Much can be learned by using Hebrew study techniques. One of those study techniques is thematic connections. Thematic connections are events which occurred in the lives of the Patriarchs that were prophetic foreshadows of future events in the lives of their descendants and they exist by the thousands in the scriptures. They appear to have been put there by our Creator Himself, to teach us on another level.
I give thanks and recognition to Tony Robinson for his amazing Torah study from which I learned how to look for thematic connections and have learned much through them and the following are my notes from his studies. His Torah study can be found on his website: http://restorationoftorah.org/WeeklyParsha/ParashatHaShavuah.htm
Many times, we learn about a person's character through the thematic connections made to them through the narratives of the Torah.
Abram and Sari had to leave Cannan and go to Egypt because of famine.
Isaac and Rebecca had to go to Gerar because of famine.
Jacob and his son's had to go into Egypt because of a famine.
When they went to Egypt, Abram had his wife pose as his sister to avoid being killed for her.
When they went to Egypt, Isaac had his wife pose as his sister to avoid being killed for her
YHWH plagued Pharaoh and his house as a result. Aiblemech said “What is it you have done to us, if a man would have lightly lain with your wife you would have brought guilt upon us.”
Jacob and his son's (“The children of Israel”) were in Egyptian bondage when YHWH plagued Pharaoh and his house as a result (in order to free Israel because of Pharaoh's oppression).
Abram and Sari left Egypt with many possessions (riches/livestock).
The children of Israel left Egypt with many possessions (riches/livestock).
Isaac and sowed in the land (of Gerar) and reaped a hundred fold in the same year because YHVH blessed him. He had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants.
Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
After the plagues, Pharoh said to Moses, go from us.
Yeshua said this while speaking to the two disciples on the road to Emmaeus:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Yeshua to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-46, emphasis mine).
In John 3:18 Yeshua stated, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." Yeshua is making reference to the bronze serpent Moses held up so that anyone who looked to it would be healed and live. He is telling us that the ultimate message of that story was not so much one of divine healing from snakebites, as it was a picture of the work of the Messiah.
Anytime you see
1) pictures of resurrection (or someone who should have died),
2) pictures of renewed life as a result of deliverance from impending death and
3) pictures of victory and renewed life as a result of death, we know the Torah is about to give us a teaching concerning the Messiah, and they are especially strengthened when coupled in some manner with the number three.
A. The first LIVING things (plants, grass, etc.) were created on day THREE! This is not strictly life from the dead; however, the principle of life coming from a state where there is no life is clear.
B. The Torah's picture of the RESURRECTION of the Messiah is found in the Holy Days. The Holy Day that is a shadow of Yeshua's RESURRECTION is the THIRD Holy Day, the Day of the Omer Wave Offering (Leviticus 23)! The offering of the barley sheaves on the day after the Sabbath that occurs during the week of unleavened bread is a prophetic picture of the resurrection of the Messiah.
C. Jonah, who was in the belly of a great fish, should have been dead. But on the THIRD day he came forth ALIVE! Truly, death was swallowed in victory!
D. The Akeida (binding of Isaac) found in Genesis 22—Abraham was supposed to offer Isaac as an olah (whole burnt offering). Although YHWH prevented him from actually sacrificing Isaac on the THIRD day, the manner in which the Torah relates the story hints that Isaac died and was RESURRECTED. That's why Hebrews 11:17-19 records that Abraham received Isaac from the dead through RESURRECTION figuratively!
Moses was 3 months old when his mother put him in a basket in the river. This very likely would have resulted in death, but he was rescued (resurrection) by Pharoh’s daughter. He went up on Mt. Sinai and didn’t eat or drink for 40 days (Deut. 9:9) just like Yeshua did in the desert.
Other Parallels Between Moses And Yeshua
Moses was 80 years old when he brought the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.
80 Jubliees (50 year cycles) = 4000
At the 4000th year Yeshua came to deliver us from the bondage of sin.
