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Understanding Biblical Typology


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:27 AM

The purpose of this paper is to introduce people to the Biblical use of typology, especially as it is applied to prophecy.

A correct understanding of the typological foundation of Biblical prophecy helps us to understand the difference between:
  • A type/antitype

  • An allegory

  • A 'multiple fulfillment' or 'dual application

  • Typological prophecy and predictive prophecy
Source.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:28 AM

Typology--a legitimate approach to OT passages?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Abbreviations/Major resources

  •   GT--Goppelt, Leohnard: Typos, Eerdmans, 1982.


  •   LONG--Longnecker, Richard: Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, Eerdmans, 1975.


  •   EOTH--Westermann, Claus (ed): Essays on Old Testament Hermeneutics, John Knox, 1963.


  •   EEE--Ellis, E. Earle: Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Early Christianity, Eerdmans, 1978.


  •   Eich--Eichrodt: Theology of the Old Testament, Westminster, 1961 (two vols.)


  •   FISH--Fishbane, Michael: Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel, Clarendon, 1985.


  •   BEALE--Beale, G.K. (ed): The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text?, Baker, 1994.

    (for others, check Books.)


Edited by Fortigurn, 21 December 2003 - 04:29 AM.


#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:30 AM

Introduction

In Matthew 2.15, Matthew narrates the return of the young Jesus from Egypt to Palestine, following the murder attempts by Herod. He then quotes Hosea 11:1 ("out of Egypt have I called my Son") and says this passage was fulfilled by Jesus' return. Even a cursory glance at Hosea 11.1 will reveal that it is talking about the Exodus of the nation of Israel from Egypt--it doesn't appear to be a messianic prophecy on the surface at all.

It this a blatantly obvious mistake by Matthew? Is he so ignorant that he cannot even read the Hosea passage correctly?! Or maybe he is so dishonest and manipulative so as to 'twist the scripture' to serve his polemical purpose. Or maybe he just innocently 'confused' and he sees Jesus 'everywhere' he looks--finding Jesus perhaps in OT passages where He is not, but with all good intentions.

What Matthew has actually done, is to look at a concrete historical event (i.e. the Exodus of Israel from Egypt) and see in it a foreshadowing of an event in the life of "Ideal Israel, as embodied in the royal, prophetic, and priestly figure--the Davidic Messiah". He has looked at a historical datum, and interpreted it 'typologically'--as a figure or prototype of something to come in the future (from the OT perspective), which he sees as 'fulfilled' in the person of Jesus the Messiah.

Typology was one of the MAJOR ways the NT authors 'looked at' OT history. And as often as they looked through typological eyes--they saw their promised Lord and Messiah foreshadowed.


What is "typology" and why is this an issue?


Typology is basically a way of looking at history--a way of interpreting history, esp. the history of the interaction between God and Israel. Goppelt says it best:
 

"Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even greater and more complete. (GT:17-18)



And the working definitions given by David L. Baker (in FISH: 327-328) are good summaries:

"A TYPE is a biblical event, person, or institution which serves as an example or pattern for other events, persons, or institutions;
. .

"TYPOLOGY is the study of types and the historical and theological correspondences between them; the basis of typology is God's consistent activity in the history of his chosen people.


It is important to note that the type/fulfillment (called the anti-type) involved two important notions: correspondence and increase or heightening. In other words, the fulfillment antitype must 'correspond' in some essential way with its type/prototype and the antitype must be some kind of intensification of and/or increase over original type.

For example, if David is the 'type' and Messiah the 'antitype', it would be important for the Messiah to be "greater than" David. .(sounds like Mt 22.41-42!). If the EXODUS was the type and the Millennial Kingdom the antitype, it would be important for the Millennial Kingdom to surpass the Exodus in some way.



#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:32 AM

This makes typology distinctly different from prophecy per se.

Prophecy is specifically VERBAL (although prophets could use "mini-types" as object lessons upon which to expound YHWH's message--cf. Jeremiah and the two basket of figs [24.1-10] or Ezekiel's 'model siege' [4.1ff]). Prophecy is a specifically 'cognitive message' given to a prophet, delivered in linguistic form to an audience.

