Biblical Tours

Wonderful Symbols
in the Old Testament
to the Cross

In this tour, A faggot of precious symbolic (kind of allegorical) references to the cross in the old testament books
are pointed out, along with hinting how they symbolise or allegorise the various cross implications.

Paying attention to the profound fact that the crusifixion of God's Son had been kept in the most hidden divine mystery (First Corinthians 2:8-9) untill it took place indeed, makes these symbols much more precious!
(The crucifixion of the Lord, having been kept as a mystery throughout the former prophecies, as Apostle Paul implies in 1Co2:8-9, is a theological truth that unfortunately goes unnoticed, and the scripture in the epistle is wrongly thought to describe the paradise. The exact interpretation of this apostolic passage is well explained in an article under preparation right away)

The signs collected in this article simply make literal sense in their context. But considering the divine crusifixion,
they would briliantly make symbolic sense.
However, some specific ones, especially Exodus 17:8-13, could hardly make any sense without considering the symbol to the cross.

Each symbol will be explained out in short statements, showing howit is related to one facet of the cross supported by the suitable quotation from the NT.
The scope of this article is restricted to pointing out the symbolic and allegorical references.
Such prophetic chapters as Psalm 22 , Isaiah 53, being of a typological nature, rather than symbolic, are too clear and obvious prophecies to be counted as symbolic discoveries herein.
I can not, by all means, claim completeness of the list. Actually, it is far from being complete. Some symbols I left out of laziness, e.g. the tree that made the bitter water sweet (Exodus 15) and the staff of Moses by which he hit the rock (Exodus 17). Others might be there but invisible to me.
Hoping, in the grace of the Lord, to bring the list to a place closer to perfection, I leave it over as such, for the time being.

The redemption scarifice tied to the cross, Genesis 22:9-14

The blessing cross, Genesis 48:13-19

The passover cross-distributed saving blood , Exodus 12:5-24

The victory giving cross, Exodus 17:8-13

Crucified with Him by His compelling love, Exodus 21:1-6

Unity and guidance in the cross, Numbers 2

The healing and life saving cross, Numbers 21:8-9

The cross ends shame and Judges evil, Judges 16:26-30

Christ's life transmission through the cross, I Kings 17:17-23

Discipleship in the cross, II kings 4:32-34

He descended into Hades through the cross, II Kings6:1-7

Cross mark, Song of songs 5:2-5

The widely open arms on the cross, Isaiah 65:2

The crucifixion plot against a meek feeding Lamb, Isaiah 65:2

1. The redemption sacrifice tied to the cross

Genesis 22:9-14

... in whom we have redemption through His blood.
Colossians 1:14

notice WHO will see (or provide) , and What is seen (or provided:

"8And Isaac speaketh unto Abraham his father, and saith,
'My father,' and he saith, 'Here am I, my son.'
And he saith, 'Lo, the fire and the wood, and where the lamb for a burnt-offering?'
and Abraham saith,
'God doth provide (SEE in original Hebrew) for Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son;'
and they go on both of them together.

9Then they came to the place of which God had told him.
And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order;
and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!"
So he said, "Here I am."
12And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God,
since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
13Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked,
and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.
So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide (In Hebrew: The Lord will be seen);
as it is said to this day,
"In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided.
(In original Hebrew: The Lord shall be seen, that is Jehovah-Jireh)"

LXE Genesis22:14: And Abraam called the name of that place, The Lord hath seen; that they might say to-day, In the mount the Lord was seen. "

* A Ram of sacrifice for redemption tied to the wood.

* It came from we do not know. Compare John1:1,14; 7: 27-28.

* Testified to from the voice of God. Compare Matthew3:17 John5:37.

* In the beginning Abraham said: "The Lord will see for Himself", i.e. a way for redemption.

* In the end, "The Lord Himself was seen" as an object of salvation.

* = The Lord will provide the Lord!

* God the Father is the provider of redemption. He provided His own Son fot it.

* God the Son is the provider of redemption. He provided Himself for it.

2. The blessing cross

Genesis 48:13-19

...having become a curse for us
(for it is written,
"Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" ),
that the blessing of Abraham
might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus
Galatians 3:13-14

notice the crossed hands of Jacob:

"13And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. 14Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15And he blessed Joseph, and said:
"God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, 16The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." 17Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head." 19But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."

* Joseph made it the human way, but Jacob surprised him by a cross, and insisted he knew what he was doing.

