22:1 Some time later God tested [purpose: to reveal true character, to grow spiritually; Abraham was not aware that he was about to be tested] Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
22:2 Then God said, “Take [imperative] your son, your only [Abraham had other sons; word refers to uniqueness: Isaac was the son through whom God’s promise would be fulfilled (17:19-21)] son, Isaac [born 25 years after God called Abraham (12:4; 21:5)], whom you love [first mention of love in Bible: in context of a father’s love for his son; implies intimate relationship], and go [imperative] to the region of Moriah [the place where Solomon would later build the temple, cf. 2 Chron. 3:1]. Sacrifice [imperative] him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about [cf. 12:1, “the land I will show you”].”
22:3 Early [Abraham did not delay in doing what God had commanded] the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood [perhaps an indication that wood was not available or in short supply in the place where he was going] for the burnt offering [offering totally consumed leaving nothing but ashes], he set out [resolve overcame resistance] for the place God had told him about.
22:4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
22:5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we [indicates Abraham’s hope for Isaac’s survival] will come back to you.”
22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac [identified Isaac with the offering], and he himself carried the fire and the knife [Abraham carried the lethal materials]. As the two of them went on together,
22:7 Isaac spoke up [Isaac’s only recorded words] and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Note: “…in a greater sense, Isaac’s question sums up the Old Testament; the New Testament answer is John 1:29.” (Hobbs)
22:8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide [later immortalized in the name Abraham gave to the place (22:14)] the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
22:9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood [Isaac loved and trusted his father; he was willing to submit to being put to death as a sacrifice (just as Jesus later submitted Himself to death on a cross)].
22:10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son [Abram believed that even if he offered Isaac as a sacrifice, God would be able to raise him from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19)].
22:11 But [at last moment] the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham [double expression = urgency]!” “Here I am,” he replied.
22:12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God [Abram proved his loyalty to God], because [evidenced by] you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
22:13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead [just as Jesus died in the stead of sinners] of his son.
22:14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide [Jehovah Jireh; to commemorate how the Lord had provided; cf. 22:8]. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
22:15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time
22:16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
22:17 [reaffirmation of God’s promise to Abraham in 12:1-3] I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
22:18 and through your offspring [seed; cf. Gal. 3:16] all nations on earth will be blessed [messianic element of God’s promise to Abraham: fulfilled in the birth, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ], because you have obeyed me.”