Two Messiahs – One a suffering servant (Yeshua’s first coming),
One a conquering King – (Yeshua’s second coming)
At the 120th year of Moses he died and Joshua the sun of Nun rose up in his place and took Israel into the promised land as a sort of conquering King.
In the year 6000 (the 120th Jubilee) it will mark when Yeshua comes as the conquering king to take us into the promised land.
Moses went up on the mountain to get instruction for the Children of Israel.
At the sermon on the Mount, Yeshua went up a mountain to give instruction to the people.
Moses went to Egypt
Yeshua went to Egypt
Moses had 12 elders and under them he had 70 elders
Yeshua had 12 disciples and later He sent out 70 disciples of twos.
Joseph's brothers threw him into a well for 3 days, and should have died there, but he was taken out (a form of resurrection) and sold into slavery.
A. Joseph—While in jail for 3 years, though it could have been till he died (but wasn't). Joseph interprets the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants, the chief baker (the bread) and butler/wine taster (the wine). What two signs of the Messiah signal to us that this story has Messianic significance? In Joseph’s interpretation of the dream, one of them is promised life in three days, while the other is promised death in three days. This is the sign that tells us Joseph’s life (and this incident in particular) is a foreshadowing of the Messiah. (This is from Genesis 40)
Still not convinced? According to Isaiah 53, Yeshua was incarcerated as a criminal.
How does this fact thematically relate to Joseph’s life? Joseph was also incarcerated as a criminal.
How is the fact that two criminals were executed with Yeshua thematically related to Joseph’s experience in Genesis 40? Two criminals were with him in jail.
During His execution, one criminal is promised eternal LIFE, while the other DIES in his sins!How is the fact that one criminal received life while the other received death thematically related to Yeshua’s execution? On of the two men crucified along with Yeshua repented and was saved. The other did not repent, therefore was not saved.
How was the baker executed in Genesis 40? By being hanged on a tree. Get the picture? How are the professions of the two criminals in Genesis 40 prophetic symbols of the work of the Messiah? One was a baker and the other a cupbearer. These are pictures of the bread and the wine which Yeshua used to illustrate His redemption! Now do you see that Joseph’s life was a prophetic shadow of the work of the Messiah? And this was only one story from his life! But more importantly, remember the major clue that caused us to probe this story for Messianic significance—Life, Death and the number three—the Sign of the Messiah!
II. With that as a background, read Judges 11:1-3. What story is thematically related to these few verses? Joseph’s dreams were prophesies of the future relationship between him and his brothers. He delivered these prophesies to his brothers, but they didn’t want to have anything to do with it. That's right! Joseph was rejected by his brothers just as Jephthah's brothers rejected him! How does this rejection thematically relate to Messiah Yeshua? The people of His home town rejected Him.
A. Notice that Jephthah's brothers "thrust out Jephthah." Joseph was also thrust out from his brothers when they threw him into the well. How does this picture Messiah Yeshua? Yeshua said in John 5:46 that Moses spoke about him. Psalm 40:6-8, speaking of the Messiah said that the book is written about Him. Paul said that all of the feasts were prophetic shadows of Messiah Yeshua.
B. Note this. Joseph's mother was different than his brothers' mothers just as Jephthah's mother was different from his brothers'. If you are reading in the Artscroll Chumash, you will notice Judges 11:1 states that Jephthah was the son of a concubine. This is an incorrect translation. The Jewish translators are using the word concubine as a euphemism for harlot. In the Hebrew, the word they translate as concubine (h'nAz) is derived from SEC # 2181, which means harlot. It is the same word used concerning Rachav (Rahab) the harlot in the story of the siege of Jericho. If you aren't familiar with Jewish sources this may confuse you. They often try to "tidy up" the facts concerning some of their leaders by making substitutions as noted above. The fact is Jephthah's mother was a harlot. Anyway, how does the fact that Jephthah was born of a harlot relate to the Pharisee's perception of Yeshua's lineage? If you read John 8 you will notice that on a couple of occasions the Pharisee's hint at the fact that some believed He was born illegitimately—see John 8:19, 41 and 48. Is this not another amazing thematic connection between Jephthah and the Messiah?
