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Genesis 22

22
God Tests Abraham
1After these things God tested Abraham’s faith. God said to him, “Abraham!”
And he answered, “Here I am.”
2Then God said, “Take your only son, Isaac, the son you love. Go to the land of Moriah. There kill him and offer him as a whole burnt offering. Do this on one of the mountains there. I will tell you which one.”
3Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took Isaac and two servants with him. He cut the wood for the sacrifice. Then they went to the place God had told them to go. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey. My son and I will go over there and worship. Then we will come back to you.”
6Abraham took the wood for the sacrifice and gave it to his son to carry. Abraham took the knife and the fire. So Abraham and his son went on together.
7Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!”
Abraham answered, “Yes, my son.”
Isaac said, “We have the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb we will burn as a sacrifice?”
8Abraham answered, “God will give us the lamb for the sacrifice, my son.”
So Abraham and his son went on together. 9They came to the place God had told him about. There, Abraham built an altar. He laid the wood on it. Then he tied up his son Isaac. And he laid Isaac on the wood on the altar. 10Then Abraham took his knife and was about to kill his son.
11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. The angel said, “Abraham! Abraham!”
Abraham answered, “Yes.”
12The angel said, “Don’t kill your son or hurt him in any way. Now I can see that you respect God. I see that you have not kept your son, your only son, from me.”
13Then Abraham looked up and saw a male sheep. Its horns were caught in a bush. So Abraham went and took the sheep and killed it. He offered it as a whole burnt offering to God. Abraham’s son was saved. 14So Abraham named that place The Lord Gives. Even today people say, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be given.”
15The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time. 16The angel said, “The Lord says, ‘You did not keep back your son, your only son, from me. Because you did this, I make you this promise by my own name: 17I will surely bless you and give you many descendants. They will be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. And they will capture the cities of their enemies. 18Through your descendants all the nations on the earth will be blessed. This is because you obeyed me.’”
19Then Abraham returned to his servants. They all traveled back to Beersheba, and Abraham stayed there.
20After these things happened, someone told Abraham: “Your brother Nahor and his wife Milcah have children now. 21The first son is Uz. The second son is Buz. The third son is Kemuel (the father of Aram). 22Then there are Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah was the mother of these eight sons, and Nahor was the father. Nahor was Abraham’s brother. 24Also Nahor had four other sons by his slave woman Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.
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The Testing of Abraham.#The divine demand that Abraham sacrifice to God the son of promise is the greatest of his trials; after the successful completion of the test, he has only to buy a burial site for Sarah and find a wife for Isaac. The story is widely recognized as a literary masterpiece, depicting in a few lines God as the absolute Lord, inscrutable yet ultimately gracious, and Abraham, acting in moral grandeur as the great ancestor of Israel. Abraham speaks simply, with none of the wordy evasions of chaps. 13 and 21. The style is laconic; motivations and thoughts are not explained, and the reader cannot but wonder at the scene. In vv. 15–18, the angel repeats the seventh and climactic promise. Moriah: the mountain is not given a precise geographical location here, though 2 Chr 3:1 identifies Moriah as the mountain of Jerusalem where Solomon built the Temple; Abraham is thus the first to worship there. The word “Moriah” is a play on the verb “to see” (Heb. ra’ah); the wordplay is continued in v. 8, “God will provide (lit., “see”)” and in v. 14, Yahweh-yireh, meaning “the Lord will see/provide.” 1Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test and said to him: Abraham! “Here I am!” he replied.#Sir 44:20. 2Then God said: Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you.#2 Chr 3:1; 1 Mc 2:52; Heb 11:17. 3Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac, and after cutting the wood for the burnt offering, set out for the place of which God had told him.
4On the third day Abraham caught sight of the place from a distance. 5Abraham said to his servants: “Stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over there. We will worship and then come back to you.” 6So Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together, 7Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. “Father!” he said. “Here I am,” he replied. Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8“My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering.” Then 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 on it. Next he bound#Bound: the Hebrew verb is ‘aqad, from which is derived the noun Akedah, “the binding (of Isaac),” the traditional Jewish name for this incident. his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar.#Jas 2:21. 10Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.#Wis 10:5. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Here I am,” he answered. 12“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the angel. “Do not do the least thing to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you did not withhold from me your son, your only one.”#Rom 8:32; 1 Jn 4:9. 13Abraham looked up and saw a single ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.#While the Bible recognizes that firstborn males belong to God (Ex 13:11–16; 34:19–20), and provides an alternate sacrifice to redeem firstborn sons, the focus here is on Abraham’s being tested by God (v. 1). But the widely attested practice of child sacrifice underscores, for all its horror today, the realism of the test. 14Abraham named that place Yahweh-yireh;#Yahweh-yireh: a Hebrew expression meaning “the Lord will see/provide.” See note on vv. 1–19. hence people today say, “On the mountain the Lord will provide.”
15#The seventh and climactic statement of the blessings to Abraham. Unlike the other statements, which were purely promissory, this one is presented as a reward for Abraham’s extraordinary trust. A second time the angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven 16#Gn 15:5; Ex 32:13; Lk 1:73; Rom 4:13; Heb 6:13–14; 11:12. and said: “I swear by my very self—oracle of the Lord—that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your son, your only one, 17I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies,#Gn 24:60. 18and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command.”#Gn 12:3; 18:18; 26:4; Sir 44:21; Acts 3:25; Gal 3:16.
19Abraham then returned to his servants, and they set out together for Beer-sheba, where Abraham lived.
Nahor’s Descendants.#The descendants to the second generation of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, who married Milcah. Of Terah’s three sons (11:27), the oldest, Abraham, fathered Isaac (21:1–7), and the youngest, Haran (who died in Ur), fathered Lot. Abraham is now told that Nahor had eight children by Milcah and four by his concubine Reumah. Apart from the notice about the children born to Abraham by his second wife, Keturah (25:1–6), all the information about Terah’s family to the second generation is now complete. It is noteworthy that Jacob will, like Nahor, have eight children by his wives and four by his concubines. 20Some time afterward, the news came to Abraham: “Milcah too has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21Uz, his firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore children: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.