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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 22 ~

Parashah 4: Vayera (continued)
(“He Appeared,” Gen. 18:1-22:24)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Be'er-Sheva [MAP] 1831 BCE (R), 1829 (K)][a]

H. The Binding of Yitz'chak [The Akeda]

1. Avraham told to Sacrifice Yitz'chak (22:1-2)

(vii) 1Some time later, Elohim[GN] tested Avraham and said to him, “Avraham!”

Avraham answered, “Here I am.”[1]

2“Take your son,” He said, “your only son, Yitz'chakIsaac, whom you love,[2a] and go to the land of Moriah“Chosen by Yah” (“Yah” is one of HaShem’s names.[2b] Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you.”

2. Abraham Responds (22:3-8) [Moriah [MAP]]

3So Avraham got up early the next morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his servants and his son Yitz'chak with him. He split wood for a burnt offering, and set out for the place Elohim had told him about. 4On the third day Avraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5Avraham said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The lad[5a] and I will go over there. We will worship, and come back to you.”[5b] 6Avraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Yitz'chak.[6] He carried the fire and the knife, and the two of them walked on together.

7Isaac spoke to his father Avraham, “My father?”

“Here I am,[7] my son,” Avraham replied.

“Here is the fire and the wood,“ he said, ”but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8Avraham answered, “Elohim will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”[8a] And the two walked on together.[8b]

3. HaShem Provides a Ram (22:9-14)

 9When they arrived at the place Elohim had specified, Avraham built the altar there and arraned the wood. He bound his son Yitz'chak and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.[9] 10Then Avraham reached out his hand and took up the knife to slaughter[10] his son.

11Just then, the Angel[GN] of יְהוָה֒ [GN] [YeHoVaH] called out to him from heaven, “Avraham, Avraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12“Don’t lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him,” He said, “for now I know that you fear Elohim,[12] since you have not withheld your only son from Me.”

13Then Avraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns, So he took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.[13] 14Avraham called that place “יְהוָה֒ Yireh“יְהוָה֒ [YeHoVaH] Sees” or “יְהוָה֒ [YeHoVaH] Will Provide”.” So to this day it is still said, “On the Mountain of יְהוָה֒ it will be provided.”[14]

4. Promise of Blessings (22:15-19) [Beer-Sheba]

15Then the Angel of יְהוָה֒ called to Avraham from the heavens a second time, 16and said, “ ‘I have sworn by Myself,’ declares יְהוָה֒, ‘that because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your only son, 17I will surely bless you greatly,[17] and I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gate of their enemies. 18And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed,[18] because you have obeyed My voice.’ ”

19So Avraham returned to his servants, and they got up and set out together to Be'er-sheva. And Avraham settled at Be'er-sheva.

I. News From Nahor (22:20-24)

(Maftir) 20Some time later, Avraham was told, “Milkah“queen” - daughter of Haran and wife of Nahor, her uncle and Abraham's brother has also borne sons to your brother NachorNahor, “snorting”:  [ca 1920 BCE] 21'UtzUz, “wooded” his firstborn, Buz“contempt” his brother, K'mu'el“raised of God” the father of Aram“exalted” - the progenitor of the Aramean or Syrian people, 22KesedChesed, “increase۔, Hazo“vision”, Pildash“flame of fire”, YidlafJidlaph, “weepin”, and B'tu'elBethuel - “God destroys, “man of God,” or “dweller in God”.” 23B'tu'el was the father of RivkahRebekah- “ensnarer”. Milcah bore these eight sons to Nachor, Avraham’s brother. 24Also, his concubine, whose name was Re'umah“elevated”, bore TevachTebah - “a slaughter”, GachamGaham - “burning”, ThachashTahash - “dugong,” a family of marine mammal which includes manatees and the now extince Steller’s sea cow, and Ma‘akhahMaacah - “oppression”.

The brakah (blessing) to recite after reading the Parashah is here.

The brakah to recite before reading the Haftarah is here.

The Haftarah for this Portion is 2 Kings 4:1-37

The brakah to recite before reading from the Apostolic Writings is here.

The reading from the Gospels is Luke 17:28-37

The Blessing of the Messiah to recite after reading from the Gospels is here.


Chapter 23


  a. Jewish tradition sets the date for the “Binding of Isaac” at 1677 BCE or 2084 AC. The same tradition sets the date of Isaac’s birth at 1713 BCE or 2048 AC. This would make Yitz'chak 36 years old at this time. [RETURN]

  1. “Here I am.” Heb הִנֵּֽנִי (hin·nê·nî), lit behold (hinneh)[GN] me. [RETURN]

2a. Although Yitz'chak was not actually Avraham’s only son, HaShem identifies him as such, since he is the only son through whom the covenants would continue. Note that HaShem removes all doubt in Avraham’s mind which of the two sons He is requiring to be sacrificed. Your son ... your only son ... the son whom you love. HaShem must have wept bitterly as He thought forward through time to the day some 1700 years later when, in the same place, He must sacrifice His Son ... His only Son ... the Son Whom He loves … for the redemption of mankind. [RETURN]

2b. Moriah is present-day Jerusalem; Mount Moriah is Mount Zion, the Temple Mount. Tradition holds that the stone that now sits in the Muslim mosque known as “the Dome of the Rock” is the very stone upon which Avraham offered Yitz'chak. Some also believe that in the Temple the Holy of Holies, or Most Holy Place, was located over that stone. [RETURN]

5a. According to Jewish chronology, Yitz'chak was 36 years old by this time; yet his father still refers to him as a “lad” (Heb. נַעַר, na'ar, a boy, lad, youth, retainer). [RETURN]

5b. We cannot know exactly what was going through Avraham’s mind at this moment. He knew that HaShem had made a covenant with him and promised that Yitz'chak would be the heir that covenant. He knew that HaShem had commanded him to sacrifice Yitz'chak. He completely trusted HaShem Who had never yet lied to him. So was his expection that Yitz'chak was to be resurrected?The Letter to Messianic Jews tells us that “he had concluded that God could even raise people from the dead.” (Heb 11:17-19) [RETURN]

 6. Nearly two thousand years later HaShem’s Son Yeshua would also carry the wood for His sacrifice on His own back (John 19:17). [RETURN]

 7. “Here I am.” Same as note 1. [RETURN]

8a. HaShem declared that Avraham was a prophet (Gen 20:7), and here Avraham speaks prophetically that in the future HaShem would offer Himself as the sacrifice on the same mountain. [RETURN]

8b. “…together.” Heb. יַחְדָּֽו (yaḥ·dāw), union, unitedness; adv 2) together, altogether, all together, alike. They walked on in union. [RETURN]

 9. This was clearly as much a test of Yitz'chak’s faith as it was a test of Abraham’s. A strong, healthy 36-year-old man (or even a 15-year-old boy) could have easily resisted a 136-year-old man. Yet he did not resist, but submitted to his father and to his God. [RETURN]

10. Slaughter: Heb. לִשְׁחֹ֖ט (liš·ḥōṭ), to kill, slaughter, beat, sacrifice. [RETURN]

12. The “fear” here is יְרֵ֤א (yə·rê), a reverenetial deep respect. The omniscient HaShem already knew the extent of Avraham’s (and Yitz'chak’s) trust; He wanted Avraham and Yitz'chak to know. [RETURN]

13. It is worth mentioning that the innocent sacrificed animal is always offered in place of the one for whom it is being sacrificed. [RETURN]

14. It is on this very same mountain that Solomon, and later Herod, built the Holy Temple of יְהוָה֒; it is here that the Levitical priesthood for centuries offered the sacrifices that temporarily covered the sins of HaShem’s people, and it will be from this same mountain that Messiah will rule over His Kingdom for 1,000 years. [RETURN]

17. The word bless is repeated here for emphasis, בָרֵ֣ךְ (ḇā·rêḵ) אֲבָרֶכְךָ֗ (’ă·ḇā·reḵ·ḵā). The first time is an infinitive absolute (to bless) and the second is in the imperfect tense, indicating a continuous action that keeps going on and on (to bless you, I will continually bless you). [RETURN]

18. It is through the descendants of Avraham that the world learned of monotheism, and it is through them that the world has received HaShem’s sacred writings. It is through them the world has been given a moral code that provides the very definition of good and evil. And it is through the descendants of Avraham that our Savior entered time and space. The descendants of Avraham are also the source of some of the greatest advances in science and medicine of the past century. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Thursday, 27 August 2020
Added dates, map references, and aadditional comments on Shabbat, 24 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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