Moses as a Type of Constantine the Great: Deliverers

A list of 14 similarities

Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.12, Edict of Milan AD 313

Comparison Chart of 14 Moses/Constantine Shadows, Types, Antitypes and Similarities


The life of Moses was a messianic prophecy of Constantine the Great, as deliverer

14 Messianic Types:


List of 14 Moses/Constantine Shadows and Antitypes

Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.12, Edict of Milan AD 313


 “Shadow of what was to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” Col 2:17


Constantine the Great


Both raised by Sun-worshipping fathers and believing mothers

Pharaoh a Sun worshipper, mother was Hebrew

Constantius was a Sun worshipper and Helena was a Christian


Both received the top education the world had to offer


Rome: Eusebius Life Const. 1.19


Both were handsome and distinguished themselves with wisdom

Exodus 2:2

Eusebius Life Const. 1.19


Both witnessed first-hand the persecution of God’s people

Exodus 2:11–13

Constantine accompanied Diocletian to Palestine as a youth: Eusebius Life Const. 1.19


Both fled from kings who tried to kill them

Exodus 2:15

Constantine fled from Diocletian as a youth: Eus. Life Const. 1.19


Both returned to Egypt/Rome after the death of the one who wanted to kill them

Exodus 2:23, 4:19

Constantine returned to Rome after the death of Diocletian: Eusebius Life Const. 1.20


Both were rulers of the people

Prophet, Lawgiver



Both were saviors by delivering God’s people from persecution

The exodus

Edict of Milan in 313 AD


Both acted upon their faith

Exodus 2:11–13

Constantine was baptized AD 322 in a baptistry he built in AD 315 in Rome: Aramaic Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, Constantine 18th year, AM 5813, AD 322


Both preached the word of God in pubic on a regular basis

Moses often preached in public

Constantine preached sermons regularly in public: Eusebius Life Const. 4.29


Both took steps to correctly understand the true nature of God

Paganism vs. Monotheism

Constantine facilitated the Nicene council which defined Jesus as uncreated God as opposed to a creature.


Both were among the most righteous and morally pure leaders in history

Humble, pure, faithful

Constantine was a great restorer among a pagan population like Josiah.


Both established the first physical places for worship

First Tabernacle

First Church buildings in Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives, Bethlehem: Eusebius Life Const. 3.41


Both established true religion on a state level

Judaism in 1446 BC at Mt. Sinai

Christianity was adopted as official state religion when Emperor Theodosius I issued that the Edict of Thessalonica in AD 380


Discussion: Moses as a type of Constantine the Great as a great deliverer

1.       The primary type is that of a deliverer because both Moses and Constantine liberated God’s people from persecution and oppression at the hands of pagan kings.

a.         Moses delivered Israel from Egyptian oppression and persecution.

b.        Constantine delivered Christians from Roman oppression and persecution

2.       Ancient Jewish and Christian literary sources abound with references to Moses as a type of Joshua, Gideon, Elijah, Ezra and Constantine the Great. See: The New Moses: A Matthean Typology, D.C. Allison, 1993 AD.

a.         The Midrashic hermeneutic was used by all those who wrote scripture, first century Jews and Byzantine Christians which led them to see parallels and echoes between different characters and historical events.

b.        While it may be surprising to modern Christians that Eusebius viewed Moses as a type of Constantine the Great, such beliefs were rule not the exception.

c.         An excellent example of Midrashic hermeneutic is when Matthew, under inspiration connected Hosea’s “out of Egypt I called My son” with Israel leaving Egypt at the exodus and with baby Jesus leaving Egypt for Nazareth. (Matthew 2:15; Hosea 11:1) There is nothing in Hosea 11:1 that remotely hints of it being messianic, any more than the 3 million Jews walking out of Egypt in 1446 BC would be connected with baby Jesus leaving Egypt in AD 1.

