And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.…
Abraham must have been conscious that the way that led to the perfecting of his faith was the way of renunciation and self-denial. The sight of the Canaanite sacrifices of children must have led Abraham to self-examination, whether he would be strong enough in renunciation and self-denial to do what these heathen did, if his God desired it of him. But if this question was once made the subject of discussion in Abraham's heart, it had also to be brought to a definite and real decision. That was the substratum for the Divine demand in Abraham's soul. Objectively, the following are the deduction from this point of view. The culminating point of worship in the religions of nature was human sacrifice. The covenant religion had to separate itself in this respect from heathenism; the truth in it had to be acknowledged, and the falsehood denied. In the command to offer up Isaac, the truth of the conviction that human life must be sacrificed as an unholy thing, is acknowledged, and by the arresting intervention of God, the hideous distortion of this truth which had arisen in heathenism is condemned and rejected.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.