Types, on the other hand, have an independent character. So Eichrodt, in EOTH: 229:

"But while in prophecy the messenger of God proclaims the future which has been opened to him and seen by him, a type possesses its significance, pointing into the future, independently of any human medium and purely through its objective factual reality; and in many cases its function is still hidden for contemporary people and is disclosed only when the gaze is turned backward from the New Testament time of salvation.

From this point of view one might designate typology as "objectivized prophecy".


Eichrodt has understated the case somewhat here, in his comment about the NT, for we shall see below an abundance of examples where later passages in the OT ITSELF saw 'types' in earlier passages of the OT.

(Plus, things get REALLY interesting when a type occurs in a prophetic passage!--a prophecy of a future king, for example, could ALSO be a typological reference to someone BEYOND the king. .more on this later).



#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:34 AM

Indeed, more modern assessment of scholarship supports this 'biblical basis'--Baker, in BEALE:315:

"There seems to be general agreement among modern scholars that typology is a form of historical interpretation.


Typology is NOT allegory or 'spiritualizing'. Typology interprets the literal event pointed to by the semantics/reference of a text; allegory interprets the non-contextual elements of the text (e.g. individual letters, etymologies of names).

Typology attempt to 'anchor' the interpretation on the concrete 'substance' pointed to by the text; Allegory anchors its interpretation on the 'form' of the letters/words in a text.

Typology is generally a process controlled by a community historical consciousness; allegory is generally controlled by an individual interpreters worldview (and therefore, much less controlled than the former). Again Eichrodt (EOTH: 227):

"It differentiates it, first from allegory, which has often been lumped together with typology, so that the latter has often had to bear the burden of the former's errors. Yet it is quite impossible to confuse the two if we look t them closely.

For typology, the historical value of the text to be interpreted forms the essential presupposition for the use of it.

For allegory, on the contrary, this is indifferent or even offensive, and must be pushed to one side to make room for the 'spiritual' sense which lies behind.


Typology is often divided into two kinds:historical types (e.g. human personages, human events) and cosmological types (e.g. divine personages, divine events, primeval events). [see FISH:354-360]



#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:34 AM

SO. .what is the issue we have to concern ourselves with here?

Simply this: The NT writers saw some 'future' in the events of the past--but was this something they just 'smuggled into' those passages?

In other words, do we have ANY REASON to believe the original recipients of those texts/experiences of those events ALSO understood those events as 'pointing to some future' (however unclear that might have been)?

In other words, was this 'typological' method of interpreting OT texts JUST A CHRISTIAN INVENTION of CONVENIENCE, to prove what they already wanted to believe? Or was this a commonly accepted approach to the scripture, used by non-Christian contemporaries and by OT people themselves?


So. ..to decide in this matter, we will need to investigate a few questions:


Did 1st and 2nd century Judaism "use" typology in approaching the OT?


Did the OT writers/recipients "use" typology for THEIR self-understanding?


Did the ANE (Ancient Near East) "use" typology" for their self-understanding?


(Bonus question: How could the Israelites POSSIBLY have developed such a notion?)


(MY personal 'theoretical' questions: the relation between types and metaphor, the limits of prophetic consciousness at point-of-utterance, etc.)


Fortunately, we have an ABUNDANCE of data on these questions.



#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:36 AM

Did 1st and 2nd century Judaism "use" typology in approaching the OT?
Since the NT was written by Palestinian Jews, we will focus on 1st-2nd century Palestinian Judaism (as opposed to Hellenistic Judaism).

For Palestinian Judaism, our two main sources of data are the Jewish Pseudo-epigrapha (dominantly eschatological writings) and the rabbinical writings [specifically the haggadah of the Tanniam--see Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (New York, 1959), 109ff].

