Most people are very familiar with the story of the seven days of Creation found at the beginning of the Bible. What many do not know is that there is an under-girding order and bilateral symmetry present in the seven days of Creation, and that this order and bilateral symmetry is tied to a key exegetical principle which under-girds practically all of biblical prophecy. In this analysis we will examine the organizational pattern of the seven days of Creation, and then give a brief summarized overview of the exegetical principle that it introduces–a principle I refer to as the Principle of Form and Fulfillment.
Overview of the organizational structure of the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1
In a post I published last month, I showed how the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 have been deliberately patterned after the likeness of the golden candlestick. In a perfect world, every one reading this will have already read and digested all of the material covered there before reading this post, but realistically I know that will not be the case for most of you. For this reason, I feel compelled to very briefly survey the main points that were covered in that post, as the revelation I am going to be sharing today is deeply intertwined with the material that was covered in that discussion.
The numerical schema of the candlestick
Because the golden candlestick is crucial to understanding the pattern and design of both the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 as well as the seven days of Creation, it is needful to make sure we have a firm grasp of the very meticulous way that the seven lamps of the golden candlestick were numbered.1 Note carefully:
Note that I have incorporated the blue-purple-red color scheme above to help make the inherent bilateral symmetry of the golden candlestick’s design more evident. As can be seen, the golden candlestick contains three pairs of branches (Exod. 25:35-36). Each pair of branches consists of what I term a “former branch“ and a “latter branch,” which extend out from opposite sides of the the central shaft that unites them.
From the image above we can see that the three pairs of branches are self-evident–branches 1 & 4 constitute a pair, branches 2 & 5 constitute a pair, and branches 3 & 6 constitute a pair. The central shaft (corresponding to arm #7) is the only arm of the candlestick which has no corresponding “partner.” One should note that the golden candlestick exhibits perfect bilateral symmetry, with the three branches on one side of the shaft mirroring those on the other.
The Seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 and their relation to the Candlestick
In the original Hebrew, the very first verse of the Bible contains a total of seven words. These seven words have been deliberately arranged according to the meticulous organizational schema of the golden candlestick, with each word corresponding to one of its seven lamps. The figure below shows what this looks like when each of the seven words are placed above the specific lamps they correspond to within this schema:
Here is the schema in tabular form (with English translation):
Note how the bilateral symmetry of the candlestick is reflected by the parts of speech of the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1:
I cannot recall if I pointed this out in my previous discussion on the seven words of Genesis 1:1, but notice that branches 1 & 4 and branches 3 & 6 each contain nouns. Note also that the nouns of both of these branch-pairs are of the opposite gender. What we have going on here is deliberate symbolism with the parts of speech of the seven words. Put simply, it is as if the feminine noun of branch 1 (the former branch) is “married” to the masculine noun of branch 4 (the latter branch); while the masculine noun of branch 3 (the former branch) is “married” to the feminine noun of branch 6 (the latter branch). We also find this very same bilateral symmetry exhibited in the remaining branch pair–as branches 2 & 5 both correspond to the only two words of the verse which are not nouns.2 Such harmonious alignment between the seven words of Genesis 1:1 and the golden candlestick after which they have been patterned cannot be a coincidence, and is obviously reflective of deliberate intelligent design.
The Seven Days of Creation and the Golden Candlestick
Like the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1, the seven days of creation have also been deliberately designed according to the organizational schema of the golden candlestick. The table below reveals which arm of the candlestick each of the seven days corresponds to in this schema:
Note that I have the text of the column corresponding to the central shaft colored purple here. This is because, the central column functions as a joiner of the three pairs of branches–and is a perfect blend of the two sides it unites. However, it is important to remember that it always gets counted with the first three branches (which is why I will sometimes color it blue rather than purple in many of the tables).
The seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 and their relation to the Seven days of Creation
When the seven words of Genesis 1:1 and the seven days of creation are arranged in their proper order in the design schema of the candlestick–it becomes undeniably clear that the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 each individually foreshadow a specific day of creation. As was noted, this is a consequence of the fact that the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 as well as the seven days of creation have both been deliberately fashioned according to the pattern of the golden candlestick. Behold the table below:
The undeniable parallelism between the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 and their corresponding days of Creation are undeniable. For example, the word bereshiyth (“In the beginning”), corresponds to the first day, in which Light (the very first of the works of God) was created. Likewise, the word ha-shamayim (“the heavens”), corresponding to branch 4, corresponds to the fourth day, in which the lights of heaven were created. Likewise, the word ha-arets (“the earth”), corresponds to the sixth day, in which both the “beast of the earth” was created, as well as man–who was given dominion over the earth. Even the seventh day gets foreshadowed in this schema–as the untranslatable particle is the only Hebrew word in the verse that does not translate into English. In other words, God is using the fact that this one word does not translate, to foreshadow its corresponding day of Creation, which is the only day in which he did not speak.
From the above observations we see that it is as if each individual Hebrew word of Genesis 1:1 embodies or defines the central theme of the specific day of Creation that it corresponds to within this organizational schema. As such, the organizational schema of the golden candlestick becomes a sort of unifying framework that connects each of the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 with the specific days of the Creation narrative that the verse as a whole introduces. From this we concluded that the first verse of the Bible (in the original Hebrew) functions as a sort of summarized figurative microcosm of the seven days of creation which come after it. It is clear that God chose to introduce the creation week narrative with a figurative outline of that very narrative, which becomes a sort of exegetical key that allows the reader to fully realize the esoteric significance of the seven days of creation in their fullness. In other words, by structuring Genesis 1:1 this way, it is as if he is saying: “This is how the seven days of creation that are about to begin are structured.”
The Seven Days of Creation as an Introduction to the Principle of Form and Fulfillment
Having now surveyed all of the foundational premises which were discussed at length in another post, we are now intellectually prepared to move forward with our discussion. Genesis 1:2 picks up where Genesis 1:1 leaves off in helping to set the context of the Creation week narrative that begins in verse 3. One statement in this verse is of particular importance, namely: “. . . . and the earth was without form and void.” An alternative (albeit equally accurate) translation of this line as it appears in the original Hebrew would be: “and the earth was unformed and unfilled.” The reason that this line is so important lies in the fact that it is a blatantly obvious textual allusion to an exegetical principle that is going to be introduced by the Creation week narrative which follows–a principle which I refer to as the Principle of Form and Fulfillment. In order to understand this principle, we must first have a detailed knowledge of the organizational structure and symmetry of the seven days of Creation.
We have already seen how the organizational symmetry of the candlestick’s three pairs of branches can be clearly discerned in the six translatable words of Genesis 1:1. As previously noted, this is a consequence of the fact that the seven words of Genesis 1:1 have been deliberately fashioned according to the pattern of the golden candlestick, which means that every single detail of their design conforms perfectly to the pattern outlined by the candlestick. Because the seven days of creation have been designed according to the exact same organizational paradigm, this very same “three-pairs” symmetry can also be observed in the six days of Genesis 1 in which God labored. Behold the following table:
The table above makes the symmetry between the three pairs of days as plain as day (see what I did there?). From this we can see that the three pairs of days follow a consistent logical principle, whereby the works created on the “former day” of each respective day-pair (on a higher level) foreshadow the works that were later created on that former day’s corresponding “latter day.” Thus, the creation of light on the first day foreshadowed the creation of the heavenly lights on the fourth day, which would give light upon the earth, and divide the Night from the Day–all of which was done on the first day. Likewise, the division of the lower waters (seas) from the upper waters (atmosphere) on the second day foreshadowed the creation of the aquatic life and birds on the fifth day to inhabit the seas and atmosphere that were created on the second day. The third day and sixth day are unique in that God speaks twice on these two days. On the one hand, the creation of the dry land on the third day foreshadowed the creation of the land animals and insects to inhabit that land on the sixth day. On the other hand, the creation of the fruit-trees, grass, and other plant life on the third day–foreshadowed the creation of man on the sixth day, who would be responsible for dressing and cultivating those fruit-trees and plant life (Gen. 2:15).3 In these observations we can discern a very clear recurring pattern, whereby everything that was created on any given day-pair’s former day, on a higher level functions as a figurative form of something that was to be literally fulfilled on that day’s corresponding latter day.
