I received the following question:

Romans 5:14 – It is my understanding that “the figure of Him that was to come” has to refer to Moses and not to the man Adam. Deut. 18:15 certainly points to Moses. I see no “figure” in the man Adam that compares in any way to the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you read this verse leaving out the middle clause, it would be, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” Please comment.

Again, let us start out by considering Mr. Sellers’ Resultant Version.

14. Nevertheless death was reigningA from Adam until Moses, even over those that did not sin in the same manner as Adam’s transgression, who is the type of the man who shall be.

5:14 (A) As a monarch, as a king.

I believe that the “man who shall be” is not Christ, but is the man who shall yet be in the kingdom of God. Then, either by resurrection or by being “changed” (I Corinthians 15:51), we will be privileged to enter the kingdom of God. At that time, we will experience life like Adam experienced it in the Garden of Eden. We will have bodies that do not wear out or grow old, but which are truly “immortal” in the Greek (without death) sense of the word. Thus I believe this is the way that Adam is a figure for the man who shall be. He was that figure before he transgressed. In the same way, in the kingdom men will only die if they personally sin. Adam is the one who brought death into the world. He literally died because of his own transgression. We have not sinned after the manner of Adam’s transgression, yet we die regardless. In the kingdom, however, everyone will be like Adam, in that the only ones who will die will be those who commit some trespass worthy of death. In this too he is the type of the man who shall yet be on earth, not the man who lives now.

I do not believe that there is anything in the context here about Moses that would indicate that Paul and the Holy Spirit are thinking of him as a type of Christ or of anyone else. True, Christ is the Prophet like Moses, but there is no thought of that here, and that idea does not fit the context. I also do not think that taking the middle phrase out and seeing how the verse reads works here. The middle phrase is not a parenthesis, and so I see no reason to divorce the comment “who is the type” from Adam to refer it back to Moses.

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