Yisrael's descent into Egypt, slavery and deliverance are taught BEFORE the book of Exodus even starts
Just as Abram is married to Sarai, Adonai is married to Am Yisrael (the people called Israel).
• A famine in Canaan caused Abram to descend with Sarai into Egypt. In Genesis 42:5 it is a famine in Canaan that led Jacob to send his sons to Egypt, and which ultimately caused the entire family to descend into Egypt.
Abram went to Egypt to sojourn there. The children of Israel "sojourned" in Egypt.
• The famine of Genesis 12 and Genesis 42 were both characterized as very severe.
• Before arriving in Egypt Abram convinced Sarai to change her identity. Thus, when they arrive, the Egyptians do not know Sarai is Abram's wife. In the story of the Exodus, initially, the Egyptians do not know that Am Yisrael are the people of God, married to Him.
• Just as Pharaoh tried to take Sarai for his own possession by forcing her to marry him, eventually it was Pharaoh who took the Am Yisrael as his possession by enslaving them.
• YHWH sent plagues on Pharaoh and his household because of his possession of Sarai. In the exodus account, the Holy One used plagues against Pharaoh and the land of Egypt because he possessed [through slavery] Am Yisrael. In both cases, the result was the release of the bride.
• When Abram left Egypt, he left with much wealth that he had gotten because of Sarai. When the children of Israel left Egypt, they left with much wealth that they had taken from the Egyptians.
The proposal Hamor made after the incident with Dinah and Balak Numbers 24
compare Genesis 34 to Numbers 25:1-9 and Numbers 31:1-20.
• In both stories, the pagans tried to intermarry with Am Yisrael.
• Both accounts specifically document an Israelite and a pagan who cohabited together.
• In both stories, the pagan men were decimated.
• In both stories, the pagan women and children, as well as the booty from the slaughter, were kept by Am Yisrael.
connection between Jacob’s travels to Bethel, Genesis 35:1-7 and Numbers 22:1-6
1) the threat of assimilation and 2) the fear of the Canaanites upon seeing Am Yisrael enter the land, are within close proximity to each other in these two separate books.
The threat of assimilation presented by Hamor was a prophetic picture of how Am Yisrael would face this same threat when they entered the Promised Land! Furthermore, the fear that fell upon the Canaanites when Jacob entered Eretz Yisrael was a prophetic foreshadow of the fear that would one day grip the inhabitants of Canaan when Am Yisrael came to obtain the Land as their inheritance
In John 3:18 Yeshua stated, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." Yeshua is making reference to the bronze serpent Moses held up so that anyone who looked to it would be healed and live. He is telling us that the ultimate message of that story was not so much one of divine healing from snakebites, as it was a picture of the work of the Messiah. Now, without having the New Covenant Scripture reference, would you have ever known to apply Yeshua's interpretation to that passage? Mn (and vicea versa)
The Cities of Refuge & Deut. 19:2
There were to be three cities for those who accidently killed someone without hate. To avoid being killed (a form of resurrection), the person was to stay there without being harmed by the person who sought revenge until the High Preist Died. This of course points to Yeshua who is our High Priest!
The story of Isaac’s wells is a prophetic foreshadowing of events in the future of the lives of his descendants. The sages of Israel teach that the story of the wells is the story of the three Temples. Just as the first two wells were built amidst strife and conflict with Isaac’s neighbors, Israel’s neighbors eventually destroyed the first two Temples! The third well, which was characterized by peace between Isaac and his neighbors, is similar to the third Temple, which will be built when Messiah comes. It will be built at a time when Israel is at peace with her neighbors and it will not be destroyed.
We know that He will destroy all of Am Yisrael’s enemies. Concerning the NAME, we know that His Name will be established in the entire earth, not just Jerusalem
As you can see, thematic analysis helps us to see how YHWH tells us the end from the beginning.