Genesis 22:2

2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Genesis 22:2 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 22:2

And he said, take now thy son
Directly, immediately; not thine ox, nor thy sheep, nor thy ram, nor thy lamb, nor thy servant, but thy son: thine only [son] Isaac;
for, though Ishmael was his son, he was a son by his maid, by his concubine, and not by his wife; Isaac was his only legitimate son, his only son by his lawful wife Sarah; the only son of the promise, his only son, in whom his seed was to be called: whom thou lovest;
on whom his affections were strongly set, being a lovely youth, a dutiful son, and the child of promise; on whom all his hope and expectation of a numerous offspring promised him was built, and in whose line the Messiah was to spring from him; even Isaac, which stands last in the original text: so that, if what had been said was not sufficient to describe him, he is expressed by name, and the description is gradually given, and the name of his son reserved to the last, that he might be by degrees prepared to receive the shocking order; every word is emphatic and striking, and enough to pierce any tender heart, and especially when told what was to be done to him. The Jews F9 represent God and Abraham in a discourse together upon this head: God said, take now thy son; says Abraham, I have two sons; take thine only son; says he, they are both only sons to their mothers; take him whom thou lovest; I love them both, replied he; then take Isaac; thus ended the debate: and get thee into the land of Moriah;
so called by anticipation, from a mountain of that name in it; the Septuagint render it, "the high land", the hill country of the land of Canaan, particularly that part of it where Jerusalem afterwards stood, which was surrounded with hills: hence Aquila, another Greek interpreter, renders it, "conspicuous", as hills and mountains are, and a mountainous country is; Onkelos and Jonathan paraphrase it, "a land of worship", of religious worship; for in this country afterwards the people of God dwelt, the city of the living God was built, and in it the temple for divine service, and that upon Mount Moriah; and the Targum of Jerusalem has it here,

``to Mount Moriah;''
the Jews are divided about the reason of this name, some deriving it from a word F11 which signifies to "teach", and think it is so called, because doctrine or instruction came forth from thence to Israel; others from a word F12 which signifies "fear", and so had its name because fear or terror went from thence to the nations of the world {m}; but its derivation is from another word F14, which signifies to "see", and which is confirmed by what is said ( Genesis 22:14 ) : and offer him there for a burnt offering;
this was dreadful work he was called to, and must be exceeding trying to him as a man, and much more as a parent, and a professor of the true religion, to commit such an action; for by this order he was to cut the throat of his son, then to rip him up, and cut up his quarters, and then to lay every piece in order upon the wood, and then burn all to ashes; and this he was to do as a religious action, with deliberation, seriousness, and devotion: upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of;
for there were several of them adjoining to, or pretty near each other, which afterwards went by different names, as Mount Sion, ( Deuteronomy 4:48 ) ; the hill Acra; Mount Calvary, ( Luke 23:33 ) ; and Mount Moriah, ( 2 Chronicles 3:1 ) ; supposed to be the mount intended; and so Aben Ezra says it was the place where the temple was built, and where was the threshing floor of Araunah, ( 2 Chronicles 3:1 ) . Some learned men are of opinion, that the account which Sanchoniatho F15 gives of Cronus or Saturn sacrificing his own son, refers to this affair of Abraham's; his words are,
``there being a pestilence and a mortality, Cronus offered up his only son a whole burnt offering to his father Ouranus;''
which Porphyry F16, from the same historian, thus relates; Cronus, whom the Phoenicians call Israel, (a grandson of Abraham's, thought, through mistake, to be put for Abraham himself,) having an only son of a nymph of that country called Anobret, (which according to Bochart F17 signifies one that conceived by grace, see ( Hebrews 11:11 ) ;) whom therefore they called Jeoud (the same with Jehid here, an only once); so an only one is called by the Phoenicians; when the country was in great danger through war, this son, dressed in a royal habit, he offered up on an altar he had prepared. But others F18 are of a different sentiment, and cannot perceive any likeness between the two cases: however, Isaac may well be thought, in the whole of this, to be a type of the Messiah, the true and proper Son of God, his only begotten Son, the dear Son of his love, in whom all the promises are yea and amen; whom God out of his great love to men gave to be an offering and a sacrifice for their sins, and who suffered near Jerusalem, on Mount Calvary, which very probably was a part of Mount Moriah; and which, with other mountains joining in their root, though having different tops, went by that common name.

F9 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 89. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 31. Jarchi in loc.
F11 (hry) "docuit".
F12 (ary) "timuit".
F13 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 16. 1.
F14 (har) "vidit".
F15 Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praeparat. p. 38.
F16 Apud ib. p. 40. & l. 4. c. 15. p. 156.
F17 Canaan, l. 2. c. 2. col. 711, 712.
F18 See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, p. 37, 38, 134

Genesis 22:2 In-Context

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
The King James Version is in the public domain.