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an almond-tree, Numb. xvii. 8, which God makes use of in Jer. i. 11, 12, as a token and type of his word, that speedily takes effect, as Moses's rod of an almond tree speedily brought forth fruit.
God caused the corn in the land of Judah to spring again, after it had been cut off with the sickle, and to bring forth another crop from the roots that seemed to be dead, and so once and again, to be a sign and type that the remnant that was escaped of the house of Judah should again take root downward, and bear fruit upward, and that his church should revive again, as it were out of its own ashes, and flourish like a plant, after it has been seemingly destroyed and past recovery: as 2 Kings, xix. 29, 30; and Isa. xxxvii. 30, 31.
God wrought the miracle of causing the shadow in the dial of Ahaz to go backward, contrary to the course of nature, to be a sign and type of king Hezekiah's being in a miraculous manner, and contrary to the course of nature, healed of his sickness, that was in itself mortal, and brought back from the grave whither he was descending, and the sun of the day of his life being made to return back again, when according to the course of nature it was just a setting. 2 Kings xx.
The miraculous uniting of the two sticks, that had the names of Judah and Joseph written upon them, so that they became one stick in the prophet's hand, was to typify the future entire union of Judah and Israel.
Also God miraculously caused a gourd to come up in a night, over the head of Jonah, and to perish in a night, to typify the life of man. That gourd was a feeble, tender, dependent frail vine. It came up suddenly, and was very green and flourishing, and was pleasant and refreshing, and it made a fine show for one day, and then withered and dried up. Jonah iv. 6, &c.
God reproved Jonah for his so little regarding the lives of the inhabitants of Nineveh, by the type of the gourd, which was manifestly intended as a type of the life of man; or of man with respect to his life, being exactly agreeable to the representations frequently made of man and his present frail life in other parts of the Old Testament. This gourd was a vine, a feeble, dependent plant, that could not stand alone. This God therefore makes use of to represent man, in Ezek. xv. This gourd was a very tender, frail plant. It sprang up suddenly, and was very short lived. Its life. was but one day; as the life of man is often compared to a day. It was green and flourishing, and made a fine show one day, and was withered and dried up the next. It came up in a night and perished in a night; appeared flourishing in the morning, and the next evening was smitten, exactly agreeable to the representation made of man's life in Psalm xc. 6. "In the morning it flourisheth and groweth
up; in the evening it is cut down and withereth." The worm that smote the gourd, represents the cause of man's death. The gourd was killed by a worm, a little thing; as man is elsewhere said to be crushed before the moth. It was that, the approach of which was not discerned; it came under ground: as elsewhere man is represented as not knowing the time of his death, as the fishes are taken in an evil net, &c. And as being smitten by an arrow that flies unseen. That this gourd was intended by God as an emblem of man's life, is evident from what God himself says of it, and the application he makes of it. God himself compares the lives of the inhabitants of Nineveh with this gourd, verse x. 11. Jonah had pity on the gourd, i. e. on himself for the loss of it for it was very pleasing and refreshing to him, while it lasted; and defended him from scorching heat. So life is sweet. The Ninevites by its preservation were held back from the wrath of God, that had been threatened for their sins. How much more therefore should Jonah have had pity on the numerous inhabitants of Nineveh, when God had threatened them with the loss of life, which was an enjoyment so much more desirable than the gourd was to him! And if he found fault with God, that he did. not spare to him the shadow of the gourd; how unreasonable was he in also finding fault with God, that he did spare the Ninevites their precious lives?
God miraculously enabled David to kill the lion and the bear, and to deliver the lamb out of their mouth, plainly and evidently to be a type, sign, and encouragement unto him, that he would enable him to destroy the enemies of his people, that were much stronger than they, and deliver his people from them. David did this as a shepherd over the flock of his father; and his acting the part of a shepherd toward them, is expressly spoken of as a resemblance of his acting the part of a king and shepherd towards God's people from time to time. 1 Chron. xi. 2. Psalm lxxviii. 70, 71, 72. Jerem. xxiii. 4, 5, 6. Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. Chap. xxxvii. 24. And God's people in places innumerable are called his flock, and his sheep, and their enemies in David's Psalms and elsewhere, are compared to the lion and other beasts of prey that devour the sheep; and David himself calls his own deliverance, and the deliverance of God's people, a being saved from the lion's mouth. Psalm vii. 1, 2, and xvii. 12, 13, and xxii. 20, 21, and xxxv. 17, and Ivii. 3. 4. And David himself thus understood and improved God's thus miraculously enabling him to conquer these wild beasts, and deliver the lamb, as a representation and sign of what God would enable him to do for his people against their strong enemies; as is evident from what he said to Saul, when he offered to go against Goliath.
