22:2 your only son . . . whom you love. Isaac is the beloved son, the only son of the promise (25:1–18 note). Ishmael had been disinherited and sent away (21:10, 14), leaving Isaac as Abraham’s only son. These terms are applied to Christ in the New Testament (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; John 3:16; Eph. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:17).
land of Moriah. Later the site of Israel’s temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 3:1).
offer him. This command is perplexing at first. Without knowing what God really had in mind (cf. Ex. 13:11–13; 22:29; 34:19, 20), the command seems to contradict the sixth commandment (Ex. 20:13). As the narrative unfolds, however, it is evident that the test was whether Abraham would proceed with the preparations for sacrifice while holding steadfastly to the promise of 21:12, “through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” Abraham knew that God was obliged to keep His promise, and he knew that a dead Isaac could not continue the covenant line. Heb. 11:19 unveils Abraham’s secret: he concluded “that God was able even to raise him from the dead.”
burnt offering. See note 8:20.