TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
vine is a double type, for it represents both Israel and Christ, e.g., “Thou
hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted
it,” Ps 80:8; “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of
Israel,” Isa 5:7, where the references are clearly to Israel.
And then there is the well-known statement of Christ in Jn 15:1-5, “I
(Christ) am the true vine.... I am the vine, ye are the branches.”
turn back to Psalm 80, however, and read concerning this vine, “Why hast
thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do
pluck her? The boar out of the
wood doeth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.... look
down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine.... It is burned with fire,
it is cut down....”
context leaves no doubt that the reference is to a disobedient Israel reeling
under Divine chastisement, not only in the past, but in the coming tribulation
age. But we would be spiritually
blind if we didn’t recognize also that the ultimate application is to
Christ, for regarding His sojourn in Egypt, and His return after the death of
Herod, we read that this was to fulfill what was originally written concerning
Israel, Mt 2:15, “... that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the
Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son,” which is a
quotation of Hos 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and
called my son out of Egypt.” In
God’s applying to Christ what was originally written of Israel under the
figure of a vine and a son, we are being reminded that the ultimate purpose of
Scripture is to reveal Christ. When
therefore we encounter references to a vine in the OT, we should look beyond
their application to Israel, realizing that God may be also teaching us
something about the Lord Jesus Christ.
this in mind then, we look again at Ps 80:12-13, and find that the application
is to Christ Who has taken the place, not only of guilty Israel, but of all
men. “Why hast thou then broken
down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of
the field doth devour it.” This
takes us to Calvary where we see Christ, forsaken, “delivered for our
offenses,” Ro 4:25; “wounded for our transgressions ... bruised for our
iniquities, Isa 53:5. “The boar
out of the wood,” is a typological picture of Satan; “the wild beast of
the field,” of unconverted humanity.
glory of Israel in the latter part of David’s reign, and in that of his son
Solomon, is referred to in Ps 80:8-11, “Thou hast brought a vine out of
Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root,
and it filled the land. The hills
were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the
goodly cedars. She sent out her
boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.”
The hills (symbols of governments), under the shadow of the vine,
Israel, remind us that in those days all nations were subject to Israel; and
the extent of her power was from the sea (the Mediterranean) to the river (the
Euphrates). That glory is but a
foreshadowing of the greater glory yet to come, of Christ’s millennial
reign, when He will reign to the ends of the earth, and all nations will be
subject to a converted and restored Israel.
vine (Israel) will be gathered again out of “Egypt” (the world) where she
has been scattered for almost two thousand years.
She will again take deep root, and enjoy the hedge of Divine protection
and blessing, and all nations will be subject to her.
But her blessings and ours will all be due to the fact that the true
Vine was willing for her sake and ours to experience the withdrawal of God’s
protection; to be delivered to the fury of the “boar” and the “wild
beast,” was willing to endure the fire of Divine wrath against sin, was
willing to be “cut down” so that we might enjoy eternal blessing.