“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she, which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
“These are the two covenants.” These what, are the two covenants? —These two women; because since the covenant from mount Sinai is represented by Hagar, the other covenant is represented by Sarah. The Revised Version of verse 24 reads: “For these women are two covenants.”
These two women were the mothers of the two sons of Abraham. One son was by a bondwoman: the other was by a freewoman. Hagar was the bondwoman: Sarah was the freewoman. The two sons of these two women represent the children of the two covenants.
“These are the two covenants.” It is then settled that the subject of the Two Covenants began in the family of Abraham.
“These are the two covenants.” Whoever, therefore, would study the Two Covenants, must study these.
“These are the two covenants.” Any study therefore, of the Two Covenants, that is not a study of these, is not truly a study of the Two Covenants.
“These are the two covenants.” With these the subject of the Two Covenants begins; and whoever would study the Two Covenants must begin where the subject begins. Therefore this is where we shall begin the study of the Two Covenants.
And that we may all begin it together to the best advantage, we ask that all will read between now and this time next week Genesis 15, 16, 17, and 21:1-21—at least seven times.
[Advent Review and Sabbath Herald | May 29, 1900]