“Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.”  Gen. 22:6

Genesis 22:6 is yet another verse that gets glossed over in an effort to move the story along, causing us to miss a significant detail.  To the Jewish reader, we have the dramatic irony that Isaac is carrying the very wood that he himself is to be sacrificed upon.  To the Christian, this is a foreshadowing of Christ carrying His own cross to His crucifixion.

Surprisingly, there is a midrash (Jewish rabbincal writing) from after the time of Christ that points out this very parallel, first quoting from this verse, it then reads “like one bearing his own cross.” (Gen. Rabbah. 56:3)

The phrase “So the two of them walked on together.” appears twice to build the tension leading up to the event (v. 6 and 8).   In verse 7, Isaac will ask Abraham where the sacrifice is, since they have all the other provisions.  He can probably deduce from Abraham’s answer that he will be the offering.  The phrase is then repeated – “the two of them walked on together.”

According to Rashi, the implication is that Abraham and Isaac were together ‘in one purpose’.  Isaac went willingly, even though he was aware of what was coming.   The general belief is that Isaac is between 25 and 37 years  of age a this point, and Abraham is 100 years older than Isaac.  Isaac could have easily overpowered Abraham, or simply ran away if he wished to.  Instead, Isaac is a willing participant.

In the New Testament writings, we see that Christ also willingly laid down His own life (John 10:18, 1 John 3:16).  There are many more parallels between Isaac and Jesus.

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