Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 7
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Genesis 20:1--22:24

Context
Abraham and Abimelech

20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 1  region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 2  in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

20:3 But God appeared 3  to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 4  because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 5 

20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 6  would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 7  20:5 Did Abraham 8  not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 9  ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 10  and with innocent hands!”

20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 11  That is why I have kept you 12  from sinning against me and why 13  I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 14  he is a prophet 15  and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 16  But if you don’t give her back, 17  know that you will surely die 18  along with all who belong to you.”

20:8 Early in the morning 19  Abimelech summoned 20  all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 21  they 22  were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 23  You have done things to me that should not be done!” 24  20:10 Then Abimelech asked 25  Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 26 

20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 27  ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 28  my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 29  she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 30  from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 31  Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”

20:14 So Abimelech gave 32  sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 33 

20:16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 34  to your ‘brother.’ 35  This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 36 

20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the Lord 37  had caused infertility to strike every woman 38  in the household of Abimelech because he took 39  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The Lord visited 40  Sarah just as he had said he would and did 41  for Sarah what he had promised. 42  21:2 So Sarah became pregnant 43  and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 21:3 Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 44  21:4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, 45  Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 46  21:5 (Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.) 47 

21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 48  Everyone who hears about this 49  will laugh 50  with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 51  “Who would 52  have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”

21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 53  a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 54  21:9 But Sarah noticed 55  the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 56  21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 57  that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”

21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 58  21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 59  about the boy or your slave wife. Do 60  all that Sarah is telling 61  you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 62  21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”

21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 63  some food 64  and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 65  and sent her away. So she went wandering 66  aimlessly through the wilderness 67  of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 68  the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 69  away; for she thought, 70  “I refuse to watch the child die.” 71  So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 72 

21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 73  The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 74  Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 75  the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 76  She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

21:20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. 77  His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 78 

21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 79  in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 80  that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 81  Show me, and the land 82  where you are staying, 83  the same loyalty 84  that I have shown you.” 85 

21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 86  21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 87  against Abimelech concerning a well 88  that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 89  21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 90  you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 91  21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 92  seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 93  that I dug this well.” 94  21:31 That is why he named that place 95  Beer Sheba, 96  because the two of them swore 97  an oath there.

21:32 So they made a treaty 98  at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 99  to the land of the Philistines. 100  21:33 Abraham 101  planted a tamarisk tree 102  in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, 103  the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 104 

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 105  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 106  replied. 22:2 God 107  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 108  – and go to the land of Moriah! 109  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 110  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 111  you.”

22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 112  He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 113  for the place God had spoken to him about.

22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 114  the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 115  said to his servants, “You two stay 116  here with the donkey while 117  the boy and I go up there. We will worship 118  and then return to you.” 119 

22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 120  and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 121  “My father?” “What is it, 122  my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 123  “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 22:8 “God will provide 124  for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 125  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 126  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 127  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 128  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 “Do not harm the boy!” 129  the angel said. 130  “Do not do anything to him, for now I know 131  that you fear 132  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

22:13 Abraham looked up 133  and saw 134  behind him 135  a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 136  went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” 137  It is said to this day, 138  “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.” 139 

22:15 The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 22:16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ 140  decrees the Lord, 141  ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22:17 I will indeed bless you, 142  and I will greatly multiply 143  your descendants 144  so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 145  of the strongholds 146  of their enemies. 22:18 Because you have obeyed me, 147  all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 148  using the name of your descendants.’”

22:19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together 149  for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed. 150 

22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 151  also has borne children to your brother Nahor – 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 152  22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 153  Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

1 tn Or “the South [country]”; Heb “the land of the Negev.”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

2 tn Heb “and he sojourned.”

3 tn Heb “came.”

4 tn Heb “Look, you [are] dead.” The Hebrew construction uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with a second person pronominal particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with by the participle. It is a highly rhetorical expression.

5 tn Heb “and she is owned by an owner.” The disjunctive clause is causal or explanatory in this case.

6 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

7 tn Apparently Abimelech assumes that God’s judgment will fall on his entire nation. Some, finding the reference to a nation problematic, prefer to emend the text and read, “Would you really kill someone who is innocent?” See E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB), 149.

8 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “and she, even she.”

10 tn Heb “with the integrity of my heart.”

11 tn Heb “with the integrity of your heart.”

12 tn Heb “and I, even I, kept you.”

