Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
Connection of Thirty with Redemption
Connection of Thirty with Redemption
There was a prophecy in the book of Zecharias that was fulfilled in the New Testament that ties together in the scriptures the connection between the number thirty and the subject of redemption. The scriptures are as follows:
1. Zec 11:12, 13 "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."
2. Mat 26:15 "And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."
3. Mat 27:3 "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,"
4. Mat 27:9 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;"
It was prophesied by Jeremiah and written in Zachariah that Jesus would be sold for thirty pieces of silver. We see this fulfilled when the chief priests and elders covenanted with Judas to deliver Jesus unto them for thirty pieces of silver. Silver, like the number thirty is also associated with the subject of redemption. That Jesus was sold to be judged in the court of men for thirty pieces of silver and consequently to be crucified raises a question.
Why was the price thirty pieces of silver? The answer is found in the value of a servant. In the book of Leviticus a value was placed upon servants: Lev. 27:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation. 3 And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. 4 And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. 5 And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 6 And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. 7 And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels."
Notice that the price of the service of a male from twenty years old to sixty years old was fifty pieces of silver. Since Jesus was about thirty-three years of age, this would seem to suggest that his value was fifty pieces of silver, yet he was sold for thirty pieces of silver. Does this mean that Judas just made a bad deal? No, it means that Jesus was not valued for himself. Zechariah wrote "a goodly price that I was prised at of them." The price for Jesus was a goodly price, but it was not a value for him, but for his bride. The value of the female is set forth above as follows: "And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels." Jesus came not to redeem himself, but to redeem his people from their sins. His people are his bride and he was sold for the price of his bride.
We also notice that the age at which the Levites could enter into their service was thirty years of age:
1. Num 4:2, 3 "Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation."
2. Num 4:22, 23 "Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families; From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation."
3. Num 4:29, 30 "As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers; From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation."
Since, Aaron and his sons were of the tribe of Levi, they could not begin their work in the tabernacle until they were thirty years of age. While Jesus was not a high priest after the order of Aaron, yet as our High Priest the pattern holds as he came to be baptized of John at 30 years of age and to enter into his High Priestly ministry of redeeming his people at that age.
Furthermore, Joseph who is perhaps the strongest type of Jesus in the Old Testament came to stand before Pharaoh at thirty years of age: Gen 41:46 "And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt." The end result of Joseph's work was to deliver his family from famine and destruction during the seven years of drought that came on all the earth. Jesus work was a higher work as he came to deliver his people from their sins through his blood atonement: Matt. 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
The Ark, the Number 30, and a Picture of Christ
We are told in 1 Peter chapter three that the ark and baptism are both figures of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ: 20 "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
Armed with the knowledge that the ark is a figure of Christ we examine the word picture given to us of the ark so as to see how it represents Christ. We are given the dimensions and material out of which the ark was built in Genesis chapter six: 13 "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it."
First, the ark was made of gopher wood. This was a unique material and this is the only time that it is mentioned in the scriptures. It was one of a kind. Certainly, this is true of Jesus Christ as well. There is none other like him. He is the God-man. He was and is without sin and perfect in every detail.
Second, there were rooms in the ark for accommodation and feeding of the inhabitants that were to be in the ark. The animals and people that were to be in the ark were chosen beforehand and ultimately placed by God in the ark. This is parallel to God's people that were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world: Eph. 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" Notice in Ephesians chapters 1-3 how many times there were blessings to God's elect because they are "in Christ."
Third, the ark had lower, second, and third stories. It was just one ark, yet there were three parts to it. This sounds similar to the Godhead mentioned in 1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." We also read of Christ in Col. 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Fourth, the ark was pitched within and without with pitch. Pitch is made from the sap or blood of a fallen tree which is burned to a certain consistency. This gives us a picture of the atoning blood of Christ as he died for our sins and secured our eternal salvation for us.
Fifth, the length of the ark was to be three hundred cubits. In future essays, we will examine the relationship between the number three hundred and the subject of faith. Suffice it to say, the faith of Christ to fulfill the covenant of redemption is essential in our eternal salvation. Christ is faithful to execute the covenant of redemption and to call us into spiritual life, to justify us by his shed blood, and to glorify us in the resurrection by his mighty power.
Sixth, the breadth of the ark was fifty cubits. As we have already examined the number eight and the number fifty are associated with new beginnings in the scriptures. Christ is the new beginning of the elect family of God. He gave us a new beginning when he caused us to be born of the Spirit of God. He gave us a new beginning, judicially, when he died on the cross to redeem us from our sins. He will also give us a new beginning in the resurrection.
Seventh, the height of the ark was thirty cubits. As we have shown, the number thirty is associated with the redemptive work of Christ. It is Christ who has redeemed us and not we ourselves. This was not a shared work. It was all of Christ and no work was performed by the elect for them to be redeemed: Heb. 1:3 "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Eighth, there was only one source of light in the ark. There was a window in the top of the ark and it was finished one cubit above. The fact that the window was one cubit indicates the unity of the Godhead. The light to those inside the ark was the light of God of which Christ is that light: John 1:4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
Ninth, the door of the ark was in the side. This points out to us that our judicial standing and subsequently our entrance in Christ was through his pierced side out of which came blood and water. If we were not redeemed by the blood of Christ, then we would have no standing in Christ.
Surely, much more could be said about the ark being a type of Christ, but this will suffice for our current study.
Thirty-Redemption-House of God
We have previously shown the association in the scriptures between the number thirty and the subject of redemption. We will now examine how this association helps us to understand some things about the "house of God."
There are three Old Testament structures that are referred to as being the Lord's house or the house of God. These three structures are the tabernacle in the wilderness, the temple that Solomon and the children of Israel built, and the house in Ezekiel's vision. These three structures point us to the true "house of God" that is revealed to us in the New Testament: 1 Tim. 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." Thus, the true house of God is the church of the living God. The three Old Testament structures are each a type of the church of the living God. The church of the living God is composed of the Lord's manifest people who worship him in Spirit and in truth.
There are a multitude of elements to these three Old Testament structures and far too much for this writing; I will limit my discussion to the use of the number thirty in connection with these three structures.
The tabernacle is described to us in the book of Exodus. There were four coverings at the top of the tabernacle, one of which consisted of eleven curtains coupled made up of goat's hair: Ex. 26:7 "And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure." This use of goat's hair is linked to the scapegoat offering in the book of Leviticus: Lev. 16:9 "And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness."
The scapegoat was let go into the wilderness carrying our sins away from us forever. The use of the two goats was to show us the work of atonement by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is typified by the goat that was the sin offering and he is typified by the scapegoat. Through the offering of Jesus Christ for our sins, we are redeemed and the extent of this redemption is typified by the sending of the scapegoat into the wilderness forever removing our sins. Jesus did this work in the redemption of his people from their sins: Heb 10:12 "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
Through this, we see the significance of the curtains of goat's hair being thirty cubits long as signifying the redemption of God's people by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They were also four cubits broad, which speaks to us of the work of the Holy Spirit in applying the atoning blood unto them in the work of regeneration.
The second structure typifying the house of God is the temple. The following are verses describing some of the details of the temple:
1. 1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. 2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits."
2. 1 Kings 7:23 "And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."
The height of the house was thirty cubits. Since thirty is associated with redemption we see that those who make up the church of the living God have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
The molten sea was thirty cubits in circumference. The molten sea was placed on the back of twelve oxen. These twelve oxen are typical of the twelve apostles and ultimately of the gospel ministry in general carrying the gospel of the grace of Christ. This gospel is carried to the redeemed people of God to comfort them and let them know that Christ has redeemed them by his blood.
The third Old Testament structure is the house of Ezekiel's vision. Some of the details of this house are given to us in Ez. 40:17: "Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement." A chamber is a dwelling place. This seems to parallel what we read in John 14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
The fact that Ezekiel tells us that there were thirty chambers suggests to us that the occupants of these chambers were to be the redeemed family of God.
God has shown us through the description of these three Old Testament structures that those who make up the house of God consist of those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Thirty and the Redeemed Army
When David became king over Israel, he had an army over which he appointed thirty captains as alluded to in the following verses:
1. 2 Sam. 23:13 "And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim."
2. 2 Sam. 23:23 "He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard."
3. 2 Sam 23:24 "Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,"
4. 1 Chr 11:15 "Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim."
These thirty captains were captains over the entire army of Israel and therefore were representative of the entire army. As we have shown previously, the number thirty is associated with the subject of redemption. This association points us to the fact that the Lord has an army made up entirely of redeemed people. We read of this army in Revelations chapter 19: 11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." Those in the Lord's militant army have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
As a part of the Lord's redeemed family and militant army, may the Lord help us fight the battles he as our captain assigns for us to fight.