Genesis Rabbah 56:7Aggadah
"And the angel of Ad-nai called to him out of heaven, and said: Abraham, Abraham" (Gen. 22:11). Rabbi Hiya taught: This is an expression of love, this is an expression of urging. Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov said: He spoke to him and to future generations, there is no generation which does not contain people like Avraham, and there is no generation which does not contain people like Yaakov, Moshe, and Shmuel. And he said: "Do not lay your hand etc." (Gen. 22:12) Where was the knife? Three tears had fallen from the angels of service and the knife dissolved. Avraham said: ‘I will strangle him,’ He said: ‘Do not lay your hand upon the lad.’ [Avraham] said ‘I will take a drop of blood from him’ - He said to him: ‘Neither do anything [me'uma] to him’ [meaning] inflict no blemish [muma] upon him. "Because now I know" [meaning] I have made it known to all that you love Me, "and you have not withheld, etc". And do not say that all ills that do not affect one’s own body are not ills, rather I ascribe merit to you as though I had told to you to sacrifice yourself and you did not refuse.
Augustine City of God 11.32On the City of God Against the Pagans
Among other things, of which it would take too long time to mention the whole, Abraham was tempted about the offering up of his well-beloved son Isaac, to prove his pious obedience, and so make it known to the world, not to God. Now every temptation is not blame-worthy; it may even be praise-worthy, because it furnishes probation. And, for the most part, the human mind cannot attain to self-knowledge otherwise than by making trial of its powers through temptation, by some kind of experimental and not merely verbal self-interrogation;
Notes and References
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