And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering
Which Josephus F1 says was laid upon the ass, and carried by that; and if so, he took it from thence: but it is probable it was carried by his two servants, since it was not more than Isaac himself afterwards carried, as in the next clause:
and laid [it] upon Isaac his son:
who was a grown man, and able to carry it: in this also he was a type of Christ, on whom the wood of his cross was laid, and which he bore when he went to be crucified, ( John 19:17 ) ; and this wood may be also a figure of our sins laid on him by his Father, and which he bore in his body on the tree, ( 1 Peter 2:24 ) ; and which were like wood to fire, fuel for the wrath of God, which came down upon him for them:
and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife;
a vessel in one hand, in which fire was to kindle the wood with, and a knife in the other hand to slay the sacrifice with; the one to slay his son with, and the other to burn him with; and to carry these for such purposes must be very trying. This is the first time we read in Scripture of fire for use, or of a knife. Some say the first inventor of fire was Prometheus, others Phoroneus F2, from whence he seems to have his name; but according to Sanchoniatho F3, the immediate posterity of Cain first invented it, whose names were light, fire, and flame; and these, he says, found out the way of generating fire, by rubbing pieces of wood against each other, and taught men the use of it. "Knife", in the Hebrew language, has its name from eating and consuming, as Ben Melech observes; some render it a "sword" F4, but wrongly, and which has led the painter into a mistake, to represent Abraham with a sword in his hand to slay his son:
and they went both of them together;
from the place where they left the young men, to the place where the sacrifice was to be offered.
F1 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 13. sect. 2.
F2 Pausan. Corinthiaca sive, l. 2. p. 119.
F3 Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. c. 10. p. 34.
F4 (tlkamh) "gladium", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin.