Archive for May 2023

The Believers (The “Saints”) Will Be With Jesus in Bringing Judgment on Judgment Day! 

May 31, 2023

This is an excerpt from a much larger exposition on Judges Chapters 4&5 that provides significant insights on what we can expect on Judgment Day

In Judges 4:14, we read the following, “¶And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this [is] the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.

In that “Historical Parable“, as God provides us in Judges 4&5, it has been shown in a previous detailed exposition that Barak, which in the original Hebrew (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300) means both “Lightning” and “Glittering Sword”, is unequivocally representative of the Lord Jesus Christ as He will come down from Heaven (typified by Mt. Tabor) on Judgment Day to the earth (as typified by the Valley of Megiddo, which is also known as “Armageddon”).

The 10,000 men who come down from mount Tabor after Barak allegorically represent all of the “saints”, the “believers”, the “saved”, the “sons of God” who will come down from Heaven with Jesus on Judgment Day (we know this is consistent with what we find in Jude 1:14&15, regarding Judgment Day “…Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.“).  

It is the eternal Church, the body of believers, of which Jesus Is The Eternal Head, who will come with Jesus to “execute judgment” on Judgment Day.  It is clear that the physical destruction of the host of Sisera was by the “physical sword“, and, in the historical account,  it could not have been done by Barak alone, that Judgment by the “physical sword” would have had to have also been done by those who came with Barak.  

Repeating what was said earlier…the last words of Moses, before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, were, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saintsfrom his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” Remembering also that just previously in Judges 4:10, we read how Barak “called” Zebulun and Naphtali (the believers from out of the Gentile nations) and he “went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went with him.”  Again, we must remember that Barak is used of God to provide a clear and unequivocal “Type” of the LORD Jesus Christ!

Remember also what we find in the clearly Messianic verses of Zechariah 14:4&5, where the verses end by declaring that on Judgment Day, Jesus will come with all of His saints with Him, “and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.”

If we turn to Psalm 149:5-9, we read that, “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.[Let] the high [praises] of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”  

God graciously grants this participation in the Judgment as an “honor” to His Saints. Given that we are all frail human beings in our temporal bodies, it is difficult for us to fathom, and disturbingly hard to imagine and/or look forward to, participating in the destruction of anyone. However, on Judgment Day, the saints will become like Jesus in their new glorified bodies at the resurrection, and then the saints, “the sons of God”, will see things perfectly like Jesus does now. We know this because of what we find in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yetappear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Additional corroboration can be found in these prophetic verses, in 1 Corinthians 6:2&3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Please also see again 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. ¶For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (not go before) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The “TwoEdged Sword

And what is the “twoedged sword”? It is the Word of God, and therefore a “Spiritual Sword”! The Bible tells us so here in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Also in Revelation 1:16 where we read about the twoedged sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus (“the Son of man“), “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”  Everyone who is unsaved will be judged on the basis of God’s Word, Who is Jesus, and it is the saved believers who are the attendant messengers and witnesses of that Word, both now and forever.  Finally, we know from John 12:48 where Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The Word of God (Jesus is both The Word and the Bringer of the Word) is also the Spiritual “Twoedged Sword” by which God will both Judge and Destroy all of the unbelievers on Judgment Day.

But why is the “Word of God” specifically identified with a “twoedged” sword?  It is because the Word of God brings both life and death, both salvation or condemnation, “comfort” and “vengeance” (see: https://bereansearching.com/2022/07/20/a-christian-perspective-on-the-book-of-nahum-comfort-and-consolation/) .  We read in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Conclusion

Judgment Day will be the last event in history when the Lord Jesus Christ will come back in the clouds of Glory to destroy all wickedness, and send all of the unsaved of the world to an eternity in Hell, and put an end to this entire creation, which is under the curse of sin and death.  It will mark the end of time and the beginning of eternity wherein righteousness will dwell in new heavens and a new earth forever.  In 2 Peter 3:10 we read, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” But thankfully in 2 Peter 3:13 we read, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Barak is an allegorical “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will be the Ultimate Judge at a battle that perfectly typifies the Ultimate Judgment that definitely will come on the Last Day, Judgment Day

In 2 Corinthians 5:11, we are admonished, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  Given that God has recorded such a clear and unequivocal prophetic warning of the final judgment that is so assuredly coming; it is incumbent on everyone to search his or her own conscience (and heart) and ask himself or herself the big question: Am I ready to meet God?  It is my sincere prayer that whosoever reads this review will undergo that self-examination and be able to answer in the affirmative.  If not, it is still possible to cry out to God for mercy, for it is still the day of salvation.  (Please also remember that Barak was just a pre-figuring “shadow” of Jesus Christ, not the “substance.”  Only through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ is there any hope of salvation. Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.)

Today’s Application: Are You Ready?

Jesus is the only Way of escape from the just penalty for our sins. All other ways that man can devise will lead only to Hell come Judgment Day. You are either with God or against God.  Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ?  Please pray to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and He will show you mercy. Judgment Day is for any individual only a heart beat awaybut for the world it is coming very soon, given all of the signs of the times that we are currently all living in. Judge for yourselves if these things are so or not.

Death in the Pot! (A Christian Exposition of 2 Kings 4:38-41)

May 24, 2023

Above image caption: Wild Gourds as Found in the Arabian Desert

Introduction

2 Kings, Chapter 4, verses 38-41 Provides Another “Historical Parable” Pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ to Save His People for Himself

What Are “Historical Parables”?

Historical parables are factual historical events that are found in the Bible, which were also precisely crafted and recorded/inscribed by God in the Bible, via God The Holy Spirit, in allegorical manners that convey important Spiritual Truth. And that Spiritual Truth is that Eternal Salvation is only a gift of grace by God, paid for in full for the sins of God’s Elect by Jesus’ eternal Sacrifice and obtainable through the hearing of, and responding repentant faith in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; which is the true purpose and lasting substance of the Bible.

The majority of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) contains these historical parables, which, in one way or another, all point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, that truth is not always readily apparent, and can even be deliberately hidden by God to an unbeliever. It will also be hidden to a professing Christian, if the Bible is read by that person in a careless manner, or if such persons are basing their understanding on the wisdom of men rather than the Wisdom of God.

