In Greek tupos, a word denoting some resemblance, and translated "figure" in Ro 4:15, "ensample" in Php 3:17, "manner" in Ac 23:25, and "form" in Ro 6:17. So also Moses was to make the tabernacle according to the type or model he had seen in the mount, Ac 7:44. In the more general use of the word, a scriptural type is a prophetic symbol, "a shadow of good things to come," Heb 10:1, "but the body is Christ," Col 2:17. The typical character of the old dispensation is its most distinguishing feature. For Example, the paschal lamb and all the victims sacrificed under the law were types of the Lamb of God, and illustrated his great atonement; showing that guilt deserved death, and could only be atoned for by the blood of an acceptable sacrifice. But they were also intended to foretell the coming of their great Antitype.
The Old Testament types include persons, officers, objects, events, rites, and places. Thus Adam and Melchizedek, the prophetic and the priestly office, manna and the brazen serpent, the smitten rock and the passage over Jordan, the Passover and the Day of Atonement, Canaan and the cities of refuge are scriptural types of Christ.
However striking the points of resemblance which an Old Testament event or object may present to something in the New Testament, it is not properly a type unless it was so appointed by God, and thus has something of a prophetic character. Due care should therefore be taken to distinguish between an illustration and a type.
occurs only once in Scripture (1Co 10:11, A.V. marg.). The Greek word tupos is rendered "print" (Joh 20:25), "figure" (Ac 7:43; Ro 5:14), "fashion" (Ac 7:44), "manner" (Ac 23:25), "form" (Ro 6:17), "example" or "ensample" (1Co 10:6,11; Php 3:17; 1Th 1:7; 2Th 3:9; 1Ti 4:12). It properly means a "model" or "pattern" or "mould" into which clay or wax was pressed, that it might take the figure or exact shape of the mould. The word "type" is generally used to denote a resemblance between something present and something future, which is called the "antitype."
This English word occurs in the A.V. only in the margin. The Greek word is ?????, from which comes the word 'type.' It is translated 'print,' Joh 20:25; 'figure,' Ac 7:43; '/Romans/5/14'>Ro 5:14; 'form,' '/Romans/6/17'>Ro 6:17; 'fashion,' '/Acts/7/44'>Ac 7:44; 'manner,' '/Acts/23/25'>Ac 23:25; 'pattern,' Tit 2:7; '/Hebrews/8/5'>Heb 8:5; 'ensample,' 1Co 10:11 (marg. type); Php 3:17; 1Th 1:7; 2Th 3:9; 1Pe 5:3; and 'example,' 1Co 10:6; 1Ti 4:12.
That which is prefigured in a type is seen in the 'antitype,' ?????????, translated 'like figure,' 1Pe 3:21; and 'figure,' Heb 9:24. If the tabernacle be taken as an illustration, the type or pattern was seen in the mount, that is, figuratively in heaven, and the tabernacle itself was the antitype. Heb 9:24. Then again, the tabernacle may be taken as a type, and the saints now, as forming the house of God, the antitype. Christ is "Son over his own house, whose house are we." Heb 3:6. Many things in the O.T. are typical of those in the N.T., as seen in 1Co 10:11; but, as in all else, the teaching of the Holy Spirit is needed, or there is danger of adopting connections which are merely fanciful.
A few examples of types are here appended: the student of scripture will find it profitable to search out (in dependence upon the Holy Spirit) the numerous types of the O.T. with their antitypes in the N.T. They may be found in 1, persons; 2, places; 3, things; 4, events.
