The Binding of Isaac

Oct 25, 2015

וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי׃

Some time afterward, Hashem put Avraham to the test. He said to him, “Avraham,” and he answered, “Here I am.”

Genesis 22:1

וּפִילַגְשׁוֹ וּשְׁמָהּ רְאוּמָה וַתֵּלֶד גַּם־הִוא אֶת־טֶבַח וְאֶת־גַּחַם וְאֶת־תַּחַשׁ וְאֶת־מַעֲכָה׃

And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore children: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Genesis 22:24

After all that has happened, God chooses to test Abraham. He tells him to take his only, beloved son, Isaac, and raise him up as an offering on a mountain which He will show him. Abraham takes Isaac, some servants, supplies and the donkey, and heads out early to fulfil God’s wishes.


After three days travelling, Abraham identifies the place from a distance. He tells the servants to stay with the donkey and he and Isaac will complete the offering. Along the way, in the only recorded conversation between the two in the Bible, Isaac asks his father where the lamb for the offering is. Abraham assures his son that God will show them the lamb. The two continue along their way.


When they arrive, Abraham prepares the wood and binds his son,placing him atop the wood. He stretches out his hand to slaughter Isaac, when an angel calls out from heaven to stop him, saying God now knows Abraham would withhold nothing from Him. Abraham then spies a ram caught in a thicket and offers it in place of his son. The angel then calls out again from heaven, telling Abraham that on account of his actions, his blessings will grow and his descendents will inherit the land. The nations of the world will be blessed because of Abraham’s descendants, as well. The Israel Bible points out that we can see the fulfilment of this today, as Israel has become a leader and great contributor in many fields, such as technology, medicine and humanitarian aid, bringing great improvements to the world at large.


Abraham then returns to Beer-sheba with his servants.


After a time, news comes to Abraham that his brother, Nahor, has had children, including Bethuel, father of Rebecca.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

The Torah says Abraham returns with his servants, but there is no mention of Isaac. We know he comes back, though, because next week’s portion deals with his marriage. What do you think happend to him? Where does he end up?

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