* Joseph, blessing comes only via the cross only. Jacob knows. Had you made it the cross way, you would have blessed your sons in the order you had wanted.

3. The passover cross-distributed saving blood

Exodus 12:5-24

with His own blood
He entered the Most Holy Place once for all,
having obtained eternal redemption
Hebrews 9:12

Not only the passover lamb symbolises Jesus wonderfully, but also the way its blood was to be sprinkled has a wonderful similarity to how Jesus' blood was spread on the cross. Imagine the scene, and you could see the blood making a perfect cross blood distribution:

"5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. ---21Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you"

* Jesus entered the temple on the same day the passover lambs were to be picked

* Next day, He accomplished every symbol of the passover lamb just in time order:

* He was being tried at the same hour, next day, they prepared the lamb

He was well settled hanging on the cross outside the holy city at the hour when they eliminated all unleavened bread

* He died at the very hour of slaughtering the lamb

* He was brought down the cross at the hour of preparing the table

* He was burried just few minutes before the time when, yesterday, they started eating the old symbolic lamb.

The new real lamb accomplished it all in timely order.

4. The victory giving cross

Exodus 17:8-13

...having disarmed principalities and powers,
He made a public spectacle of them,
triumphing over them in it ( the cross).
Colossians 2:15

Is there any point about what Moses is doing here?:

"8Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand." 10So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."

* Moses could not keep crucified all day long by himself,
but Jesus did it alone (Isaiah 63:3) and only by Himself (John 10:18)

* Even Moses needed the very stone of Christ to sustain holding hands up.
(see Mathew 21:42, Acts 4:11, I Corinthians 10:4 and others)

5. Crucified with Him by His compelling love

Exodus 21:1-6

For the love of Christ compels us,
because we judge thus:
that if One died for all, then all died;
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves,
but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14-15

******* What is going on with that slave?

"1Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: 2If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. 3If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the life and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5But if the servant plainly says, "I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' 6then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever."
(Read also Deuteronomy 15:12-18.)

Being the first article among the codex of laws by which the people of israel lived for 40 years in the desert of Sinai, and coming immediately after the awsome meeting with God, this very paragraph must be of a much more significance than a mere civil legislation. It comes first before the civil/criminal very basic legislations of unpremeditated murder, of robberies, and before the social ethical commandments. What, then, is so particular and important about it? The new testament light can show us, as usual, a wonderful allegory in it. The allegory here is composite, and we can find at least five implications. We can state it that way:
The slave is crucified with Christ, enters through Him to the the house and becomes a free slave for eternity. Getting Crucified: The slave is nailed to the door or rhe doorpost, most probably made of wood. That nailing process to a wooden post typologises the act fo getting crucified. With Christ: The door symbolises Jesus Himself ( John 10:7). Hence, that slave is being crucified with Jesus (Romans 6:6 and Galatians 2:20) And enters through Him to the house: Now the slave enters through the door he is crucified at (John 10:9) to the house of his master (John 14:2) To become a "free slave": This is the most wonderful part of the allegory. Is that slave is any longer really a slave? He is free from the law of slavery. But is he free? No, He is considered to be slave forever. How best could we describe him? He is a slave by his own free will. He is enslaved by the love of his master, and went through the painful process of piercing his ear as an external sign of how overwhelming the love of his master is on himself. By that overwhelming love, his willful slavery endures forever. That allegory explain to us why the apostles called themselves slaves of the Lord while they yet strongly preach the sonship to God and freedom we have in Jesus.. For eternity: Now the slave will belong to his master's house, and dwell with him (John 12:26), and serve him, his bloved one, for eternity (Revelation 21:3).

6. The unifying and guiding cross

Numbers 2

Take up the cross, and follow Me
Mark 10:21

...and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven,
having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Colossians 1:20

Read Numbers chapter 2 and sketch the scene.
what do you see?
They make a tabernacle centered human moving well-formed cross, do not they?:

* By the cross Jesus reconciled all of us in one body.

* We either keep adhering to that one cross, making one cross shaped boy, all way long throughout the desert heading to the promised land, or we would fail to move properly.

7. The healing and life saving cross

Numbers 21:8-9

And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up
John 3:14

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Second Corinthians 5:21

A serpent cures a serpent's bite! A death rises up from death!
The serpent is just RAISED.
Notice how the snake that moses raised is of BRONZE, a STAINLESS metal.
Notice also, being of bronze, it does not bite or cause harm:

"8Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." 9So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived."

