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4. The Fact of the Redeemer’s Return was typified in the lives of Joseph and Solomon.
In the Old Testament there are numerous references to the Second Coming of Christ, references both direct and typical, but in every instance it was His return to the earth which was in view. The secret coming of Christ into the air, to catch up the saints to Himself, was an event quite unknown to the Old Testament prophets, an event kept secret until revealed by God to the apostle Paul who, when writing to the Corinthians upon this particular aspect of our subject, said, “Behold, I show you a mystery 77 In Scripture the word “mystery” signifies “a previously hidden truth, now Divinely revealed, but in which a supernatural element still remains despite the revelation.”—Dr. Scofield. (footnote); We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51, 52).
Many of the Old Testament characters were remarkable types of Christ: In Adam we see Christ’s headship; in Abel, Christ put to death by His own brethren according to the flesh; in Enoch, Christ’s ascension to heaven; in Noah, Christ providing a “refuse” for His own; in Melchizedek, Christ’s Kingship; in Abraham, Christ’s Nazariteship; in Isaac, Christ the willing Sacrifice; in Jacob, Christ toiling for a “bride;” in Moses, Christ the faithful Servant; in Aaron, Christ the great High Priest; in Joshua, Christ conducting His people into their inheritance. And so we might continue right through the Old Testament.
Foremost among the typical personages of the Old Testament is Joseph. In almost every detail of his life we see Christ typified. The son of his father’s love, yet the object of his brethren’s bitter hatred. His very name meaning “adding” as Christ is adding to the inhabitants of Heaven by the seed which issues from His travail. Sent by his father to inquire after his brethren’s welfare, he is despised and rejected by them. They plot against his life and sell him into the hands of strangers. While yet in his youth he was carried down into Egypt. In Egypt he entered into the degradation of slavery and rendered faithful service to his master. He was sorely tempted yet sinned not, but though innocent he was falsely accused and cast into prison. While in prison—the place of shame—he was associated with two others, one of whom—the butler—heard from his lips a message of cheer telling of his restoration to the king’s favor, the other—the baker—receiving the sentence of death. So, when the Lord Jesus hung upon the Cross—the place of shame—two malefactors were crucified with Him one of whom heard from His lips a message of cheer telling of his restoration to God’s favor, while the other died in his sins. Surely such perfect typification of Christ, such numerous points of analogy are not so many co-incidences, but are a Divine delineation of the person and work of the Redeemer—a picture drawn by the hand of the Holy Spirit Himself! If then the type is perfect, if the picture be complete, ought we not to look for something in it which foreshadowed our Lord’s exaltation and coming glory? Assuredly. Nor do we look in vain—The sequel to Joseph’s humiliation clearly pointed forward to the Return of our Lord to this earth in power and majesty.
Above, we followed the typical history of Joseph to the point where he, through no fault of his own, was sentenced to suffer the shame of being cast into an Egyptian prison. But at this point of Joseph’s life there was a dramatic change. Joseph’s history did not terminate in shame and suffering but in power and glory. From the dungeon he was exalted to Egypt’s throne! And, mark, his sovereignty was foretold years before he entered into the enjoyment of it. As a boy he dreamed of seeing the other sheaves all bowing down before his, which signified that his brethren would yet pay homage to him. So the prophetic Scriptures bear witness to the coming sovereignty of our Lord over this earth many centuries before He actually takes the scepter in His hands. After his exaltation to the Throne of Egypt Joseph’s sovereignty was publicly recognized and acknowledged, for all men were compelled to “bow the knee” before him (Gen. 41:42), and thus will it be with our Saviour when He takes unto Himself His power and sits upon the Throne of His Glory. To complete the picture, we find that after Joseph’s exaltation his brethren were reconciled to him, and then in wondrous grace they are given a land in which to dwell—the land of Goshen, the best in all Egypt; so when Christ returns to earth His brethren according to the flesh—Israel—shall be reconciled to Him and receive from Him the land of Palestine in which to dwell throughout His beneficent reign. Thus, as Joseph was exalted to power and glory after the period of his humiliation was ended, so shall our blessed Redeemer yet return to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of lords.
