Arlen L. Chitwood
The Offering of Isaac
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”
concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
The first section in Hebrews chapter eleven (vv. 4-16) terminates with an inheritance beyond the Flood — that is, an inheritance beyond the Great Tribulation, in the Messianic Kingdom. Then, in verse seventeen there is a new beginning in the chronological framework, which carries the reader through the same period once again, but from a different perspective.
This section begins and ends at the same two places as the first section — death and the shedding of blood, and the Messianic Era. In this section, as in the first section, Old Testament personalities with their individual, peculiar experiences are used in an overall, typical framework to teach great spiritual truths, providing more detail, commentary, for the developing word picture.
The offering of Isaac is recorded in Genesis chapter twenty-two. This is the second of five consecutive chapters that set forth, in type, the complete history of Israel and the Church, from the birth of Israel’s Messiah to that future day when Israel’s Messiah returns and restores the kingdom to Israel. These are basic, primary, foundational chapters that provide a wealth of additional information (new information) concerning God’s revealed plans and purposes as they pertain particularly to His three firstborn Sons — Christ, Israel, and the Church (following the adoption).
Consequently, since these five chapters in Genesis form a unit in this respect, this chapter dealing with the offering of Isaac will include more than just the material in Genesis chapter twenty-two. To see the larger picture, as presented through the course of events in these five chapters, Abraham offering his son, typifying God the Father, 2,000 years later offering His Son, will be viewed from the perspective of its contextual setting.
This account will be viewed not only in the light of events in the chapter itself but also in the light of the proper place and relationship that events in this chapter occupy to the overall framework of events in chapters twenty-one through twenty-five.
Overall Scope of Genesis 21-25
In Hebrews 11:17-19, recounting events in Genesis 22:1-14 (the offering of Isaac), Abraham is said to have received his son in “a figurative sense” (v. 19). And these verses reflect back upon this whole panorama of events — Abraham offering his son on a particular mountain in the land of Moriah, with a ram dying in the stead of his son (the son looked upon as dead [having died in a substitute, in the ram that had died; v. 13]). And it was immediately following these events that Abraham received his son in “a figurative sense” (the son alive on the third day [pointing to resurrection on the third day; v. 4]).
The Greek word translated “figure” (KJV) in Hebrews 11:19 is parabole in the Greek text, the word from which we derive our English word “parable,” which is simply an Anglicized form of the Greek word. The word parabole is a compound word meaning “to cast alongside” (para, “alongside”; and bole, “to cast”). A “parable,” defined from the meaning of the word itself, is simply one truth placed alongside of a previous truth to help explain the previous truth.
Thus, Abraham receiving his son in the manner seen at the conclusion of the account in Genesis 22:1-14 is associated in Hebrews 11:19 with God’s provision of additional truth, reflecting back on previous truth. Abraham’s actions form one truth reflecting back on previous truth, given to help explain the previous truth (through providing additional light). And the previous truth would take one all the way back to that which began to be revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis, forming types of the future work of the Son at Calvary (ref., Chapter 4 in this book).
As well, the word parabole in Hebrews 11:19 is used in a similar respect to the way that the Greek word tupos (“type”) is used. Abraham receiving his son in (in the form of) a parable (God placing subsequent truth alongside of previous truth) formed a subsequent type to previous types seen in the opening chapters of Genesis, providing additional light upon the subject.
(The words tupos [“type”] and parabole [“parable”] were both used earlier in Hebrews, referring to the tabernacle [in 8:5 (tupos, translated “pattern,” KJV) and in 9:9 (parabole, translated “figure,” KJV)]. In this respect, the word parabole in Hebrews 9:9; 11:19 would not only have to do with truth placed alongside of previous truth but, as well, with truth placed alongside of that which the type foreshadowed — future truth.
Abraham receiving his son in a parable would be truth placed alongside that which would occur 2,000 years in the future — the Father receiving His Son in exactly the same manner in the antitype. Thus, tupos and parabole become somewhat interchangeable words in this account [as well as the use of the two words earlier relative to the tabernacle].
The usual usage of a “parable” in Scripture is to reference one truth placed alongside of a preceding truth to help explain the preceding truth. On the other hand, the usual usage of a” type” in Scripture is to reference one truth placed alongside of a following truth to help explain the following truth. But at times, as seen in Hebrews 8:5; 9:9; 11:19, the two words can be used in an interchangeable respect.
