And they came to the place which God had told him of
Mount Moriah. Maimonides F6 says,
``it is a tradition in or by the hands of all, that this is the place where David and Solomon built an altar in the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, and where Abraham built an altar, and bound Isaac on it; and where Noah built one when he came out of the ark, and is the altar on which Cain and Abel offered; and where the first man offered when he was created, and from whence he was created.''And so the Targum of Jonathan, and other Jewish writers F7. The Mahometans say F8, that Meena or Muna, a place about two or three miles from Mecca, is the place where Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac, and therefore in this place they sacrifice their sheep.
And Abraham built an altar there;
of the earth, and turf upon it he found on the mount, erected an altar for sacrifice, even for the sacrifice of his own son: he had built many before, but none for such a purpose as this, and yet went about it readily, and finished it. But if there was one before, Abraham could not with any propriety be said to build it, at most only to repair it; but there is no doubt to be made of it that he built it anew, and perhaps there never was an altar here before:
and laid on the wood in order:
for the sacrifice to be put upon it:
and bound Isaac his son:
with his hands and feet behind him, as Jarchi says; not lest he should flee from him, and make his escape, as Aben Ezra suggests, but as it was the usual manner to bind sacrifices when offered; and especially this was so ordered, that Isaac might be a type of the Messiah, who was bound by the Jews, ( John 18:12 ) ( Matthew 27:2 ) ; as well as he was bound and fastened to the cross:
and laid him on the altar upon the wood;
it is highly probable with his own consent; for if he was twenty five, and as some say thirty seven years of age, he was able to have resisted his father, and had he been reluctant could have cleared himself from the hands of his aged parent: but it is very likely, that previous to this Abraham opened the whole affair to him, urged the divine command, persuaded him to submit to it; and perhaps might suggest to him what he himself had faith in, that God would either revoke the precept, or prevent by some providence or another the fatal blow, or raise him again from the dead; however, that obedience to the will of God should be yielded, since disobedience might be attended with sad consequences to them both; and with such like things the mind of Isaac might be reconciled to this affair, and he willingly submitted to it; in which he also was a type of Christ, who acquiesced in the will of his Father, freely surrendered himself into the hands of justice, and meekly and willingly gave himself an offering for his people.
F6 Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 2. sect. 1. 2.
F7 In Pirke, ut supra. (c. 31.)
F8 See Pitts's Account of the Mahometans, c. 7. p. 97.