God's Kingdom Ministries
Serious Bible Study



Chapter 6: The Rejection of Jesus

It is common knowledge that the people of Judah rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Most people also know that Judas betrayed Jesus, siding with Jesus' avowed enemies, even though he was Jesus' disciple and friend. But not many understand that this entire story of Jesus' rejection was foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament story of Absalom, who usurped his father's throne with the help of Ahithophel.

In order to understand fully why and how the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, one must see the corresponding prophetic story in the Old Testament. Unless we study the types and shadows of the Old Testament, we will not have an accurate understanding of the New Testament.

Absalom: Temporary Usurper of David's Throne

David had family problems that stemmed from his affair with Bathsheba. In 2 Samuel 13 we read the story of David's son, Amnon, and how he raped his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar and Absalom were brother and sister. Their mother was Maacah, a foreign princess, as we read in 2 Sam. 3:3,

3 And his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal and Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur.

Absalom hated Amnon for raping his sister (2 Sam. 13:22). His hatred simmered for two years, and during that time, his father (King David) appeared to do nothing to bring Amnon to justice. In studying the mind of David, we can be sure that he had prayed earnestly about the situation to know what to do. The law applicable to this crime was found in Lev. 18:9, which reads,

9 The nakedness of your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover.

Such lawless behavior was one of the reasons God cast the Canaanites out of the land when their iniquity was full. The judgment of the law is found in Lev. 18:24-29, which reads,

24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled... 27 For the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled; 28 so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people.

Thus, there is no question that David must have prayed about sending Amnon into exile, cutting him off from Judah and revoking his citizenship rights, as the law prescribed. Yet he remembered his own sin with Bathsheba. David himself was guilty of both adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband. In that situation, God had been merciful to David, not requiring that David be executed for his sin, but that his son, the son of Bathsheba would die. That entire story is told in 2 Samuel 12, the chapter immediately preceding Amnon's rape of Tamar.

When Nathan the prophet confronted David with his sin, he first told David a story about a rich man who had taken his poor neighbor's only lamb to feed his guest. David was angered by this injustice and pronounced judgment upon the rich man. He said to Nathan in 2 Sam. 12:5, 6,

5.. As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6 and he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.

David's son was called as a substitute to die for his sin. That son of David was a type of Christ, called to die for our sin. But the second part of this judgment was that David was to make fourfold restitution, according to the law (Ex. 22:1-4). And so we find that David lost four sons in the years to come: the nameless child, Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah.

David was "very angry" with Amnon (2 Sam. 13:21), but he knew better than to judge the situation in the heat of anger. He also personally knew the mercy of God. In studying the law, David understood that being a judge was not as easy as it might appear to a legalist. And so he remained in prayer to know how to handle Amnon's rape of Tamar according to the mind of God with the proper balance of justice and mercy. David's delay in judging Amnon was not due to neglect, for no father could just forget about such a situation.

The delay was divinely inspired, and, as we shall see shortly, it was imperative in order to fulfill the prophetic types and shadows of events yet to come.

Absalom, however, did not understand the delay. Though David was very angry, Absalom burned with hatred (2 Sam. 13:22). There is a difference. His hatred finally consumed him, and he took matters into his own hands, and as a legalist he himself became lawless. Legalism is the worst form of lawlessness, for it is also blind.

Absalom called for a family feast, and told his servants to kill Amnon at the feast. The plot was successful (2 Sam. 13:28-33). Amnon was killed. Absalom then fled to Geshur, where he lived with Talmai, his mother's father. We read in 2 Sam. 13:37-39,

37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.

So Absalom found asylum in Geshur and remained there three years. During that time, David longed to see his son, but did nothing and said nothing that would cause Absalom to return to Jerusalem. David knew that Absalom had acted lawlessly, and that exile was his judgment. But from Absalom's point of view, he felt that he was justified in killing Amnon and thought that his exile, though necessary, was unjust. He wanted to return to the land.

Finally, Absalom asked David's general, Joab, to intercede for him. Only then did David allow Absalom to return in peace to Jerusalem. But another two years went by, and David still refused to see Absalom in person (2 Sam. 14:28).

Finally, Absalom again called for Joab, but Joab refused to come. Absalom then told his servants to set fire to Joab's barley field, and they did so. This got Joab's attention, and he came immediately, demanding to know why Absalom had burned his barley. Absalom then insisted that Joab go to David and intercede on his behalf. The plan worked. Absalom was brought back into the presence of his father, David. We read in 2 Sam. 14:33,

33 So when Joab came to the king and told him, he called for Absalom. Thus he came to the king and prostrated himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.

