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The Sacrifice of Isaac: Abraham returns to Beersheba (xviii. 1-19; Cf. Gen. xxii. 1-19).

XVIII. And God said to him, "Abraham, Abraham"; and he said, "Behold, (here) am I." 2. And He said, "Take thy beloved 3 son whom thou lovest, (even) Isaac, and go unto the high country, 4 and offer him on one of the mountains which I will point out unto thee." 3. And he rose early in the morning and saddled his ass, and took his two young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood of the burnt-offering, and he went to the place on

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the third day, and he saw the place afar off. 4. And he came to a well of water, and he said to his young men, "Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad shall go (yonder), and when we have worshipped we shall come again to you." 5. And he took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife, and they went both of them together to that place. 6. And Isaac said to his father, "Father"; and he said, "Here am I, my son." And he said unto him, "Behold the fire, and the knife, and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt-offering, father?" 7. And he said, "God will provide for himself a sheep for a burnt-offering, my son." And he drew near to the place of the mount of God. 1 8. And he built an altar, and he placed the wood on the altar, and bound Isaac his son, and placed him on the wood which was upon the altar, and stretched forth his hand to take the knife to slay Isaac his son. 9. And I stood before him, and before the prince of the Mastêmâ, 2 and the Lord said, "Bid him not to lay his hand on the lad, nor to do anything to him, for I have shown that he feareth the Lord." 10. And I called to him from heaven, and said unto him: "Abraham, Abraham"; and he was terrified and said: "Behold, (here) am I." 11. And I said unto him: "Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything to him; for now I have shown that thou fearest the Lord, and hast not withheld thy son, thy first-born son, from me." 12. And the prince of the Mastêmâ was put to shame; and Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, a single ram caught 3 . . . by his horns, and Abraham went and took the ram and offered it for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. 13. And Abraham called

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that place "The Lord hath seen," so that it is said "(in the mount) the Lord hath seen": 1 that is Mount Sion. 14. And the Lord called Abraham by his name a second time from heaven, as he caused us to appear to speak to him in the name of the Lord.

15. And He said: "By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,
Because thou hast done this thing,
And hast not withheld thy son, thy beloved 2 son, from Me,

That in blessing I shall bless thee
And in multiplying I shall multiply thy seed

As the stars of heaven,
And as the sand which is on the seashore.

And thy seed will inherit the cities 3 of its enemies,
16. And in thy seed will all nations of the earth be blessed;

Because thou hast obeyed My voice,
And I have shown to all that thou art faithful unto Me in all that I have said unto thee:
Go in peace." 4

[paragraph continues] 17. And Abraham went to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba, and Abraham dwelt by the Well of the Oath. 18. And he celebrated this festival every year, seven days with joy, and he called it the festival of the Lord according to the seven days during which he went and returned in peace. 19. And accordingly hath it been ordained and written on the heavenly tables regarding Israel and its seed that they should observe this festival seven days with the joy of festival.


109:1 In Gen. xxii. 1 it is God Himself who directly proves Abraham.

109:2 Seven of the traditional ten trials of Abraham are here mentioned: (1) Departure from his country; (2) famine; (3) the wealth of kings; (4) seizure of his wife; (5) circumcision; (6) and (7) expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael [(8) is the unfruitfulness of Sarah; (9) the sacrifice of Isaac, and (10) the burial of Sarah; Cf. xiv. 21 and xix. 3, 8]. Slightly different enumerations occur elsewhere (e. g. Pirḳe de R. Eliezer, xxvi.-xxx.).

109:3 So LXX (Gen. xxii. 2): MT only (son).

109:4 So LXX; but NIT "the land of Moriah."

110:1 Instead of the words of the mount of God, MT (Gen. xxii. 9) reads, which God hath told him of.

110:2 Here (cf., also, xviii. 12, xlvii. 9, 12, 15), Mastêmâ is the name given to the whole class of evil spirits, or Satans; elsewhere of the prince of these himself.

110:3 ? add in a thicket.

111:1 Syr. and Vulg. render (Gen. xxii. 14) "will see," "seeth." MT "it shall be seen" (provided).

111:2 MT "thine only" (Gen. xxii. 16).

111:3 So Sam., version, LXX: MT "gate" (Gen. xxii. 17).

111:4 Cf. 1 Sam. i. 17.

Next: The Death and Burial of Sarah (xix. 1-9)