Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
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(14) Jehovah-jireh.—That is, Jehovah will provide. In Genesis 22:8, Abraham had said “Elohim-jireh,” God will provide. He now uses Jehovah as the equivalent of Elohim. It is added that hence arose a proverb “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen,” or rather, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided.—The verb literally means to see, or, to see to a thing, and the sense of the proverb plainly is that in man’s necessity God will Himself see to it, and provide due help and deliverance. The Samaritan, Syriac and Vulg. have a better reading, namely, “In the mount Jehovah will provide.” This makes no change in the consonants, which alone are authoritative, but only in the vowels, which were added since the Christian era, and represent the tradition of the Jewish school of Tiberias. The LXX., without changing the vowels, translate, “In the mount Jehovah shall be seen,” which would be a prophecy of the manifestation of Christ. The other two renderings, besides their general proverbial sense, point onward to the providing upon this very spot of the sacrifice that was to take away the sins of the world (comp. Isaiah 53:5).

But when and how did this grow into a proverb? and who added this note? It may have been inserted by Moses when he arranged these marvellous. documents; less probably by Ezra and the men of the Great Synagogue, when they collected and revised the several books of Holy Scripture after the exile. In either case, the proverb is a national testimony to the genuineness of the record, and proves that the facts narrated in it were so impressed upon the memory of Abraham’s descendants, as to shape their thoughts and language.




Genesis 22:14

As these two, Abraham and Isaac, were travelling up the hill, the son bearing the wood, and the father with the sad burden of the fire and the knife, the boy said: ‘Where is the lamb?’ and Abraham, thrusting down his emotion and steadying his voice, said: ‘My son, God will provide Himself a lamb.’ When the wonderful issue of the trial was plain before him, and he looked back upon it, the one thought that rose in his mind was of how, beyond his meaning, his words had been true. So he named that place by a name that spoke nothing of his trial, but everything of God’s provision-’The Lord will see,’ or ‘The Lord will provide.’

1. The words have become proverbial and threadbare as a commonplace of Christian feeling. But it may be worth our while to ask for a moment what it was exactly that Abraham expected the Lord to provide. We generally use the expression in reference to outward things, and see in it the assurance that we shall not be left without the supply of the necessities for which, because God has made us to feel them, He has bound Himself to make provision. And most blessedly true is that application of them, and many a Christian heart in days of famine has been satisfied with the promise, when the bread that was given has been scant.

But there is a meaning deeper than that in the words. It is true, thank God! that we may cast all our anxiety about all outward things upon Him, in the assurance that He who feeds the ravens will feed us, and that if lilies can blossom into beauty without care, we shall be held by our Father of more value than these. But there is a deeper meaning in the provision spoken of here. What was it that God provided for Abraham? What is it that God provides for us? A way to discharge the arduous duties which, when they are commanded, seem all but impossible for us, and which, the nearer we come to them, look the more dreadful and seem the more impossible. And yet, when the heart has yielded itself in obedience, and we are ready to do the thing that is enjoined, there opens up before us a possibility provided by God, and strength comes to us equal to our day, and some unexpected gift is put into our hand, which enables us to do the thing of which Nature said: ‘My heart will break before I can do it’; and in regard to which even Grace doubted whether it was possible for us to carry it through. If our hearts are set in obedience to the command, the farther we go on the path of obedience, the easier the command will appear, and to try to do it is to ensure that God will help us to do it.

This is the main provision that God makes, and it is the highest provision that He can make. For there is nothing in this life that we need so much as to do the will of our Father in heaven. All outward wants are poor compared with that. The one thing worth living for, the one thing which being secured we are blessed, and being missed we are miserable, is compliance in heart with the commandment of our Father; and that compliance wrought out in life. So, of all gifts that He bestows upon us, and of all the abundant provision out of His rich storehouses, is not this the best, that we are made ready for any required service? When we get to the place we shall find some lamb ‘caught in the thicket by its horns’; and heaven itself will supply what is needful for our burnt offering.

