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This Chapter contains the account of that memorable instance of the trial of Abraham's faith, in respect to the proposed sacrifice of his son Isaac; the result of which hath handed down the Patriarch's character, with such honourable testimony in the church; and as deservedly hath procured him the name of the father of the faithful. God's command to Abraham to perform this service; the Patriarch's ready obedience; his journey to the place appointed, with Isaac his son; his resolute perseverance in the intended sacrifice; an angel from heaven staying his hand and, in the moment of doing it; the Substitution of a ram in the place of his son; God's gracious approbation; and the renewal of the promises of the covenant; these form the subject of this chapter.
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. 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.
Tempt, i.e. try to prove. Hebrews 11:17-19 for a right idea of temptations, consult James 1:13-14 , compared with James 1:12; James 1:12 ; 1 Peter 1:6-7 .
Mount Moriah, where the temple was afterward built. 2 Chronicles 3:1 .
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.
That is a sweet scripture, to explain Abraham's conduct. Galatians 1:15-16 .
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
Probably God gave the Patriarch some token, by which he might know the spot.
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.
Reader! recollect, how Jesus, in His unequalled agony in the garden, was withdrawn from the more immediate followers which he had taken with him there. Matthew 22:41 .
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
So Jesus carried his cross. John 19:17 .
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?
If he be a parent, or a master of a family, who is reading this Chapter, I would beg of him to observe how well instructed Isaac was, in the nature of religious services. Reader! may we not say as Isaac did, in all our ordinances, behold the fire, and the wood, the outward signs of worship: but where is the Spirit's work? Where is Jesus? Whose heart is warmed with the Father's love!
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Reader! it is no interesting question, though perhaps not easily answered; did Abraham really know, that God had already provided a Lamb for a burnt-offering; even the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? There are two passages in the scriptures, which seem to imply as much. Jesus hath given the one; and the Holy Ghost by his servant the apostle hath given the other. John 8:56 and Hebrews 11:17 . But Reader! whether Abraham in those distant ages, had such clear views of Jesus or not; what blessings, what privileges are ours, before whom the Lamb of God is not only provided, but hath fully taken away sin by his blood. John 1:29 ; Revelation 13:8 .
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
I pass over many interesting things, which belong to this history, considered naturally, in order to regard such as are spiritual. How delightful a representation doth the whole transaction afford of God the Father's love? Romans 8:32 . How sweet a type is given, in the obedience and voluntary surrender of Isaac, of the free and voluntary offering of the Lord Jesus on the cross? John 10:18 ; Philippians 2:8 ; Ephesians 5:2 .
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here Amos 1:0 . And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
This knowledge is not meant, as referring to God, but as proving the faith of his people to the world. Deuteronomy 8:2 . But were not those three days during which Isaac lay under a sentence of death, until released by an order from heaven, typical of Christ's lying under death, until raised the third day from the grave? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 .
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Job 33:24 . Another type of Jesus, as a substitute. 1 Peter 1:19 ; 1 Corinthians 5:7 . Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
That is, the Lord will provide. Reader! cannot your experience bear a thousand testimonies to this sweet scripture? Have you not been called upon many times, to set up your Jehovah-jirehs?
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
Hebrews 6:13-18 . Zacharias refers to this oath and promise, and applies both to Christ. Luke 1:73
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
The pedigree of Rebekah is here introduced, because she afterwards becomes a subject of much note in the church of God.
Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
Concubines were a kind of half wives; they themselves were considered as servants in the house; and their offspring were not entitled to any inheritance. Genesis 25:5-6 .
When we behold the happy termination of the trial of Abraham's faith, who doth not see the certainty of that precious promise, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation! Oh! the vast privilege of those whom the Lord enables to be faithful, and whom he supports in the trying hour. Gracious God! be it my portion, to be kept by thy grace in every conflict, then shall I be more than conqueror, through Him that hath loved me.
But while I derive this instruction, under grace, from the Patriarch's bright example of faith, teach me, Lord, to behold a more glorious object of contemplation, in which this scene so strikingly represents of divine mercy. Do I not see in Abraham, as a father, so readily offering up his son, the type of that unequalled love of God our Father, in giving his only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the salvation of his people? And in the free-will offering of Isaac, to his father's direction, is not Jesus' voluntary submission to the death of the cross strongly represented? Oh! matchless love of both! May it be my happiness always to connect, in the view of redemption, the love of both, as the united cause and source of all my hopes; and under the precious application of the Father's grace, and the Son's merits to my heart, by the merciful influences of God the Holy Ghost, may I live in the full enjoyment of this assurance, until I come to enter upon the possession of the realized felicity unto all eternity.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 22". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17