Symbolism in the Tanakh is an extension of the Bible that shows the depth of mind of G-d.
These meanings show the Spirit of G-d alive in the lives of the characters in the Tanakh as well as the B'rit Hadashah. This does not mean that the events are not true and to be taken symbolically only. There is intended a double meaning in these events. Both are true. The beautiful symbolism is not a science but a depth of artistic flare of a creator that has no limitation of time. The creator is one who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
He is present continually in our lives. G-d manifested Himself through laws in the Tanakh but in the life of His Son in the B'rit Hadshah. His presence is found in the actions of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov, Yosef, Moshe and so many others. Their lives point to the anointed one (Mashiach) our Yeshua. This is not only a Christian idea, It is also a Tanakh idea; therefore the whole Bible tells me so. A Bible idea. (The whole word of G-d.) The different types in the Bible point to Him as does the whole Bible. He is the unity and main theme. This can also be read on our article "Yeshua".
Symbolism is not new and was also used by G-d through Isaiah when He used him symbolically. His nakedness was used as a symbolic sign to others in Isa: 20:3.
Symbolism was also used when Ezekiel's actions where used as sign for the captivity to come.(Ezek. 12:3-11)
Yeshua' also said the only sign He would give that generation was the sign of Jonas. He would use His experience in the whale's belly for three days and nights, so shall He be in the heart of the earth. So, G-d does use symbolism in His word and uses this trend throughout the Bible.
Now we have received, not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from G-d, that we might know the things freely given to us by G-d, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of G-d; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinth 2:12-14)
Moshe struck this rock symbolically many years before the soldier would strike the true rock Yeshua with a spear. He also provided water and bread like Yeshua many years later that lead to life.
Ps 78:20-22 - Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people?
Num 20:11 - And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Yes He can provide water and flesh. This was a foreshadowing of things to come.
Matt 26:67-68 - Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Messiah (Christ), Who is he that smote thee?
John 19:32-36 - Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus (Yeshua), and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side (soldier struck the rock), and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (Because he was to be without blemish) and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
This was to provide the meat and the blood, which provides life to all whom believe.
John 6:53-57 - Then Jesus (Yeshua) said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
(This is not a literal drinking of His blood, but an accepting His blood as satisfying the requirements or satisfying G-d's wrath against us.)
1 John 5:6-8 - This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah); not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
Matt 14:29-32 - And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus (Yeshua). But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, L-rd, save me. And immediately Jesus (Yeshua) stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (This symbolizes it only requires faith in Him to conquer death.)
John 2:2-11 - And both Jesus (Yeshua) was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus (Yeshua) saith unto him, they have no wine. Jesus (Yeshua) saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus (Yeshua) saith unto them, fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew
Here we have stone, water, and wine. The stone water pots that provide water just like the stone of old that provided water, except the water of old this time was changed to wine to symbolize that the water that provided life in the Tanakh, now turns to wine which symbolizes His blood (His death) witch provides life to those whom see it and believe. He is represented through the stone (law), water (baptism), and wine (blood).
The governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus (Yeshua) in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. John 2:9, 10, 11
This symbolized Yeshua's blood that was not provided until later. Yeshua did not arrive until then, even though His relationship to His own started much earlier, starting with Adam. His righteousness was accredited to them. They would reside in Abraham's bosom until His death and resurrection many years later. Afterward that, the believers of the Tanakh, were resurrected with Him to heaven.
Matt 27:52-53 - And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The relationship between Naomi and Ruth can also show the relationship between Yeshua and believers in a different light. Nam'omi could be a type not only (Israel) like stated earlier but also Yeshua.
Ruth (believers) said to Na'omi (Yeshua),
"Don't press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your G-d will be my G-d. Where you die, I will die; and there I will be buried. May Adonai bring terrible curses on me, and worse ones as well, if anything but death separates you and me."
As a believer, we once were in spiritual death until we follow Him. And then we die with him, are buried with Him, and we will later rise like Him. I will state that this process symbolizes the true Passover.
