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The Blue Letter Bible

Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 28. Types And Antitypes

Jesus summed up His Discourse on the "Kingdom of Heaven" Parables of Matt. 13:1-52, with these words.

"Therefore (and we must note the "Therefores" of Scripture) every scribe (Bible Teacher) who is instructed unto the 'Kingdom of Heaven' is like unto a Householder, who bringeth forth out of his Treasure things NEW and OLD."

The "OLD" things are the "TYPES" of the Old Testament, and the NEW things what they stand for in the New Testament. The New Testament is "enfolded" in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is "unfolded" in the New. Or as St. Augustine puts it-

"The New is in the Old contained;
The Old is by the New explained."

You cannot understand Leviticus without Hebrews, or Daniel without Revelation, or the Passover, or Isaiah 53 without the Gospel account of the Crucifixion. The value of the study of the "Types" and "Antitypes" is the proof they furnish of the Inspiration of the Scriptures. Their study proves beyond question that the Scriptures had but one Author-the HOLY SPIRIT.

The "Typology" of the Old Testament is the "PICTURE LANGUAGE" in which the Doctrines of the New Testament, such as the Atonement, are prefigured. For illustration the "Brazen Serpent" and the "Cross." John 3:14-15. Therefore no preacher or Bible Teacher is competent to preach the doctrines, of the New Testament who is not acquainted with the "Typology" of the Old Testament.

What do we mean by "Types?" The Apostle Paul gives the answer in 1 Cor. 10:1-11. In verse 11 he says-

"Now all these things happened unto them for ENSAMPLES (examples, see verse 6) and they are written for our ADMONITION (instruction), upon whom the ends of the world (Age) are come."

Of "whom" and of what "things" is the Apostle speaking? Of the Children of Israel, and the "things" that happened to them from the time of their "Egyptian Bondage" until they reached the "Land of Promise." So we see that while the Old Testament is a record of the History of the Children of Israel, the events of that "History" are more than mere events; they are "TYPICAL" of the "Plan of Salvation" as revealed in the New Testament, and are neither "mythical" nor "allegorical," but really happened to Israel and were recorded for our instruction.

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that the "Types" are but the "SHADOW OF GOOD THINGS TO COME, AND NOT THE VERY IMAGE OF THE THING." Heb. 10:1. That is, the Old Testament "Types" are but "SHADOWS." But there cannot be a "shadow" without some "REAL THING" to make it. And a "shadow" is not the "very image of the thing," for a shadow is out of proportion, and is an imperfect representation of the thing it reveals. So the Old Testament Types are "shadows" in the sense that they are not the "Real Thing," and are but imperfect revelations of it.

A "Type" then is some "person," or "event," or "ceremony" that is recorded to "foreshadow" some future "person," or "event," or "ceremony." For illustration-

  1. TYPICAL PERSONS, like Adam, Cain, Abel, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Jonah.
  2. TYPICAL EVENTS, like the "Flood," the "Plagues of Egypt," the "Passover," the "Brazen Serpent," "Crossing the Jordan," "Cities of Refuge."
  3. TYPICAL CEREMONIES, like the "Offerings," "Ceremonial Cleansing," "Feasts," "Year of Jubilee," "Day of Atonement."

To which might be added-"Typical Structures," like the "Ark," the "Tabernacle," the "Temple." "Typical Furniture," like the "Brazen Altar," the "Laver," the "Seven Branched Candlestick," the "Table of Shewbread," the "Altar of Incense," and the "Ark of the Covenant" with its "Mercy Seat." "Typical Colors," like "Blue," "Red," "White," "Purple," "Scarlet," "Green." "Typical Numbers," like "one," "three," "four," "seven," "twelve," "forty."

In studying the "Types" the two comparative words "AS" and "SO" are forcibly called to our attention. The word "AS" is used for the "Type," and the word "SO" for the Antitype. The first is historic; the second is prophetic.

"AS in Adam all die, even SO in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. 15:22.

"AS the days of Noah were, SO shall also the corning of the Son of Man be." Matt. 24:37.

