Genesis 22:4, The First Passover, Part I of II
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
//Question: The first Passover happened as the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, right?
Maybe. Maybe not. The patriarchs Abraham and Isaac predate the exodus. Recall that Jesus is our final Passover lamb, and that Isaac, nearly sacrificed by his father Abraham, is considered a typology of Jesus. A foreshadow of what was to come.
The Jewish book of Jubilees provides some details about this event that we don’t have in our Bibles:
And it came to pass in the seventh week, in its first year, in the first month, in that jubilee, on the twelfth of that month, that words came in heaven concerning Abraham that he was faithful in everything which was told him and he loved the Lord and was faithful in all affliction. And Prince Mastema came and he said before God, “Behold, Abraham loves Isaac, his son. And he is more pleased with him that everything. Tell him to offer him as a burnt offering upon the altar.”
If Abraham left early morning on the twelfth for a three-day journey, he arrives at the place of sacrifice on a special day:
In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. –Leviticus 23:5
The author of Jubilees seems to be saying that Abraham placed Isaac on the altar immediately after his arrival. That means the sacrifice of Isaac (or the substitutionary ram) occurred on what would become Passover day. Coincidence? Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.