One reason that God fashioned the days of creation this way and placed this account at the very beginning of the Bible, is to introduce the reader to this very foundational principle that he knows is going to become the bedrock of all biblical revelation, namely–the aforementioned Principle of Form and Fulfillment. In a nutshell, all that this principle means is that God always shows you what he is going to do, before he does it (Isa. 42:9; 44:7-8; 48:3-5; Mark 13:23). He accomplishes this by always giving you a figurative demonstration of the literal works that he is going to accomplish at some later appointed time in the future (Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1).4 He does this so that, after the literal fulfillment is brought to pass, you can look back at the figurative form that foreshadowed it, and thereby affirm that both the form as well as the fulfillment were of God (John 13:19; 14:29; Heb. 3:5; 9:24). Simply put, the witness of the form is what makes faith in its fulfillment possible.
Just as the former day and latter day of each pair of days are complimentary, so too that which is signified by them are also complimentary. That is to say, every form in Scripture always has a corresponding fulfillment, and every fulfillment always has a corresponding form. The form always points forward to its fulfillment, while the fulfillment (after it is brought to pass) fills the dead and lifeless form with meaning and brings it to life. Thus we might say that the form always testifies of its future fulfillment, while the fulfillment always points back at its form and affirms that its testimony was true and faithful. To better illustrate how this works, let us take a closer and more detailed look at one of the three pairs of days of the Creation Week narrative.
The bilateral symmetry of days 1 & 4
I have created the table above to help to visually convey the under-girding logical principle present in each of the three pairs of days of creation week. From the table above we can easily discern that a clear and undeniable order is present in Day 1 and Day 4 of Creation. To put it as simply as possible–the works completed on Day 1 foreshadowed the works created on Day 4. Let us go row by row and break these down one at a time.
Row 1: Creation of light
The Creation Week narrative begins with an earth that is engulfed in darkness and chaos. Accordingly, it is perhaps not surprising that the first thing that God did was create light, which would have brought some degree of order to the prevailing chaos. Thus God kicks things off on the first day with the command: “Let there be light.” On a higher level, the creation of light on Day 1 was to function as a testimony of the true light (the Sun), which would later be created on Day 4 to give light upon the earth.
Row 2: Division of light
After God created light on Day 1 of Creation, we are told that he “divided the light from the darkness.” On a higher level, this division of light from the darkness on Day 1 was to testify of the division of the light from the darkness by the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4. Put another way, God’s division of the light from the darkness on Day 1 on a higher level figuratively foreshadowed something that would be literally accomplished on Day 4 by the sun, moon, and stars.
Row 3: Naming of “Day” and “Night”
After dividing the light from the darkness on Day 1, we are told that God called the light “Day,” and the darkness “Night.” This is significant on multiple fronts. It should first be noted that naming something in the Bible signifies that the person doing the naming has lordship and dominion over the person, place, or thing being named. This is what I refer to as the Naming-Lordship principle.5 Thus, God’s naming the light “Day,” and the darkness “Night” on Day 1 of creation, signifies that he has lordship and dominion over the Day (light) and over the Night (darkness), and this truth is of course affirmed by additional biblical witnesses (Ps. 74:16). The reason that this is significant is that God’s naming the light and darkness “Day” and “Night” on Day 1, on a higher level was to function as a figurative foreshadowing of the sun, moon, and stars being created to rule over the Day and over the Night on Day 4 of creation. Thus it is as if the dominion over the Day and Night function of the heavenly lights created on Day 4–fulfilled the prophetic testimony that was figuratively implied by God’s naming the light “Day,” and the darkness “Night” on Day 1, in accordance with the aforementioned Naming-Lordship principle.
The second thing that is significant about God’s naming light “Day,” and darkness “Night” on Day 1, pertains to secondary meanings of the two Hebrew words that translate as “Day” and “Night” here. First, it should be noted that the Genesis text clearly infers that what we call “time” did not begin until the sun, moon, and stars were created and placed into the firmament on Day 4, as the text states: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years: . . .” (Gen. 1:14). This of course makes sense, as time itself is inseparably intertwined with the motions of the Sun, moon, stars, and planets as observed from earth. It was by the observation of these that ancient man was able to have a calendar and keep track of time. Thus, Genesis 1:14 infers that linear time did not begin until the fourth day of Creation.
