2020-09-10 Messianic Prophecy: Typical Fulfillment

“What the Lord speaks, that will I speak”
Numbers 24:13

Another type of fulfilled prophesy from Matthew 2 is called, “Typical Fulfillment.” I don’t have an easy definition of this other than to say that it assumes a vast knowledge of Old Testament scripture behind the prophecy. Let me first show you the verse in Matthew and the corresponding fulfilled prophecy:

Matthew 2:15 This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Matthew was comparing the exile Jesus needed to take from Herod after he was born to what Hosea prophesied about Israel’s exodus under Moses. This might seem a stretch until one understands that God often portrayed Israel as a type of Messiah. To explain this, “The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy” compared two of Balaam’s Oracles. If you recall, Balaam was called upon by Balak, the Moab king, to curse the nation of Israel to prevent them from invading Moab. And, if you recall that, you might recall that Balaam wasn’t able to do this because God wouldn’t. Much to the dismay of Balak, Balaam BLESSED Israel!

Anyway, in this process Balaam demonstrated that there was one to come who would resemble the nation of Israel. See if you can pick this up.

Numbers 23:18-24 (Israel): God brings THEM out of Eqypt. God is for THEM like the horns of an ox. ISRAEL is like a lion.

Numbers 24:7-9 (King): God brings HIM out of Egypt. God is for HIM like the horns of an ox. The KING is like a lion.

This type of comparison happened frequently enough in the Old Testament that it was common knowledge to people in that day that Israel was a foreshadow of the Messiah. Thus, when Hosea prophesied, he covered both the nation AND the Messiah.

Matthew knew that. He could have quoted Numbers 24:7-9 to make everything crystal clear, but he instead quoted Hosea. The intention of that was to clearly demonstrate that this was a commonly-accepted underlying assumption that Jesus fulfills the promise that Israel failed to obtain.

This is no small issue. I hope I have given you a sense of this.

Father, thank you for opening eyes to the immense depth of the bible. Wow! Amen.

Source: “The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy” p. 106-108

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