13 tn Heb “therefore.”

14 tn Or “for,” if the particle is understood as causal (as many English translations do) rather than asseverative.

15 sn For a discussion of the term prophet see N. Walker, “What is a Nabhi?” ZAW 73 (1961): 99-100.

16 tn After the preceding jussive (or imperfect), the imperative with vav conjunctive here indicates result.

sn He will pray for you that you may live. Abraham was known as a man of God whose prayer would be effectual. Ironically and sadly, he was also known as a liar.

17 tn Heb “if there is not you returning.” The suffix on the particle becomes the subject of the negated clause.

18 tn The imperfect is preceded by the infinitive absolute to make the warning emphatic.

19 tn Heb “And Abimelech rose early in the morning and he summoned.”

20 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) followed by the preposition לְ (lamed) means “to summon.”

21 tn Heb “And he spoke all these things in their ears.”

22 tn Heb “the men.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “they” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

23 tn Heb “How did I sin against you that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?” The expression “great sin” refers to adultery. For discussion of the cultural background of the passage, see J. J. Rabinowitz, “The Great Sin in Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts,” JNES 18 (1959): 73, and W. L. Moran, “The Scandal of the ‘Great Sin’ at Ugarit,” JNES 18 (1959): 280-81.

24 tn Heb “Deeds which should not be done you have done to me.” The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here.

25 tn Heb “And Abimelech said to.”

26 tn Heb “What did you see that you did this thing?” The question implies that Abraham had some motive for deceiving Abimelech.

27 tn Heb “Because I said.”

28 tn Heb “over the matter of.”

29 tn Heb “but also.”

30 tn The Hebrew verb is plural. This may be a case of grammatical agreement with the name for God, which is plural in form. However, when this plural name refers to the one true God, accompanying predicates are usually singular in form. Perhaps Abraham is accommodating his speech to Abimelech’s polytheistic perspective. (See GKC 463 §145.i.) If so, one should translate, “when the gods made me wander.”

31 tn Heb “This is your loyal deed which you can do for me.”

32 tn Heb “took and gave.”

33 tn Heb “In the [place that is] good in your eyes live!”

34 sn A thousand pieces [Heb “shekels”] of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 11.5 kilograms, or 400 ounces (about 25 pounds).

35 sn To your ‘brother.’ Note the way that the king refers to Abraham. Was he being sarcastic? It was surely a rebuke to Sarah. What is amazing is how patient this king was. It is proof that the fear of God was in that place, contrary to what Abraham believed (see v. 11).

36 tn Heb “Look, it is for you a covering of the eyes, for all who are with you, and with all, and you are set right.” The exact meaning of the statement is unclear. Apparently it means that the gift of money somehow exonerates her in other people’s eyes. They will not look on her as compromised (see G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:74).

37 tn In the Hebrew text the clause begins with “because.”

38 tn Heb had completely closed up every womb.” In the Hebrew text infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

sn The Lord had closed up every womb. This fact indicates that Sarah was in Abimelech’s household for weeks or months before the dream revelation was given (20:6-7). No one in his household could have children after Sarah arrived on the scene.

39 tn Heb “because of.” The words “he took” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

40 sn The Hebrew verb translated “visit” (פָּקַד, paqad ) often describes divine intervention for blessing or cursing; it indicates God’s special attention to an individual or a matter, always with respect to his people’s destiny. He may visit (that is, destroy) the Amalekites; he may visit (that is, deliver) his people in Egypt. Here he visits Sarah, to allow her to have the promised child. One’s destiny is changed when the Lord “visits.” For a more detailed study of the term, see G. André, Determining the Destiny (ConBOT).

41 tn Heb “and the Lord did.” The divine name has not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

42 tn Heb “spoken.”

43 tn Or “she conceived.”

44 tn Heb “the one born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” The two modifying clauses, the first introduced with an article and the second with the relative pronoun, are placed in the middle of the sentence, before the name Isaac is stated. They are meant to underscore that this was indeed an actual birth to Abraham and Sarah in fulfillment of the promise.

45 tn Heb “Isaac his son, the son of eight days.” The name “Isaac” is repeated in the translation for clarity.

46 sn Just as God had commanded him to do. With the birth of the promised child, Abraham obeyed the Lord by both naming (Gen 17:19) and circumcising Isaac (17:12).

