Moses was the great-great grandson of Jacob in the line of Levi, Kohath and Amram. … He was named Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter, importing that he was saved out of the water. We do not propose here to compile a history of this, the greatest man of his time, and of the sixteen centuries and a half which succeeded the passage of the Red Sea. It cannot be better related than it is in the admirable writings current in his name. Our object is to call attention to him as a representative man—a man representing or typifying another man, even “the Man Christ Jesus”.

The history of Moses is representative from his flight into the country of Midian, Arabia Petrea south of Mount Sinai, to his decease when the Lord hid him from his nation. There was a likeness, indeed, between Moses and Jesus in their infancy; for while the life of Moses was jeopardised by the decree of Pharaoh, Jesus was also endangered by the mandate of Herod against Rachel’s children of two years old and under. But Yahweh preserved them; and thus were they cast upon Him from their birth, and kept in safety, or “made to hope” upon their mothers’ breasts (Matt 2:13–18; Psa 22:9,10). There was a resemblance also in the high qualifications and faithful self denial of these two personages in their manhood. “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words, and deeds”. This was previous to his attaining the age of forty years. To this time, though the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, and heir apparent of the Egyptian throne, and surrounded by the licentious notables of its court, where the God of Abraham was unknown, Moses was a man of faith – a learned, mighty and faithful man, who might have worn the crown of the greatest monarchy of the age, with all its treasures; but he renounced them all and became a fugitive, and companion of oppressed bondmen, that he might share in the kingdom to be established under Abraham’s Seed in the adjoining country of the Canaanites (Heb 11:24–26).

Jesus too, was the most learned and the wisest man of that or any other age before or since. He was wise and learned by divine intuition (John 7:15–17); and in the language of Cleopas “was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Luke 24:19). His political self-denial was as conspicuous as that of Moses. Thrice he refused dominion and a crown at the hand of any power inferior to God (Luke 4:5–8; John 6:15). “All these tetrarchal kingdoms of the land”, said their possessor, “will I give to thee, if thou wilt do homage for them to me”; but on such terms he rejected them. He knew that all upon Israel’s land was his, and the world in its widest sense beside. A then present possession would have saved him much suffering, and have exalted him at once to honour and glory. But he knew that to receive even his own at the hand of the enemy would be to forswear the supremacy of Yahweh and to become Satan’s king instead of God’s. “Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”. These were the words of Moses to which he had respect as the words of Yahweh. He knew that to receive the kingdom, glory and dominion of the world from any other power than God would be to descend from the high position of the predestined representative of the Divine Majesty upon the earth for ever, to the degradation of a mere equality with Caesar and the world-ruler of the age. Yea, like Moses, “he had respect unto the recompense of the reward”; and “for the joy that was set before him” he refused to let the people make him king, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season”. The “kingdom is not from hence” (John 18:36). It can only be received with eternal honour and glory from thence; that is, from God, not from Satan nor the people. Moses and Jesus understood this well; therefore Moses forsook Egypt, and Jesus forsook Palestine, that they might receive the royalty from God at the appointed time.

Thus far the resemblance between Moses and Jesus is complete. Cradled in peril, saved of God, and hopeful of the same promise, they were men of renown in word and deed, whose faith was “made perfect” by their works after the example of their father Abraham (James 2:22), leaving behind them illustrious exemplifications of the truth that the enjoyment of the pleasures of sin for a season is incompatible and fatal to an inheritance of the kingdom of God.

But here the present similitude between them is suspended. Moses and Jesus were indeed the rejected of the nation, as is already implied in the allusion to their departure from their people, the one into Midian, where he met with God in the bush; and the other to a far country, where he is still in the presence of Him whose glory illumined the rocky Arabia; but as yet, unlike the case of Moses, Yahweh has not sent Jesus from “holy ground”, shining unapproachable light, to be a ruler and a deliverer, to bring the tribes of Israel out of the land of the enemy, even those tribes which said unto him, “who made thee a ruler and a judge? Away with such a fellow; we will not have him to reign over us!”.

But Moses, whom they refused, they afterwards received as their commander, legislator and king. They placed themselves under him as Yahweh’s representative, through whom the nation should obtain political independence and organisation, and by whom it should be put into possession of a country, even of that country from which their fathers came before they migrated into Egypt, and which was promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession (Gen 12:1–3; 13:14–17; 15:7,8, 18–21; 17:5,6).

This was an acceptance of Moses which finds no counterpart in the annals of Israel and the history of Jesus. They have refused him as they refused Moses, but a like acceptance of him is yet to come.

From the accession of Moses to the leadership of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, his history is that of the nation also. He is no longer to be contemplated as an individual isolated from his people; but as a prophet (Deut 34:10), a mediator (Exod 24:2; Deut 5:5; Gal 3:19), a lawgiver, a man of war (Exod 14:25–27; Num 21:34), and a king (Deut 33:5). These were his relations to Israel from his second appearing in their midst to the end of his career. He was a mediator-prophet, a lawgiving-prophet, a warrior-prophet, and a royal-prophet. He was not simply a man through whom God spoke to the tribes of Israel as he spoke to them through Ezekiel—a man whose functions were restricted to the utterance of the divine purpose; but a man who was not only to speak but to execute the will of Yahweh, whose servant he was.

