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DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE

 

 

King  Hezekiah  And  Following  Jesus  Christ


 

How  does  learning  about  King  Hezekiah  of  the  Old  Testament  help  us  to  know  more  about  Jesus  and  His  love  for  us ?

There are types in the Old testament that foreshadow an arch-type in the New Testament.  Adam and King David for example are both types of Christ.  By their very nature Old Testament types are imperfect since they only prefigure the ultimate reality that is made know by and through Jesus Christ.  Types of Christ find their perfection in the New Testament in their arch-type, Jesus Christ.  These Old Testament types help shine forth God’s glory by being manifestations of God grace and by pointing to their ultimate fulfillment in the New Covenant.  To the extent that they are good they should not be misunderstood as taking away from the glory of God.  Rather, it is God’s glory that is being worked out and made manifest within them.  “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts !’  they cried one to the other. ‘All the earth is filled with his glory !’ ” (Isaiah 6:3)   By studying these types we can learn a deeper meaning about who they are pointing to. 

TYPES  AND  SHADOWS  POINTING  AHEAD  AND  REVEALING  GOD'S  GLORY

The Holy Bible has both human authors and a Divine Author.  Scripture scholar Scott Hahn, Ph.D., writes:
 

So when we read the Bible, we need to read it on two levels at once.   We read the Bible in a literal sense .. .. . But we read it also in a spiritual sense, searching out what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us through the words  ...

We do this in imitation of Jesus, because this is the way He read the scriptures.  He referred to Jonah (Mt 12:39), Solomon (Mt 12:42), the temple (Jn 2:19), and the brazen serpent (Jn 3:14) as  "signs"  that prefigured Him.  We see in Luke's gospel, as our Lord comforted the disciples on the road to Emmaus, that  "beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them what referred to Him in all the scriptures" (Lk 24:27).  After this spiritual reading of the Old Testament, we are told, the disciples' hearts burned within them.

What ignited this fire in their hearts ?   Through the scriptures, Jesus had initiated His disciples into a world that reached beyond their senses.  A good teacher, God introduced the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar.  Indeed, He had created the familiar with this end in mind, fashioning the persons and institutions that would best prepare us for the coming of Christ and the glories of His kingdom.

Learning to Type

The first Christians followed their Master in reading the Bible this way.  In the letter to the Hebrews, the Old Testament tabernacle and its rituals are described as  "types and shadows of heavenly realities"  (8:5), and the law as a  "shadow of the good things to come" (10:1).  Saint Peter, in turn, noted that Noah and his family  "were saved through water,"  and that  "this prefigured baptism, which saves you now"  (1 Pt 3:20-21).  Peter's word translated as  "prefigured"  is actually the Greed word for  "typify,"  or  "make a type."   The apostle Paul, for his part, described Adam as a  "type"  of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:14).

So what is a type ?   A type is a real person, place, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows something greater in the New Testament.  From  "type"  we get the word  "typology,"  the study of Christ's foreshadowing in the Old Testament (see Catechism, 128-130). [HHQ,  pages 22-23.]

The king of Judah had a throne and this throne symbolized Yahweh’s kingship over Israel.  Cf.  1 Chron 28:5   29:23.    King Hezekiah is a descendant [a son] of King David, and as king is a type of Christ.

Hezekiah, as King of Israel, would have been anointed when he became king.
[Cf.  2 Kings 11:12  "Then Jehoiada led out the king’s son and put the crown and the insignia upon him. They proclaimed him king and anointed him …"]

The king was a consecrated and recognized as chosen by God.  [Cf.  1 Kings 2:15,   1 Chron 28:5.]   As king, Saul, is recognized as Yahweh’s anointed, and therefore is a sacred person.  [Cf. 1 Sam 24:7, 11   26:9, 11, 23   2 Sam 1:14, 16.]

The words  "anointed"  and  "messiah"  are synonyms being respectively the translation and the transliteration of the same Hebrew word  "mashiah."   The word  "Christ"  is the Greek translation of this word.   Therefore, Hezekiah as an anointed king of Judah prefigured Jesus the Christ.

This typology is also seen in several parallels in King Hezekiah’s life with that of Jesus Christ.  King Hezekiah was one of the few holy kings of Judah.

King Hezekiah cleans the temple  ( 2 Chronicles 29: 1,5,15,16.)   He restores the Jews to faithfulness in following the Lord   ( 2 Chronicles 30: 6-13, 26-27.)   He prays for the sinful Israelites and God accepts that in reparation for their sins and spares them   ( 2 Chronicles 30: 18-20.)

2 Kings 18:1-7   " … Hezekiah, … king of Judah, began to reign.
… He pleased the LORD, just as his forefather David had done.
… He put his trust in the LORD, the God of Israel; and neither before him nor after him was there anyone like him among all the kings of Judah.  Loyal to the LORD, Hezekiah never turned away from him, but observed the commandments which the LORD had given Moses.  The LORD was with him, and he prospered in all that he set out to do. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him."

After the Assyrian King had attacked, captured, and deported the northern kingdom, he also attacked the southern kingdom of Judah.   King Hezekiah showed great faith in the One True God.  The Assyrian King Sennacherib sent his commander to the Jews and he made fun of them in verse 23 and then in verse 27 he told them that they would   “ … have to eat their own excrement and drink their urine.”  

