Genesis 22:7
And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Genesis 22:7. Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb? — This is,

1st, A trying question to Abraham; how could he endure to think that Isaac is himself the lamb? 2d, It is a teaching question to us all, that when we are going to worship God, we should seriously consider whether we have every thing ready, especially the “lamb for a burnt-offering.” Behold, the fire is ready, the Spirit’s assistance, and God’s acceptance: the wood is ready, the instituted ordinances, designed to kindle our affections, which indeed, without the Spirit, are but like wood without fire. All things are now ready, but where is the lamb? — Where is the heart? Is that ready to be offered up to God, to ascend to him as a burnt-offering?22:3-10 Never was any gold tried in so hot a fire. Who but Abraham would not have argued with God? Such would have been the thought of a weak heart; but Abraham knew that he had to do with a God, even Jehovah. Faith had taught him not to argue, but to obey. He is sure that what God commands is good; that what he promises cannot be broken. In matters of God, whoever consults with flesh and blood, will never offer up his Isaac to God. The good patriarch rises early, and begins his sad journey. And now he travels three days, and Isaac still is in his sight! Misery is made worse when long continued. The expression, We will come again to you, shows that Abraham expected that Isaac, being raised from the dead, would return with him. It was a very affecting question that Isaac asked him, as they were going together: My father, said Isaac; it was a melting word, which, one would think, should strike deeper in the heart of Abraham, than his knife could in the heart of Isaac. Yet he waits for his son's question. Then Abraham, where he meant not, prophesies: My son, God will provide a lamb for a burnt-offering. The Holy Spirit, by his mouth, seems to predict the Lamb of God, which he has provided, and which taketh away the sin of the world. Abraham lays the wood in order for his Isaac's funeral pile, and now tells him the amazing news: Isaac, thou art the lamb which God has provided! Abraham, no doubt, comforting him with the same hopes with which he himself by faith was comforted. Yet it is necessary that the sacrifice be bound. The great Sacrifice, which, in the fulness of time, was to be offered up, must be bound, and so must Isaac. This being done, Abraham takes the knife, and stretches out his hand to give the fatal blow. Here is an act of faith and obedience, which deserves to be a spectacle to God, angels, and men. God, by his providence, calls us to part with an Isaac sometimes, and we must do it with cheerful submission to his holy will, 1Sa 3:18.The story is now told with exquisite simplicity. "On the third day." From Beer-sheba to the Shalem of Melkizedec, near which this hill is supposed to have been, is about forty-five miles. If they proceeded fifteen miles on the first broken day, twenty on the second, and ten on the third, they would come within sight of the place early on the third day. "Lifted up his eyes." It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader of the Bible that this phrase does not imply that the place was above his point of view. Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the vale of Jordan Genesis 13:10, which was considerably below the position of the observer. "And return unto you." The intimation that he and the lad would return, may seem to have rested on a dim presentiment that God would restore Isaac to him even if sacrificed. But it is more in keeping with the earnestness of the whole transaction to regard it as a mere concealment of his purpose from his servants. "And he bound Isaac his son." There is a wonderful pathos in the words his son, his father, introduced in the sacred style in this and similar narratives. Isaac, when the trying moment came, seems to have made no resistance to his father's will. The binding was merely a sacrificial custom. He must have concluded that his father was in all this obeying the will of God, though he gave him only a distant hint that it was so. Abraham is thoroughly in earnest in the whole procedure.4. on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, &c.—Leaving the servants at the foot [Ge 22:5], the father and son ascended the hill, the one bearing the knife, and the other the wood for consuming the sacrifice [Ge 22:6]. But there was no victim; and to the question so naturally put by Isaac [Ge 22:7], Abraham contented himself by replying, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." It has been supposed that the design of this extraordinary transaction was to show him, by action instead of words, the way in which all the families of the earth should be blessed; and that in his answer to Isaac, he anticipated some substitution. It is more likely that his words were spoken evasively to his son in ignorance of the issue, yet in unbounded confidence that that son, though sacrificed, would, in some miraculous way, be restored (Heb 11:19). My father; a compellation which might both wound Abraham’s heart, and admonish him how unbecoming to a father that action was which he was going about.

