Genesis 22:12 MEANING

Genesis 22:12
Verse 12. - And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him. Abraham's surrender of the son of his affections having been complete, there was no need to push the trial further. The voice from heaven has been accepted as evidence of God's rejection of human sacrifices (Lange, Murphy), only that is not assigned as the reason for Isaac's deliverance. For now I knew - literally, have known; not caused thee to know (Augustine), but caused others to know (Lange); or the words are used anthropomorphically (Calvin) - that thou fearest God, - Elohim; the Divine intention being to characterize the patriarch as a God-fearing man, and not simply as a worshipper of Jehovah (cf. Quarry 'on Genesis,' p. 460) - seeing - literally, and (sc. in proof thereof) - thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Καὶ οὐκ ἐφείσω τοῦ ὑιοῦ σοῦ ἁγαπητοῦ δε ἐμέ (LXX.). Cf. ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδιοῦ ὑιοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο (Romans 8:32), as applied to the sacrifice of Christ. In this verse the angel of Jehovah identifies himself with Elohim.

22:11-14 It was not God's intention that Isaac should actually be sacrificed, yet nobler blood than that of animals, in due time, was to be shed for sin, even the blood of the only begotten Son of God. But in the mean while God would not in any case have human sacrifices used. Another sacrifice is provided. Reference must be had to the promised Messiah, the blessed Seed. Christ was sacrificed in our stead, as this ram instead of Isaac, and his death was our discharge. And observe, that the temple, the place of sacrifice, was afterwards built upon this same mount Moriah; and Calvary, where Christ was crucified, was near. A new name was given to that place, for the encouragement of all believers, to the end of the world, cheerfully to trust in God, and obey him. Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide; probably alluding to what Abraham had said, God will provide himself a lamb. The Lord will always have his eye upon his people, in their straits and distresses, that he may give them seasonable help.And he said, lay not thine hand upon the lad,.... Which he was just going to stretch out, with his knife in it, to slay him; and though the Lord had bid him take his son, and offer him for a burnt offering, to try his faith, fear, love, and obedience, yet he meant not that he should actually slay him, but would prevent it when it came to the crisis; for he approves not of, nor delights in human sacrifices; and that this might not be dawn into an example, it was prevented; though the Gentiles, under the influence of Satan, in imitation of this, have practised it:

neither do thou anything unto him; by lacerating his flesh, letting out any of his blood, or wounding him ever so slightly in any part:

for now I know that thou fearest God; with a truly childlike filial fear; with such a reverence of him that has fervent love, and strong affection, joined with it; with a fear that includes the whole of internal religious worship, awe of the divine Being, submission to his will, faith in him, and love to him, and obedience springing from thence. And this is said, not as though he was ignorant before how things would issue; for he knew from all eternity what Abraham would be, and what he would do, having determined to bestow that grace upon him, and work it in him, which would influence and enable him to act the part he did; he knew full well beforehand what would be the consequence of such a trial of him; but this is said after the manner of men, who know things with certainty when they come to pass, and appear plain and evident: or this may be understood of a knowledge of approbation, that the Lord now knew, and approved of the faith, fear, love, and obedience of Abraham, which were so conspicuous in this affair, see Psalm 1:6; Saadiah Gaon (i) interprets it, "I have made known", that is, to others; God by trying Abraham made it manifest to others, to all the world, to all that should hear of or read this account of things, that he was a man that feared God, loved him, believed in him, and obeyed him, of which this instance is a full and convincing proof:

seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me: but as soon as he had the order to offer him up, prepared for it, took a three days' journey, and all things along with him for the sacrifice; when he came to the place, built an altar, laid the wood in order, bound his son, and laid him on it, took the knife, and was going to put it to his throat; so that the Lord looked upon the thing as if it was really done: it was a plain case that he did not, and would not have withheld his son, but would have freely offered him a sacrifice unto God at his command; and that he loved the Lord more than he did his son, and had a greater regard to the command of God than to the life of his son, and preferred the one to the other. And thus God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, Romans 8:32.

(i) Apud Aben Ezram, in ver. 1.

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