The reason that this is significant is that, the beginning of linear of time on Day 4 of creation was figuratively foreshadowed by God’s naming of the light & darkness “Day” and “Night” after dividing them on Day 1. The key here lies in the specific Hebrew words used for “Day” and “Night” here. In addition to its primary meaning of “day“, the Hebrew noun yom is an expansive one that can also mean “time“. Likewise, in addition to its primary meaning of “night,” the Hebrew word for layil can also mean “season.” It thus follows that Genesis 1:5 could also translate as “And God called the light time, and the darkness he called season.” God’s using these words for “Day” and “Night” in Genesis 1:5 thus on a higher level functions as a figurative foreshadowing on Day 1, of the literal fulfillment of the beginning of time and distinct seasons that occurred with the creation of the heavenly bodies on Day 4.
Bilateral symmetry of creation: figurative form vs. literal fulfillment
The point that I am trying to get at here, is that prior to God’s creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars on the fourth day of Creation–the works of Day 1 were spiritually “dead”, in that they were alone (Jas. 2:17). However, when the Sun, Moon, and Stars were created on Day 4–the works of Day 1 were suddenly filled with new meaning, and thereby “brought to life.” The lights created on Day 4 were created to give light upon the earth, to divide the night from the darkness, to rule over the day and over the night, and to be for the measurement of time. The figurative form of Day 1 testified of the literal fulfillment that came to pass on Day 4. After the fulfillment was brought to pass on Day 4, the form of Day 1 was suddenly filled with new meaning. At the same time, the fulfillment was affirmed to be true and faithful by the testimony of the form which preceded it. This is because after the fulfillment comes to pass, one can look back at the testimony provided by the figurative form and say “Aha! So that’s what that meant.” Put another way, the testimony of the figurative form is what enables one to believe in the literal fulfillment after the latter is brought to pass (Isa. 42:9; 48:5; John 13:19; 14:29). Without the form, one has no way of setting to their seal that the fulfillment is of God, as the form is what makes true biblical faith in the fulfillment possible.
The two main types of forms
Biblical forms can be either prophetic or typological in nature. A prophetic form is a figurative foreshadowing of some future historical event, whose true meaning remains locked up until the future event is brought to pass. In contrast, a typological form is a person, nation, or thing that is a figurative “type” or representation of a specific person, nation, or thing that will exist in the future. In order to make sure you can discern the subtle difference between the two, let us take a look at an example of each of these.
Prophetic Form example: 1 Samuel 8:7
A good example of a prophetic form would be Israel’s rejection of God as their king in the book of 1 Samuel. We are told that when the people of Israel asked Samuel to make them a king, Samuel was exceedingly grieved. In response to his displeasure, God essentially told Samuel not to let it grieve him, as they had not rejected Samuel in asking for a king, but had rather rejected him (the LORD) as their king. What a lot of people don’t realize when they read this passage is that it is actually a cryptic prophecy which was fulfilled in Jesus.