There are many “historical parables” in the Bible, found in both the Old and New Testaments, which can be easily missed in casual reading. This is because the majority of them are veiled in “allegory”. Some of them are more intrinsically obvious than others. Here are just two examples of fairly obvious ones:

  1. Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac, his only son from Sarah, said in Genesis 22:8, “… My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:…” The specific phraseology tells us that God would “provide Himself” (in the Form of Jesus) as the Lamb as the Only Acceptable Sacrifice for sin.
  2. Joseph (who was raised from a pit and prison and servitude up to the right hand of Pharaoh) provided bread to his unworthy brethren who had thrown him in a pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt in Genesis 50:20But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.” Those sad events served to create an historical parable for the purpose of pointing to Jesus’ Atoning Sacrifice in Hell, and Jesus’s Resurrection to the Right Hand of God the Father, to provide Salvation for His erstwhile enemies.

Some of the historical parables in the Old Testament have the benefit of New Testament exposition. The Brass (Brazen) Serpent is one such example. And Galatians 4:21-31 not only points us back to Sarah and Haggar, but specifically states that those two women were used of God to serve as an “allegory”, Which Things Are an Allegory“. Nonetheless, the majority of historical parables require diligent, prayerful, comparison of scripture with scripture to be understood, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, “which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual“. In all cases, however, a “True” understanding of historical parables is entirely dependent on God Alone, through His Holy Spirit.

It should also be noted that the parables spoken by Jesus are not to be considered the same as “historical” parables, in that Jesus’ parables cannot be related to a specific factual historical account as is recorded in the Bible, but rather were “earthly stories” intended to teach a “Heavenly/spiritual” lessons. See for example The Good Samaritan, the Talents, the Sower. Nonetheless, all parables, whether historical or not, ultimately lead to the same understanding and conclusion. They all lead us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the role of His saints in honoring and serving Him.

We know from Proverbs 1:5 that, “A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

And Jesus deliberately spoke in parables, so that those who only had carnal eyes, would see and not perceive. In Mark 4:11+12 we read, “And he (Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples) said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.” 

Moreover, in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

For more on Biblical understanding, please see the The Key of Knowledge for Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible.

Elisha and the Poison Pottage

In 2 Kings 4:38-41 we read, “¶And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and [there was] a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets [were] sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred [them] into the pot of pottage: for they knew [them] not. So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O [thou] man of God, [there is] death in the pot. And they could not eat [thereof]. ¶But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast [it] into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.

If one looks only at the “plain sense” of this text in only a cursory perusal, the text will provide the reader with a general “feel good” sense that the God of the Bible works miracles through His Prophets. And while there is not question that God, through Elisha, did miraculously heal, or purify, an otherwise poisonous soup by the casting of some “meal” into the pot. But is that all there is to this historical account? Is there something more than just the “plain sense” would indicate? Let us look more closely at the key elements of this short text by comparing scripture with scripture (“spiritual things with spiritual“).

1. Elisha

It is interesting to note that Elisha in Hebrew (אֱלִישָׁע (‘ĕlîšāʿ)) H477 means “God Is Salvation”, somewhat similar to Elijah (אֵלִיָּה (‘ēlîyâ))H452, which means “God of Jehovah”, from whom Elisha received his mantle. More significantly, Though Elisha is clearly differ in its spelling and pronunciation, “Elisha” does effectively have nearly identical meaning as that for “Joshua”, hence “Jesus”, as described below.

2. Gilgal

Elisha came again to Gilgal.” Clearly Elisha had been there before. We also know that this is the case, as we read a little earlier in 2 Kings 2:1 “¶And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

Now, “Gilgal” (גִּלְגָּל (gilgāl))H1537 in the Bible is a name of great significance, because it is the name that God Himself gave to that specific place where we learn of the following:

  1. It is the first encampment of the people of Israel after crossing, and “coming up out” of, the River Jordan into the Promised Land (pointing to the Salvation of the saints of God coming through untouched by the Flood (representing Hell) and up into Heaven, because the Ark of the Covenant, representing the Body of Jesus Christ, was there the whole time).
  2. It occurred on the tenth day of the first month! The children of Israel came up out of the River Jordan on the very day that the Passover Lamb was to be selected for the Passover according to Exodus 12:1-3, (and the same day that Jesus triumphantly entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday about 1500 years later). See also Ezra 10:16.
  3. It is where Joshua erected a monument of twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel) as a memorial to Israel’s deliverance and salvation (which points to the Eternal Israel’s Salvation).
  4. It is where the children of Israel who made it through the wilderness were circumcised (which points to the Eternal Israel’s Salvation by the shedding of blood, Jesus Christ’s blood).
  5. It is where they observed the Passover Feast (again pointing to the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ).
  6. It is where the manna ceased, marking the end of the wilderness sojourn period (pointing to the fact that in Heaven we only need Jesus, the Bread of Life of which the manna was just an earthly “Type” but not the substance).
  7. It is where God announced that He had “rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off” national Israel (which points to the eternal salvation of the eternal Israel in Christ Jesus)

Gilgal Is Intimately Linked With the Salvation of God’s People by the Atoning Sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ!

The very first place in the Bible where we find the name Gilgal is in Joshua 4:19, where we read,

¶ And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come,saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

More information is provided by God later in Joshua 5:8-12, where God specifically declares that Gilgal is where God “rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off” national Israel. We read : ¶And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto JoshuaThis day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. ¶And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat off the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched [corn] in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

Gilgal, which literally means “wheel”, or “wheel that rolls”, and as noted above, Gilgal is spiritually identified by God with the rolling away of the “reproach of Egypt” from off of His people. And of course, the phrase, “the reproach of Egypt“, is a typological/allegorical representation of fallen mankind’s spiritual enslavement to sin and Satan. Egypt (the land of Israel’s captivity for 400 years) is notably identified in the Bible as the “iron furnace” in Deuteronomy 4:20, 1Kings 8:51, and Jeremiah 11:4 and is therefore a typological/allegorical spiritual reference for Hell.

Rolled Away

Do not the words “rolled away” also bring to mind something else that the Bible tells us was also rolled away? Yes, it was the stone that sealed the tomb where Jesus’ Body lay, as we read in both Mark 16:4, “And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.” and Luke 24:2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

Yes, the reproach of Egypt (Hell) was eternally removed from off the Eternal Israel, as was exemplified by the rolling away of the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus’, showing that Jesus had been resurrected and that Jesus was the “first begotten of the dead.”

Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” and

1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The Spiritual Symbolism of Gilgal

Gilgal thus symbolizes the Atoning Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which God provides salvation for His people, and thus spiritually represents the place where God removes the reproach for their sin together with the death penalty in Hell that the payment for that sin requires.

The Circumcision in Gilgal

And just as national Israel received the physical circumcision at Gilgal, so to does it symbolize the spiritual “circumcision of the hearts” by God for (Deuteronomy 10:16) of all His children of the eternal Israel. The shedding of blood and the cutting off of the foreskins pointed to the fact that a transition had taken place and those who were circumcised had come under the Abrahamic covenant by the shedding of blood related to the “seed” and ultimately Blood of Christ, because Jesus had to be cut-off and was the Seed of Abraham and David. Jesus is also typified by the Passover lamb sacrifice, which also was partaken of in Gilgal. But what are the other spiritual implications of circumcision? The physical circumcision of the flesh avails nothing, because God talks of the spiritual circumcision of the heart.

In Deuteronomy 30:6, we read, “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” God provides the exposition of this in describing how the saints are made complete in Christ, “Colossians 2:11-13, “¶ In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” So the “rolling away of the reproach of Egypt” is intimately linked to circumcision at Gilgal.

This is also why Joshua, during much of his campaign to conquer the promised land, set up his camp in Gilgal. It was from Gilgal that Joshua was used by God to save Israel from its enemies, and from which Joshua “ascended” (compare with Ephesians 4:7-16) as we find in the following verses:

Joshua 9:6, “And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us“.

Joshua 10:6 &7, “¶”And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. ¶ So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

Joshua 10:9, “Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, [and] went up from Gilgal all night.”

Joshua 10:15, “¶And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

Joshua 10:43, “And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.”

Joshua 14:6. “Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal:and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.”

Joshua, of course, is a clear “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Savior.

Please note that Jesus (Ἰησοῦς (iēsous))G2424 is Greek for the Hebrew, Joshua (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (yᵊhôšûaʿ)) H3091, which means “Jehovah is Salvation” (or “Savior”) and therefore effectively is the same as Elisha, which means “God Is Salvation”.

3. Dearth in the Land

2 Kings 4:38 informs that there was a “dearth” in the land. The Hebrew word translated as “dearth” is רָעָב (rāʿāḇ) H7458 is most generally translated “famine”, and famine in the Bible is used as a metaphor or allegory for a period in which the Word of God is lacking.

We know this, because we read in Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine (רָעָב (rāʿāḇ)) H7458 in the land, not a famine (רָעָב (rāʿāḇ)) H7458 of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” There, God was warning Israel of the 400-year period during which God did not send any more word to them at all. And it is quite notable that of the 101 times we find this same Hebrew word for “famine” in the Old Testament, this is the very last time and therefore further corroboration of the interpretation.

A dearth in Gilgal thus refers to the period when the true Word of God, the Gospel of Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ Alone is largely, if not completely, absent from the earthly representation of God’s Kingdom, the corporate church. That was the condition prevailing in Israel when Elisha succeeded Elijah as the prophet of God. It can also be expected to be characteristic of the short end-time period that immediately precedes Judgment Day. For more on the spiritual meaning of a dearth in the land and the end times implications, please see: Famine in the Land

4. The Great Pot

The word “pot” appears five times in these four verses. We are told that it was also a “great”pot. The word translated as “pot” is the original Hebrew word (סִיר (sîr)) H5518. That Hebrew word is found 34 times in the Old Testament and is translated into English variously as pot (21x), caldron (5x), thorns (4x), washpot (with H7366) (2x), pans (1x).

In Psalm 58:1&2, God is pronouncing judgment on the “wicked congregation” where we read, “¶[[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.]] Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.” And then in Psalm 58:9, “Before your pots (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in [his] wrath.

God would seem therefore to be referring to a congregation, and in this instance, the congregation of the wicked, and likening the congregations to vessels. In Ecclesiastes 7:6 we also see, “For as the crackling of thorns (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 under a pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518, so [is] the laughter of the fool: this also [is] vanity.” This would seem to indicate that the condemnation is upon the fools who do not see the imminent judgment, they being both the thorns and the pot. In Isa 34:1-15, we see God’s condemnation of apostate Israel, especially in verse 13 associating them with “thorns”, which will be consumed by God’s wrath. “And thorns (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, [and] a court for owls. (note that the thorns, nettles and brambles remind us of the curse upon Adam in Genesis 3:18, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

In Jeremiah 1:13&14, God refers to Babylon as the “seething pot”, referring to that angry nation, that God was about to use to bring judgment upon Judah. “¶And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518; and the face thereof is toward the north. ¶Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

And in Ezekiel 11:1-3, the “cauldron” is again a reference to a pot under judgment. “¶Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’S house, which looketh eastward:and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. Then said he unto me, Son of man, these [are] the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: Which say, [It is] not near; let us build houses: this [city is] the caldron (סִיר (sîr)) H5518, and we [be] the flesh.

Ezekiel 24:3-14, God declares a parable of judgment against Jerusalem (the day when Babylon attacks it) in which Jerusalem is compared to a seething pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518.

Although in both Psalm 60:8 and Psalm 108:9 where we see that the cursed nation of Moab is called a “washpot” by God, “Moab [is] my washpot;” The word translated as “washpot” is the same word in the original Hebrew for “pot” (סִיר (sîr)) H5518.

Finally, the very last time that the word translated from the original Hebrew as “pot” is found in the Bible is in Zechariah 14:20&21, “¶In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hostsand all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” These prophetic verses indicate that there will be dedication to God in His Holy Temple involving the pots and a seething sacrifice that ensures a cleansing for the people.

It would therefore seem fair to say that, overall, the “pot” refers to all vessels of humanity, which are, by their nature, cursed and under the judgment of God, like Babylon, especially because of the poisonous cursed ingredients, producing the death in the pot. However, we shall see that the “meal” (actually flour, see below under “Meal”) refers to the foundational element of bread, which we know refers to the Body of Jesus Christ, such that when it is added to the pot, makes the pot free from the curse of sin and death and destruction on the evil day, Judgment Day.

5. Pottage

We soon learn that the “sons of the prophets” were “sitting before” Elisha. Given the context of this historical account and the meaning of the name Elisha being essentially the same as Jesus, that Elisha, much like his predecessor Elijah, is being used by God as a “Type” to represent Jesus. Moreover, the “sons of the prophets” are representative of all of the true believers. They were representative of the children of God sitting before Jesus to seek for spiritual food from Christ, even as Mary (Martha’ sister) sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him speak (Luke 10:39).

