We are not explicitly told the answer to the question of whether Isaac struggled in Gen 22. However, we are aware of the following facts:
- Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Gen 21:5) and at this stage, and if we suppose that Isaac was at this time about 20 years old(??), then Abraham would have been about 120 years old. Isaac would have been much stronger, faster and more agile than Abraham.
- Isaac would not have been tied up by surprise! Abraham would have had an agonizing conversation with Isaac before binding him, to which Isaac would have had to submit, else Abraham could not had done it.
- In this enacted parable/metaphor of the coming substitutionary Messiah, Christ was a willing sacrifice, 1 Peter 2:23, Luke 22:42, etc.
Note Ellicott's comments:
(9) Abraham . . . bound Isaac.—Jewish commentators agree that this was
done with Isaac’s consent, nor could it well have been otherwise. Thus
his youthful faith was tried equally with that of his father, his
future life sanctified, and himself ennobled by being made a type of
Christ (1 Peter 2:23).
Similarly, Benson says this:
Genesis 22:9. After many a weary step, and with a heavy heart, he
arrives at length at the fatal place; builds the altar, an altar of
earth, we may suppose, the saddest that ever he built; lays the wood
in order for Isaac’s funeral pile; and now tells him the amazing news.
Isaac, for aught that appears, is as willing as Abraham; we do not
find that he made any objection against it. God commands it to be
done, and Isaac has learned to submit.
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says this -
- Abraham built an altar, &c.—Had not the patriarch been sustained by the full consciousness of acting in obedience to God's will, the
effort would have been too great for human endurance; and had not
Isaac, then upwards of twenty years of age displayed equal faith in
submitting, this great trial could not have gone through.