And He said: “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Gen 22:2
The primitive root
Strong’s H157 אהב ahab, a primitive root, meaning “to desire, to breathe after.” The ancient pictographs are the aleph + hey + bet:
aleph א = the ox head, thus strength, power, leader
hey ה = man with upraised arms, thus look, reveal, wonder, worship, breath
bet ב = the house, thus house, household, family, in, within
The story the ancient pictographs are telling: the two letter root of ahab is the hey + bet. Thus, the sense of wonder, even astonishment, and appreciation the man feels when beholding (hey) his family (bet). We do not choose the family into which we are born. And even the man’s wife, in those days, was not chosen by him, but was chosen for him by his father. So in the Hebraic way of thinking, the family – parents, siblings, wife, children, extended family and tribal clan – is a gift chosen for him and given to him by God. Thus the verbal form of hey + bet means “to give.” The concrete form means “a gift.” The abstract form means “love;” from the complex emotion, desires, and protectiveness which is inspired in the heart for one’s cherished gifts; i.e., one’s family. The addition of the aleph intensifies the meaning: strong (aleph) love (hey + bet).