Soon afterward, Absalom decided that his father was not worthy to be the king, and he plotted to overthrow him and usurp the throne. So he asked permission from David to go south to Hebron to " pay my vow " (2 Sam. 15:7). David granted this, but when Absalom arrived in Hebron, he proclaimed himself king in place of David (2 Sam. 15:10). He also sent messengers to Ahithophel, David's counselor and friend, to come and take his side. Ahithophel came and sided with Absalom. In this way he betrayed David by helping Absalom usurp the throne. 2 Sam. 15:12 says,

12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city Giloh; while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.

One may ask why Ahithophel sided with Absalom. But when we see that Ahithophel was Bathsheba's grandfather, the motive becomes clear. 2 Sam. 11:3 tells us,

3... Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

In 2 Sam. 23:34 we read in the genealogical record of "Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite." In other words, Ahithophel had a son named Eliam, who had a daughter named Bathsheba, the woman with whom David committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). A genealogical table would look like this:

Obed                   Ahithophel
     |                            | 
Jesse                      Eliam
    |                              | 
David     marries    Bathsheba

Ahithophel never forgave David for this sin, and this made him vulnerable to the temptation to betray David, even though he was David's counselor and friend. David wrote about Ahithophel later in Psalm 41:9, saying of him,

9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

Jesus quoted this verse in John 13:18, applying it prophetically to Judas, the betrayer:

18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen, but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats My bread has lifted up His heel against Me.

David had trusted Ahithophel, but in quoting Ps. 41:9 Jesus left out "in whom I trusted," because He knew that Judas would betray Him. In not trusting his friend Judas, Jesus differed from David, who did trust Ahithophel. Nonetheless, we see from this that Ahithophel was a type and shadow of Judas. Ahithophel betrayed David. Judas betrayed the Son of David.

By extending the type, we see that Absalom's role in usurping the throne of David was later played by the nation of Judah itself, specifically represented by the chief priests.

Crucified on the "Skull" of the Mount of Olives

David refused to fight against Absalom and his men over the throne. Instead, he meekly left Jerusalem, knowing that God would establish His throne. In this, he showed the attitude of Jesus Christ, who also refused to fight for His throne rights, even though He was the rightful Heir to the throne. 2 Sam. 15:30, 31 says,

30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went.

This is the same path Jesus took when He bore the cross to the place of crucifixion. Can we not see in David's experience a prophetic pattern of the crucifixion?

31 Now someone told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness.

This is a Hebrew play on words. Ahithophel's name means "my brother is foolish." I believe his name is prophetic of Judas' attitude toward Jesus, his "brother." Judas thought Jesus was foolish not to use his power to authenticate his calling as the Messiah and to establish his authority in Jerusalem. Judas also disagreed with Jesus' refusal to force the chief priests into declaring Him the Messiah. But if Jesus had forced the issue, where would the force end? The people would then expect Him to use violence against the Romans and take the Kingdom by force. But Jesus would have nothing of the kind, for He intended to wait and win the hearts of the people by love. He had no intention of destroying Roman people, for He loved the Romans as much as the Judeans.

Quoting from The Interlinear Bible, 2 Sam. 15:32 says,

32 It happened as David had come to the top [Heb. rosh, "head"], there where he bowed [Heb. shachah, "bow or worship"] to God.

The Hebrew word translated "top" above is rosh, which means "head." For example, Rosh Hashana is the "head" of the year, that is, the first day of the year, marked by the Feast of Trumpets. John 19:17 says Jesus was crucified at the place of the skull (Greek: kranion, from which we get our word "cranium," head, or skull). Even as David walked up to the summit, or "head" of the Mount of Olives, so also did Jesus carry His cross to the same place where David worshiped God.

This was the ancient location of the sacrificial altar where the red heifers were burned "outside the camp," whose ashes were used to purify people as they came to worship at the temple. Jesus, of course, fulfilled this burnt offering, as He did all the offerings. He was crucified outside the camp (Heb. 13:11-13), and this was defined in those days as 2,000 cubits outside the walls of Jerusalem. The top of the Mount of Olives was precisely that distance. The place today that is presumed to be the place of the skull in Jerusalem is not located outside the camp. That hill now looks like a skull, but archeologists tell us that this is the result of erosion only in the past thousand years.

The story of Absalom's usurping the throne and David's path to the top of the Mount of Olives shows clearly and conclusively that the story of Absalom's rebellion and Ahithophel's betrayal is a prophetic pattern of Jesus' crucifixion and Judas' betrayal.

