Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: The Exodus Story as a Messianic Prophecy: Mt 2:15
The Exodus Story as a Messianic Prophecy
“Out of Egypt did I call My Son” Mt 2:15
Moses and Israel
Jesus and Church
Hidden from Pharaoh twice after two death threats: Ex 2:2,15; Heb 11:23
Hidden from Herod: Mt 2:13
Moses called out of Egypt twice to Mt. Sinai
Jesus called out of Egypt: Mt 2:15
Passover memorial: Ex 12:3-6
Communion memorial: 1 Cor 11:23
Baptized into Moses at Red sea: Ex 14:21-31
Baptized into Christ: 1 Cor 10:1-4
Grumbled, Manna from heaven: Ex 16; Deut 8:3
Grumbled, Jesus from heaven; communion: Jn 6:31-35
Jesus is the rock and waters of eternal life: 1 Cor 10:4; Jn 4:14
Fasted 40 days on Mt. Sinai: Ex 24:18; 34:28
Fasted 40 days in wilderness: Mt 4:2
Radiant face on mountain: Ex 34:35
Radiant on Mount: Mt 17:2; 2 Cor 3:7-8
Aliens in Kadesh 38 years: Deut 2:14; Acts 7:29
Aliens in Church till death: 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11
Moses Interceded: Num 14:11-21; 21:7
Jesus Intercedes: Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25
Serpent on pole heals: Num 21:6-9
Christ, a type of the serpent, on cross heals: John 3:14-16
Joshua was a forerunner when he spied out the land and who brought Israel into Canaan 40 years later: Num 14:6-7
Jesus was a forerunner for us into heaven at His ascension and will return to take us to heaven at the Second coming: Heb 6:19-20; Jn 13:36
Cross Jordan = Canaan rest: Deut 12:10-11; Ps 95:10-11
Death = Heaven rest: Heb 4:8-11
1. The Exodus as a messianic prophecy is a classic example of how Midrashic prophecy is fulfilled.
a. There are at least 12 Exodus events that were later understood to be messianic prophecies.
b. There is no indication in the Exodus narration that it is one big messianic prophecy of Christ and the Church.
c. Before the coming of Jesus, we have no idea it was messianic.
2. Jesus is the first person to indicate that the Exodus is messianic typology when He associates his crucifixion with the snake Moses put on the pole.
a. Paul then links the Exodus as one big messianic lesson for Christians!
b. "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1 Corinthians 10:1–11)
3. The gospel of Matthew draws on the Exodus four times as messianic prophecy:
a. Slaughter of the children and hiding of Moses/Christ
b. Calling both Moses and Jesus out of Egypt
c. Both Moses and Christ Fasted 40 days
d. Both Moses and Christ had a s Shining face
4. We see that the New Testament fulfillment is not exactly like the original exodus event, but the parallel is clear.
I. Thirteen Messianic Exodus events in Moses and Israel
1. Hidden from Pharaoh twice after two death threats:
a. "The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months." (Exodus 2:2)
b. "When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well." (Exodus 2:15)
c. "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict." (Hebrews 11:23)
2. Moses called out of Egypt twice to Mt. Sinai
a. When he fled from Pharaoh to Midian at age 40.
b. When he brought Israel out of Egypt in 1446 BC.
3. Passover memorial:
a. "“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight." (Exodus 12:3–6)
4. Baptized into Moses at Red sea:
a. "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses." (Exodus 14:21–31)
5. Manna from heaven:
a. ""The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. “On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”" (Exodus 16:2–5)
b. "“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 8:3)
6. Water from Rock:
a. "Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not?”" (Exodus 17:1–7)
b. "“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.” So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”" (Numbers 20:8–12)
7. Fasted 40 days on Mt. Sinai:
a. "Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights." (Exodus 24:18)
b. "So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments." (Exodus 34:28)
8. Radiant face on mountain:
a. "the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him." (Exodus 34:35)
9. Aliens in Kadesh 38 years:
a. "“Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them." (Deuteronomy 2:14)
b. "“At this remark, Moses fled and became an alien in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons." (Acts 7:29)
10. Moses Interceded:
a. "The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? “I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.” But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from their midst, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for You, O Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. “Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will say, ‘Because the Lord could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ “But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’ “Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” So the Lord said, “I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord." (Numbers 14:11–21)
b. "So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people." (Numbers 21:7)
11. Serpent on pole heals:
a. "The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived." (Numbers 21:6–9)
12. Joshua was a forerunner when he spied out the land and who brought Israel into Canaan 40 years later:
a. "Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land." (Numbers 14:6–7)
13. Cross Jordan = Canaan rest. Joshua as one of the 10 spies was a forerunner into the promised land who came back later to take the people into Canaan.
a. "“When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord." (Deuteronomy 12:10–11)
b. "“For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. “Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”" (Psalm 95:10–11)
II. Thirteen Messianic fulfillments in Jesus and Church
1. Hidden from Herod:
a. "Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”" (Matthew 2:13)
2. Jesus called out of Egypt:
a. "He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”" (Matthew 2:15)
3. Communion memorial:
a. "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;" (1 Corinthians 11:23)
4. Baptized into Christ:
a. "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1–4)
5. Communion, Grumbling, Jesus from heaven: Jn 6:31-25
a. "“Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:31–35)
b. "Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves." (John 6:41–43)
c. "Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1 Corinthians 10:9–11)
6. Jesus is the rock and water of eternal life:
a. "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:4)
b. "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”" (John 4:14)
7. Fasted 40 days in wilderness:
a. "And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry." (Matthew 4:2)
8. Radiant on Mount:
a. "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light." (Matthew 17:2)
b. "But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?" (2 Corinthians 3:7–8)
9. Aliens in Church till death:
a. "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen" (1 Peter 1:1)
b. "Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)
10. Jesus Intercedes:
a. "who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." (Romans 8:34)
b. "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
11. Christ on cross heals like Moses’ serpent on the pole:
a. It is remarkable that Jesus was pre-figured as a killing poisonous snake given the story of how the serpent caused Adam to sin.
b. "“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14–16)
"Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor
grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they
were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have
come." (1 Corinthians 10:9–11)
12. Jesus was a forerunner for us into heaven at His ascension and will return to take us to heaven at the Second coming:
a. "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6:19-20)
b. "Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”" (John 13:36)
13. Death = Heaven rest:
a. "For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience." (Hebrews 4:8–11)
1. It must have been surprising to the Jews that the Exodus story was one big messianic prophecy.
a. The Midrashic Hermeneutic finds fulfillment in the later echo events even through the details are often quite different.
b. While there are at least 10 clear Exodus events, other messianic parallels can be found that the Holy Spirit does not identify as such in the New Testament.
c. A good example of hidden Messianic prophetic parallels in the Exodus story is when Christians today will say, “Brother brown crossed the Jordan”, meaning he died and went to heaven. Nowhere in scripture is crossing the Jordan prophetic of our personal deaths, but we infer such through Midrashic Hermeneutic.
2. When Jesus prophesied his own crucifixion by associating Himself to the snake Moses lifted up on the pole, it would come as a shock and surprise.
a. Not only does a serpent have negative associations with the Devil in Genesis and Revelation, nobody had ever viewed Moses’ serpent on the pole as a messianic prophecy.
b. For Jesus to teach the Jews that the Messiah was typified in a poisonous snake was truly something brand new.
3. The value of this kind of messianic prophecy is not that people were waiting for the fulfillment beforehand, but that it was clearly fulfilled looking back when the Exodus and the life of Christ were put side by side.
By Steve Rudd 2020: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.