Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the
Abraham did not go about this affair without thought; and yet he did not consult with flesh and blood; his reasoning was the reasoning of faith; and the conclusion of it was, not that he believed that God would raise his son from the dead, but that he was able to do it. He knew that he had received him at first, as it were, from the dead; he sprung from his own dead body, and out of Sarah's dead womb; and though his faith did not prescribe to God, yet as he believed the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, he might believe that God would raise his son from the dead, rather than that his promise should fail; and this conclusion proceeded upon the power and faithfulness of God:
from whence also he received him in a figure;
or for an "example" of faith and obedience; or for a "parable or proverb", that such a proverbial expression might be made use of, for the comfort and encouragement of saints in distressed and difficult circumstances, as is in ( Genesis 22:14 ) or as a type of the death and resurrection of Christ, whose type he was in other things, as well as in this; as in his birth, and the circumstances of it; he was long promised and expected, as Christ, was; his birth was beyond the ordinary course of nature, and attended with great joy; he was circumcised the eighth day; at his weaning a great feast was made, typical of the Gospel feast; and as he was persecuted by Ishmael, so was Christ by Herod, in his infancy: and he was a figure of him in his oblation; they were both sons of Abraham; both only begotten and beloved sons; both heirs; both carried the wood on which they were offered; both were offered on a Mount, and by their father, by whom neither of them were spared; and both by the command of God, and alone, none were with them: and Isaac prefigured him in his deliverance; Abraham stretched out his hand, but was restrained, and not a bone of Christ must be broken; not Isaac, but the ram was slain, not the divine, but the human nature suffered; both were delivered on the third day, the one as from death, the other really from death; and both returned to their father's house. Moreover, Abraham received his son in the similitude of a resurrection; it was as life from the dead; it was like the return of the prodigal, ( Luke 15:32 ) . Abraham, looked upon him as dead to him, and Isaac thought himself a dead man; so that he that was accounted as one dead, was received alive. The Jews speak of this matter agreeably to the apostle; they say, a man has two breaths or souls, one in this world, and another in the world to come; and of Isaac they say F4, that
``in the time that he was offered upon the altar, his soul (or "breath"), which he had in this world, "went out"; and when it was said to Abraham (or by him) blessed be he that quickeneth the dead, his soul (or breath), which he had in the world to come, returned to him--for (tmk bvxta) , "he was accounted as dead".''They speak of him as if he was just dead; they say F5,
``when he saw the sword over his neck, his breath fled from him, and came to the place of the soul, (hyh wlyak) , "as if he was at the point of giving up the ghost".''So that a Jew cannot find fault with the apostle for expressing himself in this manner.
F4 Tosaphta in Zohar in Gen. fol. 46. 21.
F5 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 58. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 31.