And “signs” occupy a similar place in Scripture. Note, for example, in Matthew 12:39, 40, that the experiences of Jonah, forming a type, are referred to by Christ on this occasion [the Scribes and Pharisees asking for a sign] by the use of the Greek word semeion [“sign”], not tupos [“type].”)
It then follows in these five chapters (Genesis 21-25) that “Abraham” is a type of God the Father, “Isaac” a type of God the Son, and Abraham’s two wives (“Sarah” in chapter 23, and “Keturah” in chapter 25) are types of Israel, the wife of Jehovah. Then, Abraham sending his “servant” into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son between the time Sarah dies and the time he marries Keturah could point to only one thing — God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son between the time Israel is set aside and the time Israel is restored. Thus, one can immediately see that there is a God-provided, dispensational framework of events in these five chapters.
1) The Birth of Isaac (Genesis 21)
Isaac was born in a supernatural manner at a set time. Sarah was barren and beyond the age of childbearing, but God intervened, returned to Sarah “according to the time of life,” and “Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 17:1-7, 16-21; 18:10-14; 21:1-7).
The birth of Christ occurred in a supernatural manner at a set time (Galatians 4:4). Israel, as Sarah, was barren (Matthew 21:19); but, by and through a supernatural work, as seen in the type, Israel brought forth God’s Son. God Himself became flesh in the person of His Son — the God-Man (John 1:14).
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)
2) The Offering of Isaac (Genesis 22)
Years later, God instructed Abraham to offer his son for a burnt-offering upon a particular mountain in the land of Moriah. After Abraham and Isaac were on the mountain, God provided a substitute to die in Isaac’s stead. Isaac paid the penalty for sin by a ram slain in his stead — a substitutionary atonement (v. 13). Then resurrection is seen by Abraham receiving his son on the third day in a parable (v. 4), reflecting back on previous types but also pointing forward to the resurrection of God’s Son in the antitype on the third day.
God offered His Son at Calvary at a particular place in the land of Moriah. And God’s Son may very well have died on the exact spot that Abraham offered his son. God, 2,000 years earlier, in the type, was very particular about the place in which Abraham was to offer his son; and this place was afterwards called “Jehovah-jireh,” meaning, “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen [lit., ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided’]” (cf. vv. 2, 14 [KJV]).
A substitutionary atonement for man was provided at Calvary. God Himself in the person of His Son — the Passover Lamb — paid the penalty for sin. God purchased man’s salvation with His own blood (Acts 20:28). The Jewish Passover, 33 A.D., was the day God died — to be raised from the dead on the third day (Genesis 22:4; Luke 24:21).
3) The Death of Sarah (Genesis 23)
Following the offering of Isaac, the wife of Abraham, Sarah, died. This can only point to that which occurred following the offering of Jesus. It was at this time that the wife of God the Father, Israel (a divorced wife, awaiting restoration), was set aside for a revealed time and purpose.
4) The Bride for Isaac (Genesis 24)
Following the death of Sarah, Abraham sent his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for Isaac. This can only point to that which occurred following the setting aside of Israel. God the Father then sent the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son. After Abraham’s servant had procured the bride, he removed the bride from Mesopotamia and returned to Abraham’s home with the bride. This can only point to that which the Holy Spirit will do after He has procured the bride. The Holy Spirit will then remove the bride from the world and return to the Father’s home with the bride.
5) The Remarriage of Abraham (Genesis 25)
Following the completion of the servant’s mission in Mesopotamia, Abraham again took a wife, Keturah. Abraham’s previous wife, Sarah, had been barren in childbearing; but Keturah was very fruitful. This can only point to that which will occur relative to God and Israel after the Holy Spirit completes His mission in the world. God, following this time, will again take Israel unto Himself as His wife.
Israel today is the adulterous, divorced wife of Jehovah. But in that future day, following Israel’s repentance, the nation will be cleansed of her harlotry. And, as Abraham married Keturah following the procurement of a bride for his son, God will remarry Israel following the procurement of a bride for His Son. Then, as Keturah was very fruitful where Sarah was barren (Genesis 16:1; 25:2), restored Israel will be very fruitful where the nation in the past was barren (Jonah 1:1ff; 3:1ff).
