Indeed, the first time the Bible uses the word love is in this very episode:Cahill uses Everett Fox's translation (from The Five Books of Moses, 1983), which uses a more Hebrew spelling of names. Yitzhak is Isaac in most English translations of the Bible. The NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) of the Bible says:
Pray take your son,
whom you love,
Yitzhak . . .
"Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love..." (Genesis 22:2).But back to my surprise and the question it raised for me: Is this really the first time the word love is used in the Bible? I did a search and discovered it's true.
Are you familiar with the story about Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac? Abraham had an older son, but Isaac was his only son by Sarah, his wife. Ishmael, his first son, was by Hagar, a concubine or slave belonging to Sarah.
(If we want to get technical, Abraham could not really claim an "only" son except for his first one, and that's why it makes sense that the Qur'an says the son Abraham almost sacrificed was Ishmael. They only other way I can imagine Isaac as Abraham's only son would be if he considered him the "only son left" once Hagar and Ishmael had been sent away after the birth of Isaac. The descendents of the two sons are still at odds four thousand years later Isaac's side of Abraham's family became the Jews, and Ishmael's side the Arabs.)