Genesis 22




1 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said

unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”  And it cams to pass - the

alleged mythical character of the present narrative (De Wette, Bohlen) is discredited

not more by express Scripture statement (Hebrews 11:17-19) than by its own inherent

difficulties - after - how long after may be conjectured from the circumstance that

Isaac was now a grown lad, capable of undertaking a three days journey of upwards

of sixty miles - these things (literally, words, of benediction, promise, trial that had

gone before - that God - literally, the Elohim, i.e. neither Satan, as in I Chronicles

21:1, compared with II Samuel 24:1 (Schelling, Stanley), nor Abraham himself,

in the sense that a subjective impulse on the part of the patriarch supplied the

formal basis of the subsequent transaction (Kurtz, Oehler); but the El-Olam

of ch. 21:33, the term Elohim being employed by the historian not because

vs. 1-13 are Elohistic (Tuch, Bleek, Davidson,) - a hypothesis inconsistent

with the internal unity of the chapter, "which is joined together like cast-iron"

(Oehler), and in particular with the use of Moriah in v. 2 (Hengstenberg), -

but to indicate the true origin of the after-mentioned trial, which proceeded

neither from Satanic instigation nor from subjective impulse, but from God (Keil) –

did tempt - not solicit to sin (James 1:13), but test or prove (Exodus 16:4;

Deuteronomy 8:2; 13:3; II Chronicles 32:31; Psalm 26:2) - Abraham, and said unto

him, - in a dream-vision of the night (Eichhorn, Lunge), but certainly in an audible

voice which previous experience enabled him to recognize - Abraham: and he said,

Behold, here I am. "These brief introductions of the conversation express the great

tension and application of the human mind in those moments in a striking way, and

serve at the same time to prepare us for the importance of the conversation" (Lange).


2 “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and

get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon

one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”  And he said, Take now - "the נַא

modifies the command, and seems to express that Elohim wished to receive the

sacrifice as a free-will offering" (Lange) - thy son (not a lamb, but thy child),

thine only son - not ἁγαπητὸνagapaeton - beloved (Septuagint), but unigenitum

 (Vulgate), meaning the only son of Sarah, the only legitimate offspring he

possessed, the only heir of the promise, the only child that remained to him

after Ishmael's departure (compare μονογενὴςho monogenaesthe only

begotten, John 1:18) - Isaac, whom thou lovest, - or, whom thou lovest, Isaac;

the order and accumulation of the terms being calculated to excite the parental

affection of the patriarch to the highest pitch, and to render compliance with the

Divine demand a trial of the utmost severity - and get thee - literally, go for

thyself (compare ch. 12:1; 21:16) - into the land of Moriah. Moriah = vision

(Vulgate, Symmachus, Samaritan), worship (Onkelos, Jonathan), high (Septuagint),

rebellious (Murphy); but rather a compound of יה and מֹרִי, meaning God is my

instructor, alluding to the temple from which the law should afterwards proceed

(Kalisch), or, better, of יה and ראה, and signifying "the shown of Jehovah," i.e.

the revelation or manifestation of Jehovah (Hengstenberg, Kurtz, Keil, &e.);

or "the chosen, i.e. "pointed out of God," with reference to its selection as the

site of the Divine sanctuary (Gesenius), or rather because there God provided

and pointed out the sacrifice which he elected to accept (Lange). And offer

him there for a burnt offering - not make a spiritual surrender of him in and

through a burnt offering (Hengstenberg, Lange), but actually present him as

a holocaust. That Abraham did not stagger on receiving this astounding injunction

may be accounted for by remembering that the practice of offering human

sacrifices prevailed among the early Chaldaeans and Canaanites, and that as

yet no formal prohibition, like that of the Mosaic code, had been issued against

them - upon one of the mountains - not Moreh in Sicbem (Tuch, Michaelis,

Stanley, Grove, et alii), which was too distant, but Moriah at Jerusalem

(Hengstenberg, Kurtz, Keil, Kalisch), where subsequently God appeared

to David (II Samuel 24:16), and the temple of Solomon was built

(II Chronicles 3:1) - which I will tell thee of - i.e. point out (probably by

secret inspiration) as thou proceedest.


3 “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and

took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood

for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God

had told him.”  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, - a habit of the

patriarch's after receiving a Divine communication (compare ch. 19:27; 20:8;

21:14) - and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him (the ass

for the wood, and the young men for the ass), and Isaac his son (explaining

to him as yet only his intention to offer sacrifice upon a distant mountain),

and clave the wood for the burnt offering (obviously with his own hands),

and rose up (expressive of resolute determination), and went unto (or towards)

the place of which God had told him - literally, the Elohim had spoken to him.

