Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac
The story is in Genesis chapter 22. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering to God on a mountain in the land of Moriah. They travelled to the land and found the mountain, and Abraham took Isaac with him, and a donkey bearing the wood for the sacrifice. Where is the lamb, asked Isaac. My son, God himself will provice the lamb, Abraham said. Abraham built an altar on the mountain and arranged the wood. He bound his son and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angeld of YHWH called to him from heaven and said, do not harm him, for know I know you fear God. You have not refused me your beloved son. Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering. The angel of YHWH called Abraham again and declared, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore.
Also see https://jefdemolder.blogspot.com/201...ss-murder.html
In the Ancient World humans were created by the gods as a kind of intelligent cattle. Later humans obtained a better position as slaves. The life of humans was organized by religion. To religion belonged the practice of human sacrifice, a method to obtain absolute fear and submission. As the practice refers to the fundaments of original human existence, human sacrifice is present in the universal tradition. In my post "Original trauma and mass murder" I mentioned the recent discovery in Chan Chan in Peru of evidence of the ritual sacrifice of 140 children and 200 young llamas. In the testamentary tradition we find valuable information about the Ancient World. The story about the binding of Isaac simply reports the practice of the Ancient World. So in the story it is considered normal that the god commands Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham also finds it normal and he executes the command. And afterwards, Abraham is praised by god for not having refused the sacrifice of his son, and receives an important reward or compensation. For this kind of gods are not acting according to rights, but are distributing punishments and favours. And Abraham is not praised for having replaced his son by the ram, but because he has not refused his son.
The biblical story has already been adapted to a later situation of humanity. Isaac represents the human who does not understand anymore, and asks the naive question about the lamb. A trick was invented as to not confront the readers with the killing of Isaac. But in the commentary by Hippolytus of Rome it is said that Isaac wished to sacrifice himself for the sake of the world. In the version in the Quran (Soura 37), and also the Quran belongs to the testamentary tradition, Abraham tells his son about the divine requirement, Isaac agrees to be sacrificed for the fulfillment of God's command, and the binding on the altar is not necessary. The strange thing is that, once the total submission is obtained, even the sacrifice of oneself becomes a path to fulfillment.
Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, are different versions of the same great prophet. He is known as a liberator of humans. At least, in the form of Moses, he brings the humans from the slavery in Egypt to the wilderness, without entering the Promised Land. It is clear that the great prophet belongs to the divine population, but he has improved the human condition in such a way that he was considered by humans as a liberator. Seen from this perspective, the sacrifice of Isaac is the ultimate sacrifice, as to obtain the non-sacrifice of humans in the future. That is why, afterwards, in the story, the child is replaced by the ram. That is why, once the killings have stopped, the descendants of Abraham become so numerous. That is why Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice of Isaac, is the most holy festival of the Muslim World. That is why, at the occasion of the first Eastern in Egypt, the killing of the children was replaced by the blood on the stanchions. And that is why, in yet another version of the same myth, Jesus is the lamb or the ram and is sacrificed in place of the humans, and there you have the most holy festival of the Christian world. But somehow it did not work out as it was meant by the great prophet and other gods supporting the emancipation of humans. The original trauma has not been healed yet. The festivals were repeated, the killings did not stop.
by Jef Demolder