The Day of The Lord Foreshadowed

in the Pentateuch






From “Watching and Waiting,” Vol. XX. No. 8.  April-June, 1975.) 

(The following article is the substance of an address given at the Alliance Hall in January last).






The Day of the Lord is not, in fact, named in the Pentateuch but it is frequently described under various aspects.  On at least eight occasions we find some clear reference to, or portrayal of, the Day of the Lord.  We will look briefly at each of these.



The Covenant with Abraham



God said to Abram in Gen. 12, “I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”.  And again in Gen. 15, “I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees to give thee this land to inherit it”.  And when Abraham desired some more evidence that he should inherit the land, the Lord made an unconditional covenant with him saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”.  Again in chapter 13 the Lord said, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever”.  Again in chapter 17, the Lord said, “I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God”.



In these passages we observe that the Lord promised to give the land to Abraham as well as to his seed and that he should possess it.  Stephen in his address to the Council in Acts 7, emphasise this; he says, concerning Abraham, “The Lord gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child”.  Now if, as here repeatedly stated the Lord promised the land to Abraham for a possession, yet during his lifetime he possessed nothing in it except a grave, then this promise must be fulfilled after the RESURRECTION, when indeed Abraham and his Seed - even Immanuel - shall together possess it for an everlasting inheritance.  Of this our Lord reminded us when He said, “Many shall come from the east and from the west and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of God”.  And this will be in the Day of the Lord which is ushered in by the First Resurrection.



The same promise is confirmed later unto Isaac in chapter 26. “Unto thee and into thy seed I will give all these countries and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father … and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed”.





Jacob’s Vision of the Ladder



When Jacob left his father’s house and journeyed to Padan Aram as recorded in Gen. 28, he lay down in a certain place to sleep.  “And he dreamed and behold a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.  And, behold, Jehovah stood above it and said, ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father and the God of Isaac: and the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed’”.  The word “seed” in the first and last mentions above is in the Hebrew singular, thus pointing to Christ in accordance with the Apostle’s words in his epistle to the Galatians, “Now to Abraham and to his seed were the promises made.  He saith not ‘And to seeds’ as of many; but as of one, ‘And to thy seed, which is Christ.  And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise”.  All these promises then, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob were unconditional promises of grace and are totally unaffected by the [Mosaic] law.  Abraham Isaac and Jacob must then yet possess, under the Governorship of Immanuel, the promised Seed, the land of Palestine, Immanuel’s land.  And this, therefore, when the Lord Jesus, the Son of David, shall be King over His own inheritance; and this will be in the Day of the Lord.



All this seems to be confirmed by our Lord in His words to Nathaniel, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”.  It is difficult to imagine that the Lord had not in mind here Jacob’s vision of the ladder.  At our Lord’s baptism we are told that “the heavens were opened unto Him” but to Nathaniel He says, “Hereafter ye shall see the heaven open”.  At the time of which our Lord speaks there will be visible and continuous communication between heaven and earth.  And the Lord said to Nathaniel, “Thou shalt see it”.  Nathaniel will see it together with all the risen saints at His coming.  This will be seen in the Day of the Lord.





A Prophet like unto Moses



The promise of the Lord to Moses in Deut. 18 was “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee and will put my words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I command Him.  And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he [i.e. Messiah Jesus] shall speak in My name, I will require it if him”.  Peter refers to this in Acts 3 where he says, “Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.  For Moses truly said unto the fathers, ‘A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.  And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people’”.  Thus the word of Moses “I will require it of him” is interpreted by Peter as “shall be destroyed from among the people”.



But when our Lord was here [at His first advent] He definitely declared that He had not “come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them”.  He did say, however, of the time to come, “He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day”.  The last day of this [evil] age when the dead in Christ shall rise, will usher in the Day of the Lord.  Then “the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” and “He shall judge among many people and rebuke strong nations afar off”.  He did not do this at His first coming but He will at His second coming and on through the Day of the Lord.






The Glory of the Lord



When the children of Israel refused to enter into the Promised Land owing to the evil report of the 10 spies, the Lord threatened to destroy them but in answer to Moses’ intercession He said “I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord”.  All the unbelief and rebellion of the people could not alter the ultimate determination of the Lord.  This is enlarged upon a little by the Prophet Habakkuk in the chapter which pronounces the five-fold woe upon the Man of Sin.  The Lord says, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”.  And in Psalm 72 which deals with the coming King and the greatness of His Kingdom, David prays, “Let the whole earth be filled with His glory: Amen! And Amen



To-day “the glory of God is above the heavens” but when He who is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person” comes in all His glory and in the glory of all His holy angels, then “the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea”.  This will be the Day of the Lord.