The accumulation of brief, sententious clauses in this verse admirably represents

the calm deliberation and unflinching heroism with which the patriarch proceeded

to execute the Divine command!


4 “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.”

Then on the third day - Jerusalem, being distant from Beersheba about twenty and

a half hours' journey according to Robinson, could easily; be within sight on the

third day - Abraham lifted up his eyes, - not implying that the object of vision

was above him (compare ch. 13:10) - and saw the place (which Calvin conjectures

he had previously beheld in vision) afar off. Though Mount Moriah cannot be seen

by the traveler from Beersheba till within a distance of three miles (Stanley, 'Sinai

and Palestine,' p. 251), the place or region where it is can be detected (Kalisch).


5 “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and

I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye (for similar forms of expression

compare v.2; ch. 12:1;  21:6); here with the ass; - partly because the beast required

watching, though chiefly because the contemplated sacrifice was too solemn for

any eyes but God's to witness - and I and the lad will go yonder and worship,

and come again to you. An act of dissimulation on the part of Abraham

(Knobel, Kalisch, Murphy); an unconscious prophecy (Lyra, Junius, Rashi);

the expression of a hopeful wish (Lange); a somewhat confused utterance

(Calvin, Keil); the voice of his all-conquering faith (Augustine, Calvin,

Wordsworth, Bush, 'Speaker's Commentary,' Inglis), which last seems the

teaching of Hebrews 11:19.


6 “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac

his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of

them together.”  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid

it upon Isaac his son; - instinctively the mind reverts to THE CROSS-BEARING

of Abraham's GREATER SON (John 19:17) - and he took the fire in his hand,

and a knife (to him terribly suggestive weapons); and they went both of them

together. (As God went with Jesus until all our sins was placed upon Christ!

Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34 - CY – 2019)  Doubtless in silence on Abraham's

part and wonder on Isaac's, since as yet no declaration had been made of the

true purpose of their journey.


7 “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said,

Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the

lamb for a burnt offering?”  And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, - during the

progress of the journey, after leaving the young men, solitude inviting him to give

expression to thoughts which had been rising in his bosom, but which the presence

of companions had constrained him to suppress - and said, My father: - a term of

filial reverence and endearment that must have lacerated Abraham's heart. As used

by Isaac it signified a desire to interrogate his parent - and he said, Here am I,

my son (literally, Behold me, my son - Well, my son, what is it? in colloquial

English). And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb

for a burnt offering. Another hint that the sacrificial system did not originate

with Moses.


8 “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a

burnt offering: so they went both of them together.  And Abraham said,

My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: - the utterance

of heroic faith rather than the language of pious dissimulation (see on v. 5) –

so they went both of them together. To see in this twice-repeated expression

a type of the concurrence of the Father and the Son in the work of redemption

(Wordsworth) is not exegesis.


9 “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham

built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son,

and laid him on the altar upon the wood.”  And they came to the place which

God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, - i.e. upon the mountain

summit or slope (v. 2) - and laid the wood in order (it is scarcely likely that Isaac

was permitted to assist in these affecting preparations), and bound Isaac his son,

who must have acquiesced in his father's purpose, and thereby evinced his faith

in the Divine commandment. The term "bound," though seeming to convey the

idea of violence, derives its significance from the binding of the sacrificial victim –

and laid him on the altar on the wood. The feelings of the patriarch throughout

this transaction are simply inconceivable.


10 “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.”

Isaac, who even in the last moment offers no resistance, but behaves like a type of



11 “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said,

Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.”  And the angel of the Lord

Maleach Jehovah (see ch. 16:7); introduced into the narrative at this point not

as a Jehovistic alteration (Bleek, Kalisch, et alii), but because the God of

Redemption now interposes for the deliverance of both Isaac and Abraham

(Hengetenberg) - called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham

(the repetition denotes urgency, as contrasted with v. 1): and he said, Here am I.


12 “And He said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing

unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld

thy son, thine only son from me.”  And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad,

neither do thou any thing unto him. Abraham's surrender of the son of his affections

having been complete, there was no need to push the trial further. The voice from

heaven has been accepted as evidence of God's rejection of human sacrifices

(Lange, Murphy), only that is not assigned as the reason for Isaac's deliverance.