The accidental rending of Samuel's mantle, 1 Sam. xv. 27, 28, signified the rending of the kingdom from Saul. It was a common thing for God to order and appoint things to be done by men, in order to typify future events; so Samuel poured out water in Mizpeh, 1 Sam. vii. 6, to signify their repentance. See Pool's Synopsis. Ahijah's rending Jeroboam's garment in twelve pieces, and giving him ten, was to testify the rending the kingdom of Israel, and giving him ten tribes. 1 Kings xi. 30, &c. So see 1 Kings xx. 35, &c. and 2 Kings xiii. 14-20. The prophet's assisting the king of Israel, in shooting an arrow eastward, towards Syria, was appointed of God to signify that he would assist the king of Israel in fighting with the Syrians. 2 Kings xiii. 15, &c. The prophet Isaiah by God's appointment went naked and barefoot, to typify the Egyptians and Ethiopians going naked and barefoot in their captivity. Isaiah xx. Jeremiah by God's appointment typified the captivity of the Jews into Babylon, with many of its circumstances, by taking a linen girdle and putting it on his loins, and hiding it in a hole in a rock by the river Euphrates, and returning again to take it from thence. Jer. xiii. He was commanded to typify the destruction of the people by breaking a potter's vessel. Chap. xix. By taking a wine cup and offering it to many nations agreeably to God's appointment and direction, he typified God's causing them as it were to drink the cup of his fury. Chap. xxv. And he was commanded to make bonds and yokes, and put them upon his neck and send them to the neighbouring kings, to typify the yoke of bondage under Nebuchadnezzar that God was about to bring upon them. Chap. xxvii. Nehemiah shook his lap, Neh. v. 13, to signify the shaking of every man from his house, who should not perform the oath which they had taken. Ezekiel very often typified future events, by things that he did by God's appointment; as by his eating the roll, &c. Ezek. iii. And by lying on his side, and many other things that he was to do, that we have an account of, Ezek. iv. And by shaving his head and beard, and burning part of the hair in the fire, &c. chap. v.; and by making a chain, chap. vii. 23; and by his removing, with the many circumstances that God directed him to, chap. xii. 1, &c.; and by his eating his bread with trembling, verse 18; by filling a pot with the choice pieces of flesh on the fire, &c.; and by his not mourning for his wife, chap. xxiv. The prophet Hosea typified the things he prophesied of, by taking a wife of whoredoms, Hos. i. and by marrying an adultress, with the circumstances of it, chap. iii. The prophet Zechariah was commanded to typify the things he predicted, by making silver and golden crowns on the heads of those that returned from the captivity, Zech. vi.; and by the two staves called Beauty and Bands; and by his casting money to the potter in
the house of the Lord; and his taking the instruments of a foolish shepherd. Chap. xi.
It was so common a thing for the prophets to typify things that were the subjects of their prophecies by divine appointment, that the false prophets imitated them in it, and were wont to feign .directions from God to typify the subjects of their false prophecies. See 1 Kings xxii. 11, and Jer. xxviii. 10. Things in common use among the Israelites were spoken of by the Spirit of God as types. Thus the vine-tree is spoken of as a type of man, especially of God's visible people. Ezek. xv.
It being so much God's manner from the beginning of the world, to represent divine things by types, hence it probably came to pass, that typical representations were looked upon by the ancient nations, the Egyptians in particular, as sacred things, and therefore called hieroglyphics, which signifies sacred images or representations. And animals being very much made use of in the ancient types of the church of God, so they were very much used in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, which probably led the way to their worship of all manner of living creatures.
Now since it was, as has been observed, God's manner of old, in the times of the Old Testament, from generation to generation, and even from the beginning of the world to the end of the Old Testament history, to represent divine things by outward signs, types, and symbolical representations, and especially thus to typify and prefigure future events, that he revealed by his Spirit, and foretold by the prophets; it is very unlikely, that the Messiah, and things appertaining to his kingdom and salvation, should not be thus abundantly prefigured and typified under the Old Testament, if the following things be considered.
It is apparent from the Old Testament that these things are the main subject of the prophecies of the Old Testament, the subject about which the spirit of prophecy was chiefly conversant from the beginning of the world. It was the subject of the first proper prophecy that ever was uttered: and it is abundantly evident from the Old Testament, that it is every way the chief of all prophetical events. "Tis spoken of abundantly as the greatest and most glorious event, beyond all that eye had seen, ear heard, or had entered into the heart of man; at the accomplishment of which not only God's people and all nations should unspeakably rejoice; but the trees of the field, the hills and mountains, the sea and dry land; and all heaven and earth, should rejoice and shout for joy; and in comparison of which the greatest events of the Old Testament, and particularly those two most insisted on, the creation of the world and the redemption out of Egypt, were not worthy to be mentioned or to come into mind, and in comparison of which the greatest and most sacred things of the Mosaic dispensation,
even the ark itself, the most sacred of all, was not worthy of notice. And it is also abundantly evident from the Old Testament, that it was the grand event that, above all other future events, was the object of the contemplations, hopes, and raised expectations of God's people, from the beginning of the world.
And furthermore, the introducing of the Messiah and his kingdom and salvation, is plainly spoken of in the Old Testament, as the great event which was the substance, main drift, and end of all the prophecies of the Old Testament, to reveal which chiefly it was, that the spirit of prophecy was given, in that the angel, in Dan. ix. 24, speaks of this event, as that in the accomplishment of which prophecies in general are summed up, and have their ultimate confirmation, in which the vision and prophecy or all prophetical revelation has its last result and consummation. venty weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city; to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy." That what has been expressed is the import of the phrase of sealing up the vision and prophecy, is evident from the drift and manner of expression of the whole verse, and also from Ezek. xxviii. 12. "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." Mr. Basnage, in his history of the Jews, observes, that the rabbies among the Jews still agree to this day, that all the oracles of the prophets relate to the Messiah. Page 371, Col. 1.
And besides, it is to be considered, that this event was that in which the people of God, from the beginning of the world, were most nearly and greatly concerned: yea, was of infinitely the greatest concern to them of all prophetical events; for 'tis evident from the Old Testament, that the Messiah was not only to be the Saviour of God's people, that should be after his coming; but that he was the Saviour of the saints in all ages from the beginning of the world, and that through his coming, and what he should do at his appearing, they all should have the only true atonement for their sins, and restoration from the curse brought upon them by the fall of Adam, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal life.
'Tis much more reasonable to suppose, that many things pertaining to the state and constitution of the nation of Israel, many things which God ordered and appointed among them should be typical of things appertaining to the Messiah; because it is evident from the Old Testament, that the very being of that people as God's people, and their being distinguished and separated from the rest of the world, was to prepare the way for the introduction of that great blessing into the world of mankind, of the Messiah