Josh 3.1-17 tells the story of the crossing of the Jordan by Israel. The Ark of the Covenant (Yeshua) is 2000 cubits ahead of the people. Yeshua will be 2000 years ahead of the people when they come to believe in him during the Birth Pains. They will cross the Jordan on Nisan 10, the same day that Yeshua passed before the people when he entered Jerusalem on Nisan 10 in what is called the “Triumphal Entry.” The False Messiah will enter the Temple on Nisan 10 and declare himself “God.” Nisan 10 is the exact halfway point of the Birth Pains.
The Jordan (meaning “descender”) is a type of death and it was spring when Israel wanted to cross it. It was the time of the spring floods and it had overflowed its banks. When the priests entered into the Jordan and their feet hit the water, the water stood up in a head all they back to a city called Adam (type of the first Adam). This city is beside another city called Zarethan, meaning “distress.” The meaning of this is clear. Man’s sin caused death all the way back to Adam. So, man (Adam) dwells near distress (Zarethan), always close to death (Jordan). The water flowing down to the Dead Sea was cut off. This means “death” has been cut off for those in faith. South is the direction of faith in the Scriptures. East is away from God. West is approaching God, and North is the direction of judgment.
So, the people crossed the Jordan where the Ark crossed, meaning there is only one way to go, one way to enter “death” safely. That place is where Yeshua (Joshua and the Ark) crossed. One day we all come to the Jordan (death). Without Yeshua, there is no safe crossing place into the “promised land” of the Olam Haba (John 14.16; Acts 16.31). He leads us (John 1.13, 6.44,65, 3.16; Acts 16.31) means that God’s influence on us caused us to believe and be saved. Now, we are going to look at Exo 17.6.
Moses is told to strike the rock at Horeb to cause water to come forth. The people are thirsty. The word “rock” is “tzur” and it is a plain rock, with no cleft (Isa 53.4; 1 Cor 10.4). But later in Num 20.8, the Lord tells Moses to speak to a rock to cause water to come forth. The word “rock” there is “sela” and this means a clefted rock, one you can enter into and take refuge in. The city of Petra is called Sela in Isa 16.1.
When Moses struck the rock the first time, it was a type of the Messiah being struck at the crucifixion. This brought forth the “water of life” (salvation). But Moses did not need to strike the rock again and was told not to by the Lord. He only had to speak to it. Yeshua does not need to be struck again a second time for salvation. Moses disobeyed the Lord and it ruined a picture that God wanted to present about the Messiah, and Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of it.
We have already talked about the route Israel took when they crossed the sea. They took a road east to the Yom Suf, crossed the sea, then took a road to the northeast that connected to the Derek Seir. Then they head east to Ezion Geber (Eilat) at the northern tip pf the Gulf of Aqaba. Then they head down to Jabal AL Lawz, the closest highest mountain to Al-Bad, which has been identified as the ancient city of Madian-polis. Josephus says that Yitro (Jethro) lived there.
We believe that Jabal AL Lawz (almond mountain) is the best candidate for Mount Sinai, and Moses took his sheep there to graze. It is there he saw the burning bush. From our text in Exo 17 they are fairly close to the mountain and are not very close to Egypt. The Lord tells Moses that he will “stand before you there on the rock at Horeb (Sinai) and you shall strike the rock.” We then learn about a battle with the Amalekites, so they are close to where Mount Sinai is.
Josephus writes in Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 2.1 that “The name of the Hebrews began already to be everywhere renowned, and rumors about them ran abroad. This made the inhabitants of those countries to be in no small fear. Accordingly they sent ambassadors to one another, and exhorted one another to defend themselves, and to endeavor to destroy these men. Those that induced the rest to do so, were such as inhabited Gobolitis (basically the Edom area) and Petra (a main city). They were called Amalekites, and were the most warlike of the nations that lived thereabout; and whose kings exhorted one another and their neighbors to go to this war against the Hebrews; telling them that an army of strangers, and such a one as had run away from slavery under the Egyptians, lay in wait to ruin them; which army they were not, in common prudence and regard to their own safety, to overlook, but to crush them before they gather strength, and come to be in prosperity; and perhaps attack them first.”