And then there is another thought here which, though we cannot certainly say it was in the speaker’s mind, is distinctly in the historian’s intention, ‘The Lord will provide.’ Provide what? The lamb for the burnt offering which He has commanded. It seems probable that that bare mountain-top which Abraham saw from afar, and named Jehovah-jireh, was the mountain-top on which afterwards the Temple was built. And perhaps the wood was piled for the altar, on which Abraham was called to lay his only son, on that very piece of primitive rock which still stands visible, though Temple and altar have long since gone; and which for many a day was the place of the altar on which the sacrifices of Israel were offered. It is no mere forcing of Christian meanings on to old stories, but the discerning of that prophetic and spiritual element which God has impressed upon these histories of the past, especially in all their climaxes and crises, when we see in the fact that God provided the ram which became the appointed sacrifice, through which Isaac’s life was preserved, a dim adumbration of the great truth that the only Sacrifice which God accepts for the world’s sin is the Sacrifice which He Himself has provided.

This is the deepest meaning of all the sacrificial worship, as of Israel so of heathen nations-God Himself will provide a Lamb. The world had built altars, and Israel, by divine appointment, had its altar too. All these express the want which none of them can satisfy. They show that man needed a Sacrifice; and that Sacrifice God has provided. He asked from Abraham less than He gives to us. Abraham’s devotion was sealed and certified because he did not withhold his son, his only son, from God. And God’s love is sealed because He hath not withheld His only-begotten Son from us.

So this name that came from Abraham’s grateful and wondering lips contains a truth which holds true in all regions of our wants. On the lowest level, the outward supply of outward needs; on a higher, the means of discharging hard duties and a path through sharp trials; and, on the highest of all, the spotless sacrifice which alone avails for the world’s sins-these are the things which God provides.

2. So, note again on what conditions He provides them.

The incident and the name became the occasion of a proverb, as the historian tells us, which survived down to the period of his writing, and probably long after, when men were accustomed to say, ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’ The provision of all sorts that we need has certain conditions as to the when and the where of the persons to whom it shall be granted. ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’ If we wish to have our outward needs supplied, our outward weaknesses strengthened, power and energy sufficient for duty, wisdom for perplexity, a share in the Sacrifice which taketh away the sins of the world, we receive them all on the condition that we are found in the place where all God’s provision is treasured. If a man chooses to sit outside the baker’s shop, he may starve on its threshold. If a man will not go into the bank, his pockets will be empty, though there may be bursting coffers there to which he has a right. And if we will not ascend to the hill of the Lord, and stand in His holy place by simple faith, and by true communion of heart and life, God’s amplest provision is nought to us; and we are empty in the midst of affluence. Get near to God if you would partake of what He has prepared. Live in fellowship with Him by simple love, and often meditate on Him, if you would drink in of His fulness. And be sure of this, that howsoever within His house the stores are heaped and the treasury full, you will have neither part nor lot in the matter, unless you are children of the house. ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’ And round it there is a waste wilderness of famine and of death.

Further, note when the provision is realised.

When the man is standing with the knife in his hand, and next minute it will be red with the son’s blood-then the call comes: ‘Abraham!’ and then he sees the ram caught in the thicket. There had been a long weary journey from their home away down in the dry, sunny south, a long tramp over the rough hills, a toilsome climb, with a breaking heart in the father’s bosom, and a dim foreboding gradually stealing on the child’s spirit. But there was no sign of respite or of deliverance. Slowly he piles together the wood, and yet no sign. Slowly he binds his boy, and lays him on it, and still no sign. Slowly, reluctantly, and yet resolvedly, he unsheathes the knife, and yet no sign. He lifts his hand, and then it comes.

That is God’s way always. Up to the very edge we are driven, before His hand is put out to help us. Such is the law, not only because the next moment is always necessarily dark, nor because God will deal with us in any arbitrary fashion, and play with our fears, but because it is best for us that we should be forced to desperation, and out of desperation should ‘pluck the flower, safety.’ It is best for us that we should be brought to say, ‘My foot slippeth!’ and then, just as our toes are sliding upon the glacier, the help comes and ‘Thy mercy held me up.’ ‘The Lord is her helper, and that right early.’ When He delays, it is not to trifle with us, but to do us good by the sense of need, as well as by the experience of deliverance. At the last moment, never before it, never until we have found out how much we need it, and never too late, comes the Helper.

