In Heb 11:17-22, we will study the faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. These men were all just. And they are excellent examples to the Tribulation Jews of Heb 10:38, which says, “the just shall live by faith”. There is something prophetic in the faith of every one of these Old Testament saints that will be fulfilled in the lives of the Tribulation saints.
Abraham’s faith in offering up Isaac, Heb 11:17-19.
Abraham’s faith that Isaac would be raised from the dead foreshadows the resurrection of Jesus. v.17 states that Isaac was Abraham’s only begotten son, like Jn 3:16. Though Ishmael was his son, he was not begotten of Sara according to the promise of God. Isaac was the only begotten son of these two, v.18.
v.19 says, “Accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead”. You can see that Abraham believed Isaac would rise by what he said in Gen 22:5. He told his two servants that he and Isaac would “come again to you”.
Abraham knew that if Gen 15:5-6 were going to be fulfilled in Isaac, God would have to raise him after the sacrifice. Thus, he received him in a figure when he took him up off the altar and offered the ram in his stead. Offering the ram pictures the substitution of Jesus, the Lamb of God, for us. This is why Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day”, Jn 8:56.
Abraham’s faith is a testimony to the Tribulation Jews to live by faith. Jesus was raised from the dead, and the Tribulation saints will be raised, as well, Rev 6:9, 20:4.
Isaac’s faith in blessing Jacob and Esau, Heb 11:20
The testimony of Isaac’s faith is that Israel will become the ruling nation of the world. When Isaac blessed Jacob in Gen 27:29, he said, “Let… nations bow down to thee”. This will be fulfilled after Jesus returns, Is 14:1-3; Is 60:11-14.
In Gen 27:29, Isaac also said what the Lord told Abraham in Gen 12:3, “cursed be everyone that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blessed thee”. You can see the fulfillment of this prophesy in Matt 25:31-46. The blessed are in Matt 25:31-34. The cursed are in Matt 25:41. The are either blessed or cursed based on how they treat the Jews.
In Isaac’s blessing of Esau in Gen 27:40, the descendants of Esau get the dominion over the descendants of Jacob. See 2 Ki 8:20. In Obadiah’s prophecy, Edom will fight against Israel in the Tribulation. They will be capturing escapees, fleeing from the antichrist.
The Tribulation Jews who are captured will be held captive. But they will return to Israel and rule when Jesus returns. This truth helps them endure through the end of the Tribulation and live by faith.
Jacob’s faith in blessing both sons of Joseph, Heb 11:19
In Ge 48, Jacob blesses both the sons of Joseph. In the blessing, Ephraim, the younger son, prevails over Manasseh. You can see the fulfillment of this blessing in Num 2:18, 24, where Manasseh is under the standard of Ephraim on the west side of the tabernacle.
Furthermore, Joshua, who led the Jews into the promised land, was from Ephraim, Num 13:8, 16. The tabernacle was originally set up in Shiloh (Jos 18:1), which was in Ephraim, Jos 16:5-6. Then, in 1 Ki 16:23-24, Samaria, in Ephraim, became the city of the kings of Israel, Is 7:9.
Ephraim prevails over Manasseh, and even fights against Judah throughout their history. At the second coming of Jesus, those ten northern tribes, which were also called Ephraim (Ezek 37:16-17), become one nation with Judah under David their king, Ezek 37:20-24.
Tribulation saints will be encouraged to endured live by faith knowing that all Israel together will be reunited and saved when Jesus returns, Rom 11:25-27, Jer 31:31-34.
Joseph’s faith concerning his bones, Heb 11:22
In Gen 50:24-25, Joseph said, “God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob”. Thus, he instructed the children of Israel to “carry up my bones from hence”.
In Ezek 37:1-14, Joseph will rise with the other Jewish saints to inhabit the land promised to the patriarchs. Tribulation saints who die in Tribulation will be raised to inhabit the land with them. Therefore, they will be encouraged to endure death if they are killed for their testimony, Rev 6:9.