Abraham and Isaac
1Some time passed. God wanted to see how faithful Abraham was. God said to him, ‘Abraham!’ Abraham replied, ‘Here I am.’ 2God said ‘Take your son. Take your only son Isaac, whom you love. Go to the place of Moriah. Sacrifice your son there, as a burnt offering. Do this on a mountain. I will tell you which mountain.’
3Abraham got up early the next morning. He put a blanket on his donkey. He took 2 servants, and his son Isaac. He cut wood for the fire for the burnt offering. He started to go to the place that God had told him. He took the wood with him. 4On the 3rd day, Abraham looked up. He saw the place. It was not too far away. 5Abraham spoke to his servants. He said ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there. We will worship God. Then we will come back to you.’ #22:5 Abraham shows that he has faith in God. He says ‘we will come back to you’. He does not say ‘I will come back to you’.
6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering. He gave it to Isaac to carry. Abraham carried the fire and the knife. And the 2 of them went on together. 7Isaac spoke to Abraham. He said ‘Father?’ Abraham replied ‘Yes my son?’ Isaac said, ‘The fire and the wood are here. But where is the lamb, the lamb for the burnt offering?’ #22:7 A lamb is a young sheep. In the Old Testament people killed lambs as a sacrifice to God.
8Abraham replied, ‘God will give himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the 2 of them went on together.
9They came to the place that God told them. Abraham built an altar. He put the wood on it. He tied his son Isaac. And he put him on top of the wood on the altar. 10Then Abraham took the knife in his hand to kill his son.
11But the angel of the LORD called out to him. He said ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ Abraham replied ‘Here I am.’ 12The angel said, ‘Do not put a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God. I know this because you have not kept your son from me. And he is your only son.’ #22:12 To fear God means to have faith in him. And it means to do whatever God says. Abraham believed that God would keep his promise. God's promise was that Abraham would have many descendants. Abraham believed that God would not let Isaac die for ever. He believed that God had the power to bring Isaac back from death. (See Hebrews 11:17-19.) #22:12 These verses remind us that Jesus died for us. Jesus died for us, as the lamb died to save Isaac. #22:12 Jesus was the ‘lamb of God’ (John 1:29). He was sacrificed for us. He died instead of us.
13Abraham looked up. He saw a ram, caught in a bush. He took the ram. Abraham sacrificed it as a burnt offering. He sacrificed the ram instead of his son. #22:13 A ram is a male sheep.
14Abraham called that place ‘The LORD will provide.’ And it is still said ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided’. #22:14 Provide means to give someone what they need. #22:14 So Abraham called that place ‘The LORD will give me what I need.’ And it is still said ‘On the mountain of the LORD, he will give us what we need.’
15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham again. He called from heaven. 16The angel said, ‘I tell you this, says the LORD. You did not keep your son from me. And he was your only son. 17Because you have done this, I will bless you. I will make your descendants as many as the stars. They will be as many as the stars that are in the sky. They will be as many as the pieces of sand by the sea. Your descendants will take the cities of their enemies. 18I will bless everyone on the earth through your descendants. I will do this because you obeyed me.’ 19Abraham returned to his servants. Together they left for Beersheba.
20Some time passed. Someone told Abraham ‘Milcah is also a mother. She has given birth to sons through your brother Nahor.’ 21They are: Uz, the first born, his brother Buz, Kemuel, (who is the father of Aram), 22Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. 23Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah gave birth to these 8 sons. Nahor was the father of these 8 sons. Nahor was Abraham's brother. 24Nahor had a slave wife. Her name was Reumah. She also had sons. They were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.