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Genesis 22:9-12

Context

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 1  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 2  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 3  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 4  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 “Do not harm the boy!” 5  the angel said. 6  “Do not do anything to him, for now I know 7  that you fear 8  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

1 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?

2 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.

3 tn Heb “in order to slaughter.”

4 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.

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

6 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.

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

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



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