To underscore this point, let us look at the very last words of Moses before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” All the saints are also the sons of the prophets who are sitting at the feet of Jesus for His Words.

Elisha subsequently said to his servant, “Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.” Elisha told his servant to boil some kind of soup, or stew, in a pot (like a kettle/cauldron) for the men to eat. This is representative of how when believers humbly come before God, prayerfully expressing their hunger for His Word, God will see to it that we are spiritually fed from His Word. And that will be the case even when the majority of corporate Christian congregations are beset by a famine of the hearing of the Word.

The believers are assured in Psalm 33:18&19, “Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”, and in Psalm 37:19, “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

6. Field

The word translated as “field” is from the original Hebrew word, שָׂדֶה (śāḏê)H7704, which is first found in the Bible (where God was cursing Adam for his original sin) in Genesis 3:18, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field (שָׂדֶה (śāḏê))H7704;”

In the 2nd Kings chapter 4 account, we read that one of the servants went out to gather herbs, or vegetables, for the soup/stew to seethe in the pot. But that servant went to the wrong place. He went into “the field”, which, according to the Bible, is a picture of “the world” as we are told by Jesus in His explanation of the Parable of the “Wheat and the Tares” (see also the Parable of the Sower).

In Matthew 13:38, Jesus said, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”

And in John 4:35, Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fieldsfor they are white already to harvest.” The fields are those parts of the world in which the remnant chosen by grace have been scattered. Hence, He tells us to ask God to send out workers into the harvest field.

But we must remember getting back to the Parable of the Wheat and Tares that the time is growing short because the ultimate Harvest is at the end of the world. In Matthew 13:39 Jesus said, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

7. Wild Gourd From a Wild Vine

Nevertheless, the sin-cursed world is not the right place to find food for believers. Not surprisingly, therefore, all this servant could gather were wild gourds from a wild vine. The word translated as “wild” in this account is from the original Hebrew word, שָׂדֶה (śāḏê) H7704, which is translated as “field” 292 times in the Bible and only eight times as “wild“. As was noted above, In Matthew 13:38, Jesus said, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”

The “True Vine”, Is Jesus Himself, as we read in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruitof itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,except ye abide in me. ¶I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Contrariwise, a wild vine represents something that is sinful and opposed to God. Remember the apostle Paul says in Romans 11:2 is addressing the Gentile believers, “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?

Parable of the Vineyard: Another source of “Wild” Fruit

Similarly we read in Isaiah 5:1-7, where God was lamenting over Israel’s failure to bear good fruit despite God’s loving care,

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard:I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged;but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

It should be noted that the single word translated as “wild grapes” in the original Hebrew is בְּאֻשִׁים (bᵊ’ušîm) H891, is only used these two times in the entire Bible. The word actually means, “poisonous berries“, but given the context, it makes sense that they were translated in the King James Bible as “wild grapes”.

This parable is already explained for us by God in the last verse above. Israel and Judah were represented by “the vineyard” and “the vine”, respectively, and they should have brought forth righteousness, but instead brought forth poison in the form of rebellion, which, according to 1 Samuel 15:23For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry.” God makes clear that He will bring judgment upon them for their iniquities.

There was clearly no shortage of such “wild gourds” or “wild grapes” in the world back then, and that is still the case in our world today. The lone servant, who went out into the world, was able to gather a lap full (a garment full) of of “wild gourds”. By shredding them into the pot of pottage, he effectively introduced worldly, and therefore unBiblical, ideas into that from which the church would normally, faithfully, feed the flock.

8. Deadly poison (“Death in the Pot!)

And they knew them not.” When false prophets first begin to infiltrate the various congregations of the corporate church and bring in heresies and false gospels that are injected and mixed into the church’s teaching, the people in the pews will not often realize it. The devil is very cunning. 2 Corinthians 11:14&15 tell us, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Thankfully, and most mercifully, God protects His own from being snared by such false gospels. Describing believers as His sheep, Jesus says in the Parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10:5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers“.

In other words, true believers, having the indwelling Holy Spirit as their Counselor. and Guide, know that and gospel other than that of the Bible will not bring salvation, but rather lead only to eternal death and destruction. Therefore, when “the sons of the prophets” began to eat off the pottage, they cried out, “There is death in the pot!” They realized immediately that there was poison in the food. They had Spiritual Discernment.

9. Meal 

To provide the necessary cure, Elisha asked for “meal” and then cast the meal into the pot. What does that represent?

The Hebrew word translated as “meal” קֶמַח (qemaḥH7058 is sometimes translated in the Bible as “flour”, and in the Books of Exodus 29:2 , Leviticus 2:1 and Numbers 6:15 are typical of many verses where God commands the children of Israel to offer “fine flour” or cakes baked from “fine flour” as offerings. Like the lambs and bulls and grains and other sacrifices offered at the temple, the “meal” is a symbol pointing to the body of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the “true bread from heaven” (John 6:32), “the bread of life” (John 6:35). Partaking of the Word of God will keep us from being harmed by any false teaching. Thus, God declares in Mark 16:18, “They (the believers) shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

10. No “Harm” in the Pot

This historical account, which is indeed another “historical parable”, ends with this marvelous statement: “And there was no harm in the pot.” It should be noted however that the word “harm”, as is translated into English by the King James translators, is actually derived from two key words in the original Hebrew.

The first word is רַע (raʿ)H745, means “evil“, and it is the very same Hebrew word that we found all the way back in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (רַע (raʿ)) H7451“.

The second word in the original Hebrew is דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, which means “word(s)“. (To see just how important that the word “dabar” is in the Bible, which is translated over 800 times as “word” or “words” (and over 200 times as “thing(s) and over 60 times as “matter”, but sometimes erroneously as is shown in the Appendix Below.)

So then, God is telling us that when it says “no harm”, when we look closely at the original Hebrew, we find that “no harm” is really saying that there are “no evil word(s)” in the pot. Is that not most interesting? Since when do “words” go into a pot? This is why at least one translator (e.g., Young’s Literal Translation) felt compelled to substitute “thing(s)” to say “no evil thing” in the pot, because it would seem, from a human perspective, to better conform to the “plain sense”. However, such a translation effectively nullifies the “spiritual sense”, which God has imbedded in His Word. This is just more evidence of how God has perfectly, magnificently, and supernaturally crafted the historical events of the Bible, and the recording of them, to convey spiritual truth to those to whom God graciously grants the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

And as a result, we can more clearly see how this historical parable is really telling us that, even in a time of famine, the “sons of the prophets” were nonetheless adequately and safely nourished, just as in the Final Tribulation, the true believing Christians will be spiritually fed with the True Word of God (Jesus Christ) and that there will be no evil, or false, words/gospels to poison them.

Conclusion

The historical account in 2 Kings 4:38-41 is more than just another intriguing miraculous story in the Old Testament. And the truth that it reveals is highly pertinent for anyone who believes that the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus Christ Is our Only Hope for salvation from sin.

We are living in a day when there is indeed a famine in the land, “a dearth in Gilgal”. By and large, the corporate church has ceased to faithfully proclaim the whole counsel of God. The True Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ Alone, along with the key doctrines from the Bible on which it is based, have become so perverted that most congregations are, for all practical purposes, just playing church with worldly ideas.

For the unsaved, these congregations offer nothing but “death in the pot”. But true believers will not be fooled. It is not that they are any more intelligent than other churchgoers. Rather, God Is Faithful. Jesus Christ has promised that He shall not lose any of the children that the Father has given Him. John 6:39This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day.”

Meanwhile, we must sit humbly before God, ever seeking wisdom from His Word. Instead of believing everything we hear from the pulpit, we must strictly rely on the Bible itself to bring us truth (and be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11,”These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.“)

By the grace of God, thankfully, we will then be well equipped by God to go through the Final Tribulation period, and we can confidently hope to see Jesus face to face immediately afterwards on Judgment Day.

APPENDIX: Jesus is the Personification of The Word

In Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) we find this extraordinary verse, “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” If we look carefully at the text as it reads in the original Hebrew using an Interlinear Bible or Online cross-reference like this: http://biblehub.com/text/proverbs/25-2.htm, we find that it can also read like this…”[It is] the glory of God to conceal a word” (because it is from the Hebrew דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, a masculine noun): but the honour of kings[is] to search out a “word” (because the word that was translated into English as “matter” is also the same word found in the original Hebrew to be דָּבָר (dāḇār) H1697, which is translated more than eight hundred times in the Old Testament as “word.”)*.  It appears, therefore, that God is telling us that He is glorified by the concealing of The Word (Jesus Christ) in the Bible, and the believers are “honored” by being made able to search out The Word (Who is Jesus Christ) when reading the Bible. Remember what we are told in Acts 10:43, “To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” And let us not forget what Jesus said in John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me

POSTSCRIPT:

The above study provides an allegorical interpretation of the 2 Kings text, and it shows how if we prayerfully read the Bible to search beyond just a surficial level…not stopping at only the “plain sense”, then, by God’s grace, alone, the deep richness and hid treasures of God’s Word can be revealed. Those hid treasures will consistently point us to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’s own exposition of Old Testament Scriptures validate this point, as we find in the account on the Road to Emmaus.  In Luke 24:27, we read of Jesus teaching his disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Please see this exposition: The-Road-To-Emmaus

NOTE To The Reader: The above exposition builds upon a study previously published by Jesse Gistand in 1992.

“The Brass (Brasen) Serpent”: Another Foreshadowing of The Substitutionary Atonement for Sin by The Lord Jesus Christ!

May 18, 2023

Introduction

The Biblical account that we find in Numbers 21:4-9 of the brazen serpent lifted up on a pole, is a somewhat bizarre and unexpected one when viewed initially from a Christian perspective. However, this historical account forms another “historical parable“, which clearly points us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we can rest assured of the correctness of that interpretation, not because it is a generally accepted understanding by Christian theologians and academics (which it is), but rather because God provides that correlation “plainly” to us later in the New Testament as is stated by Jesus in the Book of John.

The Brass (Brasen) Serpent

The first time we read about the “serpent of brass” is in Numbers 21:4-9. There, speaking of the children of Israel with Moses in the wilderness, we read, “¶And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314  among the people,and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. ¶Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 from us. And Moses prayed for the people. ¶And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 of brass, he lived.

The children of Israel spoke against God and Moses (Moses is a “Type” for the Law of God) and complained about the manna from Heaven [their “soul” “loatheth” that “light bread” (manna), and remember Jesus identified Himself as the Manna from Heaven in John 6:41-58].

“Fiery”

Therefore, God brought judgment upon them in the form of “fiery serpents” (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314 and people were bitten and died. This showed the children of Israel that they were the ones in sin, and they then came to Moses to confess that sin and ask for God’s mercy. When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed Moses to make a brass serpent, and to put it upon a pole, so that the people could be healed from the bites of the serpents by beholding, or looking upon, the brass serpent. There was no other way by which God would heal them from the deadly poison from the fiery serpents.

We must remember as it is stated in Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” and as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

We should also note the other places that the word “fiery” or “fire” (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784 or “flame” (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 can be found in the Bible, as they always are used by God in the Bible to denote “Judgment“.

Psalm 104:4 makes clear that that “O LORD my God” is the One, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 fire (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784:

God refers back to Psalm 104 in Hebrews 1:7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame (φλόξ (phlox)) G5395 of fire (πῦρ (pyr)). G4442.”

In Daniel 7:9-14, where we see the foreshadowing account of Judgment Day, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery (נוּר (nûr)) H5135 flame, and his wheels as burning fire (נוּר (nûr)) H5135A fiery (נוּר (nûr)) H5135 stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The Ancient of Days would have to be God The Father, while the Son of man is clearly Jesus Christ.

The last words of Moses before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784 law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.

Moreover, the words “flame/flaming” and “sword” are used together almost as bookends in the Bible being present in both Genesis and Revelation (but interwoven throughout all of the Bible).

Regarding Adam and Eve after having been driven out of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24 we read, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Then in Revelation 1:14-16, which is speaking of Jesus, “His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame (φλόξ (phlox)) G5395 of fire (πῦρ (pyr)). G4442; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”

“Serpent

Upon seeing the word “serpent”, a believing Christian (even one having only a minimum of Biblical understanding today) would immediately think first the serpent being related to the devil (who precipitated the Sin and Fall of Adam). This is because the first use of the word in the Bible is in found in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”  Then, reading on, we find in Genesis 3:2-6, “¶And the woman said unto the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. ¶ And the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.¶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” And we all know what happened next. Sin entered into the world and the whole of creation came under the curse of sin and death.