As is the case with any prophecy recorded in Scripture, the 1 Samuel 8:7 prophecy has both a form as well as a fulfillment. The “form” refers to the immediate, temporal, obvious meaning of the prophetic statement–or perhaps what we might call the “earthly” level of meaning. So in this case, the form of the prophecy would be that the people of Israel had rejected God by asking Samuel to give them a king, because at this particular time in Israel’s history–the nation was a theocracy. Thus by requesting for themselves a king like all of the other nations, the nation had in theory rejected God as being their king. However, the form is never the true meaning of the prophecy, but is merely a shadow of it (Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1; cf. Heb. 8:5; 9:24). With any prophecy in Scripture, it is always the fulfillment that comes later which breathes life into the dead and lifeless prophetic form, and fills it with its true meaning. The table below charts the prophetic form alongside its fulfillment, the latter of which occurred well over 1,000 years after God’s statement to Samuel in 1 Sam. 8:7:
The prophetic fulfillment of God’s statement to Samuel in 1 Sam. 8:7 occurred over 1,000 years later, when the Roman governor of Judea presented the battered and beaten Jesus (God in the flesh) to the people of Israel, referring to him twice as their king. When asked if he should crucify their king, the people of Israel collectively proclaimed: “We have no king but Caesar.”6
Typological Form Example: Israel in the wilderness
A good example of a typological form is Israel in the wilderness. In a previous post, I revealed how the camp of Israel was organized during their wilderness wanderings according to the description that Moses gives in Numbers chapter 2. Below is an aerial view of what that camp would have looked like at the time that this description was recorded sometime about 1446 BC:
From this we would conclude that the nation of Israel is a typological form of Jesus Christ–which is true. However, here the nation is even more specifically a typological form of the New Testament Church–which is the body of Jesus Christ comprised of many members (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12; 12:20; 12:27; Eph. 1:23; 3:6; 4:12; 5:23; 5:30; Col. 1:24). Viewed through this lens, the camp of Israel represents the entire body of Christ, and its tribal divisions represent the denominational boundaries of Protestantism which are the result of the differences of opinion that inevitably arise when carnal Christians (signified here by flesh in the camps) try to interpret the Bible with their carnal minds (1 Cor. 3:3-6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:10; Rom. 8:7; Col. 2:18). In contrast, the Levites who inhabit the tabernacle courtyard represent those Christians who are truly spirit filled, born again, and sanctified to offer up acceptable sacrifices. Note that, prior to the birth of the Church in 33 AD, no one would have had any way of looking at the image above and discerning that Israel is here being used as a figurative model of God’s New Testament Church. It is only after the fulfillment was brought into existence that the testimony of its form was filled with its true meaning and thus brought to life. This is an excellent example of a typological form. The New Testament Church is the literal fulfillment of what Old Testament Israel figuratively foreshadowed.7
Typological forms: “Antitypes” of their fulfillments
One last point to be made with regard to forms and their fulfillments is that the two are always antithetical in nature. This is reflected in the bilateral symmetry of the golden candlestick–where the three branches on the one side (signifying the form), and the three branches on the other (signifying the fulfillment)–are like a mirrored image of one another. When we speak of an antithesis, there is a tendency to want to think of the polar opposite of a given thesis (light vs. darkness, love vs. hate). However, this is not a true antithesis according to the biblical definition. Rather, a true antithesis in the biblical understanding is a temporal imperfect representation of something, which resembles it in outward form yet contradicts it in substance or in practice. Thus the true antithesis of light according to this definition would not be outright darkness, but something that outwardly appears to be light yet which somehow contradicts the objective definition of light, or falls short of meeting all of the criteria, or exhibiting all of the properties necessary to rightly be called light. In other words, the true antithesis of light is false light, or light that has been tainted with even a trace amount of darkness (2 Cor. 11:13-15; cf. 1 John 1:5; Isa. 5:20). Likewise the true antithesis of love would be that which outwardly appears to be love, yet which contradicts the objective definition of love as a construct (e.g. sexual lust, romantic infatuation, etc.).