So ‘it is provided’ for the people that quietly and persistently tread the path of duty, and go wherever His hand leads them, without asking anything about where it does lead. The condition of the provision is our obedience of heart and will. To Abraham doing what he was commanded, though his heart was breaking as he did it, the help was granted-as it always will be.

3. And so, lastly, note what we are to do with the provision when we get it.

Abraham christened the anonymous mountain-top, not by a name that reminded him or others of his trial, but by a name that proclaimed God’s deliverance. He did not say anything about his agony or about his obedience. God spoke about that, not Abraham. He did not want these to be remembered, but what he desired to hand on to later generations was what God had done for him. Oh! dear friends, is that the way in which we look back upon life? Many a bare, bald mountain-top in your career and mine we have got our names for. Are they names that commemorate our sufferings or God’s blessings? When we look back on the past what do we see? Times of trial or times of deliverance? Which side of the wave do we choose to look at, the one that is smitten by the sunshine or the one that is all black and purple in the shadow? The sea looked at from the one side will be all a sunny path, and from the other dark as chaos. Let us name the heights that lie behind us, visible to memory, by names that commemorate, not the troubles that we had on them, but the deliverances that on them we received from God.

This name enshrines the duty of commemoration-ay! and the duty of expectation. ‘The Lord will provide.’ How do you know that, Abraham? and his answer is, ‘Because the Lord did provide.’ That is a shaky kind of argument if we use it about one another. Our resources may give out, our patience may weary. If it is a storehouse that we have to go to, all the corn that is treasured in it will be eaten up some day; but if it is to some boundless plain that grows it that we go, then we can be sure that there will be a harvest next year as there has been a harvest last. And so we have to think of God, not as a storehouse, but as the soil from which there comes forth, year by year and generation after generation, the same crop of rich blessings for the needs and the hungers of every soul. If we have to draw from reservoirs we cannot say, ‘I have gone with my pitcher to the well six times, and I shall get it filled at the seventh.’ It is more probable that we shall have to say, ‘I have gone so often that I durst not go any more’; but if we have to go, not to a well, but to a fountain, then the oftener we go, the surer we become that its crystal cool waters will always be ready for us. ‘Thou hast been with me in six troubles; and in seven thou wilt not forsake me,’ is a bad conclusion to draw about one another; but it is the right conclusion to draw about God.

And so, as we look back upon our past lives, and see many a peak gleaming in the magic light of memory, let us name them all by names that will throw a radiance of hope on the unknown and un-climbed difficulties before us, and say, as the patriarch did when he went down from the mount of his trial and deliverance, ‘The Lord will provide.’Genesis 22:14. Abraham called the place Jehovah-jireh — That is, The Lord will provide, alluding, it seems, to what he had said, Genesis 22:8, God will provide himself a lamb. This was purely the Lord’s doing: let it be recorded for the generations to come, that the Lord will see and provide; will always have his eyes upon his people in their straits, that he may come in with seasonable succour in the critical juncture: as it is said to this day — The time when Moses wrote this account; or is become a proverb in frequent use; In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen — The words thus rendered, namely, the words of the proverb, should certainly be translated either, In the mount the Lord well appear, or rather, In the mount the Lord will provide. That is, in his people’s greatest perplexities and extremities, and when matters are come to a crisis, the Lord will appear to provide for them. Or, according to the proverb used with us, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”