Goppelt (GT:32-41) catalogs the "great wealth of Scripture interpreted typologically" (p.32) in these writings:

the biblical story of creation->a second, surpassing creation (p. 33)

Adam as a prototype of many different anti-types (p. 33)

the Flood -->final judgment (p.34)

Israel's stay in the wilderness-->future salvation of Israel (p.34-35)

Sinai-->place of final judgment (p. 35)

Moses-->Messiah (p. 36)

David-->Messiah (p. 36)

Hezekiah-->Messiah (p. 36)

Edom-->Syria (p.36)

Amalek-->Rome (p. 36-37)

Josiah-->Messiah (p. 37)

the Sabbath-->the world to come (p. 37)


His summary: "It is no accident that typology is used by these expositors almost exclusively in the shaping of their eschatology; it is the consequence of their general philosophy." (GT:57)

[Since Goppelt was first written in German, the vast body of literature known as the Dead Sea Scrolls has been analyzing, demonstrating that the Qumran community engaged in MAJOR typological interpretation. The Qumran group considered itself the eschatological remnant foretold by the prophets (LONG: 38-45). ]

My summary: The non-Christian biblical interpreters of the NT era accepted and used typological perspectives in their hermeneutical work. The NT writers are accordingly using STANDARD approaches of their day to understanding the OT.



#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:36 AM

Did the OT writers/recipients "use" typology for THEIR self-understanding? This is probably the MOST important of the questions, for the OT folk DIDN'T view OT passages 'typically', then it will be considerably more difficult to defend typological interpretation of NT writers as legitimate.

[Needless to say, this would also be a problem to the non-Christian writers who used it as well--as noted above.]

Specifically what we need to look for are passages in the OT that:

interpret their present experience in terms of a person, event, place, rite, etc from the historical or primeval past (retrospective);

predicts the future on the basis of some such person, event, etc. (predictive);
and events that were 'set up' typologically in a predictive passage, and interpreted so AFTER the predicted event occurred(!).

Like the NT-era Judaic writings, the OT materials afford us a surprising abundance of examples of inner-biblical typological 'thinking' (much more than I expected when I started this study, believe me!)


Edited by Fortigurn, 21 December 2003 - 04:37 AM.


#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:38 AM

Let's start with the FIRST CASE: passages which interpret their present experience in terms of a person, event, place, rite, etc from the historical past. Are there any of these in the OT? The answer is 'yes', although the preponderance of this type of thinking occurs in predictive contexts we can see definite uses of it in retrospective passages.

[Some of these will look like simple examples of simile or metaphor, but the notions of simile/metaphor and types are strangely linked--see below, in the 'theoretical' section]

  •   The unfaithful nation of Israel, Isaiah's audience--understood under the type of Sodom:
     
    Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorra. Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorra! "The multitude of your sacrifices -- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. (Isaiah 1.9ff)

    Thus we get the type-antitype pair (unfaithful Sodom, unfaithful Israel)


  •   Jeremiah (23.14), addresses the false prophets of the soon-to-fall Southern Kingdom, with a similar type:
     
    And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorra."
     
     
  •   Jeremiah (7.12-15) uses what God did at Shiloh as a picture of what He intended to do to Jerusalem:
     
    "Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your fathers. I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your brothers, the people of Ephraim.'
     
     
  •   Amos (4.10f) looks at the judgment on Israel through the types of both Egypt and Sodom:
     
    "I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorra.


  •   One fascinating passage is Ezek 16:44ff. In this passage, Ezzy argues from behavioral 'family resemblance' between Sodom, Samaria, and the being-addressed apostate Jerusalem. Look how the types of precedent behavior inform his address:
     
    Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter." You are a true daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and her children; and you are a true sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom. You not only walked in their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they.
     

  •   There are deliberate literary repetitions in the passage of Noah (gen 9.1-7) which view him against the background of the type of Adam (cf. esp. Gen 1:27-30): God's blessing (v.1), the command to multiply (v.1,7), the identical zoological terms (v.2), the 'image of God' ref in v.6, the ref to the plants (v.3).

    The 'intensification' or 'twist' required involves the intensification of the 'rulership over the animals' (Gen 1.28) to the animals' 'fear and dread' of humanity (Gen 9.2) and even to the predator relationship which began there (Gen 9.3).This gives us the type/antitype pair (Adam, Noah)


Edited by Fortigurn, 21 December 2003 - 04:39 AM.


#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:40 AM

  •   One of the tightest type/anti-type pairs is the Moses-Exodus/Joshua-Conquest pair (FISH: 358-359). In Joshua 3-5 the description of this historical event of Joshua taking the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land is EXPLICITLY setup to correlate these two events and the two leaders. Compare the details:

    Josh 3.7: "I will be with you (Joshua) as I was with Moses"

    the waters of the Jordan split and stand up straight like a column (like the Sea of Reeds--cf Josh 3.13 with Ex 15.8)

    Josh 3.17: the people passed over on dry ground (cf. Ex 14.21)

    Josh 4.14: the people feared Joshua 'as they feared Moses'

    The memorial was built to make the pattern clear (Jos 4.22-24): "What do these stones mean?" tell them, "Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground." For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.


    both events happened the same calendar day--the tenth day of the first month (cf.

    Ex 12.6)
    Joshua is the recipient of a visit from the Angel of The Lord--as was Moses--with the identical clause "remove your sandal from your foot, for the place upon which you stand is sacred" (cf. Josh 5.13-15 with Ex 3.5)


  •   It is interesting to note that the Psalmist 'linked' these two events of Exodus/Conquest retrospectively (114):
     
    When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion. The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. Why was it, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, you mountains, that you skipped like rams, you hills, like lambs?


  •   while the Song of Moses and Miriam in Exodus 15 links the retrospective Exodus (vv.1-12) with the PROSPECTIVE Conquest (vv. 13-18). They are linked by being examples of the same 'delivering actions' of YHWH.



#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:41 AM

  •   Unfaithful Adam as a type of Unfaithful Israel (Hos 6.6-7):
     
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Like Adam, they have broken the covenant -- they were unfaithful to me there."


  •   The familiar Creation Week as the pattern for the Sabbaths (Ex 20.8):

    "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."


  •   The historical figure Melchizedek (Gen 14) is interpreted as a messianic 'type' in Psalm 110!:
     
    The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."


  •   In Hosea 12.2-8 the PERSONAL moral failures of Jacob are used to explain the NATIONAL moral failures of Israel--from wrestling with Esau in the womb, to wrestling with God:
     
    The LORD has a charge to bring against Judah;
    he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds.
    In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God.
    He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor.
    He found him at Bethel and talked with him there --
    the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name of renown!
    But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice,
    and wait for your God always. The merchant uses dishonest scales;
    he loves to defraud.

The above are some examples of how present experiences were understood from the perspective of a type. But the dominant use of types was in the predictive role, and this use generally dealt with major themes--exile, restoration, Messiah, the Kingdom of God. [The data is rather substantial here, so I am going to have to be selective in the examples I give.]



#12 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:42 AM

SECOND CASE: Examples of the PREDICTIVE use of types.

  •   The EARLIEST clear case I can find is at the birth of Jacob/Esau. The account in Gen 25 involves their mother inquiring of God about the in-utereo wrestling match going on inside her womb, with God explaining that the infants 'represent' nations:
     
    Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.

    The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."


  •   The return of the Jews from captivity is seen as a 'second' Exodus (Is 11:12-17):
     
    "The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
    with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River.
    He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals.
    There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria,
    as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt. " (Cf Exod 14.16)
    Thus we get a typic pair (exodus, restoration).


  •   Hosea (2.15) makes the same connection between the Restoration and the Exodus/Conquest:
     
    There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
    There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt."


  •   Micah in 7.13 makes the SAME image connection:
     
    "As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders."



#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:43 AM

  •   Jeremiah 23.7ff argues from the same pair (exodus, restoration):
     
    "So then, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land."


  •   Isaiah characteristically draws this typology out in HIS prediction of the Return:
     
    This is what the LORD says -- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
    "For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
    in the ships in which they took pride.
    I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel's Creator, your King."
    This is what the LORD says -- he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses,
    the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:


  •   One of the more AMAZING typologies I ran across is the extension of the Exodus/Covenant of Israel, to the nations of Egypt and Assyria. Look at the common images and language (Is 19.19ff):
     
    In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender (cf. Ex 3:7ff), and he will rescue them. So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians (cf. Ps 103.7), and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. . .

    In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance." (cf. Dt 32.9)

    Thus we get the pair (YHWH's adoption of Israel in times of distress, YHWH's adoption of OTHER nations in times of distress).


Edited by Fortigurn, 21 December 2003 - 04:43 AM.