We can see therefore how this would be perplexing to a Christian. How could God use a symbol, that is Biblically associated with the devil and, therefore, the sin that followed, to be something that could be used in any way to heal someone? It is naturally quite counter-intuitive to a Christian.

However, the solution to this conundrum is found in the following “typologies” (And, again, God provides the corroborative proof of these typologies/allegories to show that this historical account is also an “historical parable”):

“Brass”

The use of the words in the original Hebrew for brass (or brasen) comes from the word: (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 that is translated 103 times in the King James Version as “brass”, and never “bronze” as is the case in most modern day translations.

This teacher finds it rather odd that the modern translators, those who reject the King James Version reading of “brass” (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 that is translated 103 times in the KJV as “brass” and never “bronze”, have consistently substituted the word “bronze”. This is odd because we know from the New Testament that Jesus is intimately identified with “fine brass” (polished or shiny, and not dull like bronze) as we find in Revelation 1:15, “And his feet like unto fine brass (χαλκολίβανον (chalkolibanon)) G5474 as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” and Revelation 2:18And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; (χαλκολίβανον (chalkolibanon)) G5474

The words “fine brass” refer to a purification by fire. The unmistakeable point being that the Lord Jesus Christ, The “Son of God”, who is pictured in Revelation as having feet that are of “fine brass” as if they “burned in a furnace”, is to remind us of Jesus’ Sacrifice and His having had to endure the purifying Judgmental flames and fires of Hell for His Elect, the Believers.

Remember the Fiery Furnace account, where Jesus was there to endure the flames on behalf of the three others in that fiery furnace heated “seven times hotter”.

We are thus assured that the meaning of the Hebrew word in the Old Testament (which is correctly translated as “brass” by the King James Translators) and of the Greek of the New Testament, where it is translated as “fine brass”, is to inform us that the featured associated object in focus, 1) the serpent on the pole in Numbers, and 2) Jesus Christ in Revelation, are both spiritually being pictured as having come under, and through, the Judgmental fires of Hell.

Jesus Identifies Himself with the Brass Serpent Pointing to His Death and Atoning Sacrifice

Earlier it was stated that the typology/allegory of the brass serpent being representative of the Lord Jesus Christ was made manifest by God Himself. Here are the proof texts.

In John 3:12-15 Jesus said, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Additional clarity on the point and the meaning of being lifted up is explained in John 12:27-33, ” ¶Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father,save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice fromheaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.The people therefore, that stood by, and heard [it], said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.¶Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Looking Unto Jesus

We are told in Hebrews 12:2 how the believer should be “looking”. We are to be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We must be like the certain Greeks in John 12:21, “The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.“!

Finally, remember what we read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus became a curse, just as God cursed the devil (the serpent) in Genesis 3:14¶And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”

And let us not forget the clearly Messianic verse, Zechariah 12:10¶And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.

And to show that there is no difference between the serpent and the devil that was cursed in Genesis 3, we read in Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

So the conclusion of the matter is that either Jesus bore the shame and punishment and became cursed (like a serpent) and paid the full penalty for a person’s sins (by going to Hell as indicated by the brass) or that person will be cursed like the devil and be sent to Hell instead.

The Idolatry of the Brass Serpent (Nehushtan)

The word Nehushtan (נְחֻשְׁתָּן (nᵊḥuštān))H5180 occurs one time in the Bible, in 2 Kings 18:4-6, where king Hezekiah removed all the idols, because “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel“… “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, [and] departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.” (NOTE that “clave” is like that in a marriage as is found in Genesis 2:24)

While it might be understandable how such an item that brought miraculous healing could become an object of idolatrous worship (hence the burning of incense to it), it was still blatant disobedience to God’s commands (Exodus 20:4&5) The brass serpent was God’s method of deliverance only during the account recorded in Numbers 21. There is no indication that God ever intended for the brass serpent to ever be used again. The message is that we must never worship the tools, or the people, God chooses to use, but to always and only bring the honor and glory to God Alone.

Interestingly, the word Nehushtan appears to simply mean “thing of brass.” Perhaps it was named “Nehushtan” to remind people that it was only a simple thing/piece of brass and nothing more. The brass serpent had no intrinsic value or power in and of itself. Moreover, even during the Numbers 21 account, it was Only God who healed the people from the bites of the fire serpents, NOT thatthing of brass“.

And to wrap up this issue, let us remember what we find in Romans 1:21-25, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. ¶Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The “Fiery Serpent” is a Tool That God Uses to Mete Out Judgment

In Isaiah 14:29, we read after God condemns king Nebuchadnezzar (who represents the devil, who was used by God to bring judgment on Judah) in Isaiah 14:12-23 and Assyria (led by king Sennacherib) who was used by God to bring Judgment on Israel, “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice (“hissing tongued viper”), and his fruit [shall be] a fiery (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314 flying serpent (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314.

This verse is apparently telling us that “Palestina” (which would seem to represent the whole Gentile world at large) had God’s “rod” broken (much like the “hammer” and “axe“, that were previously tools of God’s judgment also broken). Nonetheless, a time of Judgment was still coming, when God would bring again a “fiery flying serpent”, like those that bit the people in the wilderness of Moses’ day, upon the entire earth. This is more clearly foretold in Revelation 20:3 and Revelation 20:7. There are many reasons to believe that this may now b the case for the world today in 2023.

Conclusion

The “serpent of brass” (“Nehushtan“) is another one of God’s magnificently crafted “historical parables”, which, through allegory, give us greater insight on Who God Is, and how He Wrought Salvation through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ Alone. Just as anyone who was bitten by a fiery serpent (a tool of God’s judgment, like the cursed devil) in Moses’ day could be healed by simply looking unto the brass/brasen serpent that Moses lifted up, so also can anyone look to Jesus Christ (Who was “lifted up” on the cross as the only Atonement for sin and “being made a curse for us“) to be spiritually healed and eternally saved. In order to avoid the fiery Judgment flames of Hell, The Lord Jesus Christ must have had to endure the fiery flames of Hell on behalf of everyone who believes on Him and looks to Him Alone.