Here am I, my son; which expression showed that he had not put off fatherly affection to him, and that his intention did not arise from any unnatural and barbarous disposition, nor from any decay of love to him, but from a higher cause, even the declared will of God. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father,.... As they were walking together:

and said, my father; a cutting word to Abraham, who knew what he was going to do with him, so contrary to the relation and affection of a parent:

and he said, here am I, my son; what hast thou to say to me? I am ready to answer thee; he owns the relation he stood in unto him, a sense of which he had not put off, and curbs his affections, which must be inwardly moving towards him, and showed great strength of faith to grapple with such a trying exercise:

and he said, behold the fire and the wood; the fire which his father had his hand, and the wood which was upon his own, shoulders:

but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? he perceived by the preparation made, by the fire and the wood, that it was to be a burnt offering which they were going to offer; but there being no creature provided for the sacrifice, he puts this question, by which it appears that as yet he was quite ignorant of the true design of this journey, and little thought that he was to be the sacrifice: however, from what he said, it plain he had been used to sacrifices, and had been trained up in them, and had seen them performed, and knew the nature of them, and what were requisite unto them.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. And Isaac spake] The pathos of the narrative reaches its climax in the simple expression of boyish curiosity, indicating a knowledge of his father’s regular usages of sacrifice.

“Here am I, my son?” is a little formal as a rendering. It is equivalent to a father’s reply: “Well, boy, what is it?”Verse 7. - And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, - during the progress of the journey, after leaving the young men, solitude inviting him to give expression to thoughts which had been rising in his bosom, but which the presence of companions had constrained him to suppress - and said, My father: - a term of filial reverence and endearment that must have lacerated Abraham's heart. As used by Isaac it signified a desire to interrogate his parent - and he said, Here am I, my son (literally, Behold me, my son - Well, my son, what is it? in colloquial English). And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering. Another hint that the sacrificial system did not originate with Moses. Offering Up of Isaac. - For many years had Abraham waited to be fulfilled. At length the Lord had given him the desired heir of his body by his wife Sarah, and directed him to send away the son of the maid. And now that this son had grown into a young man, the word of God came to Abraham to offer up this very son, who had been given to him as the heir of the promise, for a burnt-offering, upon one of the mountains which should be shown him. This word did not come from his own heart, - was not a thought suggested by the sight of the human sacrifices of the Canaanites, that he would offer a similar sacrifice to his God; nor did it originate with the tempter to evil. The word came from Ha-Elohim, the personal, true God, who tried him (נסּה), i.e., demanded the sacrifice of the only, beloved son, as a proof and attestation of his faith. The issue shows, that God did not desire the sacrifice of Isaac by slaying and burning him upon the altar, but his complete surrender, and a willingness to offer him up to God even by death.

Nevertheless the divine command was given in such a form, that Abraham could not understand it in any other way than as requiring an outward burnt-offering, because there was no other way in which Abraham could accomplish the complete surrender of Isaac, than by an actual preparation for really offering the desired sacrifice. This constituted the trial, which necessarily produced a severe internal conflict in his mind. Ratio humana simpliciter concluderet aut mentiri promissionem aut mandatum non esse Dei sed Diaboli; est enim contradictio manifesta. Si enim debet occidi Isaac, irrita est promissio; sin rata est promissio, impossibile est hoc esse Dei mandatum (Luther). But Abraham brought his reason into captivity to the obedience of faith. He did not question the truth of the word of God, which had been addressed to him in a mode that was to his mind perfectly infallible (not in a vision of the night, however, of which there is not a syllable in the text), but he stood firm in his faith, "accounting that god was able to raise him up, even from the dead" Hebrews 11:19). Without taking counsel with flesh and blood, Abraham started early in the morning (Genesis 22:3, Genesis 22:4), with his son Isaac and two servants, to obey the divine command; and on the third day (for the distance from Beersheba to Jerusalem is about 20 1/2 hours; Rob. Pal. iii. App. 66, 67) he saw in the distance the place mentioned by God, the land of Moriah, i.e., the mountainous country round about Jerusalem. The name מריּה, composed of the Hophal partic. of ראה and the divine name יה, an abbreviation of יהוה (lit., "the shown of Jehovah," equivalent to the manifestation of Jehovah), is no doubt used proleptically in Genesis 22:2, and given to the mountain upon which the sacrifice was to be made, with direct reference to this event and the appearance of Jehovah to Abraham there. This is confirmed by Genesis 22:14, where the name is connected with the event, and explained in the fuller expression Jehovah-jireh. On the ground of this passage the mountain upon which Solomon built the temple is called המּריּה with reference to the appearance of the angel of the Lord to David on that mountain at the threshing-floor of Araunah (2 Samuel 24:16-17), the old name being revived by this appearance.

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