#14 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:44 AM

  •   The restoration is also interpreted as a 'return to Eden' (Is 51:3):
     
    The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
    he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
    Thus we get the type-antitype pair (Eden, Restoration).


  •   Ezek uses the same type in 36.35ff ( in which passage you also see the undergirding principle of typology--that YHWH's actions are dependable and predictable):
     
    "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, "This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited." Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it."

    Another case of the (Eden, Restoration from captivity) pair.


  •   In Isaiah 54:7ff, Isaiah uses the Flood Judgment as a type of the coming Judgment on Israel:
     
    "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
    In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness
    I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.
    "To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.

    So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.
    Thus we get the pair (Flood, exile).


  •   Also in the category of judgment is the pair (Sodom, exile) in Dt 29.23-24:
     
    The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur -- nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?"


  •   The prophets extended the type of Egypt to a generalized condition of spiritual bondage. So Foulkes in BEALE:360 explains how these prophets 'saw' Egypt as a type:
     

    "Hosea said that the new captivity would be 'in Egypt' but not in the literal 'Egypt' (7.16; 9.3; 11.5, 11). In Ezekiel especially we see how Egypt is regarded as the place of moral and spiritual temptation and bondage (Ezk 19.4, 20, 23, 29). And the new bondage was, in a way that the old bondage in Egypt had not been, a punishment or chastening because of the nation's sin.

    Hence, as we have seen, the people were to re-learn through their experiences the knowledge and fear of the Lord, even as the nation of old had learnt to depend on him in the wilderness. The second exodus was a repetition of the first, but it was in a much fuller sense a spiritual deliverance.


    Thus we get the pair (captivity in Egypt, captivity in exile). [Notice the 'escalation/intensification' motif.]


  • Another FASCINATING pair is (David, offspring of David). The prophecies of the messianic king sometimes call him "David" (Ezk 34.23f; 37:24f; Hos 3.5f; Jer 30.8f) and sometimes call him 'offspring/son of David' (Jer 23.5; Zech 3.8; 6.12). This ONLY makes sense if "David" is a type of "the SON of DAVID".



#15 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:46 AM

THIRD CASE: Events that were 'set up' typologically in an earlier, predictive passage, and interpreted so AFTER the predicted event occurred.
Since typology only deals with generally large-scale events (e.g. exile, restoration, messiah), what we are looking for are passages that occurred AFTER one of those events, in which the OT writer REFLECTS BACK on that event--to see if they use the 'typical' image.

In other words, if the exile is anticipated under the type of 'destruction of Sodom', for example, then do any of the POST-EXILIC writers/POST-EXILIC actions refer to it under that image? And since the only major 'late' events that occurred prior to the close of the OT period, were the exile and captivity, those will be the areas we need to investigate. [We will look at a 'smaller' example--of the Jacob/Esau struggle--to show a possible link between typology and prophecy.]

  •   THE EXILE: This is, of course, an easy one. We have already noted above a number of PREDICTIVE passages above that 'set up' the Exile under the type of "destruction of Sodom/Gomorra" (e.g. Dt 29.23; Is 1.9ff; Jer 23.14). And then, AFTER the Exile, the post-Exilic prophets used this type RETROSPECTIVELY in explaining the Exile! (cf. Amos 4.10ff; Ezk 16.44ff).


  •   THE RETURN: This is a bit bizarre, actually, since the Return to the Land is only a partial return (i.e. the return of Ezra and Nehemiah, as a type of Exodus/Conquest, is also a further TYPE of the ultimate restoration of Israel--more on this below). Consider the analysis summarized in FISH:363.
     

    "K. Koch has argued that "Ezra's march from Babylonia to Jerusalem was a cultic procession which Ezra understood as a second Exodus...." More specifically, he calls attention to the facts that the date of the departure from Babylonia occurs during the first month, just when the exodus occurred (cf. Exod 12.2; Num 33.3), and that the "delay at the river Ahawa because no Levite had arrived, seems...conceivable only against the background of the order of the march through the desert after the original Exodus."


    To continue his contention, it may be added that when the returnees "went up" from captivity they took with them silver and gold, wherewith to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:4-6), a topos that recalls the original exodus, when the Israelites despoiled their captors of silver and god upon their departure from Egypt (Ex 12:35).