1. ADAM as the first man, under whom all earthly created things were set
TYPE. This word is not frequently used in Scripture; but what it signifies is supposed to be very frequently implied. We usually consider a type as an example, pattern, or general similitude to a person, event, or thing which is to come: and in this it differs from a representation, memorial, or commemoration of an event, &c, which is past. The Spirit of God has adopted a variety of means to indicate his perfect foreknowledge of all events, and his power to control them. This is sometimes declared by express verbal prophecy; sometimes by specific actions performed by divine command; and sometimes by those peculiar events, in the lives of individuals, and the history or religious observances of the Israelites, which were caused to bear a designed reference to some parts of the Gospel history. The main point, says Chevallier, in an inquiry into these historical types, is to establish the fact of a preconcerted connection between the two series of events. No similarity, in itself, is sufficient to prove such a correspondence. Even those recorded in Scripture are recorded under very different circumstances. If the first event be declared to be typical, at the time when it occurs, and the second correspond with the prediction so delivered, there can be no doubt that the correspondence was designed. If, before the occurrence of the second event, there be delivered a distinct prophecy, that it will happen, and will correspond with some previous event; the fulfilment of the prophecy furnishes an intrinsic proof, that the person who gave it spake by divine inspiration. It may not, from this fact, follow, that the two events were connected by a design formed before either of them occurred; but it certainly does follow, that the second event, in some measure, had respect to the first; and that whatever degree of connection was, by such a prophet, assumed to exist, did really exist. If, again, no specific declaration be made, respecting the typical character of any event or person, until after the second event has occurred, which is then declared to have been prefigured; the fact of preconcerted connection will rest solely upon the authority of the person who advances the assertion. But, if we know, from other sources, that his words are the words of truth, our only inquiry will be, if he either distinctly asserts, or plainly infers, the existence of a designed correspondence. The fact, then, of a preconcerted connection between two series of events, is capable of being established in three ways: and the historical types may be accordingly arranged in three principal divisions. Some of them afford intrinsic evidence, that the Scriptures, which record them, are given by inspiration of God; the others can be proved to exist only by assuming that fact: but all, when once established, display the astonishing power and wisdom of God; and the importance of that scheme of redemption, which was ushered into the world with such magnificent preparations. In contemplating this wonderful system we discern one great intention interwoven, not only into the verbal prophecies and extraordinary events of the history of the Israelites, but into the ordinary transactions of the lives of selected individuals, even from the creation of the world. Adam was "the figure of him that was to come," Ro 5:14. Melchisedec was "made like unto the Son of God," Heb 7:3. Abraham, in the course of events in which he was engaged by the especial command of Heaven, was enabled to see Christ's day, Joh 8:56; and Isaac was received from the dead "in a figure," Heb 11:19. At a later period, the paschal lamb was ordained to be sacrificed, not only as a memorial of the immediate deliverance, which it was instituted to procure and to commemorate, but also as a continued memorial of that which was to be "fulfilled in the kingdom of God," Lu 22:16. Moses was raised up to deliver the people of Israel; to be to them a lawgiver, a prophet, a priest; and to possess the regal authority, if not the title of king. But, during the early period of his life, he was himself taught, that one great prophet should be raised up like unto him; before his death he delivered the same prophecy to the people; and, after that event, the Israelites continually looked for that faithful prophet, who should return answer to their inquiries, 1 Macc. 4:46; 14:41. Their prophets all pointed to some greater lawgiver, who should introduce a new law into their hearts, and inscribe them upon their minds, Jer 31:33. The whole people of Israel were also made, in some instances, designedly representative of Christ: and the events, which occurred in their national history, distinctly referred to him. During their wanderings in the wilderness, God left not himself without witness, which should bear reference to the great scheme of the Gospel. They ate spiritual meat. It was an emblem of the true bread of life, which came down from heaven, Joh 6:39. "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ," 1Co 10:4. They were destroyed of serpents; and a brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole, that whosoever looked might live. It was a sensible figure of the Son of man, who was in like manner to be lifted up; "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life," Joh 3:15. Beside, their religious ordinances were only "a figure for the time then present," Heb 9:9. Their tabernacle was made after the pattern of heavenly things, Heb 8:5; Ex 25:9,40; and was intended to prefigure the "greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands," Heb 9:11. The high priest was a living representative of the great "High Priest of our profession," Heb 3:1: and the Levitical sacrifices plainly had respect to the one great sacrifice for sins. Joshua the son of Nun represented Jesus in name: and by his earthly conquests in some measure prefigured the heavenly triumphs of his Lord. In a subsequent period, David was no indistinct type of "the Messiah the Prince," Da 9:25, for a long time humbled, and at length triumphant over his enemies. And the peaceable dominion of Solomon prefigured that eternal rest and peace, which remaineth to the people of God. In a still later age, the miraculous preservation of the Prophet Jonah displayed a sign, which was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ. And when the temple was rebuilt, Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest, and his fellows, were set forth as "men of sign," representatives of the Branch, which should, in the fulness of time, be raised up to the stem of Jesse, Zec 3:8; Isa 11:1. The illustration, then, to be derived from the historical types of the Old Testament, is found diffused over the whole period, which extends from the creation of the world, to the time when vision and prophecy were sealed. And all the light, which emanates from so many various points, is concentrated in the person of Christ.