“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:26-27‬ ‭

In light of the fact that Moses apparently saw the reproach of the Christ

“He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:26‬ ‭

What, could Jesus possibly have alluded to in the Pentateuch about the reproach of the Christ? I’m particularly interested in the earlier writings of the OT more so than the latter prophets because apparently Moses had the opportunity to choose between Egypt’s riches or join into the reproach of the Christ.

I can think of Genesis 3:15. That seems obvious, the deceiver will bruise the heel of the promised anointed one as his head is being crushed.

A more obscure prophecy was that spoken to Abraham that He will provide Genesis 22:14

What else is there or are we to go to the apocryphal books to find the reproach expected of the Christ? Certainly there are many examples in the Psalms

  • See Protevangelium. Moses chose a hard life among the Jews, who were reproached by the Egyptians and their Pharaoh (Exodus 1), after having a divine revelation (Exodus 3) from God, whom Christians regard as Christ's Father.
    – Lucian
    Oct 23, 2021 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


I think there are many "spoken" prophecies regarding the Christ that could be listed - but they mostly come through the later prophets. In the Pentateuch it mostly contains what are called "Shadows and Types" of Christ. Essentially that the stories are kind of "parables" or "prophecies" of Christ with the same overarching narrative of Christs story which the central figures "act out". These are what I believe Jesus would have explained per Luke‬ ‭24:27

When looking from that perspective we have stories like:

  • Abraham and Isaac in Gen 22. Abraham being asked to take his long prophesised son and sacrifice him on the mountain is an obvious shadow and type foretelling Christ sacrifice on the cross.

  • The story of Joseph from Gen 37. He is thrown into the "pit" by his brothers - which is closely aligned with death / sheol symbolically. He is then sold into slavery and endures a long period of imprisonment "but rises" to eventually become the right hand to the king of Egypt and is able to save his brothers / family when a famine strikes Egypt giving out "food" which again is symbolically significant. Again a clear shadow and type of Christ.

  • Moses and the bronze serpent in Numbers 21 which heals people of snake bites when people look at it. Again a shadow of Christ crucifixtion.

  • Exodus 17 when Moses is instructed to "Strike the rock" to bring water out of it to sustain the people in the desert. Some think this is a symbol of Jesus being pierced on the cross where water gushes forth.

Once you understand these shadows and types you start to see them everywhere in the bible and not just of Christ. Often its things people do before they are appointed by God which represent future events. EG: Moses spending 40 years as a shepherd in the Desert for the Priest of Midian - which clearly "acts out" the role he would have shepherding "Gods Flock" Israel in the wilderness for 40 years or Abraham giving his wife to the Pharoah which propesized the Israelite slavery in Egypt in Exodus. God is big on "sign acts" (Non verbal prophetic actions)

  • 2
    Nice answer +1. I think "types" which is the common way to describe the foreshadowing can be misleading as it shifts the focus away from the action to the person. For example, in speaking of Abraham offering Isaac, the word used is parable (Hebrews 11:19), as you state. However, the focus is on the actual event which foreshadows a corresponding actual event in the NT. IOW, neither Abraham or Isaac are called "types" of Christ in the NT; rather certain of the actions they choose and experience are representative of actions Christ will choose and experience. Oct 23, 2021 at 17:37
  • @Revelation Lad. Yes true. Parable or Prophecy I would actually say Isaac was a "prophecy" of Christ. Thats a better word then type. I really spent time on the story of Abraham - mostly because I found it one of the most confusing and weird stories when I was younger. I really studied the text and also prayed for revelation and understanding. What I came to understand is Abraham essentially "prophectically walks out" the entire bible From Genesis 35 to the NT. Abraham as the prophet represents God. His wife Sara - the barren woman (Isaiah 54) - represents Israel. Isaac propheitcally is Christ
    – Marshall
    Oct 23, 2021 at 18:17

As you state in the question, the first knowledge given to Adam and Eve of the plan for their redemption is found in Genesis 3:15.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15, KJV)

This, being spoken to the serpent (Satan), represented sin. God promised to cause His people, represented by the woman, to hate sin, and to be saved through the "seed" of that woman, representing Christ, the Messiah.

