Two Represent One
by Rod Jackson
All verses are quoted from the NASB anything in [square brackets] is added by me for clarity.
The bible is mainly about Jesus. Even the Old Testament is about Jesus. While the Old Testament events are historical events, they can also have symbolic meanings.
Sacrifices and miraculous resurrections point forward to Jesus' cruxifiction on the cross and His miraculous resurrection on the 3rd day. However, sometimes the bible will use two to seperately represent the one Jesus. This is not to be confused with two people becoming one in marriage.
For example, in the Old Testament there were two goats used in the Day of Atonement ritual. The Day of Atonement occurred once a year on the 10th of 7th month each year (cf. Leviticus 16:29).
"He [the High Priest] shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat. " Leviticus 16:7-10
So there are two goats - one is sacrificed as a sin offering, this represents Jesus' death. The other is alive before God, this represents Jesus' resurrection.
"God presented him [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:25
So we see that Jesus' blood makes atonememt for Christians/Believers sins. So the two goats represent Jesus, rather than having miraclous resurrection occuring every year.
Another example of this phenomena can be found in the book of Genesis. Joseph has been sold into slavery in Egypt. While in Egypt he is falsely accused of wrong-doing and is thrown into jail. And that is where we take up the story -
"Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined." Genesis 40:1-3
" `We both had dreams,' they answered, `but there is no one to interpret them.' Then Joseph said to them,`"Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.' So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, `In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand.' `This is what it means,' Joseph said to him. `The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.' " Genesis 40:8-13
"When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, `I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.' `This is what it means,' Joseph said. `The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.' Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation." Genesis 40:16-22
In this story first we notice their jobs. The two jobs represent the Bread and the Wine - the Baker (Bread) and the Cupbearer (Wine). Jesus is represented by the bread and the wine, in the Lord's Supper.
One of them was killed by being hung on a tree (cf. Galations 3:13), representing Jesus' death. And the other one was raised to His former glory on the 3rd day, representing Jesus' resurrection.
Our final example of this symbolic representation of Jesus in the Old Testament comes from second Kings.
"Now it came about after this, that Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army and went up and besieged Samaria. There was a great famine in Samaria;" 2 Kings 6:24-25a
Samaria was the capital of the 10 northern tribes of Israel.
"As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall a woman cried out to him, saying, `Help, my lord, O king!' He said, `If the LORD does not help you, from where shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?' And the king said to her, `What is the matter with you?' And she answered, `This woman said to me, "Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow." So we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, "Give your son, that we may eat him"; but she has hidden her son.' " 2 Kings 6:26-29
We pick up the story later that same day when Elisha, the prophet of God, was speaking to the king of Israel.
"Then Elisha said, `Listen to the word of the LORD; thus says the LORD, "Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria." ' " 2 Kings 7:1
So we see that on the first day - one Son was killed, this represents Jesus' death. The next day the other son was "hidden", this represents Jesus' burial. Then the day after that, the third day the famine was miraculously lifted. While the bible does not tell us what happened to the second son. It is reasonable to deduce that he was no longer hidden as the famine was lifted and so there was no need for him to remain in hiding. Thus the third day the second son would have been revealed, representing Jesus' resurrection.
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