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Berean Expositor Volume 1
Christ our Surety.
Gen. 43: 1-10, and 44: 18-34.
Our readers are doubtless familiar with the passages referred to in our title, and it is
our intention to examine them with regard to their typical teaching. The action of Israel
with regard to their Messiah is foreshadowed in this historic incident, for Stephen in
Acts 7: 51, referring to Israel as "stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, who
always resist the Holy Ghost, as their fathers did," says, "The patriarchs, moved with
envy, sold Joseph into Egypt, but God was with him. . . .and at the second time Joseph
was made known to his brethren" (Acts 7: 9-13).
Heb. 9: 28 tells us that Christ will appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
When the Lord Jesus comes again, "they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced,
and shall mourn," even as Joseph's brethren did when they realized that they were in the
presence of one who had been so ill-treated at their hands. We do not desire, however,
to emphasize the prophetic type so much, as to draw attention to one of the sublimer
truths of the doctrine of the atonement which is herein typified, viz.:--
The suretyship of Christ.
"I will be surety for Him" (Gen. 43: 9).--What is the meaning of a surety? The
Hebrew word comes from a word meaning "to mix." At first sight this may not appear to
throw much light upon the subject, but we believe it will as we examine one or two
passages of Scripture. The Hebrew word for "evening" is literally "the mixture," for then
the light and darkness appear to mingle together. The same word supplies us with the
"woof" (Lev. 13: 48, &100:) in weaving, the threads which are "intermixed" with the warp
in the production of the cloth. It further comes to mean, "To mix or engage with others in
trading," and hence in turn comes to mean, "A place for such intercourse--a market."
This helps us to see that the great underlying principle of suretyship is to become so
identified, or interwoven with the cause of another, as to be treated in his room and stead,
to be responsible for his debts and failures, to make good his deficiencies, in short, to
fulfil to the letter the wonderful doctrine enshrined in the theological term.
This responsibility is further emphasized by the words of Judah, "Of my hand shalt
thou require him." For illustration read Gen. 31: 39, "That which was torn of beasts I
brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it." See also
II Sam. 4: 11. Judah further amplifies this by saying that should he fail in execution of
his suretyship, "then let me bear the blame for ever." The word rendered "blame" is