Genesis 22:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 22:12, NIV: "Do not lay a hand on the boy,' he said. 'Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.'"

Genesis 22:12, ESV: "He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”"

Genesis 22:12, KJV: "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."

Genesis 22:12, NASB: "He said, 'Do not reach out your hand against the boy, and do not do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.'"

Genesis 22:12, NLT: "'Don't lay a hand on the boy!' the angel said. 'Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.'"

Genesis 22:12, CSB: "Then he said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from me.""

What does Genesis 22:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In complete and unhesitating obedience to God, Abraham was preparing to kill Isaac as he lay tied up on an altar. Knife in hand, Abraham is stopped by an urgent voice from heaven calling out his name. Now the angel of the Lord makes it clear: Don't hurt the boy in any way. This was God's plan all along, and Abraham has passed God's test of his faith.

The angel of the Lord, truly the Lord in another form, goes on: Now I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your only son from me. In the Old Testament, especially, to "fear God" means to have such great respect and reverence for the Lord's power and righteousness that you obey Him above all others. God's test satisfied the question of whether Abraham "feared" God once and for all.

Abraham's faith, we should note, is not ignorant or blind. Instead, he is choosing to trust God as a result of prior experiences. Time and again, God has proven that Abraham does not need to understand every detail, he merely needs to obey. God will work to prove His own righteousness in the end. Here, again, this is proven to be the case, though in a far more direct and dramatic form.

The Lord again refers to Isaac as "your son, your only son." We must not miss the parallel to John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."