God did not allow Moses to bring the Israelites into the Promised Land. Moses is symbolic of the Law, and the Law cannot save. Man is saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. So, it is not Moses who brings the Israelites into the Promised Land, but Joshua. Joshua, is the English pronunciation of the Hebrew name, Yeshua, or Jesus. It is “Jesus” who brings the Israelites into the Promised Land! Where Moses and the Law could not save, Jesus and the Gospel succeed. St. John of Chrysostom makes this observation: “The name of Joshua (Jesus) was a type… for it was a prediction and a prophecy. He brought the people into the Promised Land, as Jesus [does] into Heaven.” The Gospel of grace and faith save, where the Law cannot. It is Joshua, bearing the very name of the Messiah, who leads the Israelites into the Promised Land.
It is Joshua, also, who leads the Israelites to conquer the Canaanite stronghold of Jericho. Jericho was an outpost of Canaanite pagan practices, with the worst of idolatries and in opposition to the true faith. Yahweh declares Jericho is under the ban and its paganism should be wiped out. Yet, it is Rahab, a type of the Church, who was a harlot sinner, but who believes in the God of the Israelites. Rahab and her family alone are saved in Jericho. Rahab hangs a “scarlet cord” from her window so the Israelites will know to “pass over” her dwelling in the onslaught. This is reminiscent of the Israelites marking their doors with the blood of the lamb so the angel of death would “Passover” them during the last plague in Egypt. The red blood of the lamb and the scarlet cord of Rahab in Jericho, then, are types of the blood of Christ. It is through the blood of Christ on the houses of our souls that death and destruction shall pass over us too. This is the typology of the scarlet cord that runs through the whole Old Testament—foreshadowing the saving grace of the blood of Christ.
Jericho, too, is a type for the end of the world. Joshua, the priests—carrying the Ark of the Covenant—and the faithful march around the city for seven days, and on the seventh day, they march around the city seven times. They blow the trumpets and call out to God to knock down the walls. Finally, the walls come tumbling down and Joshua and the Israelites conquer the evil pagan city of Jericho. Note that Origen links Joshua and Jericho to the Second Coming of Christ: “At that time, therefore, Jesus our Lord conquers Jericho with trumpets and overthrows it, so that out of it, only the prostitute [Rahab] is saved and all her house.” It is only through the Church marked with the blood of Christ [i.e., the scarlet cord] that we gain our salvation. In the end, Jesus will conquer the world to the sound of trumpet blasts (Revelation 8:6) in his Second Coming—and lead us into the Promised Land of heaven.
Follow along as Brian Kranick shows how the miraculous in Exodus becomes the supernatural & sacramental in the New Covenant and the Catholic Church:
- Part I: From Exodus to Easter – Old Testament Typologies Reveal New Testament Realities
- Part II: From Exodus to Easter – Jesus, The New Moses
- Part III: From Exodus to Easter – The New Joshua
Brian Kranick is the author of Burning Bush, Burning Hearts: Exodus as Paradigm of the Gospel. He has a master’s degree in Systematic Theology from Christendom College and writes about theological issues at sacramentallife.com. He resides with his family in the Pacific Northwest.