Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there and bow down in worship, then come back to you.” Bible see other translations

“Stay here with the donkey.” This is one of the clear indications that Abraham was acting on revelation from God; acting by faith (Heb. 11:17). Ordinarily, Abraham would have taken the donkey, which already had the wood on it, to the place where he was going to sacrifice Isaac. But in this case, he left the donkey behind and loaded the wood on Isaac, a seemingly senseless thing to do. But today, with 20/20 hindsight, we can see that Isaac—the type of Christ—carried the wood he was to be offered on (Gen. 22:6), just as Jesus carried the wood he was to be crucified on (John 19:17). God was directing Abraham in ways that would build a very clear picture of the sacrifice of Christ without Abraham understanding the fullness of what he was doing and that two millennia later Jesus would in a sense replay what Isaac had already done.

“bow down.” The Hebrew word is shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), and it literally means “to bow down,” or “to prostrate oneself.” It was used of bowing down in homage or worship before a superior, and thus in the Bible, we see people bowing down before other people, angels, pagan gods, and God. Usually, translators use “worship” when the person bows before the true God, and “bow down,” “prostrate themselves,” etc. when bowing before people and pagan gods. While this may be an acceptable translation practice, it can give the English reader the wrong impression that only God was “worshiped.” The same Hebrew word is used of bowing down in homage before God and people. This is not meant to degrade God in any way; it simply points to how people showed respect to those superior to them by bowing down or prostrating themselves.

[For more on shachah and its referring to bowing down, prostration, or “worship,” see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.]

Commentary for: Genesis 22:5