d.        Much of Bible messianic prophecy is connecting current events in AD 27-33 with historic events with many Bible characters and events. Most of Bible prophecy is where an inspired New Testament writer connects a pattern of events in Jesus life with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Elijah.

e.        There are several clear examples of Bible prophecy that extend beyond the initial fulfillment and find secondary application to Christians today. For example, every Christ himself is a type of every Christian because we must take up our cross and follow Christ “daily” (Mt 16:26) and we must be crucified, buried and raised again through water baptism to be saved: Mk 16:16; Rom 6:1-7.

f.          While individual Christians today may not be the primary and specific target of messianic prophecy fulfillment, they clearly are part of the secondary fulfillments.

g.         Whether Constantine really was a God-ordained type of Moses does not change the fact that early Christians viewed him as such.

3.       Constantine neither created nor formed Christianity but merely adopted the environment of Christianity when he was converted in AD 323.

a.         Although it is obvious that God used Constantine as a divine agent to liberate the Christians after 3 centuries of persecution, that does not mean that everything Constantine did was truthful or correct.

b.        Constantine did not formulate or have any input on the Nicene Creed, he merely facilitated the conference by suppling the venue, food and lodging for the attendees.

c.         Constantine made Christmas a national Christian holiday because the 5 metropolitan church leaders requested it.

4.       In AD 325, Eusebius saw Constantine a type of Moses (Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.12). Constantine was raised as a pagan in a palace of Emperor’s Diocletian, Maximian, and Maxentius who had persecuted Christians for hundreds of years. His mother was a Christian and his father Constantius, worshiped the sun. From a young age, Constantine viewed as a special, gifted and superior man, being handsome, well-educated, intelligent and very wise. When young Constantine accompanied Diocletian to Palestine, he began disgracing and persecuting Constantine out of fear and jealously that he would replace him as emperor. Constantine, like Moses, he fled for his life and went into hiding then returned after the Diocletian died to eventually become emperor (Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.19-20). Early Christians like Eusebius viewed Constantine as a type of Moses because he chose to become the saviour of Christians by stopping the persecution thought the Edict of Milan in 313 AD. Two years later, in c. AD 315, Constantine built a baptistery in Rome, which still survives next to the Lateran basilica. Remarkably, this was the only baptistery in Rome until the 5th century. In 322, Constantine was baptized by immersion in Rome in his own baptistry that he had built 7 years earlier in AD 315. Constantine hosted the Nicene council in AD 325 by providing the venue, lodging and food but was not directly involved in the proceedings. The council created the Nicene Creed which condemned the heresy of the Arians who taught that Jesus was not God but was instead, a mere creature. It was in fact the antitrinitarian Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia who spread the lies and false rumors so common today, that Constantine was not a genuine Christian because Constantine was baptized on his deathbed in AD 337 (Aramaic Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, Constantine 18th year, AM 5813, AD 321/322). Jehovah’s Witnesses are the modern propagators of the ancient Arian heresy. Throughout his entire Christian life, Constantine often preached sermons in public (Eusebius Life of Constantine 4.29). Constantine was as righteous as any of the best kings of Judah. In this way, Constantine was also a type of Josiah, by stamping out paganism and paving the way for Christianity to become the official state religion of the Roman empire in AD 380 when Emperor Theodosius I issued that the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD. Midrashic prophecy fulfillment, for all these reasons, Eusebius viewed Constantine as a type of Moses. While Jesus Christ is a primary type of Moses, we know that Apostles Paul was also a type of Moses, with over 26 common shadows and parallels. We should not be surprised if there are Christians living today whose lives are antitypical of Moses. Indeed, every Christian is a Midrashic type of Christ: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).


