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Rachel a Type of Zion
Many types are furnished us illustrative of the two houses of Israel (natural and spiritual), and their relationship to each other; yet no two of these illustrate exactly the same features. Among the more prominent we might mention Ishmael and Isaac, who represented the natural and spiritual seeds of Abraham, both of whom were blessed, but not to the same degree. Their mothers, Hagar and Sarah, we have seen to be types of the Law and Gospel covenants, under which the two seeds are developed. Isaac and Rebecca, another beautiful type, shows us the relationship to which the “little flock” shall come as the Bride of Christ, when she becomes joint heir with Him. Jacob and Esau typically show how the natural seed, though first developed, failed to receive the choicest blessing. As “Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage,” so natural Israel, when they might have inherited the (spiritual) promises, chose instead natural things. The Gospel church, represented by Jacob—though developed later, gets the choicest blessing—the spiritual. “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; but Israel, which followed after the law of righteous, hath not attained.” [Rom. 9:11,30.]
But now another type not before noticed by us, presents itself, and is fully as clear, when seen, as the others, and illustrates particular features of truth not pictured in the others. Rachel, seems to be a type of the Gospel church in many particulars; and her sister Leah would correspondingly represent the fleshly Israel. Jacob served seven years for each of these, which might be understood as typifying the equality of the two ages—Jewish and Gospel—which we have already found to be of equal measure.
Again, as Rachel was the one chiefly loved and first promised, so the Gospel covenant, the most desirable, was made before “the Law” covenant [Gal. 3:8,17] though the latter was first recognized, and the children of the flesh born first, (Rom. 9:8) called “Israel after the flesh.” (1 Cor. 10:18.)
But our chief interest centers in Rachel. Her first born was Joseph, who seems to be a type of “the Christ.” He was exalted next to Pharaoh (type of God.)—”Only in the throne shall I be greater than thou.” So it is true now of our head (Jesus) and will soon be true of the whole body. “Him hath God highly exalted, and given him a name that is above every name.” We understand then that Rachel’s first born typified the little flock, to whom it is the Father’s good pleasure to give the kingdom—whose head is Jesus.
Her second child, in the travail of whose birth she died, was Benjamin, who we believe typifies the “great company” who are born after the “great tribulation.”
How this type harmonizes with the foregoing article. How perfectly does Rachel typify Zion, having two offsprings—the first to rule; the second also beloved born after travail—death anguish. How the death of Rachel shows the end of Zion’s career as an earthly church when the “great company” are born after the trouble.
Joseph, when in power, blessed his brethren, and ultimately made himself known to them. So we expect that when the kingdom is given to the “little flock” in the very beginning of the reign, the time of trouble will be so ordered as to bring our brethren (the second company still in the flesh and “Israel after the flesh”—Benjamin and the brethren) into such a position as will result in their blessing. The distinction made between Benjamin and the other brethren is shown in Joseph’s blessing him with five times as much as they received, (Gen. 43:34; 45:22) which shows the greater blessing of the spiritual brethren typified by Benjamin over that of the natural brethren—fleshly Israel, typified by the sons of Leah.
— January, 1881 —