(363) – FIGURES 2

The interpreters and preachers all affirm that the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and from the power of Pharaoh is an excellent figure of the salvation and deliverance of the Christians from the world. These comparisons have the objective of proving the unity between the Old and New Testaments. I have been to lectures that said:

  1. Egypt is a figure of this cruel and oppressive world.
  2. Pharaoh is a figure of Satan; The prophet Ezekiel declares from Jehovah: “Thus says the Lord Jehovah: ‘Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers, that has said, “My river is my own, and I have made it for myself”’” (Ezek. 29:3). We read in the book of Revelations: “The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:9). If two things are each equal to a third thing then they are equal to each other. Pharaoh is the dragon and Satan is the dragon, and so Pharaoh is Satan, or a figure of Satan.
  3. The deliverance form Egypt is a figure of the deliverance of the Christians. The book of the prophet Isaiah was given to Jesus. He opened it where it said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives” (Luke 4:17-19).
  4. The obstacles that Pharaoh faced to keep the people in Egypt are the traps, the setups of Satan to weaken the Christians with the purpose of knocking them down again. Peter warns: “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
  5. Moses is a figure of Jesus Christ as a mediator (Gal. 3:19; Ex. 3:10).

According to the laws of Hermeneutics, figurative comparisons should not be forced, particularly Bible symbols, for the Spirit of God produced the Sacred Scriptures, and they cannot have errors of interpretation. According to the plan of Jehovah, the people of Israel should leave Egypt with the plunder. Jehovah said: “I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. I will put forth my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in its midst, and after that he will let you go. I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians” (Ex. 3:19-22). And it has been fulfilled (Ex. 12:35-36).

Something else is written in the New Testament: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out” (1 Tim. 6:7). And Jesus declared: “So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). The Old Testament testifies that those who leave this world do not take anything from it: “Don’t be afraid when a man is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dies he shall carry nothing away. His glory shall not descend after him” (Ps. 49:16-17).

Secondly, in order to deliver his people, Jehovah hurt Egypt with terrible plagues, and also killed Pharaoh’s firstborn (Satan). When men were delivered, the Son of God the Father, Jesus, was hurt. Isaiah says: “Surely he has borne our sickness, and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:4-5). Exodus 3:20 is not a figure of Isaiah 53:4 and 5. The exegesis looks forced.

The third negative aspect of the supposed figure is that Israel was delivered through Jehovah’s violence, and the Christians are saved through the infinite love of God. The apostle John says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Lord Jesus Christ himself declares that he was not forced to die on the cross; he offered himself for this sacrifice, saying: “Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father” (John 10:17-18). Another time Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The fourth conflicting point shows that the deliverance of Israel from Egypt is not a figure of Jesus’ deliverance of the saved from the world.

Jehovah delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, in flesh, but they continue to be slaves, spiritually, to the sins and uses of Egypt. Stephen, the first martyr, reveals this truth, saying: “This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us, to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt” (Acts 7:38-39).

Jesus does exactly the opposite, for he spiritually delivers the converted from evil and sin, while, in the flesh, they continue under the hatred of this world. Notice that the authentic Christian does not have a place in this world. Jesus said: “Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake” (Luke 6:22). “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). “But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you” (Matt. 10:17). “Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake” (Matt. 24:9).

When Stephen, one of the seven deacons, was testifying of Jesus and rebuking the religious Pharisees, they were furious with him, gnashed their teeth against him and stoned him to death (Acts 6:5; 7:52-60). After that, the Jews started a great persecution against the Church (Acts 8:1).

Paul, then, revealed the following: “Through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). He was himself persecuted more than all the others. He declares: “For we don’t desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8). The sufferings and tortures of Paul were so terrible that some, hearing about it, fainted. Paul, then, tried to comfort and strengthen them, saying: “Therefore I ask that you may not lose heart at my troubles for you, which are your glory” (Eph. 3:13).

Paul, to prepare his brothers, made them aware of the dark reality of this world. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:18-23).

Truly, the Old and the New Testaments do not match.

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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