Genesis 22:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 22:4, NIV: "On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance."

Genesis 22:4, ESV: "On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar."

Genesis 22:4, KJV: "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off."

Genesis 22:4, NASB: "On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance."

Genesis 22:4, NLT: "On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance."

Genesis 22:4, CSB: "On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance."

What does Genesis 22:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac, whom he loves, as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. Moriah was about 50 miles from Beersheba, where Abraham lived. After a three-day journey with his donkey, two servants, all the wood needed for an offering, and Isaac, Abraham finally arrives at a place where he is able to see the mountainous region ahead of them.

Abraham's willingness to obey this command is not an instance of blind faith. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. Prior incidents in Abraham's life have shown him that God can accomplish good, even when human beings do not fully understand how it is possible. Isaac's own birth was an example of God fulfilling a promise which seemed impossible, from a human perspective (Genesis 17:17; Genesis 21:1–2). Abraham is trusting his prior experience with God, assuming that God will—somehow—make this situation right. Abraham obeys, not because he suddenly thinks God wants human sacrifice, but because he assumes, with trusting faith, that God is planning something behind the scenes.