Mount Moriah – the 2000 Year Connection
By birth a Chaldean, Abraham followed God’s instruction to leave for an unknown land with a blessing that his name would be great, the father of a great nation in whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. Eventually Abraham settled in Canaan at Hebron about 20 miles south of the mounts of Moriah and Salem, the city one day to be called Jerusalem.
Beyond childbearing years, God tested Abraham’s faith by telling him to offer Isaac, his only son with his wife Sarah, as a sacrifice in “the land of Moriah…on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” Known as “The Binding of Isaac” in Jewish tradition, the story in Genesis is read on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Faithfully Abraham built an altar on God’s chosen Moriah mount and was in the act of offering Isaac as a sacrifice when an “angel of the Lord” stopped him. A ram caught in a thicket became a substitute sacrifice.
Moriah means “chosen by Jehovah” yet Abraham was so moved by the experience with his only son, he called this particular Mount of Moriah hwhy har or Y@hovah ra’ah. Some Bibles translate the word as “Jehovahjireh,” the Hebrew words meaning “the LORD will Provide.” Jewish sage Rabbi Rashi explained the significance:
“The Lord will choose and see for Himself this place, to cause His Divine Presence to rest therein and for offering sacrifices here…that [future] generations will say about it, ‘On this mountain, the Holy One, blessed be He, appears to His people.’” – Rabbi Rashi
Several hundred years later the Hebrew nation encamped at Mount Sinai soon after the Exodus from Egypt. God handed down the Law to Moses which included prophetic promises about the place hinting that the land of Moriah was part of God’s future master plan.
One promise was that God would lead Israel to the land he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In two promises, God promised He would provide a permanent place for His Name to dwell and to observe the Passover.
King David angered God due to his lack of faith by conducting a census leading to a severe judgement on his kingdom of Israel. Taking responsibility, David pleaded with God to stop the judgement on the people because it was his own sin, not theirs.
Through the prophet Gad, God instructed David to offer an atonement sacrifice for the people of Israel on the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan) located on Mount Moriah. Once again, just has He had done with Abraham, God chose Mount Moriah for this sacrifice. Ensuring it was a true sacrifice, not one where the sacrificial possessions of wealth were merely usurped by the King, David personally purchased the entire threshing floor, its oxen and its equipment.
On Mount Moriah David built the altar, slew the oxen for the offering and used the wood from the threshing floor implements as fuel for the altar’s fire. Then something miraculous happened – fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. Deeply affected, David proclaimed:
I Ch. 22:1 “This is the place where the temple of the Lord God will be, along with the altar for burnt sacrifices for Israel.”(NET)
God was upfront with David informing him that his son would build the House of God, not him. After David’s death, in the fourth year of King Solomon’s reign, the building of the Temple commenced on Mount Moriah:
2 CH 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (NASB)
Seven years later the Temple was completed under Solomon’s reign. To commemorate the occasion, the King held a public consecration and blessing acknowledging the fulfillment of God’s promises:
2 CH 6:2, 4 “I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever.” … “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying,
2 CH 6:5-6 “‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over My people Israel. Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there; and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’(NKJV)
In spectacular fashion, God once again sent fire down from heaven to consume the first sacrifices offered at the new Temple that day on Mount Moriah. The celebration continued for seven days and with the completion of the Temple, it became the place to permanently offer the Passover sacrifices:
DT 16:2 “You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name…”
DT 16:5-6 …You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the LORD your God is giving you; but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover…”(NASB)
A thousand years later on the sacred Mount Moriah in the holy city of Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth stood on trial before the Priests and Scribes of the Temple, the House of God, and declared himself to be the Son of God. Perceived as a blasphemy, it triggered a string of events in the following hours leading to the crucifixion of Jesus on the first day of the Passover.
United States Federal legal definition of the Doctrine of Chances is the premise for the obvious question: What is the probability of chance that the location, the timing, and the circumstances of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth were all an accident?
Updated November 22, 2022.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
 “Abraham.” Jewish Virtual Library. 2018. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/abraham>
 Genesis 12.
 Genesis 11-15. “Hebron.” Bible-History.com. 2017. <http://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/hebron.html>
 Genesis 22. “The Binding of Isaac.” My Jewish Learning. 2018. <https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-binding-of-isaac> “The Great Test: The Binding of Isaac.” Chabad.org. 2018. <https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/246616/jewish/The-Great-Test-The-Binding-of-Isaac.htm>
 Genesis 22. Quote – all mainstream Christian and Jewish Bible translations. Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Book I, Chapter XIII. The Complete Works of Josephus. Trans. and commentary. William Whitson. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
 Net.bible.org. Genesis 22:2, Hebrew text Mowriyah <04179>; Genesis 22:14, Hebrew text “ra’ah <07200>;” Y@hovah <03068>;” “Y@hovah yireh <03070>”
 Rashi, Shlomo Yitzchaki. The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary. Bereishit – Genesis 22:14 commentary. <https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8217#showrashi=true>
 I Chronicles 17.
 I Chronicles 17; 2 Samuel 5, 7. Josephus. Antiquities. Book VII, Chapter III.
 II Chronicles 3.
 I Chronicles 21; 2 Chronicles 3; 2 Samuel 24. Josephus. Antiquities. Book VII, Chapter III. “Herod’s Temple.” Bible-History.com. 2017. <http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEThe_Site.htm>
 I Chronicles 21; 2 Samuel 24.
 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21.
 I Chronicles 22, 28.
 1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3. Wiemers, Galyn. Generation Word. “Chapter 21 – Solomon’s Temple Mount.” image. 2018. <https://www.generationword.com/devotions/photos-diagrams/diagrams/oct-digrams/29a-solomons-temple-mount-retaining-wall-2500-jpg.jpg>
 CR Leviticus 9.