Moses, who is described in the Bible as a prophet, was also a type, or foreshadow, of Jesus. Perhaps the best example of this is when Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, engraved by Godís own hand. After Moses had been on the mountain for forty days the Children of Israel made the infamous golden calf idol, and began worshiping it. The Lord was angry because the Israelites had violated the First and Second Commandments so very quickly.
Moses returned to the camp. When he saw what was going on his own anger burned. After different acts of punishment, Moses went back to the Lord. Here, Moses offered himself in place of the Children of Israel (Exodus 32:31-32), just as Jesus offered himself in our sinful place.
In Deuteronomy 9:7-10:11 we find that Moses spent forty days and nights on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments and other instructions. When he came down from the mountain, he fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights because of the sin of Israel. Moses then returned to Mount Sinai to be with the Lord and received another set of Ten Commandments and again spent forty days and forty nights on the mountain.
Jewish tradition says that the verbal giving of the Ten Commandments occurred on the Day of Pentecost. Although we are not given the date in Scripture, the timing of events given in Exodus 19 indicates it probably was Pentecost. Again, Jewish tradition is that the Children of Israel worshipped the golden calf on Tammuz 17*. (July on our calendar.) This date is about forty days from Pentecost. If Moses spent forty days in the camp after coming down the first time, that then would have been close to the end of month of Av, the eleventh month. (August on our calendar.) Again, after ascending and spending forty days on Mount Sinai, Moses would have returned on or about Tishri 10. This is the Day of Atonement which occurs in the Fall.
Here, we have another wonderful picture from the Word of God. Moses, a type of Jesus, spent forty days with God the Father. He then spent forty days with the people, a time of testing, interceding for them with the Lord. After this, Moses returned to the mountain and spent forty days with the Father and then returned on or about the Day of Atonement.
Jesus was with God the Father, on a figurative mountain top. He came to this world and spent over thirty years of testing as a man, while interceding for all the people. He then returned to the Father, where He is today. Again referring to the pattern of Jewish celebrations, Jesus will return to forgive and lead the Jews as King of kings and Lord of lords on the Day of Atonement! Click HERE for Jewish celebrations.
Our God is so amazing! He has given us so many pictures and patterns in His Holy Word. I am so thankful for the Bible. I urge you to study the Word and be blessed by all that is contained within it. God is in control. May His wonderful name be praised forever!
* [Tammuz 17 is also the day (according to Jewish tradition) the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians and the Romans prior to the destruction of the first and second Temples.]