Later, when Absalom did not follow Ahithophel's advice to pursue David immediately, Ahithophel was wise enough to know that David would eventually return to the throne. He knew that Absalom's kingship would end, and he himself would then have to face David's justice for the betrayal. So we read in 2 Sam. 17:23,

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself ; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

Ahithophel hanged ("strangled") himself, even as Judas did later, as we read in Matt. 27:3-5,

3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. But they said, What is that to us? See to that yourself! 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.

David later returned to the throne, and Absalom was killed (2 Sam. 18:15).Thus, the revolt of Absalom, though immediately successful, ultimately failed. This story is prophetic of the story of Jesus. The chief priests were immediately successful in their plot to overthrow King Jesus, but their effort ultimately will fail.

Judah's Rebellion Against King Jesus

The entire conflict between Absalom and David was prophetic of the conflict between the bad figs of Judah and Jesus, the Son of David. Absalom represented the bad figs; David represented the good figs, particularly Jesus Christ. Amnon, the rapist, represented the lawlessness of the nation's leadership in general. Strong's Concordance gives the meaning of his name as "faithful," tracing its root to the Hebrew word aman, "to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse." Young's Concordance says Amnon means "tutelage or upbringing." In other words, Amnon's name appears to indicate the idea of rearing children, building them up, supporting them, or fostering them in order to bring them into maturity.

The children of Judah were being reared and taught to know the mind of God through the divine law. The law itself is the tutor by which children are brought into the maturity of the mind of Christ (Gal. 3:24; 4:2). Yet when the law is applied legalistically, apart from the mind of Christ, it has the effect of raping the bride of Christ.

Tamar's name means "erect, upright, or a palm tree." She represented the true believers in Judah -that is, the good figs. As a woman, she also represents the true bride of Christ.

There are at least two ways of looking at this prophetic parable. First, the story of Amnon shows how the leaders of Judah would rape the bride of Christ. Their religious traditions nullified the divine law (Matt. 15:6) and made them lawless. In the centuries from Judah 's return from Babylon to the birth of Jesus, the Pharisees and Sadducees of Judah slid steadily into a hypocritical form of religious lawlessness.

A second way of looking at Amnon is that he represented the divine law itself. Because of the lawlessness of Judah, God's law had decreed that they would be given an iron yoke under Babylonian masters in a 70-year captivity, followed by a longer period of time under a wooden yoke. They were still under a Roman wooden yoke at the time that Jesus was born. In essence, the divine law was their tutor, and by these judgments, God was teaching them obedience. He was also hiring other nations as tutors-first Babylon, then Medo-Persia, then Greece, and now Rome.

In an extended sense, then, Amnon (tutelage) was prophetic of these other empires that were lawless and oppressive. They had raped the bride of Christ, Tamar. There were many injustices perpetrated upon the people of Judah during those centuries. They longed for freedom and for justice. They did not comprehend that the yokes of iron and wood were God's lawful judgment upon the nation for their sin. Hence, like Absalom, they became dissatisfied, thinking that God (David) was unfit to rule them, for He seemed to do nothing, in spite of all their religious activity.

And so, like Absalom, they did unlawful things to force God's hand. Absalom burned Joab's barley field. In our book, The Barley Overcomers, we show that the barley represents the overcomers-applicable here to the good figs of Judah. Specifically, it prophesies of the prophets who were all killed at Jerusalem, culminating with the last of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, whom Herod imprisoned and ultimately executed. This was the final act of "barley burning" that brought Absalom into the presence of David. John's rejection and imprisonment was the event that began Jesus' public ministry. It brought the Absalom people into the presence of King Jesus, son of David.

2 Sam. 14:33 says, "the king kissed Absalom." This speaks of Jesus coming face to face with the Chief Priests in Jerusalem. Jesus blessed ("kissed") the nation with many good works and miracles of healing. But, as Ps. 109:3-5 says, they repaid His goodness and love with evil and with hatred:

3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without cause. 4 In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. 5 Thus they have repaid me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

The bad figs of Judah, led by their religious leaders in the temple, wanted a Messiah who would be a great military leader, so that He could overthrow the hated Romans and make slaves out of the rest of the world. They believed in world peace-after the world was subdued by military conquest. This was their concept of the Messiah, and so when Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, they utterly disagreed with His methods. In their estimation, He simply was not the Messiah type.

There are two princes of peace in the prophetic story of David. Absalom was the first. His name is Absalom, "father of peace." The second is Solomon, which also means "peace." Both of these men were sons of David; hence they both were princes. But Absalom was a prince of violence who was hypocritically named "father of peace." Solomon, on the other hand, established true peace in Israel and in that way was a type of Christ, the true "Prince of Peace."

