History of Salvation In The Old Testament (ESV Study Bible)

I continue to find informative resources in the new ESV Study Biesv-study-bibleble.  Here’s an excerpt from an article called “Preparing the Way for Christ” which traces the references to salvation in Christ sprinkled throughout the books of the Old Testament.

The article gives a brief summary of salvation history for each book of the Old Testament and then lists specific references from almost every chapter of each book (along with related New Testament passages) which anticipate salvation through Jesus Christ.  I’m only giving you the book summaries here:

History of Salvation in the Old Testament:

Preparing the Way for Christ

Genesis

After God creates a world of fruitfulness and blessing, Adam’s fall disrupts the harmony. God purposes to renew fruitfulness and blessing through the offspring of the woman (3:15). Christ is the ultimate offspring (Gal. 3:16) who brings climactic victory (Heb. 2:14-15). Genesis traces the beginning of a line of godly offspring, through Seth, Enoch, Noah, and then God’s choice of Abraham and his offspring (Gen. 12:2-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:4-5; 17:1-14; 18:18; 22:16-18; 26:2-5; 28:13-15).

Exodus

Through Moses God redeems his people from slavery in Egypt, prefiguring Christ’s eternal redemption of his people from slavery to sin.

Leviticus

The requirement of holiness points to the holiness of Christ (Heb. 7:26-28). The sacrifices prefigure the sacrifice of Christ (Heb. 10:1-10).

Numbers

The journey through the wilderness prefigures the Christian journey through this world to the new world (1 Cor. 10:1-11; Heb. 4:3-10).

Deuteronomy

The righteousness and wisdom of the law of God prefigure the righteousness of Christ, which is given to his people. The anticipation of entering the Promised Land prefigures Christians’ hope for the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1-22:5).

Joshua

The conquest through Joshua prefigures Christ conquering his enemies, both Satan (Heb. 2:14-15) and rebellious human beings. The conquest takes place both through the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20) and in the destruction at the second coming (Rev. 19:11-21).

Judges

The judges save Israel, thus prefiguring Christ. But the judges have flaws and failures, and Israel repeatedly slips back into idolatry (2:19), spiraling downward to chaos. They need a king (21:25), and not only a king but a perfect king, the Messiah (Isa. 9:6-7).

Ruth

The line of offspring leading to Christ goes through Judah to Boaz to David (4:18-22; Matt. 1:5-6). Boaz the redeemer (Ruth 2:20), prefiguring Christ, enables Naomi’s disgrace to be removed and Ruth, a foreigner, to be included in God’s people (prefiguring the inclusion of the Gentiles, Gal. 3:7-9, 14-18, 29).

1 Samuel

David, the king after God’s heart (16:7; Acts 13:22), prefigures Christ, in contrast to Saul, who is the kind of king that the people want (1 Sam. 8:5, 19-20). Saul’s persecution of David prefigures worldly people’s persecution of Christ and of Christ’s people.

2 Samuel

David as a model king brings blessing to the nation until he falls into sin with Bathsheba (ch. 11). Though he repents, the remainder of his reign is flawed, pointing to the need for the coming of Christ the perfect messianic king.

1 Kings

The reign of Solomon fulfills the first stage of God’s promise to David to establish the kingdom of his offspring (2 Sam. 7:12). Solomon in some ways is a model king, prefiguring Christ. But his decline into sin (1 Kings 11), the sins of his offspring, the division and strife between Israel and Judah, and the continual problems with false worship indicate the need for a perfect king and an everlasting kingdom (Isa. 9:6-7) surpassing the entire period of the monarchy. Many passages in 1 Kings have parallels in 2 Chronicles.

2 Kings

Following the history in 1 Kings, Israel and Judah continue to decline through their false worship and disobedience, leading to exile (2 Kings 17; 25). Some good kings (notably Hezekiah and Josiah, chs. 18-20; 22:1-23:30) prefigure the need for Christ the perfect king, while Elisha prefigures the need for Christ the final prophet (Heb. 1:1-3). Many passages in 2 Kings have parallels in 2 Chronicles.

1 Chronicles

David as the righteous leader and king prefigures Christ the king, not only in his rule over the people of God but in his role in preparing to build the temple. First Chronicles looks back on the faithfulness of God to his people in the entire period from Adam (1:1) to David (3:1) and even beyond (3:10-24; 9:1-34), indicating the steadfastness of God’s purpose in preparing for the coming of the Messiah as the offspring of Adam (1:1; Gen. 3:15; Luke 3:38), offspring of Abraham (1 Chron. 1:28; Gal. 3:16), and offspring of David (1 Chron. 3:1; 17:11, 14; Luke 3:23-38; Acts 13:23).

