he “ smote the Egyptian?” The knowledge of Christ, and of his own appointment to the high office of deliverer of the children of Israel, must have been communicated to Moses before he was called by God out of the burning bush m; for, at that time, he “ kept the flock of Jethro his father-inlaw, the priest of Midian”;" so that he had, before this period of his history, already abandoned “ the treasures of Egypt” and the splendour of Pharaoh's court, through faith in Christ, unto whom he looked for 6 reward.”.
“ The angel of the Lord" appeared to Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush m." This “ angel" is called, “ The Lord ". and “ GOD°;" and he said, “ I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob P." And, when Moses
* “ If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of GOD resteth upon you!.”
' 1 Peter, iv. 14. Hebr. xi. 26.
n Exod. ii. 1. I Acts, vii. 24, 25.
• Exod. iii. 4.