    Moreover, just as the exodus generation and its descendants were warned not to intermarry with the Canaanites and to preserve their hold status (cf. Ex 34:15-16; Deut 7:1-6; cf. Judg 3:3-6), so was the post-exilic concern with intermarriage defined in the light of these prohibitions, and articulated with respect to the original, autochthonous Canaanites (Ezra 9.1-2). The resettlement was then, typologically, a new conquest.


  • THE FETAL WRESTLING MATCH: In Gen 25.25 we get Jacob and Esau wrestling "in-utereo" with God PREDICTIVELY applying the type pair (progenitor, nation) to the event (above), and in Gen 27 we have its prototypical fulfillment in the Deception of Jacob/Blessing of Isaac:

    (Verse 29): May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.


    (Verse 37): Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants.



#16 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:47 AM

So, our THIRD CASE examples tie together the PREDICTIVE and RETROSPECTIVE uses of typology into a unified approach in understanding history.

Although I have only surveyed some of the data, the number of cases of typical thinking is quite extensive. Horace Hummel (in Biblical Research (1964, 9:38-50), cited in BEALE:316) gives a list:
 

"historical events (e.g., Exodus), individuals (e.g., Abraham; Moses; David), groups (e.g. the righteous; Israel; the wise man), laws (e.g. Pss. 15 and 24), nations (e.g. Israel; Edom, especially in Obadiah; Babylon, especially in Nahum; Gog and Magog), places (e.g. holy land, Jerusalem; temple), legends (e.g. creation; flood; Jonah), and the cult (in its very nature: a re-enacting of God's redemptive acts).


Summary: The data from the OT shows quite clearly that typology was a mainstream interpretive approach to Israel's history, personages, events, and primeval history.

Accordingly, NT writers were NOT employing an 'alien' method to the exegesis of the OT--indeed, they were squarely in the mainstream of accepted hermeneutical practice.



#17 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:49 AM

Did the ANE (Ancient Near East) "use" typology" for their self-understanding?

Although this is not as critical an issue compared to the above two (i.e. did non-Christian writers in NT times use types? and did OT writers in OT times use types?), it may prove of value in assessing the legitimacy of the typological approach.

We DO see typological thinking in Israel's neighbors, but not to the same extent and, in most cases, not in the same ways.

  •   A first-millennium Assyrian text reinterprets the New Year Festival in Babylon in the light of a historical rivalry between the gods Ashur (of Assyria) and Marduk (of Babylon). (FISH:357)


  •   Many of the acts of kings of Canaan were understood as 'types' of what the gods were doing in heaven, since in many cases these kings were labeled as 'sons of god' (PCE:141).


  •   The Hyksos invasion of Egypt was interpreted against the Horus/Seth myths of antagonism (FISH:358).


  •   The Guti invasion (c.2500bce) serves as a 'type' for the later Seleucid invasion of Babylon. (FISH:360).


  •   The so-called Fertility Cults of the ANE, in which ritual prostitution was employed, centered around 'acting out on earth' what the gods were doing in heaven at the time.

    These 'ceremonies' were organized around the major agricultural events--since the fertility acts in heaven were responsible for 'producing' good rains and crops. This is a typology at the event-level. (see any textbook on ANE religions, or PCE:130).


  •   Von Rad (EOTH: 18-19), after citing several ANE texts which show typical correspondence between cities/buildings and those of the gods, characterizes most of this ANE thinking as being different from that of ancient Israel:
     

    "There (i.e. ANE) we find the mythological conception of an all-embracing correspondence between the heavenly on the one hand, and the earthly on the other. This 'is so of the notions that, in conformity with the law of the correspondence of macrocosm and microcosm, the prototypes of all countries, rivers, cities, and temples exist in heaven in the form of certain astral figures, while those on earth are only copies of them.'

    ...This sort of mythological-speculative typology remained almost entirely foreign to ancient Israel...The Old Testament, on the contrary is dominated by an essentially different form of typological thinking..."