She went down to the threshing-floor and did everything as her mother-in-law had instructed her .She stole in, uncovered his feet and lay down, Don't be afraid. I will do for you everything you say, (3:15)
What will He do? This mentioning of the threshing floor is very interesting. It brings up the same symbolism brought out over and over again in the Bible. Threshing was done by beating with a stick, or by driving animals round, or by using a threshing-sledge. This was simply a board, or a board on wheels, with bits of stone or iron fixed to it. The stalks were chopped and the grain loosened. The plough was usually a simple wooden stake with a handle and a point of iron (bronze before the time of David.) It was attached to a yoke, and drawn by one or two oxen. The farmer could hold the plough with one hand while the other held a stick for beating the oxen. Since it was light the plough could easily be lifted over any large stones (law). And Yeshua said, that His yoke was light. Again the symbolism of wood, stone and iron, which is symbolic of Yeshua being scourged with the whip imbedded with the iron nails and stabbed with a spear. The wood represents the tree, or beam, were He was crucified on the rock of Golgotha.
Symbolically Boaz allowed Ruth to uncover His feet to receive the iron nails.
These types of symbolism are repeated many times for us in the stories of the Tanakh (Old Testament).
Noah and the ark: The ark was made of wood. It had a hole in the side (like Yeshua). The sea was symbolic of death. The wood was symbolic of Yeshua who brings us from the depths of the sea (death) to resurrection (life). It floated on the waters, conquering sin and death. (The winds represented the Holy Spirit). The ark represented Yeshua as it came to rest on the rock of Mt. Ararat in Turkey. It also represented the tree or beam Yeshua was crucified on.
The people sleep on the ark that was also symbolic of this spiritual death. When the ark rested, Noah and his family came out of the side of the ark, which represented believers being born from the wound of Yeshua in the side.
Passover to Mount Sinai: Moshe and Israel crossed the Red Sea. (Symbolic of death) Moshe went forward with his staff (wood)
Exo.14: 16. G-d said,
"I will make the Egyptians hardheaded; and they will march in after them; thus I will win glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his cavalry."
He was not only talking about their destruction and the saving of Moses and the Jewish people. He was also talking about His symbolism being shown through the iron of the chariots. (Symbolic of the iron spear into His side and water and blood gushing out when he was pierced on the tree (or cross). Iron, along with gold and bronze, symbolize the kingdoms of Satan that attack G-d. (Also described in Daniel.) The water is the Red Sea, and the blood is the blood of the Egyptians. Moses and the Jewish people were symbolic of Yeshua again and suffered like Him. (This whole scene is also a type of Passover!)
Crossing of the Jordan.
Twelve stones, The Ark of the Covenant made of wood and gold. Inside the ark was the staff (wood) of Aaron The Commandments (stone). The water, the Jordan, which symbolized death, was cut off. They camped before the crossing over to the other side (life) after three days. (Symbolic of the three days Yeshua spent sleeping in the tomb). G-d said, "but you are to cross over armed as a fighting force. (Iron).
For Adonai your G-d dried up the water (death) in the Yarden from in front of you, until you had crossed over (life) just as Adonai your G-d did to the Sea of Suf, which He dried up from in front of us, until we crossed. (Type of Passover) From this ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH can know that the hand of Adonai is strong, and you can fear Adonai your G-d forever."
More symbolism. How about:
Matt 14:24-35 - But the ship (wood and nails) was now in the midst of the sea (death, baptism), tossed with waves: for the wind (holy spirit) was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Yeshua went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, (He conquered death, the true ark is again floating on the water. This death is portrayed in our baptism, which is described in another post.) They were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus (Yeshua) spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, L-rd, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Yeshua. (Resurrection) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, L-rd, save me. And immediately Yeshua stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (It takes trust in him to enter) And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of G-d. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.
(sym. Passover to the New Kingdom).
Luke 8:23-26 But as they sailed he fell asleep (spiritual death): and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
(He conquered death so we do not have to be afraid. He also had power over the storm that illustrates His deity.)
And he said unto them, Where is your faith?
(This is again symbolic of it only requiring faith in Him to conquer death and enter the promised land of heaven.)
And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, what manner of man is this! For He commandeth even the winds (Spirit) and water, and they obey him. And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
(Symbolic of Passover to resurrected life in the New Kingdom)
Luke 22:15 - And He said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: (Yeshua is the true Passover).
Later on the Mount of Olives, we see:
Matt 26:43-45 - And he came and found them asleep (spiritual death) again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
(He died for believer's whom are all sinners. HE BECAME THE TRUE PASSOVER)
1 Cor 15:47;55
The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man Jesus (Yeshua )is the L-rd from heaven
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to G-d, which giveth us the victory through our L-rd Christ
Jesus. (Yeshua the Messiah)