The Berean Expositor
Volume 37 - Page 135 of 208
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It was while Abraham sojourned here, that God called him to go through his greatest
"Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land
of Moriah: and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I
will tell thee off" (Gen. 22: 2).
There are two references to Moriah in Scripture, this passage in Genesis and a passage
in II Chronicles.
"Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah
where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in
the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite" (II Chron. 3: 1).
The name given to the mountain by Abraham was "Jehovah-Jireh" meaning "The
Lord will provide", or "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (Gen. 22: 14). The
marginal reading of II Chron. 3: 1 is very suggestive in view of this name given by
Abraham, for it reads "which was seen of David his father", for "where the Lord
appeared unto David his father".
Attempts have been made to destroy this connexion between the place of Isaac's
offering, the temple of Zion and the hill called Calvary, by citing the Samaritan tradition,
"Isaac was offered on Ar-Gerizim".
It has been proved by travelers of repute, that it would have been physically
impossible for Abraham to have reached Gerizim in three days. Robinson shows that it
occupies thirty-five hours continuous traveling by camels to cover the distance, whereas
Abraham and his followers were on foot with an ass to bear the load.
"Now traveling at the ordinary rate of the country, Jerusalem would just be reached on
third day from Beersheba--to reach Nablous in the same time is impossible at a pace of
fellahin with their asses" (Canon Tristram).
It has been objected that there is no place on the route Abraham traveled where
Jerusalem can be seen "afar off", but the words are not an exact measure of distance,
neither do the words "he lifted up his eyes" indicate the contemplation of a height, for the
same expression is found in Gen. 18: 1, 2, where Abraham "sat in the tent door".
Dr. Cunningham Geikie has made it very plain, that at the Monastery of Mar Saba,
some three or four miles South of Jerusalem, one can indeed lift up one's eyes and see
Mount Zion.
"This spot, from which the traveler coming from the south first sees Mount Moriah,
the site of the Jewish Temple, wakes the tenderest recollection in every heart that
reverences the Father of the Faithful. Here Abraham, on his sad journey from Beersheba,
at God's command that he should offer his only and well-beloved son Isaac on Moriah,
first came in sight of the hill" (Geikie).