The subsequent account of king Hezekiah, who destroyed the brass serpent (“Nehushtan” in 2 Kings), also serves as a powerful reminder to everyone that any earthly or carnal thing (even something or someone that at one time was used by God for our good) can become an idol. The worship of such an idol is not only blatant disobedience to God, it can never be a substitute for the worship of the True Eternal God. Our praise, worship, and adoration must be directed to God alone. Only The Lord Jesus Christ Alone, because of His Eternal Atoning Sacrifice for sin by enduring the fiery flames of Hell, can heal our sin sick souls and mercifully grant us eternal life.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den, A Picture of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection

May 11, 2023

Source: https://seedsoffaith.cph.org/2016/06/01/lesson-1-daniel-in-the-lions-den/

This Biblical historical account is often dismissed by the world at large to be just another fantastic story that could never have taken place.  They similarly ascribe the label “fantasy” to the Book of Jonah or to Daniel’s Fiery Furnace.  It could even have been said by some skeptics that Daniel in the Lion’s den is nothing more than a children’s story, not unlike Aesop’s fable, “Androcles and the Lion”

Is that the case?  Absolutely NOT!

But it is another “Historical Parable”!

The Context

Daniel Chapter 1

The Book of Daniel begins by telling us about Jerusalem and the tribe of Judah having been taken captive into Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 1:1 &2 ҦIn the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

Then in the next two verses, Daniel 1:3&4, we read, “¶And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel was the first named among the four male Jews specifically identified  in chapter 1.

Then we read a bit further in verse Daniel 1:9, Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” And the “master” (also interpreted in other verses as “great”) of the Eunuchs was named Ashpenaz (אַשְׁפְּנַז (‘ašpᵊnaz)) H828 , and that name appears only once in the whole Bible) which one concordance states to mean, “I will make prominent the sprinkled“.  IF that is indeed the case, it would make perfect sense from a spiritual perspective. This is because it reminds of the care of the Holy Spirit for God’s beloved (as we saw with regard to two other eunuchs in the Book of Esther (Hegai and Hatach) who were clearly “Types”spiritually representing the Holy Spirit) and that regarding God’s Beloved, His Church, God states in Ezekiel 36:25,Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Reading through the rest of the first chapter of Daniel, we see that Daniel is recognized and was indeed well favored. After Daniel requested to abstain from daily eating the king’s meat and drinking the king’s wine in order to not become defiled, the prince (also “chief” or “captain”) of the eunuchs named Melzer (מֶלְצַר (melṣar)) H4453 (meaning “guardian” or “prefect of the treasury”) granted the request and instead provided “pulse” (evidently meaning sown vegetables) to eat and water to drink to both Daniel and his three companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (whose names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). Then later when they were all four brought before king Nebuchadnezzar, we read in Daniel 1:20, “And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.” The last verse, Daniel 1:21, tells us, “And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.”

Daniel was chosen to serve in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar and, under God’s blessing, proved himself to be a wise counselor to the king, even rising above the king’s Babylonian advisors. This created jealousy against Daniel. In this foreign country of Babylon, people did not worship the one true God. Even in the midst of false worship and persecution, Daniel remained faithful to the true God and continued to pray and worship Him alone.

Daniel Chapter 2

Daniel is Promoted

King Nebuchadnezzar had his first dream that troubled him greatly, but he could not remember the dream, but nonetheless expected that “the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans” to both recount the dream and give the interpretation of it. When none of them could determine the dream or the interpretation thereof, the king ordered that all such wise men in the kingdom (which evidently included Daniel and his three companions) would be slain.  Then we read in Daniel 2:14&15Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise [men] of Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ)) H746 the king’s captain,Why [is] the decree [so] hasty from the king? Then Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 made the thing known to Daniel.”

Note: Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 means “lion-like”, and it is also the name of an earlier Babylonian king mentioned in Genesis 14:1&9

The Secret is Revealed by God to Daniel

Daniel 2:16-19,”Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise [men] of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

We later read in Daniel chapter 2, after Daniel was the only person capable of interpreting a dream of king Nebuchadnezzar, by God’s mercy alone, because it is Only “God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Daniel 2:27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise [men], the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visionsof thy head upon thy bed, are these;

It was not by Daniel’s own intellect or any other man

Daniel 2:30 makes clear Who the Author and Reveler of secrets Is.  It was NOT Daniel, but rather The Source Is Almighty God!   Daniel told king Nebuchanezzar, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for [any] wisdom that I have more than any living, but for [their] sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.”

God Is The Only Reveler of Secrets

The king then promoted Daniel as we read in Daniel 2:46-49, “¶Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth [it is], that your God [is] a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise [men] of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel [sat] in the gate of the king.”  Remember that Boaz in the Book of Ruth and Mordecai in the Book of Esther both also “sat in the gate” and they were both allegorical “Types”, who spiritually represented the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should also remember what we are told in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret [things] belong unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

Daniel Chapter 3 

Please see “The Fiery Furnace

Daniel Chapter 4

Note that we see a repetition of some of the events and declarations from Chapter 2 are also in Chapter 4. In Daniel Chapter 4 we see that king Nebuchadnezzar has another dream, this time involving a great tree that is cut down and only a stump remains.  Daniel is able once again interpret the dream when no other man can. First is the request by the king to Daniel (Belteshazzar) in Daniel 4:9O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.  Then, after hearing Nebuchadnezzar describe his dream (unlike the earlier dream of the statue), Daniel ended his interpretation with the admonition in Daniel 4:27Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”  Daniel was allegorically saying that the king needed to repent and turn away from his sins and show mercy to others, just as all believers do, and then to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the “poor” (unsaved) of the world that they might have salvation and eternal life.

Later in Daniel 4:29-31 we read, “At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word [was] in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, [saying], O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.”

After enduring God’s condemnation for his (King Nebuchadnezzar’s) pride, the king’s final words in the Bible are at the end of Chapter 4, in Daniel 4:37, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (See for example: Psalm 75:7But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.“)

Daniel Chapter 5

King Nebuchadnezzar had evidently died shortly after the end of Chapter 4, because we next read in Chapter 5 that king Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, is now king (who allegorically was represented by the remaining stump of the hewn down tree in Chapter 4). Daniel 5:1  tells us that this son, Belshazzar, held a great feast,  “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.” and moreover in Daniel 5:3m, we read that he used the golden and silver vessels from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to drink from, “Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which [was] in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.”

As a result God sent a vision of a hand, writing on a palace wall, which writing required interpretation as we read in Daniel 5:5-10.

