A Daily Genesis

Genesis 22:2d-6a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 22:2d . . on one of the heights that I will point out to you.[/B]

Precisely where the land of Moriah was, and the specific height God chose, is impossible to tell for sure. Abraham knew where the land was but he wouldn't know the exact spot until he got there.

It's just as well to keep it a secret or otherwise somebody would turn it into a shrine; sort of like the so-called Garden Tomb, where people come from all over the world and make fools of themselves kissing the ground. Some would even take home souvenir jars of dirt too; so that by now, likely so much dirt would be gone that the site of Moriah would look more like a quarry than a high place.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 22:3a . . So early next morning, Abraham saddled his burro and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.[/B]

The Hebrew word for "saddled" is ambiguous. It doesn't necessarily indicate a device meant for transporting personnel; more likely tackling for cargo.

Whether or not the servants were armed, Genesis doesn't say. And why only two I don't know either. But that was enough to look after the burro while Abraham and Isaac were gone. And it's not wise to leave one man all alone in the outdoors; especially in the wild country of early day Palestine what with no phone service nor radios, nor cars to flag down for help in that day.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 22:3b . . He split the wood for the burnt offering,[/B]

It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the servants did the actual wood cutting with Abraham supervising.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 22:3c-4 . . and he set out for the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place from afar.[/B]

Apparently everyone hiked on foot. The burro was just used as a pack animal to haul food, water, tents, supplies, and the wood.

Though it's stated Abraham "looked up" it doesn't necessarily mean the site was elevated above him. When Lot surveyed the Jordan valley, he was said to have "lifted up" his eyes. But the valley was about three thousand feet down below his vantage at the time. Lifting up one's eyes just simply means to look around, and survey the scene.

Those three days gave Abraham plenty of time to think about what God expected him to do. Abraham must surely have been giving Isaac's future some serious thought. And he no doubt pondered the promises God made concerning the great nation that was to issue from his boy. It was very likely at this time that Abraham's faith in God's promises sustained his determination to obey and take Isaac's life.

"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said "In Isaac your seed shall be called" concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead," (Heb 11:17-19)

In other words: Abraham was so confident that God was going to somehow make of his son's progeny a great nation that he assumed, quite correctly, that though he slay Isaac and cremate his remains, the lad wouldn't stay dead for very long.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 22:5 . .Then Abraham said to his servants: You stay here with the burro. The lad and I will go up there. We will worship and we will return to you.[/B]

Worship can be defined as respect paid to a better-- like when Abraham ran and bowed to the three men who came to his tent in chapter 18, and up ahead when he will bow to the sons of Heth in chapter 23.

When we let a senior citizen go through a door ahead of us, we are saying we regard that person as better than we are. And when we move aside for a presidential motorcade, we say the same thing. That's a kind of worship. It's not an attitude of equality nor one of parity. True worship is an attitude of humility, inferiority, subordination, submission, and admiration.

The God of the Bible is so superior and respectable that the seraphs in His throne room cover their faces and dare not gaze upon God. True worship recognizes God's supremacy and respects the sanctity of His person. Sinners are never allowed to barge in like drunken sailors, to gape and swagger, unwashed and uninvited. No, they crawl in, recognizing the depravity of Man and the extreme dignity of God. The burnt offering shows that Man not only risks death and incineration in God's presence: he fully deserves it.

There exists adequate proof that Abraham was capable of dishonesty, so it's difficult to tell at this point if he was actually predicting their return, or misleading everyone with a fib so nobody would become alarmed and throw a monkey wrench into the works. It was Abraham's full intention to slay Isaac but I'm sure you can understand why he wouldn't want anyone to know that.

However, Abraham was confident that Isaac wouldn't stay dead; that much is known for certain so I vote to give Abraham the benefit of the doubt and say he really did believe that he and Isaac come back together.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 22:6a . . Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac.[/B]

Were Isaac not quite a bit grown up at this time I don't think Abraham would have made him carry the wood.

But why not let the burro haul the wood to the site? Well; if you have never heard a burro bray up close and personal, I guarantee you would not want one to do it during a solemn church service. They are LOUD!

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