Genesis 22:15-18. And the angel — Christ, called unto Abraham — Probably while the ram was yet burning. Very high expressions are here used of God’s favour to Abraham, above any he had yet been blessed with. Multiplying I will multiply thee — Those that part with any thing for God, shall have it made up to them with unspeakable advantage. Abraham has but one son, and is willing to part with that one in obedience to God; Well, saith God, thou shalt be recompensed with thousands and millions. In blessing I will bless thee — 1st, The promise of the Spirit is here included, which is that blessing of Abraham which was to “come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ,” Galatians 3:14. 2d, The increase of the church; that believers, his spiritual seed, should be many as the stars of heaven. 3d, Spiritual victories; Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies — Believers by their faith overcome the world, and triumph over all the powers of darkness. Probably Zacharias refers to this part of the oath, Luke 1:74, “That we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear.” But the crown of all is the last promise, 4th, The incarnation of Christ; In thy seed (one particular person that shall descend from thee, for he speaks not of many, but of one, as the apostle observes, Galatians 3:16) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed — Christ is the great blessing of the world. Abraham was ready to give up his son for a sacrifice to the honour of God, and on that occasion God promised to give his Son a sacrifice for the salvation of man.22:11-14 It was not God's intention that Isaac should actually be sacrificed, yet nobler blood than that of animals, in due time, was to be shed for sin, even the blood of the only begotten Son of God. But in the mean while God would not in any case have human sacrifices used. Another sacrifice is provided. Reference must be had to the promised Messiah, the blessed Seed. Christ was sacrificed in our stead, as this ram instead of Isaac, and his death was our discharge. And observe, that the temple, the place of sacrifice, was afterwards built upon this same mount Moriah; and Calvary, where Christ was crucified, was near. A new name was given to that place, for the encouragement of all believers, to the end of the world, cheerfully to trust in God, and obey him. Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide; probably alluding to what Abraham had said, God will provide himself a lamb. The Lord will always have his eye upon his people, in their straits and distresses, that he may give them seasonable help.A ram behind. - For "behind" we have "one" in the Samaritan, the Septuagint, Onkelos, and some MSS. But neither a "single ram" nor a "certain ram" adds anything suitable to the sense. We therefore retain the received reading. The voice from heaven was heard from behind Abraham, who, on turning back and lifting up his eyes, saw the ram. This Abraham took and offered as a substitute for Isaac. Both in the intention and in the act he rises to a higher resemblance to God. He withholds not his only son in intent, and yet in fact he offers a substitute for his son. "Jehovah-jireh", the Lord will provide, is a deeply significant name. He who provided the ram caught in the thicket will provide the really atoning victim of which the ram was the type. In this event we can imagine Abraham seeing the day of that pre-eminent seed who should in the fullness of time actually take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. "In the mount of the Lord he will be seen." This proverb remained as a monument of this transaction in the time of the sacred writer. The mount of the Lord here means the very height of the trial into which he brings his saints. There he will certainly appear in due time for their deliverance.13-19. Abraham lifted up his eyes … and behold … a ram, &c.—No method was more admirably calculated to give the patriarch a distinct idea of the purpose of grace than this scenic representation: and hence our Lord's allusion to it (Joh 8:56). Jehovah-jireh. The same Hebrew letters differently pointed make the sense either active, the Lord will see, i.e. provide or take care of those that commit themselves and their affairs to him; or passive, the Lord will be seen, i.e. will appear and show himself in the behalf of all those that love him.

As it is said to this day, wherein Moses wrote this book: this is still used as a proverb.

In the mount of the Lord, i.e. in greatest extremities and distresses, as we say, at the pit’s brink, it shall be seen, or, the Lord shall be seen or manifested. And although these words are used by way of remembrance of this great deliverance, and by way of accommodation to such-like eminent preservations from great dangers; yet they may have a further respect, and may signify, that this was but an earnest of further and greater blessings to be expected in this place, where the temple was built, and the Lord Christ was manifested in the flesh. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh,.... Which may be rendered either "the Lord hath seen", as the Septuagint, or "has provided", the future being put for the past, as Abendana observes, and so it is called, in answer to what Abraham had said, Genesis 22:8; "God will provide": now he had provided, and, as a memorial of it, gives the place this name; or "he will see or provide" (m); as he has provided for me, so he will for all those that trust in him; as he has provided a ram in the room of Isaac, so he has provided, and will send his only Son in the fulness of time to be a sacrifice for the sins of his people:

as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen; from this time to the times of Moses, and so on in after ages, even until now, it has been used as a proverbial saying, that as God appeared to Abraham, and for his son, in the mount, just as he was going to sacrifice him, and delivered him, so the Lord will appear for his people in all ages, in a time of difficulty and distress, and when at the utmost extremity, who call upon him, and trust in him. This may also refer to the presence of God in this mount, when the temple should be built on it, as it was, 2 Chronicles 3:1; and to the appearance of Christ in it, who was often seen here: some choose to render the words, "in the mount the Lord shall be seen" (n); "God manifest in the flesh", 1 Timothy 3:16, the "Immanuel", "God with us", Matthew 1:23, who was frequently in the temple built on this mount, and often seen there in his state of humiliation on earth.