2 Chronicles

Solomon as a wise king and temple builder prefigures Christ the king and temple builder. After Solomon the line of Davidic kings continues, leading forward to Christ the great descendant of David (Matt. 1:6-16). But many of the later kings go astray from God, and they and the people suffer for it, showing the need for Christ as the perfect king. Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32) and Josiah (chs. 34-35) as righteous kings prefigure Christ. Second Chronicles has parallels in 1-2 Kings but focuses on the southern kingdom (Judah) and the line of David, and it shows focused concern for the temple and its worship, anticipating the fulfillment of temple and worship with the coming of Christ (John 2:19-21; 4:20-26; Eph. 2:20-22; Rev. 21:22-22:5).

Ezra

The restoration and rebuilding after the exile, in fulfillment of prophecy (1:1), prefigure Christ’s salvation (Col. 1:13) and the building of the church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20-22). They also look forward to the consummation of salvation in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1).

Nehemiah

The restoration and rebuilding after the exile prefigure Christ’s salvation (Col. 1:13) and the building of the church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20-22).

Esther

God providentially brings deliverance to his people through Esther, prefiguring final deliverance through Christ.

Job

Job’s suffering and relief prefigure the suffering and glory of Christ.

Psalms

By expressing the emotional heights and depths in human response to God, the Psalms provide a permanent treasure for God’s people to use to express their needs and their praises, both corporately and individually. Christ as representative man experienced our human condition, yet without sin, and so the Psalms become his prayers to God (see esp. Heb. 2:12; cf. Matt. 27:46 with Ps. 22:1). The Psalms are thus to be seen as his words, and through our union with him they become ours.

Proverbs

Wisdom ultimately comes from God and his instruction, which anticipates the fact that Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:3) and that in him and his instruction we find the way of life and righteousness (John 14:6, 23-24). Through the Spirit we may walk in the right way (Gal. 5:16-26).

Ecclesiastes

The meaninglessness, frustrations, and injustices of life “under the sun” call out for a solution from God. Christ through his suffering and resurrection provides the first installment (1 Cor. 15:22-23) of meaning, fulfillment, and new life (John 10:10), to be enjoyed fully in the consummation (Rev. 21:1-4).

Song of Solomon

The Song of Solomon depicts marital love. But after the fall merely human love is always short of God’s ideal, and so we look for God’s remedy in the perfect love of Christ (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10). The connection with Solomon (Song 1:1; 3:7, 9, 11; 8:11) invites us to think especially of the marriage of the king in the line of David (Ps. 45:10-15), and the kings point forward to Christ the great king, who has the church as his bride (Rev. 19:7-9, 21:9).

Isaiah

Isaiah prophesies exile because of Israel’s unfaithfulness. But then God will bring Israel back from exile; this restoration prefigures the climactic salvation in Christ. Christ as Messiah and “servant” of the Lord will cleanse his people from sin, fill them with glory, and extend blessing to the nations. Christ fulfills prophecy in both his first coming and his second coming.

Jeremiah

Jeremiah’s prophetic indictment of Israel is largely rejected, prefiguring the rejection of Christ’s prophetic message to Israel (Luke 11:49-51). God’s judgment on Israel for apostasy prefigures the judgment that Christ bears as substitute for the apostasy of mankind (1 John 2:2). It also prefigures final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). Restoration from exile prefigures final restoration to God through Christ (Heb. 10:19-22).

Lamentations

The lament over Jerusalem anticipates Christ’s lamenting over the future fall of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). In both cases, Jerusalem suffers for her own sins. But suffering for sin finds a remedy when Christ suffers as a substitute for the sins of his people (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22-24).

Ezekiel

God judges Israel’s apostasy through the exile. Israel suffers for her own sin, and in so doing anticipates God’s final judgment against sin (Rev. 20:11-15). But the suffering also anticipates the suffering of Christ for the sins of others. The subsequent blessing in restoration prefigures the blessings of eternal salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).

Daniel

Daniel and his friends exemplify the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world, a conflict that will come to its climax in Christ, in both his first coming and his second coming.

Hosea

The unfaithfulness of Israel calls for a permanent remedy, which will come in the faithfulness of Christ to the Father and the faithfulness that Christ then works through the Spirit in his people. God’s love for Israel foreshadows Christ’s love for the church (Eph. 5:25-27).

Joel

The day of the Lord, the day of God’s coming (see note on Isa. 13:6), brings judgment on sin but also may include blessing. Both aspects are fulfilled in both the first coming and the second coming of Christ.

Amos

God comes to Israel with both judgment for sin and promises of restoration. The judgment and restoration anticipate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, as well as the final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). The demand for righteousness is fulfilled in the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 8:1-4).

Obadiah

The judgment against Edom, a traditional enemy of Israel, contributes to the blessing of God’s people. The judgment and vindication prefigure the vindication of Christ and the judgments against his enemies, both in his first coming and in his second coming.

Jonah

Jonah’s rescue from death prefigures the resurrection of Christ (Matt. 12:39-40). The repentance of the Ninevites prefigures the repentance of Gentiles who respond to the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:47).

Micah

God pronounces judgment on Israel, prefiguring final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) and the judgment that fell on Christ (Gal. 3:13). He promises blessing through the Messiah, anticipating the blessings of salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).