Faith Approved Through Testing
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham . . . .” (Genesis 22:1a).
It had taken approximately sixty years for the Lord to bring Abraham from a life of idolatry in Ur of the Chaldees to the walk by faith in the land of Canaan that he now occupied. Abraham was seventy years old at the time of his call in Ur. God then waited thirty additional years, bringing Abraham through various experiences, trials, and testing, before He allowed the promised seed to be born. God then waited another comparable length of time before He tested Abraham in the manner recorded in Genesis 22:2ff.
All his previous experiences, trials, and testing had worked together to prepare Abraham for the events recorded in this chapter. In his response to the Lord’s testing at this point in his life, Abraham could draw upon his experiences in Haran, on the mount between Bethel and Hai, in Egypt, and on the plain (oaks) of Mamre in Hebron. He could draw upon his experiences with Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, and events surrounding the miraculous birth of his son, Isaac. The man whose paths God had directed for six decades, who had led a victorious army against kings, been blessed by Melchizedek, and spoken to the Lord face to face, was about to undergo the supreme test of his life.
Every new development in Abraham’s life throughout his entire pilgrim journey was for a purpose. Nothing came to pass in a haphazard manner. All events in chapters twelve through twenty-one anticipate events in chapter twenty-two. Events in chapter twenty-two, in turn, anticipate events in chapters twenty-three through twenty-five.
The offering of Isaac in chapter twenty-two forms an apex toward which all preceding events moved, and events in this chapter had to occur before the events in succeeding chapters could occur. Isaac had to die before Sarah could die (chapters 22, 23). Sarah, in turn, had to die before the bride could be obtained for Isaac (chapters 23, 24). And the bride had to be secured before Abraham could remarry (chapters 24, 25).
Throughout history God has always moved His people through various experiences, trials, and testing for particular reasons; and His dealings with Christians today are no different. Christians are to “count it all joy” when subjected to various testing, knowing “that the testing [approval (v. 3) through testing (v. 2); literal thought from the Greek text] of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2, 3; cf. Romans 5:3).
The word “patience” in James 1:3 is from the Greek word hupomone, which could be better translated, “patient endurance.” This is the same word used in Hebrews 12:1, where the writer, reflecting upon the experiences of all the faithful in chapter eleven, states,
Therefore . . . let us run with endurance [patient endurance] the race that is set before us.
God allows trials and testing of one’s faith in order to work “patient endurance” in an individual’s life. Why? Because “patient endurance” is not only intimately associated with Christian maturity (James 1:4; 2 Peter 1:6), but,
If we endure [‘patiently endure’], we shall also reign with Him.” (2 Timothy 2:12; cf. 1 Peter 1:6, 7)
Or, in the words of James:
Blessed is the man who endures [patiently endures] temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
Through all the various trials and testing that Christians encounter, God has one great purpose in mind:
And we know that all things work [are working] together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [foreordain] to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he [Christ] might be the firstborn among many brethren [Christians, following the adoption]. (Romans 8:28, 29; cf. Romans 8:17-23; Hebrews 2:10)
Christians today bear the “image of the earthly”; but God’s great purpose looks beyond this earthly image and the present trials and testing to that future day when Christians will bear the “image of the heavenly,” occupying positions of power and authority with Christ as sons of God in the coming kingdom (Revelation 2:26, 27).
The Offering of Isaac
Then He [God] said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:2)
Isaac was a grown man at this time. The word translated “lad” (Hebrew: naar) in verse five is used elsewhere in the Word of God to describe men who have attained their majority.
The word is used in Genesis 41:12 to describe Joseph at the age of twenty-eight. The word is used in Chronicles 13:7 to describe Rehoboam after he had become king, and Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign (1 Kings 14:21). And this same word is also used to describe the two men who accompanied Abraham and Isaac on their journey to the land of Moriah (v. 3).
Isaac was evidently either in his twenties or thirties, but not above the age of thirty-seven, for the events of chapter twenty-three began when Isaac was thirty-seven. Isaac, in the type, was possibly about the same age as Christ at the time of His crucifixion in the antitype.
