Bereshit (Genesis) Chapter 22

1And it came to pass after these things, that God tested Abraham, and He said to him, "Abraham," and he said, "Here I am."   אוַיְהִ֗י אַחַר֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְהָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים נִסָּ֖ה אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי:
after these things: Some of our Sages say (Sanh. 89b) [that this happened]: after the words [translating “devarim” as “words”] of Satan, who was accusing and saying, “Of every feast that Abraham made, he did not sacrifice before You one bull or one ram!” He [God] said to him, “Does he do anything but for his son? Yet, if I were to say to him, ‘Sacrifice him before Me,’ he would not withhold [him].” And some say,“ after the words of Ishmael,” who was boasting to Isaac that he was circumcised at the age of thirteen, and he did not protest. Isaac said to him,“ With one organ you intimidate me? If the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, ‘Sacrifice yourself before Me,’ I would not hold back.” - Cf. Gen. Rabbah 55:4.   אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה: יֵשׁ מֵרַבּוֹתֵינוּ אוֹמְרִים (סנהדרין פ"ט) אַחַר דְּבָרָיו שֶׁל שָׂטָן, שֶׁהָיָה מְקַטְרֵג וְאוֹמֵר מִכָּל סְעוּדָה שֶׁעָשָׂה אַבְרָהָם לֹא הִקְרִיב לְפָנֶיךָ פַּר אֶחָד אוֹ אַיִל אֶחָד; אָמַר לוֹ כְּלוּם עָשָׂה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל בְּנוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי אוֹמֵר לוֹ זְבַח אוֹתוֹ לְפָנַי לֹא הָיָה מְעַכֵּב; וְיֵשׁ אוֹמָרִים אַחַר דְּבָרָיו שֶׁל יִשְׁמָעֵאל, שֶׁהָיָה מִתְפָּאֵר עַל יִצְחָק שֶׁמָּל בֶּן י"ג שָׁנָה וְלֹא מִחָה, אָמַר לוֹ יִצְחָק בְּאֵבֶר א' אַתָּה מְיָרְאֵנִי? אִלּוּ אָמַר לִי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא זְבַח עַצְמְךָ לְפָנַי, לֹא הָיִיתִי מְעַכֵּב.
Here I am: This is the reply of the pious. It is an expression of humility and an expression of readiness. — [from Tan. Vayera 22]   הִנֵּֽנִי: כָּךְ הִיא עֲנִיָּתָם שֶׁל חֲסִידִים, לְשׁוֹן עֲנָוָה הוּא וּלְשׁוֹן זִמּוּן:
2And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, yea, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you."   בוַיֹּ֡אמֶר קַח־נָ֠א אֶת־בִּנְךָ֨ אֶת־יְחִֽידְךָ֤ אֲשֶׁר־אָהַ֨בְתָּ֙ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְלֶ֨ךְ־לְךָ֔ אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ הַמֹּֽרִיָּ֑ה וְהַֽעֲלֵ֤הוּ שָׁם֙ לְעֹלָ֔ה עַ֚ל אַחַ֣ד הֶֽהָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֹמַ֥ר אֵלֶֽיךָ:
Please take: Heb. קַח נָא is only an expression of a request. He [God] said to him, “I beg of you, pass this test for Me, so that people will not say that the first ones [tests] had no substance.” - [from Sanh. ad loc.]   קַח־נָא: אֵין נָא אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן בַּקָשָׁה, אָמַר לוֹ בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְּךָ, עֲמֹד לִי בְּזֶה הַנִּסָּיוֹן, שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת לֹא הָיָה בָהֶן מָמָּשׁ:
your son: He [Abraham] said to Him,“ I have two sons.” He [God] said to him,“ Your only one.” He said to Him,“ This one is the only son of his mother, and that one is the only son of his mother.” He said to him,“ Whom you love.” He said to Him,“ I love them both.” He said to him,“ Isaac.” Now why did He not disclose this to him at the beginning? In order not to confuse him suddenly, lest his mind become distracted and bewildered, and also to endear the commandment to him and to reward him for each and every expression. — [from Sanh. 89b, Gen. Rabbah 39:9, 55:7]   אֶת־בִּנְךָ: אָמַר לוֹ שְׁנֵי בָנִים יֵשׁ לִי, אָמַר לוֹ אֶת יְחִידְךָ; אָמַר לוֹ זֶה יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ וְזֶה יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ; אָמַר לוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲנִי אוֹהֵב, אָמַר לוֹ אֶת יִצְחָק (סנהדרין פ"ט). וְלָמָּה לֹא גִּלָּה לוֹ מִתְּחִלָּה? שֶׁלֹּא לְעַרְבְּבוֹ פִּתְאוֹם וְתָזוּחַ דַּעְתּוֹ עָלָיו וְתִטָּרֵף, וּכְדֵי לְחַבֵּב עָלָיו אֶת הַמִּצְוָה וְלִתֵּן לוֹ שָׂכָר עַל כָּל דִּבּוּר וְדִבּוּר:
the land of Moriah: Jerusalem, and so in (II) Chronicles (3:1): “to build the House of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah.” And our Sages explained that [it is called Moriah] because from there [religious] instruction (הוֹרָאָה) goes forth to Israel. Onkelos rendered it [“the land of service”] as alluding to the service of the incense, which contained myrrh [“mor” is phonetically similar to Moriah], spikenard, and other spices.   אֶרֶץ המוריה: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, וְכֵן בְּדִבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לִבְנוֹת אֶת בֵּית ה' בִּירוּשָׁלִַם בְּהַר הַמּוֹרִיָּה (דברי הימים ב ג'). וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ פֵּרְשׁוּ עַל שֵׁם שֶׁמִּשָּׁם הוֹרָאָה יוֹצְאָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. וְאֻנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגְּמוֹ עַל שֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת הַקְּטֹרֶת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מוֹר נֵרְדְּ וּשְׁאָר בְּשָׂמִים:
bring him up: He did not say to him, “Slaughter him,” because the Holy One, blessed be He, did not wish him to slaughter him but to bring him up to the mountain, to prepare him for a burnt offering, and as soon as he brought him up [to the mountain], He said to him, “Take him down.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 56:8]   וְהַֽעֲלֵהוּ: לֹא אָמַר לוֹ שְׁחָטֵהוּ, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה חָפֵץ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְשָׁחֳטוֹ אֶלָּא לְהַעֲלֵהוּ לָהָר לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ עוֹלָה, וּמִשֶּׁהֶעֱלָהוּ אָמַר לוֹ הוֹרִידֵהוּ:
one of the mountains: The Holy One, blessed be He, makes the righteous wonder (other editions: makes the righteous wait), and only afterwards discloses to them [His intentions], and all this is in order to increase their reward. Likewise, (above 12:1): “to the land that I will show you,” and likewise, concerning Jonah (3:2): “and proclaim upon it the proclamation.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 55:7]   אַחַד הֶֽהָרִים: הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַתְהֵא הַצַּדִּיקִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְגַלֶּה לָהֶם; וְכָל זֶה כְּדֵי לְהַרְבּוֹת שְׂכָרָן, וְכֵן אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ (בראשית י"ב), וְכֵן בְּיוֹנָה וּקְרָא עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַקְּרִיאָה (יונה ג ב):
3And Abraham arose early in the morning, and he saddled his donkey, and he took his two young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for a burnt offering, and he arose and went to the place of which God had told him.   גוַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם אַבְרָהָ֜ם בַּבֹּ֗קֶר וַיַּֽחֲבשׁ֙ אֶת־חֲמֹר֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶת־שְׁנֵ֤י נְעָרָיו֙ אִתּ֔וֹ וְאֵ֖ת יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֑וֹ וַיְבַקַּע֙ עֲצֵ֣י עֹלָ֔ה וַיָּ֣קָם וַיֵּ֔לֶךְ אֶל־הַמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־אָֽמַר־ל֥וֹ הָֽאֱלֹהִֽים:
And…arose early: He hastened to [perform] the commandment (Pes. 4a).   וַיַּשְׁכֵּם: נִזְדָּרֵז לַמִּצְוָה (פסחים ד'):
and he saddled: He himself, and he did not command one of his servants, because love causes a disregard for the standard [of dignified conduct]. — [from Gen. Rabbah 55:8]   וַיַּֽחֲבשׁ: הוּא בְעַצְמוֹ, וְלֹא צִוָּה לְאֶחָד מֵעֲבָדָיו, שֶׁהָאַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת הַשּׁוּרָה:
his two young men: Ishmael and Eliezer, for a person of esteem is not permitted to go out on the road without two men, so that if one must ease himself and move to a distance, the second one will remain with him. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 31; Gen. Rabbah ad loc., Tan. Balak 8]   אֶת־שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו: יִשְׁמָעֵאל וֶאֱלִיעֶזֶר, שֶׁאֵין אָדָם חָשׁוּב רַשַּׁאי לָצֵאת לַדֶּרֶךְ בְּלֹא ב' אֲנָשִׁים (בראשית רבה), שֶׁאִם יִצְטָרֵךְ הָאֶחָד לִנְקָבָיו וְיִתְרַחֵק, יִהְיֶה הַשֵּׁנִי עִמּוֹ:
and he split: Heb. וַיְבַקַע. The Targum renders וְצַלַח, as in (II Sam. 19:18): “and they split (וְצָלְחוּ) the Jordan,” an expression of splitting, fendre in Old French.   וַיְבַקַּע: תַּרְגּוּם וְצַלַּח, כְּמוֹ וְצָלְחוּ הַיַּרְדֵּן (שמואל ב' י"ט), לְשׁוֹן בִּקּוּעַ, פינדר"א בלע"ז: