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chronology (22): Two thousand cubits

18-07-2016 - Posted by Andre Piet

The number two thousand plays an extraordinarily remarkable role in Biblical chronology. In the last episode of this series we saw that Moses’ life can be divided in three times forty years. And each of the forty years are a type for forty Jubilees, i.e. (40 x 50 =) two thousand years. Two thousand years from Adam to Abraham, two thousand years from Abraham to Christ and two thousand years from Christ until the second coming. Moses was not allowed to lead the people into the promised land. That would take place after Moses under supervision of Joshua.

Marching after the ark

When Israel, waiting to enter the promised land, is stationed at the river Jordan, they receive the following instruction (Joshua 3:3):

…When you see the coffer of the covenant of Yahweh your Elohim, with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall journey on from your place and march after it.

The ark would go through the Jordan and Israel would follow the ark. Typologically a significant instruction. In the first place because the ark, as a whole but also in all its individual parts, points to the resurrected Christ. It was a wooden box which speaks of corruptibility, but was subsequently covered with gold, which speaks of incorruptibility. The tablets of the covenant which were in the coffer, Aarons rod which blossomed, the golden jar with manna, the ‘propitiatory cover’ on which the blood was sprinkled, the cherubim with their faces toward the propitiatory cover and what is underneath; all speaks of Him who died, what is more, of Him who was resurrected and is now seated at Gods right hand (Hebr 9:4,5).

Crossing the Jordan

In the second place, the crossing of the Jordan, speaks of the road that Christ went through death. The Jordan is a well-known type of death. One cannot avoid going into it, but always with the aim to get out of it again. Naaman had to immerse himself seven times in it to subsequently come out of it as being reborn (2 Kings 5:14). Also think of the axe that floated (2 Kings 6:6), or of John the Baptist who baptized the people specifically in this water and so on.

At a distance

If Israel wants to reach the promised and, then she has to follow the Ark (read: Christ). Christ was obedient unto death to subsequently rise from on the third day. Also Israel will go this way.

However, a far distance shall come to be between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near to it, so that you may know the way by which you are to march, for you have not passed by this way heretofore (literally: three days from yesterday).
-Joshua 3:4-

Israel followed the ark, but at a distance. And the reason for keeping the distance is that one would know that they did not pass this road “three days from yesterday”. This motive sounds rather cryptic but it does suggest a connection between the “two thousand cubits” on the one hand and “three days from yesterday’ on the other hand. Both point to two days. A connection we recognize well by now. Israel follows her Messiah in death and resurrection. But at a distance that is typified both by “two thousand cubits” and also two days. The hint to the two millennia since Christ’s resurrection is obvious. Here we hear the words of the prophecy Hosea, that Israel after two days in death will live again on the third day. And we also hear the words of 2 Peter 3;8 which assures us that for the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as one day. Two thousand years is as two days for Him. The distance between the ark and Israel points to the time of the delay of Israel’s restoration and by this also the delay of the arrival of the messianic kingdom. The nation that reached the promised land led by Joshua ( =Jesus!) is a type of the Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God. Hebrews 4:

For if Joshua causes them to stop, He would not have spoken concerning another day after these things.  Consequently a sabbatism (Sabbath rest)  is left for the people of God.

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