Genesis 22:1

Hebrew Bible

1 Some time after these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham replied. 2 God said, “Take your son—your only son, whom you love, Isaac—and go to the land of Moriah! Offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will indicate to you.” 3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out for the place God had spoken to him about.

Jubilees 17:15


15 And it came to pass in the seventh week, in the first year thereof, [2003 A.M.] in the first month in this jubilee, on the twelfth of this month, there were voices in heaven regarding Abraham, that he was faithful in all that He told him, and that he loved the Lord, and that in every affliction he was faithful. 16 And the prince Mastêmâ came and said before God, 'Behold, Abraham loves Isaac his son, and he delights in him above all things else; bid him offer him as a burnt-offering on the altar, and Thou wilt see if he will do this command, and Thou wilt know if he is faithful in everything wherein Thou dost try him. 17 And the Lord knew that Abraham was faithful in all his afflictions; for He had tried him through his country and with famine, and had tried him with the wealth of kings, and had tried him again through his wife, when she was torn (from him), and with circumcision; and had tried him through Ishmael and Hagar, his maid-servant, when he sent them away.

Genesis Rabbah 55:4


After these things — misgivings were experienced on that occasion. Who then had misgivings? Avraham, saying to himself: ‘I have rejoiced and made all others rejoice, yet I did not set aside a single bullock or ram for the Holy One of Blessing.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing to him: ‘I know that even if you were commanded to offer your only son to Me, you would not refuse.’ - this is according to Rabbi Eleazar who said that the employment of va-e-lohim where E-lohim would suffice, implies both God and God’s Court. It was the ministering angels who spoke thus: ‘This Avraham rejoiced and made all others rejoice, yet did not set aside for the Holy One of Blessing a single bullock or ram.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing to them: ‘Even if we tell him to offer his own son, he will not refuse.’ Itzchak and Ishmael were engaged in a dispute: the latter argued, ‘I am more beloved than you, because I was circumcised at the age of thirteen’; while the other retorted, ‘I am more beloved than you, because I was circumcised at eight days.’ Said Ishmael to him: ‘I am more beloved, because I could have protested, yet I did not.’ At that moment Itzchak exclaimed: ‘O that God would appear to me and bid me cut off one of my limbs! then I would not refuse.’ Said God: ‘Even if I bid you sacrifice yourself, you will not refuse.’ [Another version: Said Ishmael to him: ‘I am more beloved than you, since I as circumcised at the age of thirteen, but you were circumcised as a baby and could not refuse.’ Itzchak retorted: ‘All that you did lend to the Holy One of Blessing was three drops of blood. But look, I am now thirty-seven years old, yet if God desired of me that I be slaughtered, I would not refuse.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing ‘This is the moment!’ Straightway, “God tested Avraham”.]

 Notes and References

"... Jubilees 17:15–18 forms the beginning of a history of interpretation of Genesis 22:1. A comparable interpretation occurs in 4Q225, Philo Biblical Antiquities 32:1–4; b. Sanhedrin 89b, and Genesis Rabbah 55:4. These texts describe the events that precede the binding of Isaac, which is the direct cause for the test of Abraham. From several sides, doubts are cast upon Abraham’s true loyalty. In Jubilees 17:15–18 and 4Q225 prince Mastema doubts; according to him, Abraham is not willing to offer his only son. In Biblical Antiquities 32:1–4, all the angels were jealous of Abraham, and all the worshipping host envied him. In b. Sanhedrin 89b, Satan puts forward objections. According to him, Abraham has prepared many feasts, but he had not even a turtledove or a young bird to sacrifice to God. In Genesis Rabbah 55:4, objections against Abraham are put forward, first by Abraham himself, then by the ministering angels, and finally by the nations of the world. Although Abraham caused everyone to rejoice, he did not set aside a single bull or ram for God. Thus, in the course of the tradition, several instigators of the test of Abraham are mentioned, although the reasons why they object to Abraham are diverse ..."

van Ruiten, J. Abraham in the Book of Jubilees: The Rewriting of Genesis 11:26-25:10 in the Book of Jubilees 11:14-23:8 (pp. 211-212) Brill, 2012

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