Chapter summaries for Sermons 16-18 in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33

14th Dec 2014

Sermon 16: “Joseph’s Blessing Continued,” pages 513-532;

Sermon 17: “Joseph’s Blessing Continued,” pages 533-554;

Sermon 18: “Zebulun and Issachar,” pages 555-593.

In sermon 16, Parkinson writes, “From this text [Deut. 33:13-17], you have already heard of Joseph as a type of Christ, and of his land, with its distinguishing blessings, as a type of the church, favoured with spiritual blessings peculiar to her; but now we are to contemplate that which is the source of all this distinction and kindness, namely, THE GOOD-WILL OF HIM THAT DWELT IN THE BUSH.” In dealing with this latter phrase from the text of Deut. 33:16, Parkinson explains how it hearkens back to Exodus 3:1-6, where God met with Moses through the burning bush. “But let us hasten to consider the wonder which the vision involved. The object exhibited, though a bush, a thing in itself combustible, and though all on fire, yet was not consumed….Now, as the burning bush, of which Moses had a vision, was primarily an emblem of suffering Israel, the residence of the divine Angel in it, and his miraculous preservation of it, denoted his presence with that suffering people, and his more wonderful preservation of them, while involved in afflictions, comparable to the flames which involved the bush. Even in Egypt, ‘he saved them from the hand of him that hated them,’ that is, from his destroying power, ‘and,’ at the appointed time, moreover, ‘redeemed them from the hand of that enemy,’ namely, Pharaoh. Moses was but the instrument, by whom the hand of this Almighty Angel brought them out.” Sermon 17 discourses further on the theme of Joseph and how he relates to Christ in His work.

In sermon 18, which begins the original second volume, attention is now turned to the blessings pronounced by Moses on Zebulun and Issachar. The two tribes are blessed together, not separately, as was the case with the preceding tribes. Parkinson offers some reasons for this, both literal and typical. As God’s redeemed people, made up of both Jews and Gentiles, are not divided in the great covenant of redemption, so Parkinson shows how these two tribes were destined to share alike in the blessings of God. “Literal Israel, as being but one nation, could not perfectly typify spiritual Israel, which included Gentiles as well as Jews, and so partakes of all nations. Rev. 5:9. Wherefore, in our text, two tribes comprehended under one blessing, serve mystically to signify this pleasing truth, that spiritual Israel includes the two great tribes of elect Jews and elect Gentiles, and that they are both alike blessed in Christ with all the blessings of grace and of glory.”