Land of Moriah

Abraham was directed by God to take his son Isaac, to go into the land of Moriah, and there to offer him for a burnt offering (Ge 22:2) upon a mountain which God would show him. This land is mentioned only here, and there is little to guide us in trying to identify it. A late writer (2Ch 3:1) applies the name of Moriah to the mount on which Solomon’s Temple was built, possibly associating it with the sacrifice of Isaac. A similar association with this mountain may have been in the mind of the writer of Ge 22 (see 22:14), who, of course, wrote long after the events described (Driver). But in 22:2 no special mountain is indicated.

Abraham journeyed from the land of the Philistines, and on the 3rd day he saw the place afar off (Ge 22:4). This naturally suggests some prominent mountain farther North than Jerusalem. The description could hardly apply to Jerusalem in any case, as it could not be seen "afar off" by one approaching either from the South or the West. The Samaritans lay the scene of sacrifice on Mt. GERIZIM (which see).

Instead of "Moriah" in this passage Peshitta reads "Amorites." This suggests a possible emendation of the text, which, if it be accepted, furnishes a more definite ides of the land within which that memorable scene was enacted. Both Jerusalem and Gerizim, however, lay within the boundaries of the land of the Amorites. No doubt the enmity existing between the Jews and the Samaritans led them each to glorify their own holy places to the detriment of those of their rivals. Little stress can therefore be laid upon their identifications. With our present knowledge we must be content to leave the question open.