Genesis 22:5, Did Abraham Think Isaac Would Be Resurrected? Part II of II

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.

//Today’s verse refers to the day Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. He tells his traveling companions to wait for him, and promises both he and Isaac will return.

Yesterday, I pointed to a passage in Hebrews that interprets this verse to mean that Abraham expected Isaac to live again after he was killed. But there is another way to read this verse. It hinges on the word worship.

Was Abraham speaking in a vague euphemism when he said he and Isaac were going to go “worship?” Or should we instead read the verse literally? The Hebrew word translated into “worship” means literally “to bow down,” as if to prostrate himself in supplication. Perhaps Abraham meant to beg God to rescind the command to sacrifice his son. So sure was Abraham of God’s compassion that he fully expected to bring Isaac back.

If so, God didn’t back down until Abraham had the knife in his hand, ready to slay his son. Perhaps this event wasn’t so much a test of Abraham’s loyalty to God as his faith in the compassion of God. It was a harrowing test of faith.

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