To give an illustrative example of a biblical antithesis–all one needs to do is look any major character of the Bible, who (when they were operating in faith) all functioned as imperfect temporal representations of the perfect and eternal Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate literal fulfillment of whatever it was they accomplished when they were “at their best.” To illustrate, let us use the character of Samson as an example. When Samson finally saw what was the mark of the high calling (Phil. 3:14), and submitted himself to the cross that was set before him (Heb. 12:2)–he was functioning as a form (an imperfect temporal expression) of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Samson was condemned as an enemy of the state by a Gentile nation (Judg. 16:24; cf. Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), was “taken from prison” to his death (Judg. 16:25; cf. Isa. 53:8), was mocked by sinners in the hour of his death (Judges 16:25-27; cf. Matt. 27:41; Mark 15:31), sacrificed his own life for all Israel (Judges 13:5; cf. John 11:49-52; 15:13; Dan. 9:26; Titus 2:14), in death triumphed over his enemies (Judges 16:29-30; cf. Col. 2:15), and died among sinners (Judg. 16:30; cf. Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27). As if these are not enough, he even died with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross. All of these characteristics of Samson were figurative harbingers that would find their ultimate fulfillment in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Yet despite these numerous similarities and parallels, we know that Samson was a very deeply flawed and imperfect man who for most of his life was driven by unbridled sexual lust that he could not control to save his life. Obviously, his compulsive sinful behavior stands in stark opposition to the sinless nature of Jesus Christ. Here we see then that Samson is an imperfect representation of Jesus Christ–who is the true “strength of Israel” (1 Sam. 15:29; Isa. 49:5; Joel 3:16). Samson’s sacrificial death foreshadowed Christ’s in form, yet his character contradicted Christ’s in nature and in practice. Accordingly, Samson is one of many biblical antitypes of the Lord Jesus Christ.8
The truth that typological forms are the “antitypes” of their fulfillments is reflected in the parts of speech of the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 when they are arranged into their proper places within the candlestick design schema after which they were patterned:
One will recall how we saw that the feminine noun of branch 1 is “married” to its latter-branch counterpart, namely–the masculine noun of branch 4. Likewise, we saw that the masculine noun of branch 3 is “married” to the feminine noun of branch 6. The inherent logic of this design is that you must have both a male as well as a female to have “one flesh,” just as you must have both a positive and a negative charge to generate electricity. In a marriage, man and woman compliment one another–each providing something to the marriage that the other does not. Yet, the biological natures of men and women are antithetical to one another–a consequence of the fact that the two sexes have slightly different biological programming. Yet despite being antithetical in nature, male and female are nevertheless two complimentary and necessary halves of the same whole.
The marriage analogy is particularly ideal for describing the nature of the relationship that exists between prophetic forms and their corresponding fulfillments when you’re dealing with those of the typological variety. The two compliment one another, yet at the same time are antithetical to one another in nature. It is not at all uncommon for the typological form to resent its corresponding fulfillment. Thus, when the Church came into existence in the early first century, it was the religious establishment of the nation of Israel (the form) who most vehemently opposed and persecuted the Church (the fulfillment). When the form is a person or nation, it often is very offended when it is confronted with its own fulfillment.
Final Thoughts on the Seven Days of Creation
In this post we reviewed how the seven words of Genesis 1:1 are linked to the Seven Days of Creation through the unifying organizational schema of the golden candlestick after which both are patterned. We saw how the exact same bilateral symmetry exhibited in the candlestick’s three pairs of branches is also present in the six translatable Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1, as well as the six days of Creation in which God spoke. We saw that (because the seven Hebrew words of Genesis 1:1 and the seven days of Creation of Genesis 1-2:3 have both been deliberately framed according to the organizational paradigm of the golden candlestick), the golden candlestick becomes a sort of contextual vehicle and prophetic identifier which assigns each Hebrew word of Genesis 1:1 to a specific day of Creation. From this we concluded that Genesis 1:1 functions as a sort of figurative microcosm or outline of the very Creation narrative that it introduces. We then noted how Genesis 1:2 further sets the context for the Creation narrative to come by alluding to the Principle of Form and Fulfillment, which is to be introduced by the Creation week narrative that begins in verse 3. From there we revealed the Creation week symmetry exhibited in the three pairs of days in Genesis 1, and demonstrated that the main lesson of this symmetry is the Principle of Form and Fulfillment. We then very briefly touched on the two most common types of forms and fulfillments (prophetic and typological), and gave biblical examples of both.
In his perfect foreknowledge, God knew before Moses had even penned the first letter of Scripture that the book of Genesis would be the very first book in a 66 book anthology known as the Holy Bible, and he knew that the Creation week narrative would be the first chapter of that book. As previously stated, one of the primary purposes of the Creation Week narrative is to introduce the reader to the Principle of Form and Fulfillment. Thus, what we have in the Creation Week narrative is essentially the Prologue to the Bible, in which the author (Jesus) introduces the reader to the most fundamental exegetical law according to which every prophecy of the Bible is subject, and will thus be necessary for correct biblical interpretation. Insomuch as Genesis 1:1-2 was shown to be a figurative microcosm and introduction to the Creation week narrative which it precedes, it thus stands to reason that what we have in the case of these two verses is essentially a prologue to the biblical prologue! Note that there is so much more to this mystery than has been revealed thus far, but I will have to save the rest for a future post. In the meantime I highly recommend that my regular readers re-read this post as many times as is necessary to digest all of the material covered here, as much of it will become the foundation of other mysteries that I intend to share on this blog in the future.