* Jesus turned the cross, once curse (Galatians 3:13), into the very blessing

* From a sign of disgrace to the banner of Glory

* From a tool of life taking death, to an instrument of life giving

* By means of a serpent, the Satan deceived Eve, but Jesus made it into a symbol of salvation

How come Jesus is likened into a serpent? many ask denyingly. Notice it is bronze, i.e. a precious metal that has no corruption, and can not go corrupt. To translate: He is without the corruption of sin, and can not know sin. His essence (metal) is pure and precious.
Notice also that the bronze serpent does not bite, and causes no harm. On the contrary, it heals.

Being sinless and harmless, He was made sin for us! That is He was so covered by accusations of sin doing that He appeared as if He were Himself a sin. That is He became, as such a sacrifice for sin. For our own sin. In the OT language, they did not differentiate between sin and the sacrifice for sin, because the sacrifice held the sin, (see for few examples only Exo 29:36, Lev 4:29 in LXX; Hos 4:8) while it is yet innocent.

Finally, the serpent is RAISED. Most probably, a cross-shaped stand was actually used to support it. To be raised, a long vertical stand was needed. To support its head turning toward the viewers, a short horizontal bard is needed as well. We can not think of any other material for the stand but wood. Typical cross, is not it?

Odd, is not it?

8. The cross ends shame
... and Judges evil

Judges 16: 26-30

knowing this,
that our old man was crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Romans 6:6

Samson had to symbolise the cross so that he might bring his shame to an end.
On the other hand, see also how this very act executed just vengeance on the wicked enemies:

"26Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them." 27Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there--about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed. 28Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!" 29And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. 30Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life."

* Samson died with his enemies, but Jesus died FOR them.

* Sin inflicted shame on Samson. Thanks to the cross he symbolised, his dignity was restored back.

* Witohut restorting to the cross, daemons will keep making fun of us, making clowns out of us.

* Sin left samson in shame. Only the cross stored him back to dignity.

* The cross is there for us to crucify our old man on it and be free from sin and end the shame of the slavery to sin. No other way to it.

* Nonetheless, those who refuse His salvation, will make out of salvation, a judgment to themselves. To them, the cross will be eternal death.
(see II Corinthians 2:16)

9. Christ's life transmission through the cross

I Knigs 17:17-23

I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me Galatians 2:20

Elijah lay coincidently with the dead body in a cross shape,
that is the discription that makes the best sense:

"17 Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. 18So she said to Elijah, "What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?" 19And he said to her, "Give me your son. " So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20Then he cried out to the LORD and said, "O LORD my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?" 21And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the LORD and said, "O LORD my God, I pray, let this child's soul come back to him." 22Then the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. 23And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, "See, your son lives!"

* At first, Elijah had no way to it,
he did not do how to do it,
he cried to God and his prayers were answered.
He was told the right way:
the cross
* Had Elijah stretcehd his body away from the kid, The kid would not have been risen.
We have to be crucified with Jesus so that He lives in us.

10. Discipleship in the cross

II kings 4:32-34

See how good disciple Elisha is, he made it the cross way directly:

"32When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. 34And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm."

* Is it not again a perfect symbolisation to Galatians 2:20

* A good disciple of a his teacher, prayed then went directly to perform.

* He looks to have known the secret in advance. His teacher Elijah must have told him.

*Elisha proved inded to have inherited a double portion of his master elijah's spirit.
We will meet him soon applying the lesson of the cross again,
this time to symbolise the core meaning of the very cross.

11. He descended into hades through the cross

II Kings 6:1-7

But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). Romans 10:6-7

Now this, "He ascended" -- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? Ephesians 4:9

We meet again with Elisha who understood very well the lesson of the cross:

"1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha,
"See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us.
2"Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there,
and let us make there a place where we may dwell." So he answered, "Go."
3Then one said, "Please consent to go with your servants.
" And he answered, "I will go." 4So he went with them.
And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.
5But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water;
and he cried out and said, "Alas, master! For it was borrowed."
6So the man of God said, "Where did it fall?"
And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick,
and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.
7Therefore he said, "Pick it up for yourself."
So he reached out his hand and took it."

* Two miracles here occuring in opposite ways:
a wood sinks down,
while a metal goes up!

+ God appeared in flesh, and went down even to the hades
so that the captive there be released and brought back up to the paradise

* The iron ax is a helpful tool, made of hard well breaking but unbreakable metal. It must be precious.

