[Note 2, Chapter Two, in print version]

Curiously, the Evangelical Fairbairn rejects the standard nineteenth-century reading of this incident as a type of the Crucifixion on the grounds that no literal equivalence existed between rock and Christ:

There was not only no seeming, but also no real aptitude in the rock to yield the water; while in Christ, though He appeared to have no form or comeliness, there still was everything that was required to constitute Him a fountainshead of life and blessing. Then the smiting of the rock by Moses with the rod could not suggest the idea of anything like violence done to it; nor was the action itself done by Moses as the lawgiver, but as the mediator between God and the people; while the smiting of Christ, which is commonly held to correspond with this, consisted in the bruising of His soul with the suffering of death, and that not inflicted, but borne by Him as Mediator. There is no real correspondence in these respects between the type and the antitype; and the manner in which it is made out, is nothing more than a specaous accommodation of the language of the transaction to ideas which the transaction itself could never have suggested. (II, 67-68)

Fairbairn, who takes to task Toplady's famous hymn "Rock of Ages," for confounding things which"essentially differ" (II, 69n), argues that the typologist must concern himself with the stream of water flowing from the rock, for that is what prefigures Christ.

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Print version published 1980; web version 1998