… Moses, the prophet thus fully manifested in Israel, was a representative man. This is evident from the following passage in his writings. Addressing the Twelve Tribes he says, “Yahweh thy God shall raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren, like unto me; and unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desirest of Yahweh thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And Yahweh said unto me, they have well spoken what they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet of their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words into his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” (Deut 18:15–19). This passage attests the truth of what we have said. It plainly and explicitly declares that the prophet Moses was typical of a future prophet who was to appear in Israel. In other words, that this future prophet was to be like Moses.

… This Moses-like prophet was expected for sixteen centuries and a half. During all that long period, though many prophets appeared in Israel, not one of them was accepted as the one like unto Moses. None of them claimed to be like him, not even Elijah. Yet why should he not, if a great miracle-working prophet were the sum of the similitude to Moses? At length Jesus came, “a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people”; and some of them said, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph”; while others said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world”; and as the result of their conviction meditated the taking of him by force and making him a king (John 6:14,15). This shows what sort of a Moses-like prophet the people expected, to wit, a prophet-king; hence Nathanael, when he saw the man announced by Philip as the prophet foretold by Moses, recognised him as Son of God, and Israel’s king.

Zacharias, the father of John, thus defines the mission of the prophet-king; “Yahweh hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been from the beginning of the age; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant—the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life”. These are the ideas imparted to Zacharias by the Holy Spirit with which he was filled. They define the work to be accomplished by the Moses-like prophet, who is styled “a Horn of Salvation for Israel”.

This is just the sort of prophet Moses was. He was a Horn or power through whom Yahweh saved the tribes from Egypt. Moses was raised up in the house of Levi, but the Horn or power like unto Moses was raised up in the house of David. His mission was as stated. It was Mosaic: first, to deliver Israel from their oppressors; and secondly, to perform the good thing promised to their father in the holy covenant and confirmed by an oath to Abraham. The work which Moses performed was but the earnest of that to be executed by the Moses-like prophet. Moses delivered Israel, but the deliverance was not the everlasting salvation of the nation. They fell under the power of their adversaries again, and their condition has become worse than Egyptian. In the days of Jesus ten-twelfths of the nation were outcasts among the nations beyond Parthia; and the other two, though still occupants of the land, were oppressed by the Roman power. The Holy Spirit in Zacharias taught them to expect that the child about to be born would complete the work that Moses had begun in saving the Twelve Tribes with an everlasting deliverance, so that they “might serve Yahweh without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of their life”.

The mercy promised to Israel’s fathers is the execution of judgment and righteousness in the land of Israel by the Branch of righteousness which was to grow up to David (Jer 33:14,15). In perfecting this work, the Holy Covenant confirmed by an oath to Abraham would find its manifestation in the kingdom of God restored again to Israel. The tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and whose ruins are trampled under foot, will then have been built as in the days of old (Acts 15:16; Amos 9:11). This work accomplished, and the Restorer will stand in the midst of Israel as the Moses-like prophet in full manifestation. His resemblance to Moses must be based on the historical representation of that distinguished man as the prophet-sovereign of the Twelve Tribes.

No account is taken of Moses in the history during his forty years’ absence from Israel further than that he was a keeper of sheep in an obscure country. Figuratively speaking, this is the employment of his antitype. He is superintending the affairs of his “little flock” in this nether wilderness—making reconciliation for his household—until the time shall arrive to leave “holy ground”, where the glory of the God of Israel shines upon him. But in this there is no similitude between him and Moses as a prophet of Israel. The Moses-like prophet must be present in Israel’s midst, surrounded by the Twelve Tribes, and discharging the duties which it is the function of a High Priest or mediator, to perform. Of the mission of Moses’ antitype suffice it to say here that Zacharias testifies that it is to save Israel from their enemies and all that hate them; and to convert what Yahweh promised to Abraham into an accomplished fact.

… But granting that salvation is complete at baptism, in some sense, the baptised of Israel were certainly not saved from all that hated them, which is the salvation under Jesus the words of Zacharias call for. The opposite is true; for those that hated them prevailed against the saved, delivering them over to torture and death, as they have prevailed against them to this day, and will prevail against them till the Ancient of Days come, and the saints possess the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom for ever under the whole heaven (Dan 7:18,21,22,27), not above it. Seeing, then, that Israel is not saved, but continue “a people scattered and peeled, a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land invading armies have spoiled”; that there is no king in Israel executing judgment and righteousness in their land; and that the holy covenant sworn to Abraham has only been dedicated with the precious blood of his Seed, and beyond this no more performed than in the days of Moses; the conclusion is inevitable, that the Lord Jesus has not yet accomplished his mission, and that he has not yet appeared as a prophet like unto Moses.