The Old Testament's Healing Record

The Old Testament bridges time from creation to Christ. It would be naive to assume that every instance of illness or healing has been recorded. However, it does seem reasonable that God included the majority of special cases in the divine record. Moses wrote the central statement on divine healing in Deuteronomy 32:39 (cf. Job 5:18):

See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give live. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

The testimony rings clear: God shoulders ultimate responsibility for life or death and health or sickness.

God Afflicted

God physically afflicted more people, more often than He physically healed. For example:

Healing Methods Varied

God honored and, at times, personally used various techniques to physically heal.

  1. Prayer
  2. Hand into his bosom
  3. According to God's predetermined time limit
  4. Dipping seven times in the Jordan River
  5. Unexplained actions
  6. Without anything
  7. Combination of events
  8. Looking at an elevated serpent
  9. Plague checked, but no physical healing
  10. Unknown means

Sin-related Sickness

God directly caused physical affliction at times because of personal sin, although the person physically affected was not always the sinner.

  1. The sinner went unpunished
  2. The sinner was punished
  3. Someone other than the sinner was punished

Unexplainable Sickness

God Healed Unbelievers

God Restored Life

In the Old Testament, only three people experienced resuscitation.

Satan Caused Sickness

God used Satan as an agent for sickness only once.

Saints were Sick

Some of the greatest Old Testament saints were ill, but not directly because of personal sin.

While this might seem like a large number of healing incidents, remember that they occurred over a period of time that exceeds two thousand years. Significantly, far fewer healings occurred over thousands of years in the Old Testament than were experienced during just a few decades in the New Testament.