For now I know - literally, have known; not caused thee to know (Augustine),

but caused others to know (Lange); or the words are used anthropomorphically

(Calvin) - that thou fearest God, - Elohim; the Divine intention being to

characterize the patriarch as a God-fearing man, and not simply as a worshipper

of Jehovah (compare Quarry 'on Genesis,' p. 460) - seeing - literally, and

(in proof thereof) - thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Καὶ οὐκ ἐφείσω τοῦ ὑιοῦ σοῦ ἁγαπητοῦ δε ἐμέ - Kai ouk epheiso tou huiou sou

agapaetou de eme - since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me

(Septuagint). Compare ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδιοῦ ὑιοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατοhos ge tou diiou huiou

ouk epheisatoHe that spared not His own Son  (Romans 8:32), as applied to the

sacrifice of Christ. In this verse the angel of Jehovah identifies Himself with




                                    Abraham’s Perfect Faith (v. 12)


“Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son,

thine only son from me.” “The word of God,” says Coleridge, “speaks to

man, and therefore it speaks the language of the children of men. This has

to be kept in mind in studying the remarkable incident recorded in this

chapter. When God is represented as “tempting” Abraham, it only means

that he tried or tested him.


  • THE TESTING OF FAITH. Abraham was to be the head of the faithful

            and type of the justified, therefore it was essential he should be tested.

            Entire obedience is the test of perfect faith. Abraham had shown his faith

            when he left his own land, and when he waited patiently for a son; now he

            has to show it in a different way. In the two former testings he had a

            promise to rest on; now he must go far without any promise to buoy him

            up in the perplexing sea of trial. “Take now thy son,” &c. Surely there is

            some mistake! Must Abraham offer a human sacrifice? This event has

            perplexed many, and they have only escaped from the difficulties presented

            by regarding the event:


Ø      As exceptional for the purpose of securing a unique type of the future

                        sacrifice of Christ.


Ø      As never intended to be actually carried out,


            God having forseen the faith of His servant, and having determined at the right

`           moment to interfere and prevent any disaster. There is also a miraculous element in

            the narrative, both in the special voice and the ram caught in the thicket. Some

            have thought that the impulse was from Abraham’s own mind — that,

            seeing human sacrifices around, he wished to rise above all others in

            devotion to the one God. Had this been the case, the Scriptures would not

            have represented the testing as from God. In that age a father’s right to do

            as he would with his son was as unquestioned as his right to do what he

            would with his slave. The command of God was not out of harmony with

            this idea, but it helped to correct the mistake. A single act of such self-sacrifice

            becomes of the highest value; it is even a means of education to

            the world. God elicited the highest exercise of faith, but not the blood of

            Isaac. What it must have cost the patriarch to submit to the Divine

            command! With one blow he must slay his boy and his own ardent hopes.

            The only gleam of light was in the thought that God who first gave Isaac

            could also restore him from death. This is indicated in the words he uttered

            to the young man, “We will come again to you.” Tradition says that the

            mount was the same on which Adam, Abel, and Noah had offered sacrifice.

            Here possibly Abraham found an altar to repair or rebuild. Isaac helps in

            rebuilding the altar and in arranging the wood. Silent prayers ascend from

            father and son. Isaac wonders where the lamb is to come from. He finds

            out when his father has bound him and laid him on the altar. The knife

            gleams aloft, and, but for the arresting voice, would have been plunged in

            Isaac. The test was satisfactory.





Ø      It was by a voice from heaven.


Ø      2. It was manifested also by the way in which God took away any pain

                        consequent on obedience to His command. It is remarkable how those

                        who appear to have little faith can become, when trial falls, perfectly

                        submissive to the Divine will.


Ø      The approval was seen also in the way in which God provided a sacrifice.


Ø      And God repeated His promise of blessing, confirming it by a solemn

                        covenant. “By myself have I sworn,” &c. No such voice comes to us,

                        and no such promise is audibly given; still we can have, in the inner

                        calm of the soul, an evidence of the Divine approval. When our faith

                        is strongest, after passing through some trial, we get a clearer view of

                        the glory of God’s working, both in our lives and in the world. (“Known

                        unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” 

                        (Acts 15:18)  What approval have we won?   Does not Abraham put us to

                        shame? Too many will laud the obedience of Abraham who will never

                        try to emulate it.  Abraham was glad to have his Isaac spared; so would

                        the Father have been, but He gave up His “onlybegotten, well-beloved

                        Son” FOR US!  Our readiness to accept and follow the Savior given is

                        only another way of showing how we bear the testing of faith. “Thy will

                        be done” should be the utterance of each believer. Perfect faith in the

                        heart should be exhibited by perfect obedience in life.