47 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause underscores how miraculous this birth was. Abraham was 100 years old. The fact that the genealogies give the ages of the fathers when their first son is born shows that this was considered a major milestone in one’s life (G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:80).

48 tn Heb “Laughter God has made for me.”

49 tn The words “about this” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

50 sn Sarah’s words play on the name “Isaac” in a final triumphant manner. God prepared “laughter” (צְחֹק, ysÿkhoq ) for her, and everyone who hears about this “will laugh” (יִצְחַק, yitskhaq ) with her. The laughter now signals great joy and fulfillment, not unbelief (cf. Gen 18:12-15).

51 tn Heb “said.”

52 tn The perfect form of the verb is used here to describe a hypothetical situation.

53 tn Heb “made.”

54 sn Children were weaned closer to the age of two or three in the ancient world, because infant mortality was high. If an infant grew to this stage, it was fairly certain he or she would live. Such an event called for a celebration, especially for parents who had waited so long for a child.

55 tn Heb “saw.”

56 tn The Piel participle used here is from the same root as the name “Isaac.” In the Piel stem the verb means “to jest; to make sport of; to play with,” not simply “to laugh,” which is the meaning of the verb in the Qal stem. What exactly Ishmael was doing is not clear. Interpreters have generally concluded that the boy was either (1) mocking Isaac (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) or (2) merely playing with Isaac as if on equal footing (cf. NAB, NRSV). In either case Sarah saw it as a threat. The same participial form was used in Gen 19:14 to describe how some in Lot’s family viewed his attempt to warn them of impending doom. It also appears later in Gen 39:14, 17, where Potiphar accuses Joseph of mocking them.

sn Mocking. Here Sarah interprets Ishmael’s actions as being sinister. Ishmael probably did not take the younger child seriously and Sarah saw this as a threat to Isaac. Paul in Gal 4:29 says that Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He uses a Greek word that can mean “to put to flight; to chase away; to pursue” and may be drawing on a rabbinic interpretation of the passage. In Paul’s analogical application of the passage, he points out that once the promised child Isaac (symbolizing Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promise) has come, there is no room left for the slave woman and her son (who symbolize the Mosaic law).

57 tn Heb “drive out.” The language may seem severe, but Sarah’s maternal instincts sensed a real danger in that Ishmael was not treating Isaac with the proper respect.

58 tn Heb “and the word was very wrong in the eyes of Abraham on account of his son.” The verb רָעַע (raa’) often refers to what is morally or ethically “evil.” It usage here suggests that Abraham thought Sarah’s demand was ethically (and perhaps legally) wrong.

59 tn Heb “Let it not be evil in your eyes.”

60 tn Heb “listen to her voice.” The idiomatic expression means “obey; comply.” Here her advice, though harsh, is necessary and conforms to the will of God. Later (see Gen 25), when Abraham has other sons, he sends them all away as well.

61 tn The imperfect verbal form here draws attention to an action that is underway.

62 tn Or perhaps “will be named”; Heb “for in Isaac offspring will be called to you.” The exact meaning of the statement is not clear, but it does indicate that God’s covenantal promises to Abraham will be realized through Isaac, not Ishmael.

63 tn Heb “and Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took.”

64 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

65 tn Heb “He put upon her shoulder, and the boy [or perhaps, “and with the boy”], and he sent her away.” It is unclear how “and the boy” relates syntactically to what precedes. Perhaps the words should be rearranged and the text read, “and he put [them] on her shoulder and he gave to Hagar the boy.”

66 tn Heb “she went and wandered.”

67 tn Or “desert,” although for English readers this usually connotes a sandy desert like the Sahara rather than the arid wasteland of this region with its sparse vegetation.

68 tn Heb “threw,” but the child, who was now thirteen years old, would not have been carried, let alone thrown under a bush. The exaggerated language suggests Ishmael is limp from dehydration and is being abandoned to die. See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 2:85.

69 sn A bowshot would be a distance of about a hundred yards (ninety meters).

70 tn Heb “said.”

71 tn Heb “I will not look on the death of the child.” The cohortative verbal form (note the negative particle אַל,’al) here expresses her resolve to avoid the stated action.

72 tn Heb “and she lifted up her voice and wept” (that is, she wept uncontrollably). The LXX reads “he” (referring to Ishmael) rather than “she” (referring to Hagar), but this is probably an attempt to harmonize this verse with the following one, which refers to the boy’s cries.