2 Kings 18:28-32   "Then the commander stepped forward and cried out in a loud voice in Judean,    ‘Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
Thus says the king: "Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, since he cannot deliver you out of my hand.    Let not Hezekiah induce you to rely on the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely save us … Do not listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says:  Make peace with me and surrender !  Then each of you will eat of his own vine and of his own fig-tree, and drink the water of his own cistern … Choose life, not death.   Do not listen to Hezekiah when he would seduce you by saying,
‘The LORD will rescue us.’ " ’ "

However, King Hezekiah sends his ministers to the Prophet Isaiah ( vs. 19:2) and puts his trust in Isaiah’s  prophetic word that the Assyrian king will die by the sword, vs.7.

King Hezekiah  then prays to the Lord   " … Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God."   2 Kings 19:15-19

What is amazingly profound is that this evil King Sennacherib of Assyria is praying to his own false god Nisroch,  and it is at this precise time that he is slain and this is done so by King Sennacherib’s own sons. (2 Kings 19:37)   Thus the power and majesty of the One True God is made manifest.

Another striking parallel between Jesus Christ and the good King Hezekiah, a type of Christ, is found in 2 Kings 20.  We read the King Hezekiah is mortally ill and that he prays to the Lord.   Then the Lord speaks through his holy prophet Isaiah that the king is to go up to the temple on the third day and his life will be saved and the city will be saved as well.  (2 Kings 20:1-6 )   Thus, Christ’s own resurrection on the third day was foreshadowed and how He brought His own Body back to Life and saved the city, the New Jerusalem, the Church.

THE  HOLDER  OF  THE  KEYS

A very important thing happened in the life of King Hezekiah that Jesus Christ later alludes to.  It takes a little study to see the importance, but  later on we will gain the fruit of this Bible study.  God rewards those who dive into His truth with a prayerful and humble heart.

Isaiah 22:15,19-24    "Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace… 19 I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.   On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;  I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority.  He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.   I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.   I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family ..."

So, we must examine what is the extent of the power that Eliakim receives when he receives the   "key of David."    This can be done by looking at his new title   "master of the palace"  and what type of authority that person had.   The Hebrew word,  Strong’s  # 5921 which literally means  "over,"  is translated above as  "master"   and as  "regent"   in 2 Chronicles 26:21.

2 Chronicles 26:21    "King Uzziah remained a leper to the day of his death. As a leper he dwelt in a segregated house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. Therefore his son Jotham was regent of the palace and ruled the people of the land."

From this verse we can see that the holder of the KEYS,  "the regent / master of the palace" ruled as an agent or representative for the king.
Cf. 1 Kings 18:3,4   2 Kings 10:5, and  15:5

Bible translations will vary.  For example The New Intl. Version translates the passage in Isaiah 22 as   "charge of the palace."

This title, or position was also known in non-Jewish governments.  And the extent of his authority is self evident.  See for example:
Genesis 41:39-40   "So Pharaoh said to Joseph:   ‘ … You shall be in charge of my palace, [ literally:  over my house ] ... Only in respect to the throne shall I outrank you.’ "         [explanatory notes added]

The Hebrew word that is translated as   "palace,"    Strong’s    1004,  literally means   "house."    So, some translations will read  "over the (king’s) house.

So, we see how the  holder of the  keys, the master of the palace,  was a ruler with authority.  2 Chronicles 28:7 seems to suggests that he ruled not by exercising his own private judgment, but rather was in charge of executing the will of the king.

2 Chronicles 28:7  "Zichri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son, and Azrikam, the master of the palace, and also Elkanah, who was second to the king."

Being listed in their order of importance we see that king’s son is most important, because he will someday be king himself.  The  Master of the palace is placed after him but before the person  "second to the king,"  the person whose opinion or judgment is second most important.  Therefore, the Master of the palace’s duty was to rule according to the king’s own judgment.

We see this confirmed by the passage in Isaiah 22:22  when we read that the Master of the palace will rule such that when   "he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open."  This passage presupposes that he will just be executing a judgment in keeping with the will of the king, or else it would have said,  "what he opens, no one shall shut, except for the king."   The Master of the palace is, so to speak, the agent or mouthpiece for the king.

We see this further confirmed when Assyria wages war on the Jews.  The Jewish King Hezekiah sends out his ministers to negotiate and communicate for him.  The Master of the palace is his chief minister, and representative.  Being mentioned first in the listing of officials denotes his authority over the other ministers.

2 Kings 18:17-18   "The king of Assyria sent the general … with a great army to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. … They called for the king, who sent out to them Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, the master of the palace; Shebnah the scribe; and the herald Joah, son of Asaph."

One important point in Isaiah 22 is that it is the transfer of the keys that designates Eliakim as the new master of the palace.

Isaiah 22:15-22   “… go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace,
 … I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.
 On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim … and give over to him your authority.  He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem … I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.”

King David had been dead many years when this took place.  Therefore, this verse shows that the office of key holder / master of the palace, was an office with successors just as the office of king was.  It was the transferring of the keys that denoted the transfer of power to the new successor of this office as the king’s representative, his regent, the master of the palace.

To see how this teaching can bring us more closely into the love of Jesus Christ see the following article

 THE  KEYS  IN  THE  NEW   TESTAMENT

 

Fear keeps some people from following Jesus.

Overcoming the Fear

 

 

 


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