Nahum

Judgment on Nineveh, a traditional enemy of God’s people, prefigures final judgment and final release from oppression (Rev. 20:11-21:8).

Habakkuk

God’s use of a wicked nation to accomplish his righteousness foreshadows the use of wicked opponents to accomplish his purpose in the crucifixion of Christ.

Zephaniah

Judgments on evil people anticipate the final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) and indicate the necessity of Christ’s work and sin-bearing in order to save us from judgment (see note on Isa. 13:9).

Haggai

The rebuilding of the temple prefigures the building of NT temples: the church (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:20-22) and the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-22:5).

Zechariah

The rebuilding in the time of the restoration from exile prefigures the eternal salvation that comes in Christ.

Malachi

Disobedience and compromise are eliminated with the coming of Christ and his purification.

[The most helpful way to use this article is the online version of the ESV Study Bible which comes free with your purchase of the hard copy.  The online version has live links to every Bible verse or passage mentioned in the article which makes navigating between the article and the Bible much more convenient.]

About these ads

5 Responses to History of Salvation In The Old Testament (ESV Study Bible)

  1. WoundedEgo says:

    >>>After God creates a world of fruitfulness and blessing, Adam’s fall disrupts the harmony. God purposes to renew fruitfulness and blessing through the offspring of the woman (3:15). Christ is the ultimate offspring (Gal. 3:16) who brings climactic victory (Heb. 2:14-15).

    God was referring to the offspring of snakes (which are more snakes). The myth is merely explaining why snakes have no legs and why they are so terrifying to us. To read this as referring to Jesus and “Lucifer” is simply to rip it out of its context and do great violence to the text. For Jews, I believe, the covenant with Noah and the animals is seen as repairing the curse and breech of harmony:

    Gen 8:
    21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
    22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
    1 ¶ And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

    • Jimmy D. says:

      W. E.: Thanks for taking the time to read our blog and to offer comments. It is true that Gen. 3:15 raises questions about the identity of the seed of the woman and the seed of the snake and then leaves those questions unanswered. But eventually those questions are answered. As one who sees the New Testament as the revelation from God which “reveals what the Old Testament conceals,” I would say that now that we have the Apostles’ interpretation of the identity of the seed of the woman (Gal. 3:16, Heb.2:14, 1 John 3:8) and the snake (Rom. 16:20, Rev. 12:9), to say that Gen. 3:15 is NOT ultimately pointing to Jesus and Satan would be to rip the verse out of the context of the entire Story that God is telling from Genesis to Revelation.

      • WoundedEgo says:

        It is more proper and honest to see the references within the NT as literary devices, employing metaphor, rather than pretending that the story was a prediction. It simply, on the face of it, is clearly about snakes.

        Regarding Exodus, >>>…Through Moses God redeems his people from slavery in Egypt, prefiguring Christ’s eternal redemption of his people from slavery to sin…

        Interestingly, Peter sees the Exodus as prefiguring deliverance from “the law” which he refers to as “empty tradition”:

        1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold [which they borrowed from the Egyptians, never to return], from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

        Yet speaking of the same event, Paul says that the Jews were “baptized unto Moses”:

        1 Cor 10:
        1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
        2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

        Again, these are literary devices of allusion and do not speak of the events themselves. Paul goes on to say that the rock that “followed” the Israelites was “Christ!” Taken literally, Paul is obviously a raven lunatic.

        What I’m hoping to convey is a recognition of the suspect hermeneutic employed by the author cited in the post that invites a reckless reading of the OT as if it were not actually about the [fantasy] history of the Jews.

  2. WoundedEgo says:

    One last one – Leviticus:
    >>>The requirement of holiness points to the holiness of Christ (Heb. 7:26-28). The sacrifices prefigure the sacrifice of Christ (Heb. 10:1-10).

    There is an all-important word in that passage, the significance of which people never seem to grasp: “thereunto.”

    1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers ***thereunto*** perfect.
    2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

    The reference is not to the general populace, but rather to the high priests. This is stated explicitly a few verses later:

    11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
    12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

    The reason that this is significant is that it shows that his subject is not the removal of the sins of the world but rather of the sins of Jesus. That is, as Paul says, “the death he died, he died to sin.” This passage is about how Jesus’ sins were removed once and for ever when he died, allowing him to approach the holiest place of all – God’s own throne in the sky.

    Heb 9:
    24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
    25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
    26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
    27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
    28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    So, again, the author cited in this post is off track, wrongly interpreting even the NT.

  3. Jimmy D. says:

    W. E.: Clearly we approach the Bible from divergent viewpoints, so I won’t spend too much time debating. I understand all 66 books of the Bible as the unfolding of the redemptive drama that explains the meaning and fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. Like any good writer, God uses vs. 15 to plant a seed (pun intended) of dramatic hope and intrigue that, though is not clearly or completely explained at first, will become clear as the Story unfolds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: