Notes: Genesis 22-23

English Language Bible Study Guide for January 31, 2008

Genesis 22

A.  The Testing of Abraham’s Faith (1-10)

1: God never “tempts” anyone to sin (James 1:13)

2: Isaac was the only son that counted in the house of Abraham

3: Abraham rose early to begin a most difficult job

5: Confidently Abraham expected that both he and Isaac would return from worship

6-7: Abraham appeared fully prepared; but Isaac noticed that the sacrificial animal itself was missing

8: Abraham trusts that God will provide a lamb

10: Abraham raised the knife to sacrifice his son


B.  The Victory of Abraham’s Faith  (11-14)

12: The Lord interrupted the motion that would end Isaac’s life; and He announced that Abraham had passed the test with flying colors

13: Abraham sees that the Lord had indeed provided himself a lamb for the sacrifice

14: Abraham’s name for the place would ever be Jehovahjireh


C.  The Reward of Abraham’s Faith  (15-19)

15: When the Lord speaks a second time, it is to set a “gold sticker” onto Abraham’s report card

16: The Lord “swears” to tell the truth

17: The promise of innumerable descendants is repeated


D.  The Successor with Abraham’s Faith (20-24)

Someone, at some time later, brings Abraham news of the brother he had left back home


Meditation Points:

  1. Job was tested severely, but he had no choice in the death of his children; Abraham was asked not only to consent to the death of his beloved son, he was asked to be the instrument of that death.
  2. Abraham believed either that God would prevent the sacrifice or that God would raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill His covenant.
  3. God did provide a lamb for the sacrifice then–and God provided the Lamb for the sacrifice at Calvary.
  4. The chapter break which we observe in English might better have been placed before verse 20 for the first 19 verses stand together; and the last 5 which announce the birth of Rebekah, the future bride of Isaac, go better with the events of chapters 23 and 24.

Genesis 23

Sarah dies, and Abraham secures a burial place for her.

1: Sarah is the only woman whose age (127) is recorded in the Bible.

2: Even the most faithful, the most severely tested, may mourn

3-4: Abraham declares his desire to procure a burial place for his wife

5-6: His neighbors kindly offer him the choice of any of their sepulchres

7-9: Abraham appreciates their offer, but asks that instead they arrange for the sale of the cave of Machpelah

10-11: The owner of the cave offers the property for free

12-13: Abraham insists upon paying for the cave

14-15: A value of 400 silver shekels is set forth

16-18: Abraham pays the agreed upon sum, in the presence of many witnesses; and he secures ownership of the property for generations to come

19-20: With ownership of the land duly transferred to Abraham, then he proceeds to bury Sarah


Meditation Points:

  1. Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born, and she was 127 when she died. That would make Isaac 37 years old at her death. Rebekah (22:23), granddaughter of Isaac’s uncle, would most likely be of a similar age.
  2. Abraham mourned for Sarah. Sorrow without sin, not as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
  3. Abraham was highly regarded by his neighbors.
  4. Abraham’s almost rude insistence upon paying for the burial ground is a puzzle. Perhaps we should remember that Abraham also refused reward from the king of Sodom lest the king say that he had made Abraham rich (Genesis 14:22-23). Elijah may take nourishment from the unclean birds, but no believer wants the unsaved to glory in doing God’s job of caring for His child.