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Everlasting Arms

The Triune Office in Exodus 17:8-16

“The Triune Office” is a fancy but handy term for the roles of Priest, King and Prophet in Scripture. These three roles are symbolised for us in both the rite of sacrifice (flesh, fire, smoke) and the three furnitures in the Holy Place (Table, Lampstand, Incense Altar). If we have eyes to see, both these patterns can be found in the architecture of Israel’s victory over Amalek. What is even more interesting is its demonstration of the difference between the Old Covenant and the New.

Firstly, the passage follows the matrix pattern:

TRANSCENDENCE
Creation: Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.
HIERARCHY
Division: So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
ETHICS
Ascension: So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
Testing: Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Maturity: But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side.
OATH/SANCTIONS
Conquest: So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
SUCCESSION
Glorification: Head/Heaven
Then the Lord said (Transcendence)
to Moses, (Hierarchy)
(Ethics)
“Write this as a memorial
in a book
and recite it in the ears of Joshua,
that I will utterly blot out
the memory of Amalek (Sanctions)
from under heaven.” (Succession)
Glorification: Body/Earth
And Moses built an altar (Creation/Initiation)
and called the name of it, (Delegation)
The Lord Is My Banner, (Presentation – PRIEST)
saying,
“A hand upon the throne of the Lord! (Purification – KING)
The Lord will have war (Transformation – PROPHET)
with Amalek (Vindication)
from generation to generation (Representation)

Now that we have parsed the structure, I want you to notice the placement of Moses, Aaron and Hur at Ascension, and then again at Maturity.

Moses is, of course, the Prophet, and Aaron is the Priest. Hur, from the tribe of Judah, represents the coming King. At Ascension, the three go up the hill and stand there as three related but divided offices. Priesthood and kingdom, Church and State, are in place but not united. One might say that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The body is a body of flesh, divided by the sword and displayed on the Bronze Altar (the earth/Land).

It is not until Church and State are united in the enthroned Prophet (representing the Spirit of God incarnate in a glorified Man) that the office becomes indeed Triune, the Altar of Incense, a body of fragrant smoke reunited in heaven. Only once the body is united can the serpent be crushed.

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