“After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, 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. 10 Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord will provide; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
- Abraham is tested by God 10 times during his life, and this account of Isaac on Mt. Moriah is the 10th and final test. Why does God test those who follow him? What significance does Abraham’s immediate response to this command have in regard to trusting God, in that he does not even ask ‘why.’ How might we ourselves responded?
- Having been given his son Isaac, Abraham is tested by God with the command to “offer” him back up. Why would God do this? How might our earthly “loves” (“your only son, Isaac whom you love”) interfere with our calling to love God with the totality of our hearts?
- God often reveals himself to the Patriarchs and Prophets on a “Mountain,” as here on Mt. Moriah. What is the spiritual significance of these mountains in the Old Testament, (such as Moriah, Sinai, Horeb, Carmel, etc.).
- What parallels exist between this story and its wording and the Crucifixion of our Lord in the New Testament? (E.g., “your only son Isaac whom you love,” & “God Himself will provide the sacrifice…”).