Full Quotations:

Text of Aramaic Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, Constantine’s 18th year, AM 5813, AD 321/322

“In this year (AD 322); as some say, Constantine the Great together with his son Crispus was baptized in Rome by Silvester.' The inhabitants of Old Rome preserve even today the baptismal font as evidence that he was baptized in Rome by Silvester after the removal of the tyrants. [Constantine built a baptistery c.315 which still survives next to the Lateran basilica. This was the only baptistery in Rome until the 5th century.] The easterners, on the other hand, claim that he was baptized on his death-bed in Nicomedia by the Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia, at which place he happened to die. They claim that he had deferred baptism in the hope of being baptized in the river Jordan. In my view it is more likely to be true that he was baptized by Silvester in Rome and the decrees addressed to Miltiades that are ascribed to him are Arian forgeries, since they were eager to win some glory from this or else wanted to denigrate this completely pious emperor by revealing in this fashion that he was not baptized, which is absurd and false. For if he had not been baptized at the Council of Nicaea, he could not have taken the holy sacraments nor joined in the prayers of the holy Fathers, something that is most absurd both to say and to hold. The Arians and pagans accuse Constantine the Great of being illegitimate, but they too are lying. For his imperial line goes back even earlier than Diocletian. Indeed, his father Constantius was a grandson of the emperor Claudius" and he fathered Constantine the Great by his first wife Helena. He had other sons by Theodora, Maximianus Herculius' daughter, the sister of that Maxentius who was usurper at Rome and who was destroyed by Constantine [28 October 312] at the Milvian bridge (when the sign of the Cross appeared to him in the sky) and a sister also of Fausta, the wife of Constantine the Great. And let no one be amazed if, being pagans before their baptism, father and son married two sisters.” (Aramaic Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, Constantine 18th year, AM 5813, AD 321/322)


Text of Eusebius Life of Constantine: 1.12-21

Chapter XII: That like Moses, he was reared in the Palaces of Kings

Ancient history relates that a cruel race of tyrants oppressed the Hebrew nation; and that God, who graciously regarded them in their affliction, provided that the prophet Moses, who was then an infant, should be brought up in the very palaces and bosoms of the oppressors, and instructed in all the wisdom they possessed. And when in the course of time he had arrived at manhood, and the time was come for Divine justice to avenge the wrongs of the afflicted people, then the prophet of God, in obedience to the will of a more powerful Lord, forsook the royal household, and, estranging himself in word and deed from the tyrants by whom he had been brought up, openly acknowledging his true brethren and kinsfolk. Then God, exalting him to be the leader of the whole nation, delivered the Hebrews from the bondage of their enemies, and inflicted Divine vengeance through his means on the tyrant race. This ancient story, though rejected by most as fabulous, has reached the ears of all. But now the same God has given to us to be eye-witnesses of miracles more wonderful than fables, and, from their recent appearance, more authentic than any report. For the tyrants of our day have ventured to war against the Supreme God, and have sorely afflicted His Church. And in the midst of these, Constantine, who was shortly to become their destroyer, but at that time of tender age, and blooming with the down of early youth, dwelt, as that other servant of God had done, in the very home of the tyrants,3 but young as he was did not share the manner of life of the ungodly: for from that early period his noble nature, under the leading of the Divine Spirit, inclined him to piety and a life acceptable to God. A desire, moreover, to emulate the example of his father had its influence in stimulating the son to a virtuous course of conduct. His father was Constantius (and we ought to revive his memory at this time), the most illustrious emperor of our age; of whose life it is necessary briefly to relate a few particulars, which tell to the honor of his son.


Chapter XIII: Of Constantius his Father, who refused to imitate Diocletian, Maximian, and Maxentius, in their Persecution of the Christians

At a time when four emperors shared the administration of the Roman empire, Constantius alone, following a course of conduct different from that pursued by his colleagues, entered into the friendship of the Supreme God.