- For an additional witness that this is how the lamps were numbered, see this video
- Note that this same pairing of opposites can also be discerned in the numbering of the branches themselves–as each of the three pairs of branches (1&4, 2&5, 3&6) both contain an even and an odd number.
- It is also worth noting that man is symbolized in Scripture by grass and fruit-trees (Ps. 1:1; Isa. 40:6; Isa. 56:3; Jer. 17:8; Mark 8:24; Matt. 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; Luke 3:9; 6:43; 1 Pet. 1:24).
- If this sounds eerily similar to Platonism, that’s because it is. In the centuries leading up to the birth of Christ, God used Hellenistic philosophy as a sort of intellectual schoolmaster to prepare the Greeks for the Gospel.
- The truth of the Naming-Lordship principle can be clearly discerned in Genesis 3, where we find that it is not until after God tells Eve that her husband shall rule over her–that Adam gives to her the personal name of “Eve” (Gen. 3:20; cf. Gen. 2:23). This infers that Adam did not “rule” over his wife on a personal level while they were in a state of innocence, and the notion that man should rule over his wife only became part of the divinely appointed order after sin was intruded into human nature. Pharaoh’s naming Joseph “Zaphnathpaaneah” (Gen. 41:45), and Nebuchadnezzar’s changing the names of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–are some other biblical examples which establish the truth of this biblical principle, where naming something denotes that the party doing the naming has lordship/dominion over it.
- Note that in the Hebrew text of 1 Samuel 8:7, the words “They have rejected me“, are in the perfect tense–indicating an already completed action. Yet, God spoke these words to Samuel in the mid eleventh century BC, well over a thousand years before the people of Israel had rejected him as he stood before them in the flesh. One might ask then, if it is true that this is the true meaning of God’s statement to Samuel, why did he word it as if the rejection had already occurred? This is a reflection of the fact that God inhabits eternity, which is not bound by the laws of time and space. Heaven (where God resides) operates by a completely different set of laws. In heaven, when God speaks something–it is as if it has already happened there, as it is impossible for him to lie (Heb. 6:18; Deut. 32:4; John 14:6). God has the entire linear narrative of human history before him as if it is a movie that he can rewind and fast forward according to his viewing pleasure (Acts 15:18; Isa. 46:9-10; 48:3-7). In short, God speaks of events that have not occurred in time yet as though they have already happened (Rom. 4:17), which is a reflection of the fact that his Word is so true and so faithful that when he speaks of something that will occur, it is absolutely certain that it will be brought to pass, and therefore it is as if it has already happened as soon as he has spoken it. God’s words are not bound by time (2 Tim 2:9; cf. Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Isa. 40:8).
- I know that this statement can very easily be misinterpreted so let me make it very clear that I am not arguing that the Church has replaced or superseded the nation of Israel, nor do I subscribe to this view. When I say that Old Testament Israel is the figurative form of what the New Testament Church was the literal fulfillment, I mean that God in his perfect foreknowledge simultaneously used Israel to prophetically foreshadow it’s corresponding antitype. This does not mean that God’s covenants with Israel are now null and void, or that Israel’s purpose has entirely been served now that the Church has come into existence. Remember how I said earlier that the fulfillment is not superior to its form. Rather, the two are complimentary and cannot exist independently of one another. Just as the New Testament cannot exist without the Old Testament, so too the Church cannot exist without the nation of Israel. The two are perfectly knit together as one unified body and cannot exist independently of one another.
- The Greek word ἀντίτυπος (antitypos) is used in the NT to describe the furniture of the tabernacle as being an imperfect temporal representation of the furniture that exists in the true tabernacle in heaven (Heb. 9:24). It is also used to describe the flood as an imperfect temporal representation of baptism (1 Pet. 3:21).