13 “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram

caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and

offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”  And Abraham lifted

up his eyes (in the direction of the voice), and looked, and behold behind him

either at his back (Furst, Keil, Lange, Murphy), or in the background of the altar,

i.e. in front of him (Gesenius, Kalisch). The Septuagint, Samaritan, Syriac,

mistaking אַחַר for אֶחַר, read "one," which adds nothing to the sense or

picturesqueness of the composition - a ram - אַיִל; in the component letters

of which cabalistic writers find the initial letters of ךאלהִים יִרְאֶהאּלּו,

God will provide for Himself (v. 8; see Glass, 'Philippians Tract.,' p. 196).

In the animal itself the Fathers (Augustine, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom,

Theodoret, Ambrose) rightly discerned a type of Christ, though it is fanciful

to detect a shadow of the Crown of thorns in the words that follow - caught in

a thicket by his horns (the sebach being the intertwined branches of trees or

brushwood): and Abraham went and took the ram, and (though not directed

what to do, yet with a fine spiritual instinct discerning the Divine purpose)

offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son - whom he thus

received from the dead as in a figure (Hebrews 11:19).


14 “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to

this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”  And Abraham called

the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: - i.e. the Lord will provide (Jonathan,

Calvin, Rosenmüller, Keil, &c.), rather than the Lord selects, or looks out,

i.e.. the sacrifices to be afterwards offered in the temple worship on Moriah

(Kalisch); or, the Lord shall appear (Oort, Kuenen), which overlooks the

manifest allusion to v. 8 - as it is said to this day, - or, so that it is said;

compare ch. 13:16 (Keil) - In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen - or

"it shall be provided" (Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Dathe, 'Speaker's Commentary'),

though by competent authorities it has been otherwise rendered. "In the mount

the Lord shall appear, or be seen" (Septuagint); "in the mount the Lord will see,

or provide" (Vulgate, Syriac, Samaritan); "in the mount of the Lord He will be

seen" (Murphy); "in the mount of the Lord one shall be seen," or "people appear,"

i.e. the people of God shall gather on this mountain for worship (Kalisch);

"on the mountain where Jehovah appears" (Keil). Amidst such a conflict of

interpretations absolute certainty is perhaps unattainable; but the sense of

the proverb will probably be expressed by understanding it to mean that

on the mount of Abraham's sacrifice Jehovah would afterwards reveal Himself

for the salvation of His people, as He then interposed for the help of Abraham –

a prophecy which was afterwards fulfilled in the manifestations of the

Divine glory given:


·         in the Solomonic temple and

·         in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.


(I highly recommend  Genesis 22 – Names of God – Jehovah-Jireh – by

Nathan Stone – this website - # 324 – CY – 2019)




                                    The Lamb of God (v. 14)


“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh.” The key to this

narrative is John 1:29. It sets forth in type the way of salvation.

Whether Abraham understood this we need not inquire. The lesson is for

us. Isaac, i.e. laughter (compare Luke 2:10), the child of promise

(Romans 9:7), type of “the children of the kingdom,” is yet condemned

to die ibid. ch. 5:12). So in Egypt the Israelites were not exempted;

God’s gift to them was a way of escape. What is that way? (compare Micah 6:6).

Every age of the world has asked this question. A sense of separation

from God has led to many efforts for its removal. Hence sacrifices,

offerings, austerities, &c., but all in vain (Hebrews 10:4). Still the soul

asked, “Where is the Lamb?” the effectual sacrifice for sin. The answer of

prophecy, i.e. God’s answer, “God will provide himself a lamb” (compare

John 1:29; 8:56). Man has no claim upon God, yet his need is a plea

(compare Exodus 34:6-7). We know not what was in Abraham’s mind;

perhaps he was escaping from the direct answer, unable to utter it; perhaps

there was a hope that God would in some way preserve or restore his son

(see Hebrews 11:19). There are many instances of prophecy

unconsciously uttered (compare John 11:50). Isaac was bound — a type of

man’s helplessness to escape from the curse (compare Luke 4:18), or from

the law of sin in the members. The law of God of itself can only condemn.