For while they besieged and wasted the churches of God, leveling them to the ground, and obliterating the very foundations of the houses of prayer, he kept his hands pure from their abominable impiety, and never in any respect resembled them. They polluted their provinces by the indiscriminate slaughter of godly men and women; but he kept his soul free from the stain of this crime.8 They, involved in the mazes of impious idolatry, enthralled first themselves, and then all under their authority, in bondage to the errors of evil demons, while he at the same time originated the profoundest peace throughout his dominions, and secured to his subjects the privilege of celebrating without hindrance the worship of God. In short, while his colleagues oppressed all men by the most grievous exactions, and rendered their lives intolerable, and even worse than death, Constantius alone governed his people with a mild and tranquil sway, and exhibited towards them a truly parental and fostering care.

Numberless, indeed, are the other virtues of this man, which are the theme of praise to all; of these I will record one or two instances, as specimens of the quality of those which I must pass by in silence, and then I will proceed to the appointed order of my narrative.


Chapter XIV: How Constantius his Father, being reproached with Poverty by Diocletian, filled his Treasury, and afterwards restored the Money to those by whom it had been contributed

In consequence of the many reports in circulation respecting this prince, describing his kindness and gentleness of character, and the extraordinary elevation of his piety, alleging too, that by reason of his extreme indulgence to his subjects, he had not even a supply of money laid up in his treasury; the emperor who at that time occupied the place of supreme power sent to reprehend his neglect of the public weal, at the same time reproaching him with poverty, and alleging in proof of the charge the empty state of his treasury. On this he desired the messengers of the emperor to remain with him awhile, and, calling together the wealthiest of his subjects of all nations under his dominion, he informed them that he was in want of money, and that this was the time for them all to give a voluntary proof of their affection for their prince.

As soon as they heard this (as though they had long been desirous of an opportunity for showing the sincerity of their good will), with zealous alacrity they filled the treasury with gold and silver and other wealth; each eager to surpass the rest in the amount of his contribution: and this they did with cheerful and joyous countenances. And now Constantius desired the messengers of the great emperor personally to inspect his treasures, and directed them to give a faithful report of what they had seen; adding, that on the present occasion he had taken this money into his own hands, but that it had long been kept for his use in the custody of the owners, as securely as if under the charge of faithful treasurers. The ambassadors were overwhelmed with astonishment at what they had witnessed: and on their departure it is said that the truly generous prince sent for the owners of the property, and, after commending them severally for their obedience and true loyalty, restored it all, and bade them return to their homes.

This one circumstance, then, conveys a proof of the generosity of him whose character we are attempting to illustrate: another will contain the clearest testimony to his piety.


Chapter XV: Of the persecution raised by his Colleagues

By command of the supreme authorities of the empire, the governors of the several provinces had set on foot a general persecution of the godly. Indeed, it was from the imperial courts themselves that the very first of the pious martyrs proceeded, who passed through those conflicts for the faith, and most readily endured both fire and sword, and the depths of the sea; every form of death, in short, so that in a brief time all the royal palaces were bereft of pious men. The result was, that the authors of this wickedness were entirely deprived of the protecting care of God, since by their persecution of his worshipers they at the same time silenced the prayers that were wont to be made on their own behalf.


Chapter XVI: How Constantius, feigning Idolatry, expelled those who consented to offer Sacrifice, but retained in his Palace all who were willing to confess Christ

On the other hand, Constantius conceived an expedient full of sagacity, and did a thing which sounds paradoxical, but in fact was most admirable.

He made a proposal to all the officers of his court, including even those in the highest stations of authority, offering them the following alternative: either that they should offer sacrifice to demons, and thus be permitted to remain with him, and enjoy their usual honors; or, in case of refusal, that they should be shut out from all access to his person, and entirely disqualified from acquaintance and association with him. Accordingly, when they had individually made their choice, some one way and some the other, and the choice of each had been ascertained, then this admirable prince disclosed the secret meaning of his expedient, and condemned the cowardice and selfishness of the one party, while he highly commended the other for their conscientious devotion to God. He declared, too, that those who had been false to their God must be unworthy of the confidence of their prince; for how was it possible that they should preserve their fidelity to him, who had proved themselves faithless to a higher power? He determined, therefore, that such persons should be removed altogether from the imperial court, while, on the other hand, declaring that those men who, in bearing witness for the truth, had proved themselves to be worthy servants of God, would manifest the same fidelity to their king, he entrusted them with the guardianship of his person and empire, saying that he was bound to treat such persons with special regard as his nearest and most valued friends, and to esteem them far more highly than the richest treasures.


