The Akedah

The Akedah is the Jewish term for the testing of Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac. In Hebrew akedah means “binding.” This Hebrew word is found only once in the entire Bible. (Genesis 22:9) In this narrative, Abraham was told to go to the land of Moriah. Gesenius and Strong both define moriah as “chosen by Jehovah.” Mount Moriah covers several square miles. It is generally bounded east and west by the Kidron and Hinnom valleys, and extends north past the traditional Temple Mount.

Abraham called the place of the event Jehovah Jireh (Genesis 22:14) which means the Lord sees or the Lord provides. There is a chain of events in the Bible that may tell us where this place was. The Akedah, or the testing of Abraham, was the first in this chain of events.

Almost one-thousand years later, David was anointed by the Prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel. (First Samuel 16:1-13) At that time, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David. Assuming First Samuel is in chronological order, in the next chapter David defeated the giant, Goliath. When he had killed Goliath, David took his armor as a trophy, but he took the head of Goliath to Jerusalem. (First Samuel 17:54) There is no explanation in Scripture. He must have been led to do so by the Holy Spirit.

Again, another thousand years later, the Lord Jesus was crucified “at the place of the skull” just outside of Jerusalem, but still on Mount Moriah. Was this the location where David was apparently instructed to bury the head of Goliath? It most certainly was the place where the Lord provided (Jehovah Jireh). The Lord provided for our Salvation at Golgotha, “the place of the skull.”

The location of Golgotha was well known one-hundred years later when the Roman emperor Hadrian leveled what remained of Jerusalem, and built a pagan temple over Golgotha and the Tomb. Bishop Melito records that he was shown the site of Golgotha in 160 A.D., twenty-five years after Hadrian built the pagan temple over the spot. This temple inadvertently served as a marker for the location of this venerated site. About two-hundred years later, the emperor Constantine tore down the temple that hid the place of the skull and the empty tomb of Jesus.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is there now to mark the place. There is another location, the Garden Tomb, but it has been determined to be an Iron Age tomb and, therefore, was not a new tomb “wherein was never man yet laid” (John 19:41), so the church is probably the place.

I believe the testing of Abraham, the carrying of the head of Goliath to Jerusalem, and the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus are linked together by the name of the place, “the Lord provides.” We cannot be certain where it was, but praise the Lord for His provision, the Lord Jesus, the perfect, spotless, sinless Lamb of God, offered at Golgotha for all our sins!

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