Balaam’s Prophecy



In Balaam’s second parable as recorded in Numbers 23, he said “God is not a man that He should lie … Behold I have received commandment to bless and He hath blessed and I cannot reverse it.  He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel: Jehovah his God is with him and the shout of a king is among them … According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘What hath God wrought!’”.



This is clearly prophetic of the last days when the remnant of Israel shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and a nation shall “be born in a day”; when the people “shall be all righteous” and when, as the Lord hath said, “they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the greatest of them”.  The whole nation then will be embraced in the everlasting Covenant of Grace and consequently the Lord will not then behold iniquity in Jacob, neither see perverseness in Israel.  Not until then will this Scripture be fully [and seen to be literally] fulfilled.  Then, indeed, will there be “the shout of a King among them” for the Son of David will then sit upon the throne of His father [David] and “a King shall reign in righteousness and princes shall reign in judgment”.  Then shall the law go forth [out] of Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem and this will be in the Day of the Lord.  Then it will truly be said of Israel “What hath God wrought



Then in Balaam’s final parable, he said, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth.  And Edom shall be a possession, Seir shall also be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.  Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion and shall destroy him that remaineth in the city … Alas, who shall live when God doeth this He who is the Star will also hold the sceptre for the prophet had foretold that out of Bethlehem should he come forth who is to be ruler in Israel and when He comes in glory and wields the sceptre, then all Israel’s enemies, including Moab, Edom and Seir will be forever overthrown.  Who, indeed, shall live when God doeth this?  For this will be the Day of the Lord when “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.  For the day of Jehovah of Hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low”.





The Feast of Tabernacles



The Children of Israel had three major feasts which foreshadowed future events.  (1) The Passover which was the memorial of their deliverance from Egypt and a foreshadowment of our Lord’s sacrifice at Calvary.  The Apostle says, “Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”.  (2) The Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits which was [partially] fulfilled at Pentecost when the first-fruits of the Gospel were gathered.  (3) The Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Ingathering of the harvest and pointing forward to the Day of the Lord when “many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day and shall be His people”.



The prophet Ezekiel foretells that in that day of the feast of Passover will be continued as a national festival and as a constant memorial to the people of Israel of their redemption by the Saviour whom they crucified.  In the knowledge of this, they will be kept humble before the Lord; to be His servants in the earth and His messengers to all nations.  The Feast of Tabernacles, on the other hand, will be an international festival.  Zechariah foretells this in his last chapter where he says, “And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.  In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.  Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts”.  Children of Israel from the days of Moses shall have its abundant fulfilment in the Day of the Lord.  The Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits will not be kept in that day because that will have been already fulfilled during this age and will have no relevance in the Age to Come.






Jacob’s last Blessing



When Jacob gathered his sons together to bless them before his death, he said to Judah, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.  Binding his foal into the vine; he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk”.



Who is Shiloh?  The meaning of the word itself may be summed up in the expression “The Prince of Peace”.  When applied to a place, the word signifies “a place of rest”.  The place where the Ark of the Covenant first rested in the Promised Land was called “Shiloh”.  So the glorious Person in whom the promises of the eternal covenant “rest” is called “Shiloh”; the name indicating pacificator - Prince of Rest or Peace.  That the Shiloh is to be a Prince or Governor is apparent for He is to give laws and wield a sceptre.  But He is not only to wear the diadem; He is to acquire His Government by right of birth; by right of royal descent.  He is the Seed of Judah and “from Judah cometh the chief ruler” (1 Chron. 5: 2).  He is the Seed of Abraham, the friend of God, in whom all the families of the earth are to be blessed.  He is the Seed of Israel - the true Prince who has power with God and with men and must prevail.  He is the Seed of David - the Man who, beyond David, is the Man after God’s own heart, fulfilling all His will; ruling in righteousness and in the fear of the Lord.  God had sworn to David that of the fruit of his loins He would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne.  And Paul declares that this is partly fulfilled; “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour; Jesus.  Having obtained eternal redemption for His people, He has entered into the holiest, there to await the time when He shall take His great power and reign”.



The Lord said through Jacob, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come”.  The Throne of Israel was overturned at the captivity and has never been the same since.  Nevertheless the law-giver continued to spring out of Judah until the days of Caesar Augustus, Judaea became a Roman province and was taxed as such.  Hence Jesus was born King of the Jews and must, in His own time, manifestly exercise that sovereignty.  In agreement with this, the Jews cried at His crucifixion, “We have no King but Caesar”, thus declaring all too plainly, by their language in condemning Him, that they were killing the Prince of Peace - the Shiloh of Jacob’s death-bed prophecy.





Shiloh, the King of kings



Of the Shiloh it is said, “Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” or, more literally, “Unto Him shall be the obedience of the peoples”.  Thus David sang concerning his Seed, this same glorious Person.  “He shall judge Thy people with righteousness and Thy poor with judgment … He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth.  They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him, and His enemies shall lick the dust … Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him … Daily shall He be praised … All nations shall call Him blessed”.