It can only be fulfilled by one who loves God; but he who is not at peace

with God cannot love Him. The sacrifice was now complete as far as

Abraham could offer it. He had cast down self-will (compare Matthew

26:39); he had sacrificed himself (Romans 12:1). This is the state of

mind of all others most prepared to receive blessings (cf. II Kings 4:3-6).

“Lay not thine hand upon the lad.” GOD’S PURPOSE is our deliverance

(Romans 8:1). The work of the law, bringing home the conviction of

sin, is the prelude to the knowledge of life (compare Romans 7:10-13) — life

through death. It is God’s way of deliverance (Isaiah 53:6). The type, the                          

ram caught in the thicket; the antitype, Christ fulfilling the Father’s will

(Matthew 26:54; Mark 15:31). The practical application of this is

shown in the brazen brazen serpent (John 3:14). (I highly recommend

Spurgeon Sermon – NUMBER 1500, OR LIFTING UP THE BRAZEN SERPENT - # 6 – this website –

CY – 2019)  Marvelous love of God (Romans 5:8). We had no claim on Him,

yet He would not that we should perish (Ezekiel 33:11). He wanted, for the

fullness of His blessedness, that we should partake of it, and therefore Christ

came that He might die in our stead; and now in Him we are dead (II Corinthians

5:4). Do not dilute the truth by saying He died for believers only. This is to miss

the constraining power of His love. If there is any doubt of His death being

for each and all, the gospel is no longer felt to be “whosoever will”

(Revelation 22:17). Behold the Lamb. We need not now to say, “God

will provide; HE HAS PROVIDED! (I John 2:2). The universe could not

purchase THAT PROPITIATION!  No efforts could make thee worthy of it,

yet it is freely offered TO THEE TODAY!  And mark what that gift includes

(Romans 8:32) — the help of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), wisdom (James 1:5),

help in trials (I Corinthians 10:13), peace (Romans 8:33), needs of this life

(Luke 12:30). Bring all thy sins, thy wants, thy hindrances TO THE

MERCY SEAT!  (Hebrews 4:16). The Lord will see, will look upon thy need;

and ere thy prayer is offered He has provided what that need requires.


15 "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second

time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast

done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing

I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the

heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess

the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be

blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."  And the angel of the Lord called

unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, - the object of the first call having

been to arrest the consummation of the fatal deed which threatened Isaac's life, and

to declare the Divine satisfaction with the patriarch's complete spiritual surrender

of his son, the purpose of the second was to renew the promise in reward for his

fidelity and obedience - and said, By myself have I sworn, - by my word (Onkelos);

by my name (Arabic); equivalent to by Himself, by His soul (Jeremiah 51:14),

or by His holiness (Amos 4:2) - an anthropomorphism by which God in the most

solemn manner pledges the perfection of His Divine personality for the fulfillment

of His promise; an act which He never again repeats in His communications with

the patriarchs. The oath here given to Abraham (frequently referred to in later

Scripture: ch. 24:7; 26:3; 50:24; Exodus 13:5,11; 32:13; 33:1; Isaiah 45:23;

Hebrews 6:13-14) is confirmed by the addition of - saith the Lord, - literally, the

utterance of Jehovah; like the Latin ait, inquit Dominus, the usual prophetic phrase

accompanying Divine oracles (compare Isaiah 3:15; Ezekiel 5:11; Amos 6:8),

though occurring in the Pentateuch only here and in Numbers 14:28 - for because

thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son (v. 12;

from which the Septuagint, Syriac, and Samaritan insert here the words "from me"):

that in blessing I will bless thee, and, multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the

stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; - literally, upon

the lip of the sea; a repetition and accumulation of the promises previously made

to the patriarch concerning his seed (ch. 12:2-3; 13:14-16;  15:5-6; 17:1-8), with the

special amplification following - and thy seed shall possess (i.e. occupy by force)

the gate of his enemies; shall conquer their armies and capture their cities (Keil,

Murphy); though that the spiritual sense of entering in through the doorway of

their susceptibilities in conversion (Lange) is not to be overlooked may be

inferred from the appended prediction - and in thy seed shall all the nations

of the earth be blessed (see ch. 12:3, where "families of the ground" occur as

the equivalent of "nations of the earth"); because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Originally unconditional in its grant, the promise is here distinctly declared to

be renewed to him as one who, besides being justified and taken into covenant

with Jehovah, had through trial and obedience attained to the spiritual patriarchate

of a numerous posterity.


19 "So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went

together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.”