God commanded Abraham to offer his only son for a burnt offering upon a particular mountain in the land of Moriah. In Hebrews 11:17 we are told that Isaac was Abraham’s “only begotten son.” Abraham had another son, Ishmael (who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran at this time), but Isaac alone was the “only begotten son.” Isaac alone was born after the Spirit in a supernatural manner, and, thus, was the only son recognized by God as fit for the sacrifice.
God’s Son, 2,000 years later, was offered at a particular place in the land of Moriah. He was God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3:16). God had other sons (angels, Adam, and Israel are called “sons of God” because of special, creative acts), but Jesus alone, as Isaac, was the “only begotten Son.”
Angels could not fulfill the requirement for substitutionary atonement (Romans 5:17-19). Nor could Adam or any of his descendants fulfill this requirement.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Consequently, Israel, although a special creation in Jacob, could occupy no place in fulfilling this requirement beyond being the channel through which God would send the Savior. Sinful man, with his natural birth from below (typified by Ishmael’s birth), cannot pay for his own sins. Only one Man in all history — the virgin-born Son of God, born after the Spirit in a supernatural manner (typified by Isaac’s birth; cf. Matthew 1:20) — has been judged qualified to be man’s Redeemer. Thus, Jesus, as Isaac — the “only begotten Son” — was the only Son recognized worthy for the sacrifice (Revelation 5:2-6).
As previously seen, the mountain in the land of Moriah upon which Abraham was instructed to offer his son appears to be the same place that God later offered His Son. Everything in the account points to this conclusion, though many Bible students would see Abraham offering his son at the place where sacrifices would later occur in the Mosaic Economy, on the Temple Mount.
The land of Moriah was the region in Palestine where Jerusalem was later built (2 Chronicles 3:1). Abraham at this time lived in Gerar, in the land of the Philistines (Genesis 20:1; 21:34), some sixty miles southwest of this area. The distance from Gerar to the place where Jerusalem was later build would require about a three-day journey, which was exactly the time required for Abraham and Isaac’s journey. God was very particular about the place Isaac was to be offered.
The site is called the “Mount of The LORD” where “The-LORD-Will-Provide [the literal meaning of ‘Jehovah-Jireh’]” (22:14); and comparing verse eight with verse fourteen, an individual can seemingly be drawn to only one conclusion: At some point in the course of man’s history, God would “provide Himself a Lamb” on this mount.
(Note: The KJV rendering of v. 8, “God will provide himself a lamb,” is good theology when viewing the antitype — for God, in the person of His Son, was the Lamb. But the literal rendering from the Hebrew text is, “God will provide for himself a lamb.”
Abraham referred to that which God would provide in that day [assumed to be Isaac himself at this point in time, though later revealed to be a ram caught in a thicket], which would foreshadow God Himself being the provided Lamb [God providing Himself as the Lamb] in a future day.)
For the first time in Scripture a human sacrifice was involved (though Abel had died in an earlier type, which pointed to Christ, he had not died as a sacrifice per se). There are only two such sacrifices under the direction of the Lord in all Scripture, and both occurred at a particular location in the land of Moriah, separated by two millennia.
The offering of Isaac points back to Adam and forward to Christ, indicating the fact that it was man who sinned, and it must be by man that sin is put away. Abraham offered his son on “the mount of the Lord,” as recorded in Genesis chapter twenty-two; and God offered the greater Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1) at, it would appear, the same place 2,000 years later, as recorded in the four gospel accounts.
Following God’s command to Abraham concerning the sacrifice of his son, there was no remonstrance or delay.
So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. (v. 3)
Abraham, by and through various experiences, trials, and testing, had been brought to the place of complete obedience. Abraham set his son aside for a sacrifice and was perfectly willing to slay his son, in accordance with God’s command.
God’s Son was set apart for a sacrifice by the Father and was to be slain upon a particular mountain of God’s choosing. Christ was “foreordained” and “slain from the foundation of the world [the founding of the entire visible order, the restoration of the ruined material creation in Genesis 1:2bff]” (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8). The Jews and the Romans of that day did only “whatever” God had “determined before to be done,” for the Cross was according to the “determinate purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23; 4:28).
God’s Son was set apart for a sacrifice at the time of the restoration of the ruined material creation, at a time before the creation of Adam and the entrance of sin into the human race. And, in another respect, according to Hebrews 1:2, this can be carried back to a time much earlier, to that time when God arranged the ages in complete accordance with the activity of His Son within the framework of these ages.
