Typology in The Book of Exodus

Typology in The Book of Exodus

James Smith in his introductory remarks on the book of Exodus, wrote this:


Exodus is full of Christ. The book contains no direct prophecies, but it is full of previews or pictures called types. Typology is the study of these foreglimpses of Christ and the Christian age. Persons, places, objects and even events can be typical of New Testament realities. A type is more than just an analogy between something in the Old Testament and something in the New. A type was created by God with the intention of foreshadowing the coming age. Without revelation the certain identification of types is impossible. In other words, only those persons, places, objects or events of the Old Testament which are identified as types in the New Testament can strictly speaking be classified as such. Some of the more outstanding types in Exodus are the following:

1. Aaron, or at least the office of high priest which he occupied. The writer of Hebrews repeatedly refers to the ministry of Aaron and the more glorious ministry of the Christian high priest Jesus Christ.

2. Paul saw the crossing of the Red Sea as a type of baptism in 1 Corinthians 10:2.

3. The Passover lamb clearly depicted the Lamb of God. Paul declared that Christ is the Christian’s Passover (1 Cor 5:7).

4. The wilderness manna was typical of the bread from heaven which Jesus declared himself to be (John 6:48–51).

5. The rock from which water sprang forth pointed forward to the water of life supplied by Christ (1 Cor 10:4).

The grand type in Exodus is the Tabernacle which Israel constructed at Sinai. While some have carried the typology of the Tabernacle to extremes, the New Testament does make clear that certain aspects of this structure were typical. These are:

1. The bronze altar. Hebrews declares that Christ is the Christian’s altar (Heb 13:10).

2. The bronze laver is used in Titus 3:5 to portray baptism.

3. The incense altar points to the prayers of the saints of God (Rev 8:3–4).

4. The golden lampstand points to Christ the light of the world, and to the Christians who reflect that light.

5. The table of showbread seems to be a type of Christ, the bread of life, and of the Lord’s table which commemorates the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 10:21).

6. The holy of holies was a picture of heaven into which the Christian’s high priest, Jesus, has entered upon his ministry (Heb 9:24; 10:34).

God KNEW where He was going with all of this! His eternal plan was Jesus (Eph. 3:11, foreknown before the foundation of the earth (1 Pet. 1:20). Reading Exodus and seeing Jesus prompts us to repeat Paul’s statement: 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36). 

Hugh DeLong