manos' typical signals of "creative" speech (toiauta) and the adverbs ara and pantōs. These touches seem to me to call for an adjustment in the "stage directions" at 12.1 and 14.1 to soften the direct force of the address. I have, therefore, translated all of Sarah's speech as if it were indirect: a mother's imagined laments are a strategically forceful argument -- and one that allows Romanos to build up considerable pathos and suspense. 3
God's stopping of the sacrifice is the occasion for a Christian message to be derived from this harsh Old Testament episode. Stanzas 22-23 include the usual vocabulary of typology: proskiazō ("I foreshadow"), ektupōma ("die-model"), ta mellonta ("impression of the future"), mustērion ("mystery"), sēmanei ("prefigure"). Here is the complex comparison: just as the two horns of the surrogate ram caught in the thicket are seen as foreshadowing the arms of Christ pegged to the cross, so too another only Son carries the wood of his sacrifical offering up a mount on his shoulders, and returns. In the final stanza Sarah's joy at the "spared 'victim' " is linked to the congregation's appeal for divine mercy.
I. God, you accepted innocent Isaac as a perfect sacrifice,
an unstained offering, unbloody, presented
by his father on behalf of sons who love you.