Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, or his near sacrifice. In order to test Abraham’s faithfulness, God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the top of a mountain in Moriah and to offer him as a sacrifice. Reluctantly, Abraham took a knife, a bundle of wood, the fire, and his son and set out. Verses 7 and 8 recount part of the conversation between father and son along the way:
7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. Genesis 22:7-8 (ESV)
When they reached the mountain, Abraham bound Isaac and placed him on the altar. As he raised the knife, an angel stopped him and pointed out a ram that was caught in the nearby brush. After sacrificing of the ram, Abraham named the place Jehovah-Jireh.
Jehovah is a word of indefinite origins. Some scholars believe it is a derivative of YHWH–I’ll pursue that further on the 28th in the “Y” post. An explanation in Blue Letter Bible says that it is derived from the Hebrew word Havah which has to do with being and becoming, specifically becoming known. It explains that the word alludes to “a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.”
The only references I found to Jireh were in the compound name, and the only place this name is found in the Bible is in Genesis 22:14. Some sources say that Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord has seen” or “the Lord will see to it.” Because of Abraham’s statement in verse eight, some later translations interpret the name to mean that God sees our needs and takes care of those needs. The consensus is that Jehovah-Jireh means “The Lord Will Provide.”
As with many stories in the Bible, there are also prophetic implications in this one. At least one Jewish translation of Genesis 22:14 includes the phrase “in the mount where the Lord will be seen.” This seems to foretell that the mountain of Abraham’s sacrifice would later become the Temple Mount where the Jews would worship and “see” God. Christians also see foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrificial death in verse 8.
Although the name Jehovah-Jireh does not appear again in Scripture, there are many other references to God’s provision.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
As I mentioned in my post about El Shaddai, God’s provision doesn’t mean He’s a cosmic Santa Claus, catering to our every whim. What it does mean is that He sees us where we are, and even though He doesn’t always provide for our wants, He will provide for our needs. As one of my readers commented recently, “This faith is enough to achieve heights.”
Other names of God that begin with J are:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ESV)
For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 33:22 (ESV)
Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Isaiah 45:21 (NKJV)