Absalom disagreed with David for apparently doing nothing after Amnon raped Tamar. He demanded "justice," and when none was forthcoming, he overthrew David and usurped his throne. Likewise, in Jesus' day the people disagreed with God for seeming to do nothing about Rome 's "rape" of people of Judah. The people prayed to God to do them "justice," and when none was forthcoming, they overthrew King Jesus and usurped His throne.

Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, known first as El Shaddai and later as Yahweh. He was the Lawgiver that Moses knew face to face. In His pre-incarnate existence as God in heaven, Jesus did nothing to free the people from their wooden yoke under Medo-Persia, Greece, or Rome. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, coming to earth, He again did nothing to set the people free of the wooden yoke of Rome -even though He had the power to do so. Why? The people could not comprehend it. But Jesus understood the law of tribulation. And so, like David, He appeared to do nothing.

Like Absalom, the bad figs totally disagreed with this do-nothing policy. And like Ahithophel, even Judas, the disciple of Jesus, agreed with the bad figs.

One would think, then, that Absalom would have learned not to commit the crime of rape. But Absalom himself ended up raping all of David's concubines at the advice of Ahithophel! This story is told in 2 Sam. 16:20-23,

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give your advice, What shall we do? 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened. 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 And the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.

It is peculiar that so many people who accuse others of injustice are guilty of the same things. In this case it speaks prophetically of the abuse of Israel, the wife of God. The Chief Priests thought God was unjust in allowing Rome to rule them, but yet they themselves abused the people even more than the Romans ever did. Jesus said in Matt. 23:2-15,

2 The Scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses... 4 And they tie up heavy loads and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger... 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men ; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

In raping the wife of God, they made themselves "odious" to the Father (2 Sam. 16:21), precisely as Ahithophel had said.

In Matthew 21 Jesus told a parable of the Kingdom, in which He described the Jewish leaders of the day plotting to usurp the Messiah's throne. The vine-growers, or farmers, in God's vineyard had been given authority over the vineyard in order to render to the Owner (God) the fruits in their seasons. When the Owner of the vineyard sent servants to collect the fruits, the farmers beat them, stoned them, and sometimes killed them (Matt. 21:35, 36). Finally He sent His Son, thinking they would surely reverence His Son. But verse 38 says,

38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance. 39 And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Absalom knew that his father was the king, and for that reason he usurped the throne. Likewise, so also did the chief priests know that Jesus was the Heir. They killed Him because they knew who He was. It was a deliberate revolt and rebellion to seize His inheritance. Take note also that the Romans were not the vine-growers. They had not been given custody of the Kingdom of God, nor had they killed the prophets, who were the king's servants in the same parable. The Romans did not crucify Jesus. In fact, Pilate wanted to release Jesus. (Acts 3:13). John 19:15-18 tells us who did the crucifying:

15 They therefore cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him! Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar. 16 So he [Pilate] then delivered Him to THEM [the chief priests] to be crucified. 17 THEY took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There THEY [the Chief Priests] crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.

In the days following Pentecost, the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin objected to Peter's preaching, saying he intended " to bring this Man's blood upon us " (Acts 5:28). In other words, the Jewish leaders accused Peter of holding them accountable for Jesus' crucifixion. Peter responded in Acts 5:30, saying,

30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom YOU had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.

But perhaps the most important passage showing the connection between the chief priests of the Sanhedrin and Absalom's usurpation of David's throne is found in Acts 7:51-53, where Stephen gives his sermon rehearsing the story of God's Kingdom. His sermon ended with this:

51 You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers YOU have now become; 53 YOU who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.

In Matthew 22:1-7 Jesus told another parable that was directed against the Chief Priests. Those who had first been called to the wedding feast refused to come. In fact, they abused the messengers (prophets) who had invited them to the wedding. We read,

5 But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 and the rest seized his slaves [God's prophets] and mistreated them and killed them. 7 But the king was enraged and sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire.

This was obviously fulfilled in 70 A.D. when God sent the Roman army to set Jerusalem on fire and to destroy " those murderers." In other words, God used the Romans to execute judgment upon Jerusalem. God did NOT send His armies to destroy Rome, because they were NOT the murderers mentioned in verse seven. To blame the Romans for Jesus' crucifixion would be a false accusation that is certainly prohibited in the divine law (Deut. 19:16-20).