It is further said of Him, “He shall bind His foal unto the vine and His ass’s colt unto the choice vine: He shall wash His garments in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes  When Shiloh comes to set up His Kingdom, “the earth shall yield her increase”.  Vines, at least in the land of Palestine, will be so common as to be used pickets for young asses.  And not only the common sort, will be so used.  The choice vine will grow, as it were, in the hedge-rows.  The result of this will be to make wine as plentiful as water, insomuch that it will be used for purposes of washing and cleansing as well as for drinking.



It is said finally of the Shiloh, “His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk”.  There is of course no reference here to the redness of the eyes spoken of in the Proverbs as the accompaniment of drunkenness; but the Patriarch indicates rather a “sparkling” bright countenance which is the result of gladdened heart, for wine, says the psalmist “maketh glad the heart of man”.  This gladness of heart and comeliness of appearance will be common in “the Regeneration, when the Son of Man sits upon the Throne of His glory”.  Indeed, Young’s literal translation leaves out the word “his” and the passage reads simply “Eyes shall be red with wine and teeth white with milk”.  Our Lord promised His disciples that He would drink the new wine with them in His Father’s kingdom.  So when we see Him as He is, we shall be like Him and share with Him in all the rich blessings of His Millennial Kingdom.  And this will be in the Day of the Lord.





Moses’ Song and Blessing



Moses’ song in Deut. 32, after delineating the history of God’s dealings with His people Israel from the land of Egypt, brings it to this climax in verse 43, “Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people,” (or, as in the margin, “Praise His people, ye nations”) “for He will avenge the blood of His servants and will render vengeance to His adversaries and will be merciful unto His land and to his people”.  This looks forward to the fulfilment of God’s covenant with Jacob - “In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed” and also to the Lord’s covenant to the Seed of David - “All nations shall serve Him”; while the remaining portion is confirmed by the prophet Isaiah.  Speaking of the time of Israel’s glory he says, “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted … Violence shall no more be heard in thy land; wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation and thy gates Praise”.  Thus Moses’ song beautifully sums up Israel’s Millennial blessings in the Day of the Lord.



It may be that Moses’ blessing upon the individual tribes has reference, in some cases at least, to Israel’s final restoration but his concluding blessing upon the whole nation certainly foreshadows Israel’s glory in the Day of the Lord.  He says, “The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms”.  This is the reason for Israel’s continual preservation and for the fact that her enemies have never finally prevailed over her.  Therefore he says of her final deliverance, “He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, ‘Destroy them’.  Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.  Happy art thou O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by Jehovah, the shield of thy help and who is the sword of thy excellency!  And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places”.



Thus ends the writings of Moses, looking forward to the time when that people whom he had led all through the wilderness to the promised land, after many vicissitudes should dwell safely therein with Jehovah Himself as their Divine refuge and Protector; when their foes shall be all defeated and they themselves a lasting blessing in the midst of the earth.  Then will be fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah the father of John the Baptist, “As God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham; that He would grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life”.



Such will be the blessing of Israel in the Day of the Lord when Jesus, the Son of David Himself will be their King.  So we may say to Him with Nathaniel, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel






“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,

do it all to the glory of God:” (1 Corinthians 10: 31).



“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray your wholly spirit and soul and body

be preserved blamelessly unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:” (1 Thessalonians 5: 23).




ENTIRE sanctification means the sanctification of everything.  The sanctification, for example, of the daily work; that is, doing it to the Lord, and therefore doing it as well as we can.  If a ploughman be entirely sanctified, he will plough a straight furrow - or at least try his best to do so.  If he be a mason, he will put no bad work into his walls; if a doctor, he will care more about curing his patients than about getting larger fees; if he be a minister of religion, he will strive to serve the people to the utmost of his ability [by teaching them “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20: 27, R.V.)].  I do not believe in the entire sanctification of any man who does his daily work in a slovenly way, who keeps his books so badly that he contracts debts without knowing whether he will ever be able to pay them, and spends other people’s money rather than his own.  Entire sanctification means that a man will be perfectly upright in all his business transactions even in buying and selling horses, [or cars] and in paying income tax. - B. Hellier.



Are we not princes? we who stand

As heirs beside the Throne!

We who can call the Promised Land

Our heritage, our own,

And answer to no less command

Than God’s, and His alone?



O God, that we can dare to fail,

And dare to say we must;

O God, that we can ever trail

Such banners in the dust!

Can let such starry honours pale,

And such a blazon rust.



Shall we upon the titles leave

The taint of sin and shame?

Shall we the children of the King

Who hold so grand a claim,

Tarnish by any meaner thing,

The glory of our name?