                        Mount Moriah, or The Mount of Sacrifice (1-19)




Ø      Divine in its origin. However explained, the appalling ordeal through

                        which the patriarch at this time passed was expressly created for him by

                        Elohim. Only He who made the human heart can adequately search it; and

                        He alone who has a perfect understanding of the standard of moral

                        excellence can pronounce upon the intrinsic worth of His creatures.


Ø      Unexpected in its coming. After all that had preceded, it might have

                        been anticipated that not only were the patriarch’s trials over, but that the

                        need for such discipline in his case no longer existed. It shows that neither

                        length of years nor ripeness of grace, neither conscious enjoyment of

                        Divine favor nor previous experience of suffering, can exempt from trial or

                        place beyond the need of testing; and that mostly “temptations” come at

                        unexpected times, and in unlooked for ways.


Ø      Severe in its form. Trials to be efficient must be graduated to the

                        strength of those they design to test.  Only a temptation of great force could

                        be of service in the case of moral heroism like Abraham’s. The intensity of

                        the strain put upon his soul by the astounding order to make a holocaust of

                        Isaac simply baffles description. Even on the supposition that Abraham was

                        not unfamiliar with the practice of offering human victims, as it prevailed

                        among the Canaanites and early Chaldeans, painful doubt must have

                        insinuated itself into his mind


o        as to the character of Jehovah, who in making such a barbarous and

                                    inhuman demand might seem little superior to the heathen deities



o        as to his own enjoyment of the Divine favor, which could scarcely fail

                                    to be staggered by such an excruciating stab to his natural affection;



o        and chiefly, as to the stability of the promise, which reason could not

                                    but pronounce impossible of fulfillment if Isaac must be put to death.

                                    Yet, overwhelming as the trial was, it was;


Ø      Needful in its design. The great covenant blessing was still- conditioned

                        on the exercise by the patriarch of full-hearted trust in the naked word of

                        God. Not until that standpoint had been reached by Abraham in his

                        spiritual development was he able to become the parent of Isaac; and now

                        that Isaac was born there was still the danger lest Isaac, and not the naked

                        word of God, should be the ground of the patriarch’s confidence. Hence

                        the necessity arose for testing whether Abraham could resign Isaac and yet

                        cling to the promise of God!




Ø      The splendor of it. The tremendous act of self-immolation was

                        performed not without pain, else Abraham must have been either more or

                        less than human, but:


o        with unhesitating promptitude — “Abraham rose up early in the

                                    morning,” and “went unto the place of which God had told him;”


o        with literal exactness — “Abraham laid the wood in order, and bound

                                    Isaac his son, and laid him upon the altar on the wood;”


o        in perfect sincerity — “Abraham stretched forth his hand to slay his

                                    son;” yet


o        without ostentation — Abraham went alone with his son to the mount

                                    of sacrifice.


Ø      The secret of it. This was faith. He accounted that, though Isaac should

                        be slain, God was able to raise him up again from the dead. Hence, though

                        prepared to plunge the knife into his son’s breast, and to reduce his

                        beloved form to ashes, he “staggered not at the promise.”  (Romans 4:20)     




Ø      The deliverance of Isaac.


o        The time of it. At the moment when the sacrifice was about to be

                                    consummated, neither too soon for evincing the completeness of

                                    Abraham’s obedience, nor too late for effecting Isaac’s preservation.


o        The reason of it. Because the piety and faith of the patriarch were

                                    sufficiently demonstrated. God often accepts the will for the deed.


o        The manner of it. By the substitution of a ram, a type of the

      Lord Jesus Christ, through whose atoning death the Isaac of the

      Church is delivered from condemnation.


o        The teaching of it. If Abraham’s surrender of Isaac was a shadow of the

                                    sacrificing love of the eternal Father in sparing not His only Son, and the

                                    bound Isaac typical of the Church’s condemned condition before the

                                    sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and the substituted ram was emblematic

                                    of Him who, though He knew no sin, was made a sin offering for us, the

                                    deliverance of Isaac was symbolic both of the resurrection life of Christ

                                    and of the new life of His redeemed people.


Ø      The confirmation of the blessing.


o        A renewal of the promises — of a numerically great, territorially

                                    prosperous, and spiritually influential posterity, and more particularly

                                    of that distinguished seed in whom all the families of the earth should

                                    be blessed;


o        a specification of the ground on which they were held, viz., the

                                    patriarch’s believing obedience to the Divine commandment; and


o        a solemn oath in guarantee of their fulfillment.




Ø      The certainty of trial.