"AS Moses lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness, even SO must the Son of Man be lifted up." John 3:14.

"AS Jonah was three days and three nights in the Whale's belly; SO shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt. 12:40.

The above "Types" with their "Antitype" stand out so prominently in Scripture that their meaning is clear to the most superficial reader. But there are "Types" in the Old Testament whose "Dispensational Teaching" does not lie on the surface, and is never seen by the superficial reader. For illustration take the story of-


In this story-



  1. Both Isaac and Christ were CHILDREN OF PROMISE. Gen. 15:4. Isa. 7:14.
  2. The birth of both was PRE-ANNOUNCED. Gen. 18:10. Luke 1:30-31.
  3. Both were NAMED BEFORE THEIR BIRTH. Isaac-Gen. 17:19. Jesus-Luke 1:31.
  4. The birth of both was

Sarah was barren. Gen. 11:30.

Mary was a virgin. Matt. 1:18-20.

  1. Both are called an ONLY SON. Gen. 22:2 (Heb. 11:17). John 3:16.
  2. Both mocked and persecuted by their OWN KINDRED. Gen. 21:9-10. Gal. 4:28-29. Matt. 27:29.
  3. Neither Isaac nor Christ had BROKEN THE LAW that they should be offered up. Gen. 22:2. Matt. 27:24.
  4. As Isaac carried the wood on which he was to die, so Christ carried His OWN CROSS. Gen. 22:6. John 19:17.
  5. As Isaac went willingly to the "altar," so Christ went willingly to the "CROSS." Gen. 22:9. John 10:17.
  6. Both apparently given up or FORSAKEN BY HIS FATHER. Gen. 22:12. Matt. 27:46.
  7. Both rose from the place of death in RESURRECTION. Heb.11:17-19. Matt. 28:6.

In both cases GOD interposed.


  1. As Eliezer was a servant of Abraham, so the Holy Spirit is a "Servant of God."
  2. As Eliezer's mission was to go to Haran and get a bride for Isaac, so the Holy Spirit has been sent from Heaven to get a BRIDE FOR CHRIST.
  3. As Eliezer was not sent to get a bride for Isaac until after he was typically offered up, so the Holy Spirit was not sent to get a Bride for Christ until AFTER HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
  4. As Eliezer did not talk about himself, but about his Master's son, so the Holy Spirit does not talk about HIMSELF, BUT ABOUT CHRIST.
  5. As Eliezer was urgent, so the Holy Spirit is URGENT. Gen. 24:53-56. 2 Cor. 6:2.
  6. As Eliezer by the precious gifts he gave Rebekah revealed the wealth of his Master Isaac, so the Holy Spirit by His Gifts gives us a foretaste of what is in store for the Bride of Christ, the Church.
  7. When Eliezer got Rebekah's consent to be the bride of Isaac he himself took her back; he did not send her back while he remained with her kinsfolk. So when the Bride, the Church, is ready the HOLY SPIRIT WILL GO BACK TO HEAVEN WITH HER.


  1. As Rebekah believed and yielded to the pleadings of Eliezer, so the Church believes and yields to the pleadings of the HOLY SPIRIT.
  2. As Rebekah was willing to separate herself from her kinsfolk for Isaac's sake, so the Believer is willing to separate himself from his kinsfolk for JESUS' SAKE.
  3. As Eliezer on the way to Isaac told Rebekah all about his Master Isaac, and what was in store for her, so the Holy Spirit as we journey on our earthly pilgrimage tells us what is in store for us when we shall meet our Isaac-JESUS.
  4. As Rebekah was a Gentile bride, so the Church of Christ is a GENTILE Bride.

    While Rebekah was a kinswoman of Isaac, she was a Gentile, for while Abraham was the first Hebrew, his kinspeople were Gentiles, for the Jews are the descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Abraham's grandson Jacob.

