Genesis

Abraham and Isaac

   Genesis 11-21 narrates the story of Abraham, how a child was promised him, and how Yahweh promises Abraham that his descendants shall be the chosen of God. Isaac is born to Abraham in Abraham's old age; Genesis 22 narrates the foundational event of the chosen people: the sacrifice of Isaac.


Abraham and Isaac

Chapter 22: 1 After these events, God tested Abraham, and he said to him, "Abraham," and he said, "I am here."
2 Then he said, "Take now your son, your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you [about]."
3 So Abraham rose in the morning, and he saddled his donkey, and he took two of his servants and his son, Isaac, with him, and he cut wood for the burnt offering. Then he rose and set out for the place that God had told to him.
4 Then, on the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place in the distance.
5 And Abraham said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. Then we will worship and we will come back to you."
6 Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and he placed [it] on Isaac, his son, and he carried the fire and the knife in his hands, and the two of them went off together.
7 And Isaac spoke to his father, Abraham, and said, "My father." And he replied, "I am here, my son." And he said, "See the fire and the wood! But where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And they went on, the two of them, together.
9 And they reached the place that God had told to him and Abraham built an altar there, and he arranged the wood, and he bound his son Isaac, and he laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and he took the knife to kill his son.
11 But the angel of Yahweh called to him from the heavens and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he replied, "Here I am."
12 And he said, "Lay not your hands on the boy! And do not do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
13 And Abraham lifted his eyes and he looked and see! a ram caught in the thicket by his horns! And so Abraham took the ram and he sacrificed him as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called the name of that place "Yahweh will provide," as it is said today: "on the mountain of Yahweh, it will be provided."
15 And the angel of Yahweh called to Abraham a second time from the heavens,
16 and he said, "I swear by myself, declares Yahweh, that because you did this thing and did not withhold your son, your only son,
17 surely I will bless you and I will increase your descendants to the number of the stars in the skies and the number of sand grains on the shore of the sea, and your descendants shall possess the gates of their enemies,
18 and through your offspring, all the nations of the earth will be blessed because you obeyed my voice."
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they rose, and they set off together for Beersheba, and the stayed in Beersheba.

Translated from the Hebrew by Richard Hooker (1994)




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1992, Richard Hooker
Updated 2-17-97