The Offering of Isaac
1 Now after these things, God tested [the faith and commitment of] Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” 2 God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of (a)promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of (b)Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then he got up and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day [of travel] Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the (c)young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.”(A) 6 Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it (d)on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the (e)fire (firepot) in his own hand and the [sacrificial] knife; and the two of them walked on together. 7 And Isaac said to Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Isaac said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself (f)a lamb for the burnt offering.” So the two walked on together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood, and bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood.(B) 10 Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to (g)kill his son.(C) 11 But the (h)Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12 The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” 13 Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. 14 So Abraham named that place (i)The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it (j)will be seen and provided.”
15 The (k)Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “By Myself (on the basis of Who I Am) I have sworn [an oath], declares the Lord, that since you have done this thing and have not withheld [from Me] your son, your only son [of promise], 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies [as conquerors].(D) 18 Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.”(E) 19 So Abraham returned to his servants, and they got up and went with him to Beersheba; and Abraham settled in Beersheba.
20 Now after these things Abraham was told, “Milcah has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight [children] Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 Nahor’s (l)concubine, whose name was Reumah, gave birth to Tebah and Gaham and Tahash and Maacah.
a. Genesis 22:2: Abraham also fathered Ishmael by Sarah’s slave, Hagar, but Isaac was his only son of promise, the legal heir of Abraham.
b. Genesis 22:2: This area later was to become Jerusalem and the site of Solomon’s temple.
c. Genesis 22:5: At this time Isaac would probably be about twenty years old.
d. Genesis 22:6: As Jesus carried the crossbar for His own crucifixion, so here Isaac carried the wood for his own execution by fire, but God had mercy on him.
e. Genesis 22:6: I.e. a firepot filled with burning coals.
f. Genesis 22:8: Abraham had complete faith and trust in God. Because God’s covenant with him depended on Isaac, Abraham may have anticipated that God would reveal to him an alternative to the sacrifice of Isaac, as He in fact did (vv 11-13). But Abraham was determined to carry out what God had commanded him to do, because of his faith in God’s promise.
g. Genesis 22:10: The Hebrew verb refers to a ritual procedure by which the blood flows straight to the ground.
h. Genesis 22:11: See note 16:7.
i. Genesis 22:14: Heb YHWH jireh. Lit the Lord will see (in the sense of “see to it”).
j. Genesis 22:14: This is a prophetic statement which looks ahead to the fact that the Messiah, the Son of God, would be the ultimate sacrifice, chosen and provided by the Father.
k. Genesis 22:15: See note 16:7.
l. Genesis 22:24: I.e. a type of secondary or inferior “wife” (often a slave), much lower in rank than the official wife who managed the household and gave birth to the “legitimate” children. Concubines had marginal rights to financial support and recognition. Their children were usually acknowledged as offspring of the man, but were of lower status than the children born to the official wife.