Chapter XVII: Of his Christian Manner of Life

The father of Constantine, then, is said to have possessed such a character as we have briefly described. And what kind of death was vouchsafed to him in consequence of such devotion to God, and how far he whom he honored made his lot to differ from that of his colleagues in the empire, may be known to any one who will give his attention to the circumstances of the case. For after he had for a long time given many proofs of royal virtue, in acknowledging the Supreme God alone, and condemning the polytheism of the ungodly, and had fortified his household by the prayers of holy men, he passed the remainder of his life in remarkable repose and tranquillity, in the enjoyment of what is counted blessedness,—neither molesting others nor being molested ourselves.

Accordingly, during the whole course of his quiet and peaceful reign, he dedicated his entire household, his children, his wife, and domestic attendants, to the One Supreme God: so that the company assembled within the walls of his palace differed in no respect from a church of God; wherein were also to be found his ministers, who offered continual supplications on behalf of their prince, and this at a time when, with most, it was not allowable to have any dealings with the worshipers of God, even so far as to exchange a word with them.


Chapter XVIII: That after the Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius became Chief Augustus, and was blessed with a Numerous Offspring

The immediate consequence of this conduct was a recompense from the hand of God, insomuch that he came into the supreme authority of the empire. For the older emperors, for some unknown reason, resigned their power; and this sudden change took place in the first year after their persecution of the churches.

From that time Constantius alone received the honors of chief Augustus, having been previously, indeed, distinguished by the diadem of the imperial Cæsars, among whom he held the first rank; but after his worth had been proved in this capacity, he was invested with the highest dignity of the Roman empire, being named chief Augustus of the four who were afterwards elected to that honor. Moreover, he surpassed most of the emperors in regard to the number of his family, having gathered around him a very large circle of children both male and female. And, lastly, when he had attained to a happy old age, and was about to pay the common debt of nature, and exchange this life for another, God once more manifested His power in a special manner on his behalf, by providing that his eldest son Constantine should be present during his last moments, and ready to receive the imperial power from his hands.5


Chapter XIX: Of his Son Constantine, who in his Youth accompanied Diocletian into Palestine

The latter had been with his father’s imperial colleagues, and had passed his life among them, as we have said, like God’s ancient prophet. And even in the very earliest period of his youth he was judged by them to be worthy of the highest honor. An instance of this we have ourselves seen, when he passed through Palestine with the senior emperor,7 at whose right hand he stood, and commanded the admiration of all who beheld him by the indications he gave even then of royal greatness. For no one was comparable to him for grace and beauty of person, or height of stature; and he so far surpassed his compeers in personal strength as to be a terror to them. He was, however, even more conspicuous for the excellence of his mental qualities than for his superior physical endowments; being gifted in the first place with a sound judgment,9 and having also reaped the advantages of a liberal education. He was also distinguished in no ordinary degree both by natural intelligence and divinely imparted wisdom.


Chapter XX: Flight of Constantine to his Father because of the Plots of Diocletian

The emperors then in power, observing his manly and vigorous figure and superior mind, were moved with feelings of jealousy and fear, and thenceforward carefully watched for an opportunity of inflicting some brand of disgrace on his character. But the young man, being aware of their designs, the details of which, through the providence of God, more than once came to him, sought safety in flight; in this respect again keeping up his resemblance to the great prophet Moses. Indeed, in every sense God was his helper; and he had before ordained that he should be present in readiness to succeed his father.


