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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

He then caused the party to halt.

He told the young men to stay there with the ass: "and I and the lad," said he, "will go yonder and worship, and come again to you".

But if he were going to slay Isaac, how could Isaac and he come again to them?

The apostle explains this, saying, "By faith Abraham when he was tried offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten" of Sarah.

"Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy Seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a parable" -- en parabolh Abraham fully intended to slay Isaac; but he firmly believed that God would raise him from the dead again; because all the promises God had made him were to be accomplished in Isaac's Seed; as it is written, "My covenant will I establish with Isaac and his seed after him": therefore, said Abraham to the young men, "we will come again to you".

The parable, or representation, of what was afterwards to happen to Isaac's Seed, the Christ, now began.

"Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac, his son"; while he carried the fire and the knife.

Isaac went on with great readiness, not in the least suspecting that he was the proposed victim.

"My father," said he, as they jogged along; and he said, "Here am I, my son".

"Behold," said Isaac, "the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?

" And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering".

Having arrived at the place, built an altar, and laid the wood in order, he bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

He then stretched forth his hand, and took the knife, to slay his son.

At this crisis, when Isaac was expecting instant death at the hand of his father, who loved him as his only son, the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and commanded him to do the lad no harm.

A ram caught in a thicket by the horns was appointed as a substitute for Isaac, who was therefore substitutionally slain; but by his personal deliverance from death, restored to Abraham as by a resurrection.

Abraham called the place of this memorable and instructive transaction, Jehovah-jireh; and upwards of four hundred years afterwards, it was known by the name of "the Mount of the Lord".

But before we dismiss the parable of the Seed, it is to be remarked, that it was not completed in the figurative resurrection of Isaac.

The sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ had been represented; but then, after these events, what was to be his destiny?

The answer to this question is found in the closing incident of the parable.

Moses testifies that "the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time".

The first time he announced from heaven the acceptance of the son's sacrifice; but the second time the Lord spoke from heaven, had reference to Christ's triumph over his enemies, and his possession of the world, as preached to Abraham in the gospel at the beginning.

"By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy Seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice".

Thus, the parabolic representation was finished, "and Abraham returned to his young men; and they rose up, and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt there".