Many today prefer to blame the Romans, because it is more politically correct and because it makes it easier to convert Jews to Christianity. In doing this, however, we dishonor God by disagreeing with His Word. We believe the Word to be inspired Scripture, and our purpose is to teach what it says, for only the truth sets people free. So let us not be found as false witnesses.

We also admonish our Christian brethren to rid themselves of any emotional hatred that they might have toward Jews or any other people. Such things are unbecoming in those who profess the name of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to believe and teach what is written in the Scriptural record; it is quite another to harbor hatred and bitterness in one's heart. While we certainly affirm that the Aaronic priests crucified Jesus, we must also understand the necessity of this sacrifice at their hands. They were, after all, the only ones qualified to offer this great Sacrifice. Without them, Jesus' sacrifice would have been unacceptable by the divine law. These priests could not have been Roman, Edomite, or of any other descent, for that would have violated the law of sacrifice. Hence, in the bigger picture of the plan of God, they unintentionally did us all a great service.

Judas: The Son of Perdition

In 2 Thess. 2:3 (KJV) Paul speaks of "the man of sin" as being also the "son of perdition." The NASB uses slightly different terms:

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [Greek: apoleia].

Jesus uses the same term of Judas, "the son of perdition" in John 17:12,

12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition [Greek: apoleia], that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Jesus appointed Judas to be the treasurer of the ministry even though He knew that Judas was helping himself to some of the money and was a thief. John 12:6 says,

6 Now he [Judas] said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

Later, during the last supper before the crucifixion, we read in John 13:27,

27 And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him [Judas]. Jesus therefore said to him, What you do, do quickly.

Judas then left the room to betray Jesus. Only then did Jesus give His special instructions and teaching to the other disciples, beginning in John 14, telling them that He was going to leave them shortly, but that He would send them the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. John 16:13 says,

13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide [Greek: hodegos] you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

This is important because Judas was a "guide" to those who came to arrest Him and crucify Him. Acts 1:16 says,

16 Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide [Greek: hodegos ] to those who arrested Jesus.

As we will see as we proceed in our study, Judas must be viewed in contrast to the Holy Spirit, who is the true Guide, who leads into truth. Judas is the guide who leads people into the deceptive spirit of betrayal, and in this sense is like a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. This is evident from 2 Thessalonians, where Paul speaks of the man of sin sitting in the temple of God, where the Holy Spirit is supposed to dwell.

It is also significant that Judas was replaced in Acts 1:20-26 just before the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The disciples had discerned from Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8 that Judas was destined to be replaced. So Acts 1:20 tells us,

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no man dwell in it; [quoted from Ps. 69:25] and, His office let another man take [quoted from Ps. 109:8].

Psalms 69 and 109 are prophetic about Judas and the chief priests. These are too lengthy to quote here. Many of these verses were later quoted in the New Testament, applicable to the circumstances surrounding Jesus' crucifixion.

The disciples drew lots and chose Matthias to replace Judas, but on the higher level, the Holy Spirit was the only One who could guide us into all truth. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit replaced the man of sin (Judas) in the temple. On still another level, God Himself called the Apostle Paul to replace Judas.

Betrayed in the House of Friends

Judas Iscariot (Ish-Kerioth) was from a town called Kerioth, or Kerjath. Iscariot means "Man of Kerioth." In other words, Judas' home town was Keriath-arba, which is Hebron, as we read in Gen. 35:27,

27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned.

In order for Judas to play the part of Ahithophel in Absalom's revolt, he had to be a man of Hebron, for that was where Absalom's conspiracy began. Furthermore, in order for Judas to betray Jesus, he had to be Jesus' "friend," for Zech. 13:6 prophesied that He would be betrayed in the house of His friends:

6 And one will say to him, What are these wounds between your arms [hands]? Then he will say, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my FRIENDS.

Hebron means "friendship." Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss of friendship, and Jesus called him "friend" in Matthew 26:49, 50.

49 And immediately he [Judas] went to Jesus and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you have come for. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

Anyone can treat another person unjustly, but it takes a friend to betray.

In conclusion, then, we see that in David was a type of Christ; Absalom was a type of the chief priests; and Ahithophel was a type of Judas. It is a story of those who would kill the Heir and usurp the dominion mandate from the Servant of Servants, because certain violent men wanted to lord it over others. It is also a story of how the disciple and friend of the King betrayed Him because he disagreed with His methods. Finally, we see the tragic end, not only of the usurpers, but also of the betrayer, the man of lawlessness.

All of this gives us an understanding of the son of perdition and his prophetic role. It was written for our learning, so that we do not find ourselves, as Jesus' disciples and friends, playing the role of Judas today.