St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai, Egypt with Mt Sinai in the background.
On the stone on mount Moriah where Abraham offered up his son Isaac is now standing The Dome of the Rock. It was originally a church – shrine, but after the Muslim takeover of Jerusalem it has become a Muslim shrine. To justify the takeover of Jerusalem the Muslims claimed Muhammad made a night trip from Mecca to Jerusalem, called “The story of Isra” It is mentioned in the Quran [17:1] KHALIFA: Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Muhammad) during the night, from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest place of prostration, whose surroundings we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer. The Isra’ story, greatly elaborated by tradition, relates that Muhammad made the journey astride Buraq (q.v.), a mythical winged creature, in the company of the archangel Gabriel. Muhammad meets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus in Jerusalem; he then officiates as leader (imam) of the ritual prayer (salat) for all the prophets assembled and establishes his primacy among God’s messengers. For the full story go to: “http://www.geocities.com/khola_mon/myth/Miraj.html”
The dome of the rock is on top of the temple mount, sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
The smoking oven and the burning torch symbolize God passing between the pieces. The most important thing to realize is that God walks through alone. Normally, both parties of the covenant would walk through together, showing that they both had responsibilities to keep in order to maintain the covenant. But when God walks through alone, He shows Abram that there is absolutely nothing Abram or his descendants have to do in order for God to keep this covenant.
It is a one sided covenant. God takes all the responsibility for fulfilling it upon Himself. No matter what Abram does or doesn’t do from this point on, God will keep His promise. No matter what Israel has or has not done in history, God will keep His promise. (