And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:9, KJV)

That serpent represented Christ, who became sin for us.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV)

While that is a New Testament text which Jesus could not have quoted, the symbolism of the following two verses could have supplied its place--with the book of Job having been written by Moses as well.

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (Psalm 22:6, KJV)

How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:6, KJV)

Virtually the entirety of Psalm 22 is a Messianic prophecy, with special focus on the crucifixion. Jesus may have quoted from it on the walk to Emmaus.

Jesus' words on the cross:

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psalm 22:1, KJV)

The wounds from the nails predicted:

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16, KJV)

The shame:

I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (Psalm 22:17, KJV)

I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. (Psalm 109:25, KJV)

The competition for his garments:

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (Psalm 22:18, KJV)

The vinegar and gall:

They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. (Psalm 69:21, KJV)

Moses also wrote the following reference to the Messiah, called "Shiloh."

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. (Genesis 49:10, KJV)

Abraham's testing gave further evidence of the Messiah to come, the "Seed" of Abraham.

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:8, KJV)

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18, KJV)

And, of course, there is always Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53: Prophetic of Christ
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

This passage is very likely one that Jesus would have quoted. It would not have been difficult to connect this passage with the events of Calvary; and Jesus seems to have had a special liking for the book of Isaiah.

But back to Moses, it is worth remembering that the entire sacrificial system which pointed forward to the Messiah was established within the books of Moses.


Surely, to be likened to a snake or to a worm, rather than a man, ignominiously looked upon by the people, bearing reproach, and taking sin itself upon him--these prophecies all foretold the sufferings of the Messiah. The lamb that was slain after sins had been confessed over its head predicted the sacrifice our Redeemer would make in our behalf. Moses foretold a great deal about our Savior through his writings.


Lange is a little hard to read. In summary, the author of Hebrews isn't saying Moses specifically names the Messiah facing reproach, but the reproach Moses faced in Egypt paralleled Christ's reproach. This seems the most plausible answer.

VER. 26. The reproach of Christ.—Lün. understands by the ὀνειδισμὸς τοῦ χριστοῦ, the reproach which Christ bore; Ebr. (after the older interpp.), the reproach for the sake of Christ which Moses endured by virtue of his hope in the Messiah; Bl., Del., and others, correctly, the reproach which Christ had to endure in His own person, and has to endure in His members. The author’s warrant for ascribing to Moses a participation in this reproach is found by Hofm. in the typical connection, by virtue of which, the Old Testament people of God bear in themselves the impress of Christ, inasmuch as Christ is He whom the Old Testament history, in advance, represents, and whom the Old Testament Word promises. Stier finds this warrant in the mystical unity of Christ and His church; De W. and Thol., in the pre-existent presence of Christ as the Logos, in the Old Testament Israel (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Pet. 1:10 ff.); BAUMG., (Theol. comm. on the Pent.) citing the authority of Augustine, in that preparation for Christ’s appearance in the flesh which runs through the entire history of Israel. Delitzsch unites the various explanations, and says: “The reproach of Christ is, to our author, the reproach of the Christ who was present as Logos in His people made one with Him, and there typically announcing His incarnation which was yet to take place.” -- Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moll, C. B., & Kendrick, A. C. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Hebrews (p. 192). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Here are Moses's actions that chose reproach:

One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” 14 He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. (Exodus 2:11–15, ESV)

Here' another example of a New Testament author, Matthew, making parallels to Moses, which is sometimes confusing to us. "My son" in Hosea 11:1 quoted in Matt. 2:14-15

  • The quote in Hosea doesn’t have to be read Israel is the son. Oct 23, 2021 at 14:02

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