Harry Whittaker
Studies in the Gospels

214. A Rejected David and a Rejected Jesus *

On careful examination the record of the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane is seen to present a remarkable number of factual and verbal resemblances to the account of David's flight from Jerusalem at the time of Absalom's rebellion.

Half a dozen times over, the history of David exhibits impressive anticipations of the experiences of Christ, but none is so impressive as the assembled correspondences between this most eventful period of the life of David and that of his greater Son.

As an explanation, it is hopelessly inadequate to suggest human contrivance. The reader is driven to see here deliberate divine design. This is inspired prophecy-through history.

First, then, the type in its broad outlines:

  1. The Beloved
  2. crosses Kidron.
  3. Followers stoutly assert their loyalty.
  4. On the Mount of Olives
  5. the king weeps over Jerusalem
  6. He goes forth bearing a curse.
  7. He is silent before his enemies.
  8. The ark is sent back into the city.
  9. His helpers (who are priestly runners) stay in the city.
  10. He is supported by faithful Gentiles.
  11. He is received in a place of rest in a far country.
  12. The arch-rebel commits suicide.        
  13. The rebellion fails.
  14. The king returns to his city.
  15. His enemies acknowledge their sin,
  16. and are forgiven.
Against this broad background, the following tabulation becomes the more impressive. By themselves some of the details might seem to be no more than casual coincidences, but there are too many of them to allow of such an explanation, and the entire picture is too consistent

2 Samuel

Two hundred chosen men from Jerusalem.
Jn. 18:3
A band of men and officers
Arise, and let us flee.
Mt. 26:46
Rise, let us be going.
Smite with the edge of the the sword.
Lk. 22:49
Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
LXX According to all that my lord the king chooseth, behold thy servants.
Mt. 26:35
Likewise also said all the disciples
LXX Went out on foot.
Lk. 22:39
he came out and went...
LXX At the olive in the wilderness

Gethsemane (shemen = olive, oil)
I shall go whithersoever may go.
Mt. 26:24
The Son of man goeth as it is written of him.
LXX Turn thou about, and turn thy brethren.
Lk. 22:32
When once thou hast turned again, stablish thy brethren (RV)
Whether in death or in life, even there also will thy servant be.
Lk. 22:33
Lord, I am ready to go with thee to prison and to death.
lttai (=with me).
Lk. 22:33
With thee.
Over the brook Kidron
Jn. l8:2
Over the brook Kidron.
Behold, here am I.
Jn. l8:5
I am he.
Let Him do to me as seemeth good in his eyes.
Mt. 26:39
Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.
Covered every man his head . . . weeping as they went up.
Mk. 14:72
Peter wept, casting upon (his head).
The top .. .where he worshipped
Jn. 18:2
Jesus oftimes restored thither.
David passed on a little.
Mt. 26:39
he went a little farther,
Let me go over, and take off his head.
Lk. 22 :49
Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
So let him curse.
Mt. 26 :52
Put up thy sword.
The Lord hath bidden him.
Jn. 18:11
The cup which my Father hath given me.
Choose out twelve thousand.
Mt. 26:53
Twelve legions of angels
Pursue after David this night.

(Judas going to the chief priests).
Weary and weak-handed.
Mt. 26:37
Sorrowful and very heavy.
LXX Even as a bride turneth to her husband.
Mt. 26:49
The kiss of Judas.
All that are with him shall flee.
Mt. 26:56
All the disciples forsook him and fled.
LXX The life of one man thou seekest
Jn. 11:50
It is expedient that one man die for the people.
All the elders of Israel
Mt. 26:47
Chief priests and elders of the people
Some place where he shall be found.
Jn. 18:2
Judas knew the place
Until there be not one small stone found there.
Lk 21:6
Not one stone left upon another(?)

The exchange between Jesus and Peter, in Luke 22 :32,33 is specialy interesting, for apparently Peter recognized the allusion to the flight of David and answered with an appropriate allusion to the same occasion.

It would seem also, that this detailed parallel provides an authentic interpretation for the phrases in Mark 14:72 which have been the centre of much guess work by the expositors.

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