The Messianic prophecies in Deuteronomy are not only in chapter 33. In Deuteronomy 18, Moses predicts that “the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you . . . [and] it is to him you shall listen. . . . I will put my words in his mouth” (v. 15, 18, ESV). Many might think that this is referring to Joshua, but Joshua has already been on the scene and anointed to take Moses’ place when Deuteronomy 34 is written. And Deuteronomy 34:10 states that “there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (ESV), indicating that there is yet one to come! So, the Messiah is to be a prophet (Deut. 18, 34), a priest (Deut. 33:8–11), and a king (Deut. 33:13–17). These roles are then expanded on in all the prophets, as they reflect on and receive additional revelations of the character of Jesus. Of course, these are not the only things that Jesus does, but many of the prophecies point to some aspect of these characteristics.

Moses himself performed aspects of all of these roles, too. He dedicated the temple, which is a priestly role; he prophesied about the Messiah and even the exile, a prophetic role; and he judged and led the people, a kingly role. In this way, Moses served as a type, pointing to the Messiah as the antitype. A type is a person, place, or thing that God designs to point forward to something greater in a predictive way. In other words, God planned out certain elements of Moses’ life, without compromising his free will, in order to provide a prophetic picture of aspects of Jesus’ life. It might seem that any parallel between the Old Testament and New Testament could be a type, but this is not the case. Typology is not analogy or allegory. The Old Testament is very careful to indicate which people, places, and things point forward to the Messiah, and then usually also indicates further within the Old Testament itself that this is the case. So the New Testament then simply recognizes the fulfillment in the antitype, seeing what God had already indicated would take place. This is why certain ones of the twelve tribes are chosen to have a greater focus, because they are predictive of who the Messiah will be.

Typology actually brings great assurance to our faith. God has been planning ahead for thousands of years, and all that He predicted has come true. Thus, we can trust that His second coming will also happen, and we can wait with joy for His soon return.