In the glorious reign of Solomon which followed the checkered career of David we have another striking type of the position which the Redeemer shall occupy during the Millennium. This is one of the composite types of Scripture. There are a number such where two or more objects or persons were necessary in order to give a complete picture. For example: in the great Levitical offerings (Lev. 1–6) we find five—the Burnt, the Meal, the Peace, the Sin, and the Trespass offerings—were required to give a complete foreshadowing of the person and work of the Redeemer. In the Tabernacle, no less than seven pieces of furniture in addition to its structure and materials, were needed to set forth fully the varied glories of Christ. So it was with reference to living persons. Enoch and Noah, Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha supplemented each other in their typical characteristics. Thus it was with David and Solomon- the latter was the complement of the former and the two must be studied together in order to secure a complete picture. David was a type of Christ in His humiliation, Solomon foreshadowed Christ in His glorification, David pointed to Christ at His First Advent, Solomon looked forward to Christ at His Second Advent.
In many particulars David typified the humiliation of his “greater son.” He was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He is described as “of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look upon,” thus reminding us of Him who “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man,” and who to the believer is the Fairest among ten thousand and the altogether Lovely One. By occupation he was a “shepherd,” and during his shepherd life he repeatedly entered into conflict with wild beasts. He was preeminently a man of prayer and is the only one in all Scripture termed a “man after God’s own heart.” He was the one who slew Goliath—the opposer of God’s people, and type of Satan, foreshadowing the conflict between the Serpent and the woman’s Seed who, by His death, delivered God’s people from the toils of their great Enemy. When his arch-enemy Saul was in his power he acted in great mercy by sparing his life, just as in Gethsemane our blessed Lord refused to summon the angels to destroy His foes and as on the Cross He prayed for the forgiveness of His murderers. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, suffering chiefly from those of His own household.
After David came Solomon who foreshadowed the glory and the millennial reign of Christ. The word “Solomon” means “Peaceable” and thus his name suggests the Kingdom of Christ over which He shall rule as the “Prince of Peace.” He was “anointed” some time before he was crowned: so the Lord Jesus was “anointed with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38) at His baptism but is yet awaiting the day of His coronation. Gentiles took part in the crowning of Solomon (1 Kings 1:38, 39), typifying the universal homage which Christ shall receive during the Millennium. At the time of his coronation, Solomon was followed by an army of soldiers (the “Cherethites and the Pelethites”) (1 Kings 1:38), just as our returning King shall be accompanied by “the armies in heaven” (Rev. 19:14). Solomon was not only King of Israel but, like the One he foreshadowed, he was King of Kings (see 1 Kings 4:21, 24). During his reign “Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:25): so it will be with Israel again during the Millennium (see Jer. 23:6). Solomon was the builder of Israel’s Temple, so also we read of Christ that He will “return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down” (Acts 15:16); and again, “Behold the Man whose name is the Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord” (Zech. 6:12). At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon was the one who offered up the sacrifices to God (1 Kings 8:63), thus foreshadowing the One who shall be “a priest upon His throne” (Zech. 6:13). Solomon’s fame spread abroad far and wide so that “all the earth sought to Solomon” (1 Kings 10:23) and came up to Jerusalem to pay him homage, and thus will it be with David’s “son” and Lord—“It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 14:16). During Solomon’s reign, for the first and last time until the Millennium, all Palestine rested in peace. The glory and majesty of Solomon’s reign has never been equaled before or since—“King Solomon exceeded all the Kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom” (1 Kings 10:23); “And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any King before him in Israel” (1 Chron. 29:25). Thus we see that the peaceful, international, and glorious reign of Solomon, following the death of David, typified the millennial reign of the Redeemer.
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