The Presence of God Promised & Typified in the Death of Jacob and Joseph

Jonathan Edwards, in one of his most interesting entries in his Notes on Scripture, drew a typological connection between the actions and words of Jacob and Joseph, in their deaths, and the promise of Jesus immediately prior to His death. He wrote:

Genesis 48:21 “And Israel said to Joseph, ‘Behold, I die, but God shall be with you.'” So Joseph, when he was near his death, said to his brethren after the like manner. Gen. 50:24, “And Joseph said unto his brethren, “I die, and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Thus the blessing of the presence of God with the children of Israel, and His favor and salvation, is by the death of Christ. He, when near death, said to His disciples, John 16:7, “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart I will send Him unto you; and promised elsewhere that the Father and the Son will come to them [John 14:23]. Isaac’s and Jacob’s blessing their children before their death, and, as it were, making over to them their future inheritance, may probably be typical of our receiving the blessings of the Covenant of Grace from Christ, as by His last will and testament, the final [administration of the] Covenant of Grace represented as His testament. “Christ in the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of John, does as it were make His will, and conveys to His people their inheritance before His death, [in] particular the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit, which is the sum of the purchased inheritance.”1

1. Jonathan Edwards, Notes on the Bible in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 2 (London: William Ball, 1839). p. 714

1 Response

  1. Matt Holst

    “… may probably be typical of our receiving…”

    To me that is the appropriate kind of nuance and humility needed in this kind of discussion. I think Edwards is … probably right on this!

    Thanks Nick. Once again you’ve mined the Word and demonstrated its immeasurable depth.

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