Biblical typology is when a person or an event in the Old Testament foreshadows a person or an event in the New Testament. The bible is full of these kind of things. It is a primary tool of Catholic biblical exegesis to study these, because they all point toward the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah (the Anointed One) promised to the Israelites for centuries.
There are numerous ones, and the following list is by no means inclusive. It is a lot of fun to read the Bible and all of a sudden see Jesus hidden in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament revealed in the person of Jesus Christ !
Adam and Jesus
Paul calls Jesus the new Adam.
God tells Adam in a garden that he shall be saved by toil, which will bring thorns and thistles, and by the sweat of his brow he shall eat bread, and then return to the ground. Jesus sweat blood in a garden after giving his apostles the bread of life at the last supper, and then had a crown of thorns placed on his head before he was killed and buried in the ground.
Adam ate the fruit from a tree, allowing death to enter the world. Jesus commands us to eat his flesh, the bread of life and the fruit of the cross, in order that we may have eternal life.
Adam was naked and had to put on clothes after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Jesus was clothed and then stripped of his garments before being crucified on his tree.
Eve and Mary
Eve is the mother of all of the living. Mary is the mother of all who obey the Commandments and bear testimony to her son (Revelation 12:17).
Eve came out of Adam, Jesus came out of Mary.
Eve said yes to the spirit lucifer allowing sin to enter into the world. Mary said yes to the spirit Gabriel, allowing salvation to enter the world.
Eve appeared at the beginning of the Old Testament. Mary appears at the beginning of the New Testament.
Eve was an immaculately created virgin. Mary was an immaculately created virgin.
Bathsheeba and Mary
1 Kings 2:12-20: So Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was firmly established. Then Adoni’jah the son of Haggith came to Bathshe’ba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Say on.” He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign; however the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the LORD. And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Say on.” And he said, “Pray ask King Solomon — he will not refuse you — to give me Ab’ishag the Shu’nammite as my wife.” Bathshe’ba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.” So Bathshe’ba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoni’jah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right. Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.”
John 2:1-5: On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
(**NOTE - Both Bathsheeba and Mary were the mothers to their King-sons - Solomon and Jesus - thus making them the Queen Mother. In both cases above, the Queen Mothers’ requests to the King were obeyed.)
Moses and Jesus
Both of their lives as infants were threatened by powerful rulers (Pharaoh and Herod).
Both of their lives as infants were saved by family members.
Both were in Egypt for a time as youths.
Both left Egypt later on and returned to Israel.
Both fasted in the wilderness for 40 days.
Both were commissioned by God to give the law.
Both had faces that shone like the sun.
Both were lawgivers on a mountain.
Both led their people out of bondage with much grumbling along the way.
Moses’ sister was Miriam, Jesus’ mother was Mary.
Both met at the Transfiguration of Jesus to discuss Jesus’ “exodus” from this life.
Both came up out of the water and wandered in the desert.
Both were tested with worshiping false gods, hunger in the desert, and putting God to the test (Moses and the Israelites failed these tests, Jesus passed them).
Moses changed water into blood, Jesus changed water into wine.
Joseph in the Old Testament, Joseph in the New Testament
Both had fathers named Jacob.
Both received messages in dreams.
Both went to Egypt under duress.
Both returned from Egypt later on.
Joseph in the Old Testament and Jesus
Both were stripped of their garments.
Both were sold to heathens.
Both were unjustly incarcerated.
Both suffered for the sake of Israel’s benefit.
Both gave bread to save Israel.
Both came back to greatness after being down and out.
Joseph was set over all the land of Egypt by Pharaoh, Jesus has all authority over heaven and earth from Our Father.
Jonah and Jesus
Both were on a boat that almost capsized.
Jonah spent 3 days and nights in the belly of the great fish. Jesus spent 3 days and nights in the earth after he was crucified.
Both Jonah and Jesus saved many through their preaching.
The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant and Mary
Both were created from the purest elements.
The Ark’s mercy seat was overshadowed by the cherubim. Mary was overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Both carried the Word of God and The Bread from Heaven inside them.
David danced in front of the Ark, John the Baptist leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice
Both stayed away for 3 months (the Ark in the house of Obed-edom, Mary at the house of Elizabeth).
Elijah and John the Baptist
Both wore hairy garments.
Elijah left in a whirlwind by the Jordan River; John started his preaching at that spot.
Elijah decreased while Elisha increased (with a double portion of Elijah’s spirit), John decreased while Jesus increased.
Jesus said that John the Baptist was the prophecied Elijah who was to come before the Messiah.
Elisha and Jesus
Both multiplied loaves of bread
Both raised the dead.
King David and Jesus
Both were shepherds.
Both were born in Bethlehem.
Both were 30 when they started their public life.
Both were King of Israel.
King Solomon and Jesus
Both rode donkeys.
Both had Queen Mothers who interceded for others - Solomon had Bathseeba, Jesus has Mary.
Both were the son of David.
Both were King of Israel.
Solomon built the Jewish temple that was destroyed and then rebuilt. Jesus’ body is our Temple which was killed, and then came back to life.
The Holy Spirit moved over the waters of the earth in Genesis (new creation).
Noah and his family are saved by floating on the water.
Moses is saved by floating on the water of the Nile, as…an…infant.
Moses and the Israelites are saved by going through the waters of the Red Sea, with the Lord in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
Moses struck the rock in the desert, and saving water poured out. Jesus is our Rock, and he saves us through the waters of Baptism.
Naaman the Syrian has his leprosy washed away by bathing in the Jordan River.
The Holy Spirit descended over the waters when Jesus was baptized.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that “”Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one isborn of waterand the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
In Genesis, Adam and Eve allowed sin to enter the world by physically eating forbidden fruit from a tree.
In Genesis, the High Priest Melchizedek offers bread and wine to God.
In Exodus, Moses sealed the Covenant by throwing the blood of sacrificed animals on the people, saying - “Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
In Exodus, God says that the Bread of the Presence shall be before Him ALWAYS. The Bread of the Presence was Holy Bread consecrated to God with frankincense on top of it.
At the Passover, the Israelites were saved from the angel of death by physically eating unleavened bread and the Passover lamb. The blood of the lamb was smeared on their door.
The Israelites in the desert were saved by physically eating the bread from heaven (manna), and the flesh of the quails.
The crowds that followed Jesus were fed by bread and fish when Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes.
Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana.
At the last supper, Jesus changed bread and wine into his body, blood, soul, and divinity, when he said “This is my body”, and “This is my blood of the covenant.”
Jesus, the Lamb of God, the new High priest AND victim, was killed on a tree (His cross), and commanded us to eat the fruit of this tree (His flesh and blood) in John 6:48-58 in order to have eternal life. After he died, water (representing baptism) and blood (representing the Eucharist) flowed from His body.
The End of the World
1 Kings 18:18-40: And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me”; and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down; Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name”; and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time”; and they did it a third time. And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O LORD, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there. (**In this story, Christ is the bull sacrificed on the altar. The wood represents the cross. The 12 foundation stones are the 12 apostles. The 4 jars are the 4 gospels. The water represents Baptism. The fire represents the Holy Spirit, who appeared as tongues of fire at Pentecost. The prophets of Baal represent the unbelievers who will be cast into the fire a tthe end of the world.)
-Excerpts from Catholic Bible 101