73 sn God heard the boy’s voice. The text has not to this point indicated that Ishmael was crying out, either in pain or in prayer. But the text here makes it clear that God heard him. Ishmael is clearly central to the story. Both the mother and the Lord are focused on the child’s imminent death.

74 tn Heb “What to you?”

75 sn Here the verb heard picks up the main motif of the name Ishmael (“God hears”), introduced back in chap. 16.

76 tn Heb “And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” The referent (Hagar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

77 sn The wilderness of Paran is an area in the east central region of the Sinai peninsula, northeast from the traditional site of Mt. Sinai and with the Arabah and the Gulf of Aqaba as its eastern border.

78 tn Heb “And his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt.”

79 sn God is with you. Abimelech and Phicol recognized that Abraham enjoyed special divine provision and protection.

80 tn Heb “And now swear to me by God here.”

81 tn Heb “my offspring and my descendants.”

82 tn The word “land” refers by metonymy to the people in the land.

83 tn The Hebrew verb means “to stay, to live, to sojourn” as a temporary resident without ownership rights.

84 tn Or “kindness.”

85 tn Heb “According to the loyalty which I have done with you, do with me and with the land in which you are staying.”

86 tn Heb “I swear.” No object is specified in the Hebrew text, but the content of the oath requested by Abimelech is the implied object.

87 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to argue; to dispute”; it can focus on the beginning of the dispute (as here), the dispute itself, or the resolution of a dispute (Isa 1:18). Apparently the complaint was lodged before the actual oath was taken.

88 tn Heb “concerning the matter of the well of water.”

89 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to steal; to rob; to take violently.” The statement reflects Abraham’s perspective.

90 tn Heb “and also.”

91 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

92 tn Heb “What are these?”

93 tn Heb “that it be for me for a witness.”

94 sn This well. Since the king wanted a treaty to share in Abraham’s good fortune, Abraham used the treaty to secure ownership of and protection for the well he dug. It would be useless to make a treaty to live in this territory if he had no rights to the water. Abraham consented to the treaty, but added his rider to it.

95 tn Heb “that is why he called that place.” Some translations render this as an impersonal passive, “that is why that place was called.”

96 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿer shava’) means “well of the oath” or “well of the seven.” Both the verb “to swear” and the number “seven” have been used throughout the account. Now they are drawn in as part of the explanation of the significance of the name.

97 sn The verb forms a wordplay with the name Beer Sheba.

98 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

99 tn Heb “arose and returned.”

100 sn The Philistines mentioned here may not be ethnically related to those who lived in Palestine in the time of the judges and the united monarchy. See D. M. Howard, “Philistines,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 238.

101 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

102 sn The planting of the tamarisk tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water.

103 tn Heb “he called there in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.

104 tn Heb “many days.”

105 sn The Hebrew verb used here means “to test; to try; to prove.” In this passage God tests Abraham to see if he would be obedient. See T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 44-48. See also J. L. Crenshaw, A Whirlpool of Torment (OBT), 9-30; and J. I. Lawlor, “The Test of Abraham,” GTJ 1 (1980): 19-35.

106 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

107 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

108 sn Take your son…Isaac. The instructions are very clear, but the details are deliberate. With every additional description the commandment becomes more challenging.

109 sn There has been much debate over the location of Moriah; 2 Chr 3:1 suggests it may be the site where the temple was later built in Jerusalem.

110 sn A whole burnt offering signified the complete surrender of the worshiper and complete acceptance by God. The demand for a human sacrifice was certainly radical and may have seemed to Abraham out of character for God. Abraham would have to obey without fully understanding what God was about.

111 tn Heb “which I will say to.”

112 tn Heb “Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his donkey.”

113 tn Heb “he arose and he went.”

114 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.”

115 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

116 tn The Hebrew verb is masculine plural, referring to the two young servants who accompanied Abraham and Isaac on the journey.

117 tn The disjunctive clause (with the compound subject preceding the verb) may be circumstantial and temporal.

118 tn This Hebrew word literally means “to bow oneself close to the ground.” It often means “to worship.”

119 sn It is impossible to know what Abraham was thinking when he said, “we will…return to you.” When he went he knew (1) that he was to sacrifice Isaac, and (2) that God intended to fulfill his earlier promises through Isaac. How he reconciled those facts is not clear in the text. Heb 11:17-19 suggests that Abraham believed God could restore Isaac to him through resurrection.