Chapter XXI: Death of Constantius, who leaves his Son Constantine Emperor

Immediately, therefore, on his escape from the plots which had been thus insidiously laid for him, he made his way with all haste to his father, and arrived at length at the very time that he was lying at the point of death. As soon as Constantius saw his son thus unexpectedly in his presence, he leaped from his couch, embraced him tenderly, and, declaring that the only anxiety which had troubled him in the prospect of death, namely, that caused by the absence of his son, was now removed, he rendered thanks to God, saying that he now thought death better than the longest life,5 and at once completed the arrangement of his private affairs. Then, taking a final leave of the circle of sons and daughters by whom he was surrounded, in his own palace, and on the imperial couch, he bequeathed the empire, according to the law of nature, to his eldest son, and breathed his last.


Text of Eusebius Life of Constantine: 4.29

Chapter XXIX: Of Constantine’s Discourses and Declamations

For himself, he sometimes passed sleepless nights in furnishing his mind with Divine knowledge: and much of his time was spent in composing discourses, many of which he delivered in public; for he conceived it to be incumbent on him to govern his subjects by appealing to their reason, and to secure in all respects a rational obedience to his authority. Hence he would sometimes himself evoke an assembly, on which occasions vast multitudes attended, in the hope of hearing an emperor sustain the part of a philosopher. And if in the course of his speech any occasion offered of touching on sacred topics, he immediately stood erect, and with a grave aspect and subdued tone of voice seemed reverently to be initiating his auditors in the mysteries of the Divine doctrine: and when they greeted him with shouts of acclamation, he would direct them by his gestures to raise their eyes to heaven, and reserve their admiration for the Supreme King alone, and honor him with adoration and praise. He usually divided the subjects of his address, first thoroughly exposing the error of polytheism, and proving the superstition of the Gentiles to be mere fraud, and a cloak for impiety. He then would assert the sole sovereignty of God: passing thence to his Providence, both general and particular. Proceeding next to the dispensation of salvation, he would demonstrate its necessity, and adaptation to the nature of the case; entering next in order on the doctrine of the Divine judgment. And here especially he appealed most powerfully to the consciences of his hearers, while he denounced the rapacious and violent, and those who were slaves to an inordinate thirst of gain. Nay, he caused some of his own acquaintance who were present to feel the severe lash of his words, and to stand with downcast eyes in the consciousness of guilt, while he testified against them in the clearest and most impressive terms that they would have an account to render of their deeds to God. He reminded them that God himself had given him the empire of the world, portions of which he himself, acting on the same Divine principle, had entrusted to their government; but that all would in due time be alike summoned to give account of their actions to the Supreme Sovereign of all. Such was his constant testimony; such his admonition and instruction. And he himself both felt and uttered these sentiments in the genuine confidence of faith: but his hearers were little disposed to learn, and deaf to sound advice; receiving his words indeed with loud applause, but induced by insatiable cupidity practically to disregard them.



1.      The primary typology between Moses and Constantine the Great is that both ended the persecution of God’s People.

2.      The parallels are so striking and so dramatic that they just pop out at you!

3.      There is nothing in scripture which connects Constantine to Moses through typology.

4.      While Constantine may not have been the direct result of God’s action, Christians living today often echo many Bible characters and especially Jesus Christ.


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 See also:

Click to ViewMAIN Messianic Prophecy Website

Click to ViewList of 70 similarities of Joseph as a type of Christ

Click to ViewList of 64 similarities of Moses as a type of Christ

Click to ViewList of 25 similarities of Moses as a type of Apostle Paul

Click to ViewList of 14 similarities of Joshua as a type of Christ

Click to ViewList of 13 similarities the Jewish temple was a type of the Church

Click to ViewList of 15 similarities of Abraham as a type of Christians

Click to ViewList of 13 Exodus Route types of our salvation in Christ

Click to ViewReplacement Theology: The church replaced the Jewish Temple


By Steve Rudd: Oct 2020: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.



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