Abraham and Isaac
1Some time later, God wanted to see if Abraham really trusted him. God said to him, ‘Abraham!’ Abraham replied, ‘Here I am.’ 2God said, ‘Take your son and go to the land of Moriah. Take your only son Isaac, whom you love. You must offer him to me there as a burnt offering. I will show you the mountain where you must do this.’
3Abraham got up early the next morning. He made his donkey ready for the journey. He took two servants with him, and also his son Isaac. First, he cut wood for the fire to make the burnt offering. Then he started on his journey to the place that God had told him. 4On the third day of the journey, Abraham could see the place. It was not very far away. 5He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. I will take the boy and we will go over there. We will worship God in that place and then we will come back to you.’ #22:5 Abraham says, ‘we will come back to you’. He trusted God to keep his promise. God had promised that he would have descendants from Isaac. He did not know how God would do that, because he knew that he must offer Isaac to God as a sacrifice.
6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering. He gave it to Isaac to carry. Abraham himself carried the fire and the knife. The two of them walked on together. 7Isaac spoke to his father, Abraham. He said, ‘Father?’ Abraham replied ‘Yes my son, what is it?’ Isaac replied, ‘I see that the fire and the wood are here. But where is the lamb so that we can make the burnt offering?’ #22:7 In those days, people killed lambs as sacrifices to God.
8Abraham replied, ‘My son, God himself will bring the lamb for the burnt offering.’
The two of them continued to walk on together. 9They came to the place that God told them. Abraham built an altar there. He put the wood on it, ready for the fire. Then he tied his son Isaac. He lifted him up and he put him on top of the wood on the altar. 10Then Abraham took hold of the knife. He was ready to kill his son as a sacrifice.
11But then the angel of the Lord spoke to Abraham from heaven. He said, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ Abraham replied, ‘Here I am.’ 12The angel said, ‘Do not hurt the boy! Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you respect God and you obey him. Isaac is your only son and you agreed to offer him to me as a sacrifice. You did not try to keep him safe.’ #22:12 Abraham still believed that God would keep his promise. So he believed that God would bring Isaac back from death. See Hebrews 11:17-19.
13Just then, Abraham looked round and he saw a male sheep behind him. Its horns were caught in some bushes. So he went and he took hold of the sheep. Abraham killed the sheep on the altar as a burnt offering to God. In that way, he killed the sheep as a sacrifice, instead of his son. #22:13 See John 1:29.
14Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will give me what I need.’ #22:14 In the Hebrew language, the name is sometimes written as ‘Jehovah Jireh’. People still say today, ‘On the mountain of the Lord, he will give us what we need.’
15The angel of the Lord called from heaven to Abraham again. 16The angel said, ‘This is what the Lord says: I promise that this is what I will do for you. You did not try to keep your son safe, but you offered him to me. And he was your only son. 17Because you have done this, I will bless you. I will make your descendants become so many that people cannot count them. They will be as many as the stars that are in the sky. They will be as many as the pieces of sand on the shore by the sea. Your descendants will win against their enemies and their enemies' cities. 18I will bless all the nations on the earth through your descendants. I will do this because you have obeyed me.’
19Then Abraham returned to his servants, with Isaac. Together they all left to go to Beersheba. Abraham lived there for a time.
20Later, someone told Abraham ‘Milcah also has given birth to children. Your brother Nahor is their father.’ 21The names of the children were: Uz, the son who was born first. Then his brother Buz. Then Kemuel, who is the father of Aram. 22Then five more sons: Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. 23Bethuel later became the father of Rebekah. Those were the eight sons of Milcah and Abraham's brother, Nahor. 24Nahor also had a slave wife. Her name was Reumah. She also gave birth to sons for Nahor. Their names were: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maakah.
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The Offering of Isaac
1Now after these things, God tested [the faith and commitment of] Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” 2God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of #Abraham also fathered Ishmael by Sarah’s slave, Hagar, but Isaac was his only son of promise, the legal heir of Abraham.promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of #This area later was to become Jerusalem and the site of Solomon’s temple.Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3So 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. 4On the third day [of travel] Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the #At this time Isaac would probably be about twenty years old.young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.” 6Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it #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.on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the #I.e. a firepot filled with burning coals.fire (firepot) in his own hand and the [sacrificial] knife; and the two of them walked on together. 7And 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?” 8Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself #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.a lamb for the burnt offering.” So the two walked on together.
9When 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. 10Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to #The Hebrew verb refers to a ritual procedure by which the blood flows straight to the ground.kill his son. 11But the #See note 16:7.Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12The 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].” 13Then 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. 14So Abraham named that place #Heb YHWH jireh. Lit the Lord will see (in the sense of “see to it”).The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it #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.will be seen and provided.”
15The #See note 16:7.Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16and 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], 17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of #Or his.their enemies [by conquering them]. 18Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.” 19So Abraham returned to his servants, and they got up and went with him to Beersheba; and Abraham settled in Beersheba.
20Now after these things Abraham was told, “Milcah has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21Uz the firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight [children] Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24Nahor’s #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.concubine, whose name was Reumah, gave birth to Tebah and Gaham and Tahash and Maacah.
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