||After these events, God tested Abraham.
'Abraham!' He said.
||'Take your son, the only one you love - Isaac - and go away to the Moriah area. Bring him as an all-burned offering on one of the mountains that I will designate to you.'
||Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey. He took his two men with him, along with his son Isaac. He cut wood for the offering, and set out, heading for the place that God had designated.
||On the third day, Abraham looked up, and saw the place from afar.
||Abraham said to his young men, 'Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go to that place. We will worship and then return to you.'
||Abraham took the offering wood and placed it on [the shoulders of] his son Isaac. He himself took the fire and the slaughter knife, and the two of them went together.
||Isaac spoke up to Abraham.
'Yes, my son.'
'Here is the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for the offering?'
||'God will see to a lamb for an offering, my son,' replied Abraham.
The two of them continued together.
||When they finally came to the place designated by God, Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood. He then bound his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.
||Abraham reached out and took the slaughter knife to slit his son's throat.
||God's angel called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham! Abraham!'
||'Do not harm the boy. Do not do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God. You have not withheld your only son from Him.'
||Abraham then looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. He went and got the ram, sacrificing it as an all-burned offering in his son's place.
||Abraham named the place 'God will See' (Adonoy Yir'eh). Today, it is therefore said, 'On God's Mountain, He will be seen.'
||God's angel called to Abraham from heaven a second time,
||and said, 'God declares, 'I have sworn by My own Essence, that because you performed this act, and did not hold back your only son,
||I will bless you greatly, and increase your offspring like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring shall inherit their enemies' gate.
||All the nations of the world shall be blessed through your descendants - all because you obeyed My voice.' '
||Abraham returned to his young men, and together they set out and went to Beer-sheba. Abraham remained in Beer-sheba.
||After this, Abraham received a message: 'Milcah has also had children from your brother Nachor:
||Utz, his first-born; Buz, his brother, Kemuel (father of Aram),
||Kesed, Chazo, Pildash, Yidlaf and Bethuel.
||Bethuel has had a daughter Rebecca.'
Milcah bore the above eight [sons] to Abraham's brother Nachor.
||[Nachor's] concubine was named Reumah. She also had children: Tevach, Gacham, Tachash and Ma'akhah.
Literally, 'Here I am,' or 'I am here.' It is, however, an idiom denoting an answer to a summons; see Genesis 27:1, 31:1, 37:13, Exodus 3:4, 1 Samuel 3:4, 2 Samuel 1:7. See note on Genesis 15:4.
This was the Temple Mount; 2 Chronicles 3:1. Some say that it was called Moriah because the Amorites lived there (Rashbam; see Syrian version of Yov'loth 18:2). It is in Jerusalem, 43 miles north of Beer-sheba.
See note on Genesis 8:20
Literally, 'prostrate ourselves.'
Either a fire bucket or flints for making fire.
Literally, 'put forth your hand,' an idiom for 'harm.'
Literally, 'Me.' But the angel is speaking in God's name.
(Targum; Rashi). Or, 'saw a ram after it had been caught,' or 'after which it was caught;' (Hirsch; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).
As we have seen, the original name of the place was Salem (Genesis 14:18). With yireh added to it, it became Yeru-shalem or Jerusalem (Midrash Tehillim 76).
Or 'possess,' or 'conquer.' Seizing the gate was symbolic of conquering the entire city.
|shall be blessed...|
See Genesis 12:3, 18:18.
See notes on Genesis 20:15, 21:34. According to Rashi, however, Abraham now lived in Hebron, and he only stopped in Beer-sheba for a short while. See note on Genesis 23:2.
See Genesis 11:29.
See Genesis 10:23, 36:28, Jeremiah 25:20, Lamentations 4:21. The Talmud identifies him with Job according to one opinion (Yerushalmi, Sotah 5:6). Others say that the land of Utz where Job lived was founded by this Utz (Ibn Ezra on Job 1:1).
Cf. Jeremiah 25:23. Some say that this was the grandfather of Elihu ben Barachel the Buzite (Ibn Ezra on Job 32:2; cf. Sefer HaYashar p. 58).
Significantly, there is another Aram identified with Utz (Genesis 10:23). It is possible that they were named after the earlier ones (Radak on Genesis 10:23). This would indicate that there were two Aramaean nations, one descended directly from Shem, and a second, younger one descended from Nachor. One source states that this Aram was the founder of Aram Naharaim (Sefer HaYashar, p. 58. See Genesis 24:10, Deuteronomy 23:5). The word avi however, can be translated as 'leader' rather than father, indicating that Kemuel was the leader of Aram. Targum Yonathan thus renders this verse, 'Kemuel, the great magician of the Aramaeans.'
Possibly the ancestor of the Casdim (Radak; Sefer HaYashar p.58).
See Genesis 24:45,47, 25:20.
A common-law wife.
Associated with the tachash, whose skins were used for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:5; Zohar 2:139a, 2:147b).
He is significant because he was the founder of a tribe whose land was captured by Manasseh (Deuteronomy 3:14), and who was later allowed to live with the Israelites (Joshua 13:13). Also see 2 Samuel 10:6. There was a city Aram Ma'akhah (1 Chronicles 19:6) and Avel Beth Ma'akhah (1 Kings 15:20, 2 Kings 15:29; 2 Samuel 20:14). On Deuteronomy 3:14 and elsewhere, the Targum identifies Ma'akhah with Epicoerus, between Calirrhoe and Livias, to the northeast of the Dead Sea (see Ptolemy, Geography 5:16:9). Avel Beth Ma'akhah, however, is 12 miles north of Lake Hula. Ma'akhah is generally believed to have lived in the Mount Hermon area.