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?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.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 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.
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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