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Genesis 22:1-2

Context
The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 1  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 2  replied. 22:2 God 3  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 4  – and go to the land of Moriah! 5  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 6  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 7  you.”

1 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.

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

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

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

5 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.

6 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.

7 tn Heb “which I will say to.”



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