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This is the first occurrence of the word tempt (Hebrew nacah). It does not mean "tempt to do evil" (James 1:13), but is usually translated "prove." Although God knew what Abraham would do, it must be "proved" to all (including even Abraham himself) that he loved God more than anyone else and that his faith in God's Word was absolute. Such action would demonstrate the validity of God's selection of him as father of the chosen nation.
KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8