Law of First Mention

This is a rule used in Biblical theology to assist in interpreting Scripture. When a person, animal or number is first mentioned in Scripture, it often sets the pattern for understanding that particular item throughout the remainder of Scripture. Eg. the blood of the Passover lamb, was given as a substitute for a human’s life. Later this became a symbol of Christ, who is identified as the “Lamb of God” who gave His blood for us (Ex 12:1-13; Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 1:7). However, like other rules, this can also be used and abused. The first mention of a serpent in the Bible is associated with Satan but that doesn’t mean that every mention of a serpent in the Bible should be interpreted as Satanic as the serpent on the pole is a type of Christ (Gen 3:1-5,14; Num 21:9; Jn 3:14,15). Such wrong emphases occur when the principle is used in isolation without reference to the remainder of Scripture that fills out the details of a theme through progressive revelation.

See also: hermeneutics, numbers/numerology.