Genesis 22:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 22:5, NIV: "He said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.'"

Genesis 22:5, ESV: "Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”"

Genesis 22:5, KJV: "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."

Genesis 22:5, NASB: "Then Abraham said to his young men, 'Stay here with the donkey, and I and the boy will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.'"

Genesis 22:5, NLT: "'Stay here with the donkey,' Abraham told the servants. 'The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.'"

Genesis 22:5, CSB: "Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we'll come back to you.""

What does Genesis 22:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Interpreters of this event wonder: is Abraham convinced that God will intervene to stop him from killing Isaac before the moment comes? Or, that Isaac will be brought back to life? We're never told, exactly, but what Abraham says to his servants here is a clue. He tells them that he and the boy will go, worship, and come back again. One way or another, Abraham seems to suggest that he expects Isaac to accompany him on the way back.

The term translated "boy" in the ESV is from the Hebrew root word na'ar, used to refer to "youths, lads, or young men." Given the way Isaac speaks and works in this episode (Genesis 22:6–7), he's probably a teenager, acting willingly alongside his extremely elderly father.

Abraham clearly trusted God. God explicitly told Abraham that He would establish His covenant with Isaac, as an everlasting covenant for his offspring (Genesis 17:19). God had also said that it would be through Isaac that Abraham's offspring would be named (Genesis 21:12). Since Isaac had not yet had any children, God's promise meant that Isaac must live on. Abraham has seen God turn seemingly impossible situations into examples of His righteousness and faithfulness in the past. This included saving Lot, while destroying the wicked people of Sodom (Genesis 19:15–16). It certainly included the birth of Isaac, a "miracle baby" in every way (Genesis 17:17; 21:1–2).

Another clue to Abraham's thought process is given in Hebrews 11:17–19. There we're told Abraham believed God was able to raise Isaac from the dead. Whatever Abraham expected to happen next, he does not hesitate to continue to obey God's command to sacrifice the son he loved. This is not because he thinks God actually wanted a human sacrifice; rather, it is because Abraham trust God enough to obey, even when he does not fully understand.