The battle with the Amalekites is a picture of the Chevlai Shell Mashiach, or Birth Pains of the Messiah. On their way to Mount Sinai they are attacked by the Amalek, who is a picture of the False Messiah in the Messianic level. Israel was free to go to the promised land for several reasons. Pharaoh was dead and there was a power vacuum in Egypt. There was no immediate successor to Pharaoh. Nobody took the throne within hours to say, “Hey, here I am and all the possessions of the previous Pharaoh are now mine.” Also, many of the main generals and chariot force was now gone.
Historically we are told there was a time of turmoil that came upon Egypt and the Pharaohs. A very strong, Semitic enemy came into the land. The Amalekites are Semitic and Amalek is the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s brother. He is the great nephew of Jacob. We are told by history that a Semitic enemy came upon Egypt. We are not told exactly who they were, but they were very warlike, powerful and there are some who think that they may have been Canaanites. However, we don’t see any Canaanite alliance that could be that powerful. We know they attacked Egypt during a time of chaos and established Egyptian dynasties. They were called the Hyksos which means “foreign rulers.” Then, all of a sudden, they disappear. Not only were the Amalekites coming out to challenge Israel, but they were on their way to Egypt to take over. Josephus said that everybody knew what had happened in Egypt. There is a possibility that they were going to Egypt to take advantage of the chaos there. After the battle in Exo 17, the Amalekites continued on and took over Lower Egypt. They ruled for 400 years during the Second Intermediate Period.
Ahmoses I and his father Seqenenre lead an uprising from Upper Egypt and drive the Hyksos (Amalekites?) out. They head north and they encounter Saul and David. Eventually, David wipes them out (2 Sam 8.8-13; 1 Chr 4.43). It is thought that this battle in Exo 17 took place around Ezion Geber at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, or very near to this area. Gobolitis and Petra are near also.
We have been taking pieces of the Exodus and developing them out, but sometimes we can lose the “big picture.” So, we want to take a look at the Exodus as a whole and tie it into the Second Redemption. We will also see other Bible truths come out as we move along. So, let’s pull all of this information together.
We have the beginning of the story of Israel, with Abraham, who is one of the “fathers” of Israel. Abraham goes into Egypt during what is called the First Intermediate Period, which is between the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. When “Intermediate” is used in Egyptian chronology it means it was a period of instability. It could be from any number of things or events, like war, climate and famine, changing politics and other things like that. The world is in an “intermediate” period for instance.
In Gen 15.1-21, Abraham enters the “Covenant between the Halves” at Mount Hermon it is believed. Christianity says it was Mount Tabor, but that is unlikely. Mount Hermon overlooks the country and this covenant plays a major role in Judaism. In Christianity, it is an interesting story, but it is not one of the foundational teachings or chapters. Abraham believes the Lord and it is accounted to him as righteousness. We have a picture of the Messiah in 15.17-18, who is passing between the pieces of the animals that had been cut in half. The “smoking oven” speaks of judgment and the “flaming torch” is a name for the Messiah. The word “torch” is “lapid” and we see this in Hab 3.4, Isa 62.1, Judges 4.4. Lappidot is the husband of Deborah. In Num 21.8, the “seraph” (“fiery serpent”) is a picture of the Messiah on a pole being lifted up (John 3.14). God will fulfill this promise of bringing the people out of Egypt 430 years to the exact day this covenant was given in Gen 15. The day was Nisan 15, and we know this is a key date in the Exodus story (Exo 12.41). There is a greater prophecy here about the Messiah.
In Part 23, we will pick up here and begin to talk about another key “father” and individual named Jacob.