Ø      The omnipotence of faith.

Ø      The blessedness of obedience.





                        The Great Trial and the Great Revelation (vs. 15-19)


In such a history the representative character of Abraham must be

remembered. He was tried not only for his own sake, but that in him all the

families of the earth might be blessed.


  • The PREPARATION for this great grace.  God and Abraham recognizing

            each other; the servant called by name, responding with the profession of

            readiness for obedience.


  • The COMMANDMENT is itself a secret communication, a covenant.

            Do this, and I will bless thee; follow me in this journey “as I tell thee,” and

            thou shalt see MY SALVATION!


  • The simple, CHILDLIKE OBEDIENCE of the patriarch is reflected in the

            quiet demeanor of Isaac bearing the wood of the burnt offering, type of

            Jesus bearing His cross, inquiring for the lamb with lamb-like innocence and

            patience. “They went both of them together” (vs. 6 and 8) — “together”

            in the beginning of the journey, “together” in the end, in the trial and in the



  • FAITH which accepts the will of God and takes up the Divine mission


            WHICH IT DEPENDS. “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a

            burnt offering” (v. 8). Already Abraham was saying, “The Lord will

            provide.” We say it sometimes with a fearful burden upon our heart; but

            when we go steadfastly and hopefully forward we say it at last with the

            remembrance of A GREAT DELIIVERANCE sending its glory along the way

            of our future.



            TO ITS LAST EXTREMITY, that the revelation which rewards

            faithfulness may be the more abundant and wonderful (Vers. 9, 10). We

            must take God at his word, otherwise we shall not experience the promised

            deliverance. “Take thy son, and offer him there” (Ver. 2). “And Abraham

            stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” What else

            could he do? The commandment must be obeyed. The obedience must be

            good and perfect and acceptable” as the will of God.



            ANGEL, is heard the voice of relief, the assurance of acceptance, the

            change in the method of obedience, the opened eyes, the provided

            sacrifice, THE RETURNING JOY OF SALVATION (vs. 11-13). There

            is a blindness of self-sacrifice which leads to a sight of immeasurable joy.

            Abraham saw nothing before him but the plain path of obedience; HE

            WENT ON and at last “lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold’ the

            self-sacrifice changed into peaceful offering of AN APPOINTED

            SUBSTITUTE  (v. 13) in the stead of his son.”  (God did not have

            this luxury and in the process of giving His Only Begotten Son to

            die for us, shows THE UNFATHOMABLE DEPTH OF HIS LOVE!

            CY – 2019)




            Him henceforth by that knowledge of fact. “Jehovah-jireh (the Lord will

            provide): as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be

            provided (or seen) (v. 14).   (As above, I highly recommend 

            Genesis 22 – Names of God – Jehovah-Jireh – by Nathan Stone – this

            website - # 324 – CY – 2019)



1. Not before the mount, but in the mount; therefore go to the summit and


2. What the Lord will provide will be better every way than what we could


3. The offering on the mount is the great provision, the whole burnt

    offering for the sins of the world, by which the true humanity is redeemed

    and the true “joy” (“Isaac,” laughter) is retained.

4. The last name of Jehovah which Abraham gave Him was Jehovah the

    Everlasting; now he adds to that name that which brings the Everlasting

    into the sphere of daily life Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide.” We

    name that name when we reach the mount where the great sacrifice was

    providedMount Moriah, Mount Calvary.

5. The end of the great trial and obedience was a renewal, a solemn

    republication, of the covenant. “God could swear by no greater; He swore

    by Himself” (Hebrews 6:13). On the foundation of practical faith is

    built up the kingdom of heaven, which the Lord swears shall include all

    nations, and be supreme in all the earth. The notes of that kingdom are here

    in the history of the patriarch:


  1. acceptance of the word of God,
  2. self-sacrifice,
  3. faith instead of sight,
  4. withholding NOTHING,
  5. perseverance to the end.


Beersheba became now a new place to Abraham, for he carried to the well

and grove which he had named after the oaths of himself and Abimelech

the remembrance of the Divine oath, on which henceforth he rested all his

expectations. After this the man in whom all nations shall be blessed looks

round and finds the promise being already fulfilled, and his kindred

spreading widely in the earth.


20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying,

Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;"

And it came to pass after these things (probably not long after his return to

Beersheba), that it was told (by some unknown messenger or accidental traveler

from Mesopotamia) Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah (see ch. 11:29), she hath

also born children unto thy brother Nahor - as Sarah has born a son to thee.