  • The non-Israelite worldviews of the ancients (including Greece) was that the Golden Age of the Future was essentially a 'Return to the Golden Age'--both of which were OUTSIDE history. So Goppelt (GT: 19):

    "The symbolical and allegorical interpretation of the mythology was well known in the Greek world, but typology was not because typology presupposes a divine history in past, present, and future....Hellenism and the extrabiblical world in general knew only the conception of the return of the golden age and a cyclical view of history; it knew nothing about divinely ordained types that point to a real and great fulfillment.


SUMMARY: The ANE DID have a similitude of typical thinking--human events mirrored divine events--but DID NOT have the critical view of 'escalating divine action within human history'.

Whereas the extrabiblical view of history could be called 'cyclical'; the biblical viewpoint must be labeled 'linear with escalating repetition'--perhaps a 'spiraling view' of history, in which the spiral gets larger and larger (the intensification motif).

Even the cult and the temple (cf. Ex 25.9, 20 was less of a copy of God's heavenly 'house' than a copy of God's redemptive stage and actions IN HISTORY.



#18 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:50 AM

What we have seen so far:

  •   Typology is not prophecy and it is not allegory--it is a way of looking at history.


  •   The NT writers shared this view (and method of understanding OT history) with their NT-era non-Christian contemporaries.


  •   This view/method was used in the OT, and thus would have been part of the literary understanding of the OT writers/recipients. (In other words, the NT writers did not 'smuggle' this view backwards into the OT passages.)


  •   The ANE neighbors of Israel looked at SOME events as topological, but did not manifest the extensiveness of Israel in using this approach--their view of the end-times was not fashioned by the extensive prophetic words that shaped Jewish hopes for the future.


At this point, the article becomes a little more technical. Before posting any more of it, I'd like to know if this is helping anyone. :bye:

Edited by Fortigurn, 21 December 2003 - 04:50 AM.


#19 Cool Spot_*

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:33 PM

At this point, the article becomes a little more technical.  Before posting any more of it, I'd like to know if this is helping anyone.  :bye:

This is an interesting article, to be sure. I am not sure, though, if he will succeed in eventually making his point. He is suggesting that some OT passages were typologies that the NT writers used to apply to the life of Christ. Some examples of this in the OT were (from the above articles):

In Isaiah 54:7ff, Isaiah uses the Flood Judgment as a type of the coming Judgment on Israel:

Also in the category of judgment is the pair (Sodom, exile) in Dt 29.23-24:

These typologies work because the upcoming event is like the previous one (a Flood judgment <-> judgment on Israel). Trying to apply a typology to Jesus from some of the other passages is not nearly as neat and simple (like Is 7:14, Hos 11:1, Mic 5:2) because the passages are actually used outside of their context.

On other hand, I would agree that the Jesus "prediction" passages are midrashic reinterpretations of the OT passages against the life of Christ. I would say that Matthew created the story of Jesus going to Egypt and applied it to the life of Christ to prove a different point - Israel came out of Egypt and Moses gave them the law, but Jesus is the newer and greater Moses and supercedes the law.

#20 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 04:46 PM


At this point, the article becomes a little more technical.  Before posting any more of it, I'd like to know if this is helping anyone.   :bye:

This is an interesting article, to be sure. I am not sure, though, if he will succeed in eventually making his point.

I think he has already made it - and made it well. :harp:

He is suggesting that some OT passages were typologies that the NT writers used to apply to the life of Christ.


Yes.

Some examples of this in the OT were (from the above articles):

In Isaiah 54:7ff, Isaiah uses the Flood Judgment as a type of the coming Judgment on Israel:

Also in the category of judgment is the pair (Sodom, exile) in Dt 29.23-24:

These typologies work because the upcoming event is like the previous one (a Flood judgment <-> judgment on Israel). Trying to apply a typology to Jesus from some of the other passages is not nearly as neat and simple (like Is 7:14, Hos 11:1, Mic 5:2) because the passages are actually used outside of their context.


I believe it's very neat and simple - on the typological principle. The context is different, but the typological principle is the same.

On other hand, I would agree that the Jesus "prediction" passages are midrashic reinterpretations of the OT passages against the life of Christ.  I would say that Matthew created the story of Jesus going to Egypt and applied it to the life of Christ to prove a different point - Israel came out of Egypt and Moses gave them the law, but Jesus is the newer and greater Moses and supercedes the law.


Yes, but you would say that. :rolleyes:




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