+ That is what most of human beings think of themselves, and the iron head will work for us as a symbol to the human soul throuout the allegory.

* If left by its own, the iron, such a heavy metal, could not help but fall into the deep as it actually did.

+ So does it happen to our souls, overloaded by sinful nature.
It fell by sin, and would go inevitably to hades.

* Not a single man of the prophets, even its borrower,
could go to the deep in order to bring the iron ax head back. The all kept helpless.

+ That was the very case of the captive souls in the hades desperate of any reach by men,
as it is written:
'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?
( Deuteronomy 30:13 )

* The poor borrower of the lost axe gets in panic, he is answerable to it,
and, apparently, could not afford to compensate for it.
He resorted immediately to Elisha begging for help.
Please not how elisha is called in this very scriture:
He is called "master" and again "the man of God".

+ In the same way, like the drowned axe head, our souls were lost.
And like the borrower, we do not own our souls, and we will give answer for it.
We then have no alternative but to resort to the real master and the only begotten son of God.

* Elisha now finds it a wonderful chance not only to help the pleeding man, but to symbolise the core purpose of the cross, he, then resorted without a second thought to the wood
The word translated "stick", "'a's (Aleph Shad)" in Hebrew, means tree or wood according to DBD lexicon.
The man of God cut off the piece of wood for himself although all the prophets around were working on cutting off wood, and they must ad cut off tens of pieces thus far.
The iron head amazingly floats.

+ That is what Jesus did. He went down to the hades through the cross, as it is again quoted and commented on by the apostle Paul:
But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart,
'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or,
" 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
( Romans 10:6-7 )br>
That Pauline quotation and commentary means that
no one could force the Christ to come down from heaven,
nor could they help him to ascend from hades.
It is only by His will that He came down, and only Him can help out.

* Elisha brought the lost ax head up out of the deep. But he did not push it forcefully into the palms of the man

+ Jesus, as well, saves. but we are responsible for taking up His very free salvation on us, by our own free will. We are also to take care of that salvation, we might lose it, as it is written:
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:12

12. Cross mark!

Song of songs 5:2-5

When He had said this,
He showed them His hands and His side
John 20:20

What does the Song's bride see in Her bridegroom's hand that makes her heart yearn for Him?
A nail mark?

2I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
"Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night."
3I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
4My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
5I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock

* This poetic picture was realized when Thomas, like the Song's bride, yearned at Jesus cross marks and said: My Lord, My God!
(John 20:28)

* But alas, many will yearn and cry at the cross marks after it is too late
(see Zachariah 12:10, John 19:37, and Revelation 1:7)

13. The widely open arms!

Isaiah 65:2

How often I wanted to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing!
Matthew 23:37

Please pay attention to the verb in this verse:
A nail mark?

2I have stretched out My hands all day long
to a rebellious people,

* The verb translated "stretch out" is "phareshti" in Hebrew,
which according to BDB lexicon means 'spread out a garment; wings, fishing net; net or hands as in swimming'.

* To a reader looking for the simple direct meaning
that fits best to a cross-free conext,
it would make good sense for them to think of a one
extending his hands forwardly as a gesture of call.

* but for those with a good sense of Hebrew language, they could not help but think of another scene.
A one holding out his arms cross-like.
Th verb 'phareshti' is used almost always to mean a thing whose extents are spread most furthest from each other, e.g. wings, garment, net, etc ...

* Having the reference to the crusifixion scene in mind,
every word of of the verse would make the best sense:
the widely extended arms, the day long patience, the rebellious people,
and most importantly, the long-suffering forgiving and hopeful God.

14. The crucifixion plot against a meek feeding Lamb!

Isaiah 65:2

"But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law,
'They hated Me without a cause.'
John 15:25

Notice how the Lamb is docile, i.e. lived among His own, that is john1:11; but they schemed against Him, that is to fulfill John1:11,
Notice how He is so sweet and valuable for nutrition as He is the fruit of the tree,
Note finally that the original Hebrew for "fruit" in this location is BREAD: A nail mark?

19But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter;
and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying,
"Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
and let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name may be remembered no more."

* But yet, He is risen, and prevailed. The authority of evil is over. Devil, The highest head of Evil, is crushed and fell burnt. * Even worse for them, the scene will be more different in the end of time,
as the plotters will ask to run away from the anger of the slaughtered Lamb.
How odd it is that they try to run away from a slaughtered lamb!