The experiences of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis chapter twenty-two, thus, actually look back in time to the councils of eternity preceding the existence of the ages, and forward in time to the events of Calvary, which anticipate events yet future even today. Consequently, Genesis chapter twenty-two becomes the pivotal chapter in a book wherein the roots of all biblical doctrine lie.
After two day’s travel, on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the mount afar off. From that point Abraham and Isaac left the two men who had accompanied them thus far and traveled the remainder of the way alone. Abraham laid the wood on his son, and he himself carried the fire and the knife as they proceeded toward the mount (vv. 4-6).
The “wood” which Isaac carried toward the place where he was to be sacrificed foreshadowed the Cross that Christ carried toward the place where He was to be sacrificed. “Wood” in Scripture symbolizes humanity, pointing in Genesis chapter twenty-two to man’s sin, which made necessary both the wood that Isaac carried and the Cross that Christ carried.
The “fire” and the “knife” that Abraham carried toward the mount symbolize God’s judgment upon sin and the Word of God respectively. God was about to judge sin upon the mount in accordance with His revealed Word.
God’s judgment upon sin throughout Scripture is emblematized by “fire.” (Note the flaming sword at the entrance to the garden in Eden following Adam’s sin; the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain by fire from heaven; the tabernacle worship; Elijah’s experience with the prophets of Baal; judgment during the coming Tribulation; the judgment seat of Christ; the Valley of Hinnom; the lake of fire.) Then, judgment, in turn, is always administered in accordance with God’s revealed Word, “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17; cf. Genesis 3:24; Judges 7:18; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; 19:15).
The great truth brought out here sets forth two inseparable facts:
1) Sin must be judged!
2) The Word so states!
In Genesis chapter twenty-two God judged sin in accordance with His revealed Word (cf. Genesis 3:21; 4:4); and 2,000 years later, on Calvary’s Cross, God also judged sin in accordance with His revealed Word. In the case of God’s Son dying at Golgotha, it was God judging sin in the Person of the Living Word who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Abraham and Isaac went together alone to the place of sacrifice. The two men who had accompanied them from Gerar remained a sufficient distance from the mount that they neither had part in nor witnessed the scene on the mount.
God the Father and God the Son went together to the place of sacrifice. And when it came time for God to place on His Son “the iniquity of us all,” They were alone.
God caused a darkness to cover the entire land during this time. The transaction between Father and Son at Calvary, as the transaction between father and son in Genesis chapter twenty-two, had no other participants or witnesses.
As Abraham and Isaac journeyed toward the mount together, with Isaac carrying the wood and Abraham carrying the fire and the knife, Isaac observed that there was no lamb for a sacrifice. He then said to his father,
. . . Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? (v. 7)
. . . My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering. (v. 8)
Abraham’s statement cannot refer to the ram caught in a thicket (v. 13), for Abraham, at this time, knew nothing of this ram and believed that he would actually have to slay his son. Abraham’s response to Isaac is a reference to Isaac himself as the lamb, though his response typically looks beyond the offering of either Isaac or the ram to the offering of Abraham’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note the statement of John the Baptizer, 2,000 years later, in John 1:29:
. . . Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
In essence, John, at this time, not only answered Isaac’s question [“. . . where is the lamb . . .?”], but, from a typical perspective, he also identified the One to whom Abraham referred. God provided the Lamb, and the Lamb was God Himself in the person of His Son.
Isaac in the type offered no resistance as he was bound and placed on the altar upon the wood. He willingly allowed himself to be the sacrifice.
God’s Son, likewise, in the antitype, offered no resistance as He moved toward Calvary. He willingly endured the Cross, allowing Himself to be the Sacrifice that would put away sin.
As Abraham “stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son,” he was stopped by the angel of the Lord; and “a ram caught in a thicket by its horns” was provided as an offering “instead [in the stead] of his son.” The ram died in Isaac’s place. The wages of sin (death) were satisfied via a substitute (vv. 10-13).
The wages of sin today, likewise, have been satisfied via a Substitute. God provided for Himself a Lamb, His Son, God Himself manifested in the flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ has paid the required price to atone for man’s sin, and God is satisfied with the price that His Son has paid. Man can either receive Jesus Christ who paid the wages of sin on his behalf, or man can pay the penalty himself.