(m) "Dominus videbit", V. L. Montanus, Drusius, Schmidt; "Dominus providebit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (n) "in monte Dominus videbitur", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version.

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall {g} be seen.

(g) The name is changed to show that God both sees and provides secretly for his and also evidently is seen, and felt in the right time.

14. Jehovah-jireh] i.e. the Lord will see, or, provide. The name which Abraham here gives to the place combines the thought of Jehovah’s continual and constant watchfulness with that of His special response to Abraham’s utterance of faith, Genesis 22:8, “God will provide himself the lamb,” in answer to Isaac’s question, “where is the lamb?”

as it is said to this day] That is, it became a proverbial expression, cf. Genesis 10:9. What is meant by “to this day,” is uncertain: but very possibly it refers to a proverb current among the Israelites, in connexion with the hill on which the Temple stood.

In the mount of the Lord] This phrase is used of the Temple hill in Psalm 24:3; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 30:29.

it shall be provided] R.V. marg. he shall be seen. Presumably the proverb here mentioned combined two ideas: (1) that Jehovah was seen, or revealed Himself, in the mount; (2) that the lesson of Jehovah’s provision for those that love and trust Him was taught to Abraham, the father of the faithful, in this mount.

The text is not free from doubt. According to other punctuations, we have two possible alternative renderings: (1) “in the mountain Jehovah is seen, or is revealed,” so LXX (ἐν τῷ ὄρει Κύριος ὤφθη); (2) “in the mountain Jehovah seeth, or provideth.” With a slight alteration of text, Gunkel renders: “for he said, To-day, in this mountain, God provideth.” According to the same scholar the name of the mountain was Jeruel, or Jeriel (2 Chronicles 20:16). This he compares with Ariel, an old name of Jerusalem mentioned in Isaiah 29:1; Isaiah 29:7.Verse 14. - And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: - i.e. the Lord will provide (Jonathan, Calvin, Rosenmüller, Keil, &c.), rather than the Lord selects, or looks out, i.e.. the sacrifices to be afterwards offered in the temple worship on Morish (Kalisch); or, the Lord shall appear (Oort, Kuenen), which overlooks the manifest allusion to Ver. 8 - as it is said to this day, - or, so that it is said; cf. Genesis 13:16 (Keil) - In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen - or "it shall be provided" (Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Dathe, 'Speaker's Commentary'), though by competent authorities it has been otherwise rendered. "In the mount the Lord shall appear, or be seen" (LXX.); "in the mount the Lord will see, or provide" (Vulgate, Syriac, Samaritan); "in the mount of the Lord he will be seen" (Murphy); "in the mount of the Lord one shall be seen," or "people appear," i.e. the people of God shall gather on this mountain for worship (Kalisch); "on the mountain where Jehovah appears" (Keil). Amidst such a conflict of interpretations absolute certainty is perhaps unattainable; but the sense of the proverb will probably be expressed by understanding it to mean that on the mount of Abraham's sacrifice Jehovah would afterwards reveal himself for the salvation of his people, as he then interposed for the help of Abraham - a prophecy which was afterwards fulfilled in the manifestations of the Divine glory given in the Solomonic temple and in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. When in sight of the distant mountain, Abraham left the servants behind with the ass, that he might perform the last and hardest part of the journey alone with Isaac, and, as he said to the servants, "worship yonder and then return." The servants were not to see what would take place there; for they could not understand this "worship," and the issue even to him, notwithstanding his saying "we will come again to you," was still involved in the deepest obscurity. This last part of the journey is circumstantially described in Genesis 22:6-8, to show how strong a conflict every step produced in the paternal heart of the patriarch. They go both together, he with the fire and the knife in his hand, and his son with the wood for the sacrifice upon his shoulder. Isaac asks his father, where is the lamb for the burnt-offering; and the father replies, not "Thou wilt be it, my son," but "God (Elohim without the article - God as the all-pervading supreme power) will provide it;" for he will not and cannot yet communicate the divine command to his son. Non vult filium macerare longa cruce et tentatione (Luther).
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