  5. As Rebekah did not have to pass through any tribulation before she left her home to go to Isaac, so the Church will not have to pass through THE TRIBULATION before meeting Jesus.
  6. As Isaac left his home and went out into the field to meet Rebekah, so Jesus will DESCEND FROM HEAVEN TO MEET HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH, IN THE AIR.
  7. As it was "eventide" when Isaac met Rebekah, so it will be the EVENTIDE OF THIS DISPENSATION WHEN JESUS MEETS HIS CHURCH.

Some "Types" have a double application. Take the Prophet Jonah. Jesus uses the swallowing of Jonah by a "great fish," and after 3 days being vomited up alive, as a "Type" of His own Resurrection from the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Matt. 12:40. But Jonah is also a "Type of the Jewish Nation."

  1. Jonah was called and sent to preach to a heathen city Nineveh, so the Jews were called and sent to preach to the heathen nations.
  2. Jonah disobeys and flees to Tarshish, so the Jews fail in their mission to the heathen.
  3. Jonah for his disobedience was cast overboard, so the Jews have been scattered among the nations.
  4. Jonah was miraculously preserved in the stomach of the fish, so the Jews have remained undigested by the nations.
  5. Jonah repented in his "grave" in the stomach of the fish, so the Jews will mourn their lost condition in the "graveyard of the nations."
  6. Jonah was restored to the land, so the Jews will be restored to their own land.
  7. Jonah received a "Second Call" and obeyed, so the Jews will have a second opportunity to witness to the nations and will obey.

Take one more "Typical Person."


  1. Joseph was "beloved" of his father, so was Jesus.
  2. Joseph was sent unto his brethren, so was Jesus.
  3. Joseph's brethren refused to receive him, so did the brethren of Jesus.
  4. Joseph was sold by his brethren, so was Jesus.
  5. Joseph was unjustly accused and condemned, so was Jesus.
  6. Joseph was buried in prison, so was Jesus in the Tomb of Joseph.
  7. Joseph was resurrected from prison and exalted to sit with Pharaoh on his throne, so Jesus was resurrected and exalted to sit on His Father's Throne.
  8. Joseph on the throne became the dispenser of bread to starving Egypt, so Jesus on His Father's Throne is the "Bread of Life" for a perishing world.
  9. After Joseph was exalted he got a Gentile bride, so Jesus will get a Gentile Bride-THE CHURCH.
  10. After Joseph got his bride his brethren suffered famine and came to him for corn, so after Jesus gets His Bride, His brethren, the Jews, will turn to Him, during the time of "Jacob's Trouble," the "Great Tribulation," for relief.
  11. Joseph knew his brethren the first time, but they did not know him, so Jesus knew His brethren when He came the first time but they knew him not.
  12. Joseph made himself known to his brethren when they came the "Second time," so Jesus will be recognized by the Jews when He comes the SECOND TIME.
  13. After Joseph's revelation of himself to his brethren, they go forth to proclaim that he is alive and the "saviour of the world," so when Jesus reveals Himself to His brethren the Jews they will proclaim Him alive and the SAVIOUR OF MANKIND.
  14. Joseph then establishes his brethren and their families in the "land of Goshen," so Jesus will re-establish the Jews in the LAND OF PALESTINE.

If the "Type" and the "Antitype" have both appeared, as the "Brazen Serpent" and the "Uplifted Christ," then the Type has been fulfilled. If the Antitype has not yet appeared then the fulfillment is future. For instance Noah's Ark is not a type of Christ, but is a type of the provision God is going to make to transport the saved of the nations of the "Millennial Earth," over on to the "New Earth." The "Plagues of Egypt" are a type of the Plagues of the Great Tribulation. The "Cities of Refuge" are a type of the "Refuge" God will provide for the "Jewish Remnant" during the time of "Jacob's Trouble." The "Golden Image" that Nebuchadnezzar erected on the Plain of Dura is a type of the "Image of the Antichrist" that the False Prophet shall command to be made. Rev. 13:14-15. For the Typical teaching of the "Feasts" and the "Offerings," see the chapters and charts on those subjects. From what has been said we can see that no Bible Teacher can be fully instructed in the "Things of God," unless he is a student of Typology.

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