King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 22

God commands Abraham to offer up Isaac. (1,2) Abraham’s faith and obedience to the Divine command. (3-10) Another sacrifice is provided instead of Isaac. (11-14) The covenant with Abraham renewed. (15-19) The family of Nahor. (20-24)

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God commands Abraham to offer up Isaac

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.

Abraham’s faith and obedience to the Divine command

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.

6 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.

7 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?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

9 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.

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

Another sacrifice is provided instead of Isaac

11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 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.

14 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.

The covenant with Abraham renewed

15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 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:

17 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;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

The family of Nahor

20 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;

21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,

22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.

23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.

24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. God tempted, &c. God tempteth no man to evil, James i. 13. But by trial and experiment, maketh known to the world and to ourselves, what we are; as here by this trial the singular faith and obedience of Abraham was made manifest. Ch.

Ver. 2. Thy only begotten, or thy most beloved, as if he had been an only child; in which sense the word is often taken, 1 Par. xxix. 1. Ismael was still living; but Isaac was the only son of Sara, the most dignified wife. — Lovest. Heb. “hast loved” hitherto; now thou must consider him as dead. He has been to thee a source of joy, but now he will be one of tears and mourning. — Of vision. Sept. “high,” being situated on Mount Moria, by which name it was afterwards distinguished, ver. 14. M. — Every word in this astonishing command, tended to cut Abraham to the heart; and thence we may the more admire his strength and disinterestedness of his faith. He could hope, in a manner, against hope, knowing in whom he had trusted, and convinced that God would not deceive him, though he was at a loss to explain in what manner Isaac should have children after he was sacrificed. H.

Ver. 3. In the night: de nocte, Heb. “very early in the morning.” — His son, 25 years old, without perhaps saying a word to Sara about the intended sacrifice; though some believe, he had too great an opinion of her faith and constancy, not to reveal to her the order of God. The Scripture is silent. C.

Ver. 5. Will return. He hoped, perhaps, that God would restore Isaac to life: (Heb. xi. 19.) and he could not well express himself otherwise to the men, who were not acquainted with the divine decree. C.

Ver. 7. Holocaust. These were probably the only sacrifices yet in use. C. — The conversation of Isaac could not fail to pierce the heart of his father. M.

Ver. 9. The place. Mount Moria, on part of which the temple was built afterwards; and on another part, called Calvary, our Saviour was crucified, having carried his cross, as Isaac did the wood for sacrifice. — His son: having first explained to him the will of God, to which Isaac gave his free consent; otherwise, being in the vigour of his youth, he might easily have hindered his aged father, who was 125 years old, from binding him. But in this willingness to die, as in many other particulars, he was a noble figure of Jesus Christ, who was offered because it was His will. H.

Ver. 10. To sacrifice; a thing hitherto unprecedented, and which God would never suffer to be done in his honour, though he was pleased to try the obedience of his servant so far. The pagans afterwards took occasion, perhaps, from this history, to suppose, that human victims would be the most agreeable to their false deities: (C.) but in this misconception they were inexcusable, since God prevented the sacrifice from being really offered to him, in the most earnest manner, saying, Abraham, Abraham, as if there were danger lest the holy man should not hear the first call. H.

Ver. 12. Hast not spared. Thus the intentions of the heart become worthy of praise, or of blame, even when no exterior effect is perceived. H.

Ver. 13. He took; God having given him the dominion over it. C.

Ver. 14. Will see. This became a proverbial expression, used by people in distress, who, remembering how Abraham had been relieved, endeavoured to comfort themselves with hopes of relief. Some translate the Lord will be seen, which was verified when Christ was crucified. M. — Or, he will provide, alluding to what was said, v. 8.

Ver. 16. Own self; as he could not swear by any one greater. Heb. vi. 13. Jer. xxii. 5.

Ver. 17. Stars and dust, comprising the just and sinners. — Gates, shall judge and rule. H.

Ver. 20. Children. These are mentioned here, to explain the marriage of Isaac with Rebecca, the grand-daughter of Nachor and Melcha.

Ver. 21. Hus, who peopled Ausitis in Arabia, the desert, where Job lived. — Buz, from whom sprung Elihu the Busite, the Balaam of the Jews. S. Jerom — Syrians, called Camiletes, to the west of the Euphrates; or father of the Cappadocians. C.

Ver. 24. Concubine, or wife, secondary in privileges, love, and dignity. Though Nachor did not, perhaps imitate the faith and virtue of his brother Abraham, but mixed various superstitions with the knowledge of the true God; yet we need not condemn him, for having more wives than one. H.