The Lamb has died, but the death of the Lamb is insufficient without the proper application of the blood (Exodus 12:6, 7, 12, 13). That is to say, the Lamb has died, His blood has been shed, but man must receive that which had been accomplished on his behalf. Man must, personally, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30, 31).
Death, Burial, Resurrection
Abraham possessed God’s promise that “in Isaac shall your seed be called” (Genesis 21:12). From the time of Abraham’s call in Ur of the Chaldees, God waited thirty years to give Abraham a son. God then waited another comparable length of time before He commanded Abraham to offer his son for a burnt offering.
During the intervening years, the original promise given in Ur of the Chaldees was reaffirmed on several occasions. Abraham knew that God could not leave Isaac in the place of death and, at the same time, fulfill His promise. Thus, Abraham knew that God would, of necessity, have to raise Isaac from the dead. This is what is meant by the statement in Hebrews 11:18, 19:
of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”
concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense [in a parable].
It is apparent that Abraham also understood many things about the prophetic significance of the offering of his son on the mount. Galatians 3:8 reveals that the gospel had been proclaimed to Abraham. And this proclamation would have been in its complete scope, as seen in Galatians 3:8 — from justification to blessings, comprised of three parts: Death, Burial, and Resurrection (which covers the complete panorama of the gospel message [1 Corinthians 15:3, 4]).
Abraham evidently knew that the events of his day foreshadowed events of a coming day — beginning with events in chapter twenty-two and culminating with events in chapter twenty-five — which provided a second reason why Abraham knew that God would have to raise Isaac from the dead.
According to the record, Abraham, in God’s sight, actually offered up his son. Note the words in Hebrews 11:17a,
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac . . . .
Isaac then, to complete the type, was raised from the dead on the third day.
In Genesis 22:4, it was on the third day that Abraham “lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.” Isaac, from the standpoint of the type, had been dead for two days and was raised on the third day.
God provided a ram, and the ram was to be slain in order that Isaac might live. Not only do we have substitutionary atonement, but we also have resurrection. The ram not only died in Isaac’s stead, but the ram also died so Isaac (who was looked upon as dead at this point in the account) could live. That is resurrection!
There is no mention of Isaac coming down from the mount with Abraham. Of course, we know from Genesis 22:5 that Isaac undoubtedly returned with Abraham. But to guard the overall type within Genesis chapters twenty-one through twenty-five, the record is silent on this point. The next appearance of Isaac within the framework of events in these five chapters is in Genesis 24:62 as he comes forth to meet Rebekah in the “evening.” This is after the death of Sarah (chapter 23), after the completion of the mission of Abraham’s servant in the far country (chapter 24), and immediately before the remarriage of Abraham (chapter 25).
All of this in graphic, unblemished detail foreshadows the actions of Christ in the antitype. Following His resurrection, He, as Isaac, was removed from the scene. He ascended into heaven. And the next appearance of Christ will be the same as that foreshadowed by Isaac in Genesis 24:62. Christ, as Isaac, will not reappear until that time when He comes forth to meet His bride, in the “evening,” at the end of the present dispensation. This time follows both the setting aside of Israel (chapter 23) and the completion of the Holy Spirit’s mission in the far country (chapter 24), and will occur immediately before the restoration of Israel (chapter 25).
Just as surely as the day arrived when Abraham’s servant completed his mission and Rebekah was removed from the far country, the day will arrive when the Holy Spirit will complete His mission and the bride of Christ will be removed from the far country (earth). And, just as Isaac came forth and met Rebekah between his home and her former home, Christ will come forth and meet His bride between His home and her former home. Then just as Rebekah went to Isaac’s home and became his wife, the bride of Christ will journey into heaven with her Bridegroom and become the wife of the Lamb (cf. Genesis 24:61-67; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 19:7-9).
Then will follow the antitype of Abraham’s remarriage. Israel will be cleansed, restored as the wife of Jehovah, and established at the head of the nations on earth. This will occur at the conclusion of 6,000 years of man’s history, and the long-awaited Messianic Era will follow.
All of these things were decreed in the eternal council chambers of God during a time before the ages even began (Hebrews 1:2). And the Lamb dying at Calvary, the pivotal event in God’s plan for the ages, makes everything possible.
. . . Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12, 13)