Then the priest brought the prince into view, crowned him, handed him the scroll of God’s covenant, and made him king. As Jehoiada and his sons anointed him they shouted, “Long live the king!” 2 Chronicles 23:11 (MSG)
An archetype is a general way of categorizing certain types of individuals and personalities. An archetype is a generalized version of character which we recognize, emulate, and copy. There are literary archetypes, societal archetypes, and the psychologist, Carl Jung, identified different behavioral archetypes.
My chapter-a-day journey has been winding through the historical books of the Old Testament for a long time now, and I’m realizing how I see distinct archetypes emerge.
- Warrior – instrument of justice and wrath
- Prophet – mouthpiece God’s message
- Priest – representative of God’s authority
- King – ordained civil authority
- Sage – representative of God’s wisdom
In today’s chapter, we see the priest (God’s authority) setting into motion the coronation and placement of the king (civil authority). Earlier, we saw the warrior-king (David) who was not allowed to fulfill the priestly duty of building God’s temple. The prophets (like Elijah) often flow in and out of events proclaiming God’s judgement, sometimes this judgement is pointed at the priests and the king.
Archetypes are a way that we recognize the natural order God weaves into creation. They are a reminder that God has given each of us different personalities and temperaments. We each fit into the role meant for us, that we may fulfill our place in God’s grand story. In the same way, we are each given certain spiritual gifts. Because we have one area of giftedness, it doesn’t mean we are better or less than someone who has a different area of giftedness. We were each given the gifts meant for us.
The important thing is to understand our type, our gift(s), and to seek to live out the role God has given us to His glory.