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 2 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’. This shows that he trusted God to keep his promise that he would have descendants through 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 2 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 2 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 called 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 believed that God would keep his promise to give Abraham many descendants. He believed that God had the power to bring Isaac back from death. See Hebrews 11:17-19.
13Just then, Abraham looked round and he saw a ram behind him. Its horns were caught in some bushes. So, he went and he took hold of the ram. Abraham killed the ram on the altar as a burnt offering to God. In that way, he killed the ram as a sacrifice, instead of his son. #22:13 God also gave Jesus as a sacrifice on our behalf. Jesus died in our place, as the lamb died in place of Isaac. Jesus was the ‘lamb of God’. See John 1:29.
14Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will give me what I need.’ #22:14 In Hebrew, 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 5 more sons: Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. 23Bethuel later became the father of Rebekah. Those were the 8 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 Maacah.