120 sn He took the fire and the knife in his hand. These details anticipate the sacrifice that lies ahead.

121 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said.” This is redundant and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

122 tn Heb “Here I am” (cf. Gen 22:1).

123 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here is the fire and the wood.’” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here and in the following verse the order of the introductory clauses and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

124 tn Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”

sn God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.

125 sn Abraham built an altar there. The theme of Abraham’s altar building culminates here. He has been a faithful worshiper. Will he continue to worship when called upon to make such a radical sacrifice?

126 sn Then he tied up. This text has given rise to an important theme in Judaism known as the Aqedah, from the Hebrew word for “binding.” When sacrifices were made in the sanctuary, God remembered the binding of Isaac, for which a substitute was offered. See D. Polish, “The Binding of Isaac,” Jud 6 (1957): 17-21.

127 tn Heb “in order to slaughter.”

128 sn Heb “the messenger of the Lord” (also in v. 15). Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, see the note on the phrase “the Lord’s angel” in Gen 16:7.

129 tn Heb “Do not extend your hand toward the boy.”

130 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Do not extend…’”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the context for clarity. The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

131 sn For now I know. The test was designed to see if Abraham would be obedient (see v. 1).

132 sn In this context fear refers by metonymy to obedience that grows from faith.

133 tn Heb “lifted his eyes.”

134 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) draws attention to what Abraham saw and invites the audience to view the scene through his eyes.

135 tc The translation follows the reading of the MT; a number of Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac, and Samaritan Pentateuch read “one” (אֶחָד, ’ekhad) instead of “behind him” (אַחַר, ’akhar).

136 tn Heb “Abraham”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

137 tn Heb “the Lord sees” (יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, yÿhvah yireh, traditionally transliterated “Jehovah Jireh”; see the note on the word “provide” in v. 8). By so naming the place Abraham preserved in the memory of God’s people the amazing event that took place there.

138 sn On the expression to this day see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula ‘Until this Day’,” JBL 82 (1963): 279-92.

139 sn The saying connected with these events has some ambiguity, which was probably intended. The Niphal verb could be translated (1) “in the mountain of the Lord it will be seen/provided” or (2) “in the mountain the Lord will appear.” If the temple later stood here (see the note on “Moriah” in Gen 22:2), the latter interpretation might find support, for the people went to the temple to appear before the Lord, who “appeared” to them by providing for them his power and blessings. See S. R. Driver, Genesis, 219.

140 tn Heb “By myself I swear.”

141 tn Heb “the oracle of the Lord.” The phrase refers to a formal oracle or decree from the Lord.

142 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form (either an imperfect or cohortative) emphasizes the certainty of the blessing.

143 tn Here too the infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the following finite verb (either an imperfect or cohortative).

sn I will greatly multiply. The Lord here ratifies his earlier promise to give Abram a multitude of descendants. For further discussion see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.

144 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

145 tn Or “inherit.”

146 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. To break through the gate complex would be to conquer the city, for the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”).

147 tn In the Hebrew text this causal clause comes at the end of the sentence. The translation alters the word order for stylistic reasons.

sn Because you have obeyed me. Abraham’s obedience brought God’s ratification of the earlier conditional promise (see Gen 12:2).

148 tn Traditionally the verb is taken as passive (“will be blessed”) here, as if Abraham’s descendants were going to be a channel or source of blessing to the nations. But the Hitpael is better understood here as reflexive/reciprocal, “will bless [i.e., pronounce blessings on] themselves/one another” (see also Gen 26:4). Elsewhere the Hitpael of the verb “to bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. Earlier formulations of this promise (see Gen 12:2; 18:18) use the Niphal stem. (See also Gen 28:14.)

149 tn Heb “and they arose and went together.”

150 tn Heb “and Abraham stayed in Beer Sheba. This has been translated as a relative clause for stylistic reasons.

151 tn In the Hebrew text the sentence begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) which draws attention to the statement.

152 sn This parenthetical note about Kemuel’s descendant is probably a later insertion by the author/compiler of Genesis and not part of the original announcement.

153 tn The disjunctive clause gives information that is important but parenthetical to the narrative. Rebekah would become the wife of Isaac (Gen 24:15).



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