From this it would almost seem as if Milcah had not begun to have her family

at the time Abram left Ur of the Chaldees; but see ibid. v. 30. The present brief

table of Nahor's descendants is introduced for the sake of showing the descent

of Rebekah, who is soon to become Isaac's wife.


21 "Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,"

Huz his firstborn, - (see ch. 10:23, where Uz appears as a son of Aram; and ch. 36:28,

where he recurs as a descendant of Esau. That he was a progenitor of Job (Jerome)

has no better foundation than Job 1:1 - and Buz his brother, - mentioned along

with Dedan and Tema as an Arabian tribe (Jeremiah 25:23), and may have been

an ancestor of Elihu (Job 32:2) - and Kemuel the father of Aram. "Not the founder

of the Arameans, but the forefather of the family of Ram, to which the Buzite

Elihu belonged; Aram being written for Ram, like Arammim, in II Kings 8:29,

for Rammim, in II Chronicles 22:5" (Keil).


22 "And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel."

And Chesed, - according to Jerome the father of the Chasdim or Chaldees

(ch. 11:28); but more generally regarded as the head of a younger branch or

offshoot of that race (Keil, Murphy, Lange; compare Job 1:17) - and Hazo,

and Pildash, and Jidlaph (concerning whom nothing is known), and Bethuel -

"man of God" (Gesenius); dwelling of God (Furst); an indication probably of his

piety.  (What will our account look like?  CY - 2019)


23 "And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's

brother."  And Bethuel begat Rebekah - Ribkah; captivating, ensnaring (Furst); "

a rope with a noose," not unfit as the name of a girl who ensnares men by her

beauty (Gesenius). Rebekah was the child of Isaac's cousin, and being the daughter

of Nahor's youngest son, was probably about the same age as her future husband.

These eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.


24 "And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and

Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah."  And his concubine (see on ch. 16:3),

whose name was Reumah, - raised, elevated (Gesenius); pearl or coral (Furst) -

she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah - whence probably

the Maachathites (Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 42:5). That three of Terah's descendants

(Nahor, Ishmael, and Jacob) should each have twelve sons has been pronounced"

a contrived symmetry, the intentional character of which cannot be mistaken"

(Bohlen); but "what intention the narrator should have connected with it

remains inconceivable, unless it was to state the fact as it was, or (on the

supposition that some of them had more than twelve sons) to supply a

round number easily retainable by the memory" (Havernick).





                        Good News from a Far Country (vs. 20-24)




Ø      Tidings from home. For nearly half a century Abraham had been a

                        wanderer in Palestine, and with something like an emigrant’s emotion

                        on receiving letters from the old country would the patriarch listen to

                        the message come from Haran beyond the river.


Ø      News concerning Nahor. It demands no violent exercise of fancy to

                        believe that Abraham regarded his distant brother with intense fraternal

                        affection, and that the unexpected report of that distant brother’s

                        prosperity struck a chord of joy within his aged bosom.


Ø      A message about Milcah. When the two brothers parted it would seem

                        that neither of their spouses had begun to have a family. Now information

                        reaches the patriarchal tent that the union of Nahor and Milcah, like that

                        of himself and Sarai, has been blessed with offspring; and, in particular,

                        that the second generation had begun to appear in Nahor’s house, the

                        queenly grace of Milcah being reproduced in her captivating grandchild





Ø      His unknown name. One is curious to know who it was that brought the

                        tidings from the old home. Some spirited adventurer who at the distance

                        of half a century sought to emulate the Chaldaean chieftain who left the

                        valley of the Euphrates for the bleak hills of Palestine; some

                        Mesopotamian Stanley whom Nahor, now a wealthy Emir, had

                        dispatched upon a mission of inquiry after his long-lost brother;

                        or some chance traveler who had come across the patriarch’s tent.


Ø      His timely arrival. Whoever he was, his appearance at this particular

                        juncture was exceedingly opportune, when, the great trial having

                        passed, Isaac’s marriage must have loomed in the prospect as a near

                        possibility. To Abraham it must have seemed not an accidental

                        occurrence, but a providential arrangement.


  • LEARN:


            1. That no passage of Scripture can be said to be entirely useless.

            2. That joy and sorrow mostly lie in close contiguity in human life.

            3. That it becomes good men and women to be interested in each other’s


            4. That in God’s government of the world there are no such things as


            5. That it becomes good men to keep an outlook upon the leadings of

                Divine providence.




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