Then the queen told  king Belshazzar, that there was a man who could explain the meaning in Daniel 5:11There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom [is] the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I [say], thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, [and] soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Then the king summoned Daniel and said in Daniel 5:14-16, “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods [is] in thee, and [that] light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in theeAnd now the wise [men], the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and [have] a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

Daniel told king Belshazzar, Daniel 5:2But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know:and the God in whose hand thy breath [is], and whose [are] all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

The meaning of the handwriting on the wall was interpreted to mean that the kingdom would be taken from Belshazzar, and, moreover, that the kingdom would be divided among the Medes and Persians.  That very night king Belshazzar was slain, and his kingdom came under the authority of King Cyrus of Media, as we read in the last verse of Daniel, Daniel 5:31And Darius the Median took the kingdom, [being] about threescore and two years old.”

Daniel Chapter 6: Daniel in the Lions’ Den

In Daniel 6:1&2, we read that King Darius established his kingdom and those to whom he delegated lesser authority to princes and presidents, which included Daniel. ¶It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel [was] first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

But there arose a conspiracy of jealousy against Daniel (being from Judah and neither a Mede or Babylonian) in Daniel 6:3-5, to wit, “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find [it] against him concerning the law of his God.”

They conspirators went to the king to lay a trap for Daniel by asking the king to make a decree (that could not be annulled or changed, Daniel 6:15), whereby Daniel, because he was found being obedient to God in prayer, would be cast into a lion’s den. King Darius was not aware of the intent of the conspirators, or he evidently would not have agreed to such a decree. Nonetheless, upon finding out that Daniel would have to be thrown into the lion’s den, we read the following in Daniel 6:16, “¶Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel,and cast [him] into the den of lions. [Now] the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

Then king Darius “passed the night fasting,” and had no sleep, and he “arose early in the morning” to the lion’s den as we read in Daniel 6:18-20, and then, “And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: [and] the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” To which Daniel replied, “Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.”

Daniel 6:22My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” “Innocency” (זָכוּ (zāḵû)) H213 is from the Hebrew and is used only once in the whole Bible. before God…Here Daniel is clearly a “Type” to represent Jesus Christ, but also all believers in Christ.

We should note that while Daniel is an allegorical Type for the Lord Jesus Christ in this account, Daniel was still a man placed in this difficult temporal account.  It is similar to what happened to the three of Daniel’s companions who were thrown into the Fiery Furnace in Chapter 3. There we saw how Jesus was literally present with them, keeping them all safe, and here in the Lions’ Den we hear that God sent His Angel (Messenger), Who we must assume is also pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Is the One Who Stops the Mouths of Lions

Psalm 22:21,“Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns”.

In Psalm 91:13 we read prophetic statements that describe Jesus, and by implication, also the believers in Christ, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

In Hebrews 11:33 we read of the great men of faith,“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Ezekiel 22:25, [There is] a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

1 Peter 5:8,Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  Resist him in faith.

2 Timothy 4:17&18, “¶Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Daniel “Trusted in his God”. Daniel “Believed.” Even if we are faithless, God is faithful 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9¶I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in]  all knowledge;Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Peter 3:13,”¶ And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”

A Stone Covered the Entrance to the Lions’ Den With Daniel Inside

Daniel 6:17, “And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”

Does not this sound reminiscent of what we read concerning the burial of Jesus in the unused sepulchre of the rich man, Joseph of Arimathaea, which we read about in where in verse Mark 15:46?  There we read, “And he (Joseph of Arimathaea) bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.” Then later, on the third day, in Mark 16:1-4, we read, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

The New Decree (A Typological Reference to the New Testament, or New and Everlasting Covenant)

Daniel 6:25&27 “Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he [is] the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

The eternal “new decree” of “Peace” is what God has done for the world with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. It is all about the New Covenant that we read about in Hebrews 8.

Hebrews 9:15And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”  The first testament is the Old Testament or the Old Covenant.

Hebrews 13:20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”

Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And we saw this same kind of new decree in the Book of Esther, where we find in  Esther 8:17, “And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Does not this sound exactly like the conversion that happened at the beginning of the New Testament era starting at Pentecost* in 33 A.D. when the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ was first proclaimed?  The New Testament did not annul the Old Testament Law, but it offered the Good News of the Way of escape through Jesus Christ from the penalty of the Law, “the wages of sin is death“.   This is clear as we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Didn’t many of the people obtain the necessary “fear” of God and become Christians (the true “Jews”), thereby obtaining peace with God, as a result?  Again, is not this is exactly what was declared in Revelation 14:6&7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and peopleSaying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The New Decree Declares Peace!

Isn’t it a fact that Jesus Christ is “The Prince of Peace” (see Isaiah 9:6) and that in John 20:21 we read, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”  We can also read in Psalm 85:8, we learn that, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”  and in Psalm 122:7&8 we read where God is referring allegorically to the body of believers (Jerusalem, the city of God), “Peace be within thy walls, [and] prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace [be] within thee.”  In Acts 10:36, “The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” Finally, what we find in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Conclusion

Daniel Chapter 5, that provides us with the historical account of Daniel in the Lion’s den, is another of the Bible’s  historical parables, in which in this case, Daniel is set up as an allegorical “Type” to represent the Lord Jesus Christ.  On the one hand, God, who listened to Daniel’s prayers and saved him from the power of the lions, saves the believers from sin, death, and that prowling lion, the devil, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He invites all to call upon Him, and promises to answer our prayers for Jesus’ sake. On the other hand, we know that Jesus, like Daniel, was falsely accused (by accusers who represent the devil and his host who will be destroyed on Judgment Day, see Haman and his 10 sons in Esther) of being disobedient, while He remained faithful.  Jesus went to the cross willingly, just as Daniel was willing to die for his faith in the One True God.  Jesus’s body lay in the tomb, like Daniel did in the Lion’s den, which in itself is a picture of being placed in hell where there is no apparent escape.  Nonetheless, God stopped the mouths of lions, and he came up out of the lion’s den unscathed just like Jesus up from the grave, without corruption.  In both cases a stone was placed over the top of both the lion’s den and the tomb where Jesus’ body lay.  In both cases, those stones did not prevent God’s will from being done.  Hallelujah! Praise God that Jesus arose from the tomb to loudly proclaim, that through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that the believers will not be harmed by death or hell, and that the believers are guaranteed eternal life with Jesus!