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.

Sanhedrin 89b

Babylonian Talmud

§ Apropos the binding of Isaac, the Gemara elaborates: It is written: “And it came to pass after these matters [hadevarim] that God tried Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). The Gemara asks: After what matters? How does the binding of Isaac relate to the preceding events? Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Zimra: This means after the statement [devarav] of Satan, as it is written: “And the child grew, and was weaned, and Abraham prepared a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned” (Genesis 21:8). Satan said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, this old man, you favored him with a product of the womb, i.e., a child, at one hundred years of age. From the entire feast that he prepared, did he not have even one dove or one pigeon to sacrifice before You as a thanks-offering? God said to Satan: Did Abraham prepare the feast for any reason but for his son? If I say to him: Sacrifice your son before Me, he would immediately slaughter him. Immediately, after these matters, the verse states: “And God tried Abraham.”

 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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