God tempts Abraham.
God tells Abraham to burn up Isaac in Moriah upon a mountain to be named at a later date.
Abraham saddles his ass.
Abraham chops some wood.
Abraham heads out with Isaac and two men and lots and lots of firewood to the place God mentioned.
Abraham sees his destination far off on the third day.
Abraham tells his men to stay with his ass while he and Isaac go off to "worship". Abraham used air quotes and winked at the men.
Abraham makes Isaac carry the wood while Abraham brings a torch and a knife.
Isaac begins to get suspicious.
Isaac asks his father where the kid is for the burnt offering. Abraham giggles a little bit.
Abraham says that God will provide them with the burnt offering for God.
When they reach their destination, Abraham builds an altar, lays the wood in order and binds Isaac.
Abraham puts Isaac on the wood.
Abraham brandishes the knife!
Slowly Abraham turned, step by step, step by step he crept up on Isaac.
God says, "Okay, that's enough! You passed the test! Now I know you fear me completely."
Abraham notices a ram caught in a thicket and replaces Isaac with the ram.
Abraham burns up the ram and calls the place Jehovah-jireh, or the Lord will provide.
God or his angel or the voice of God through his angel says, "For offering to sacrifice thine onliest son, I shall multiply thy seeds as the stars in the sky or sand on the sea shore! And your seed shall possess the gate of its enemies and all the nations shall be blessed because you obeyed me."
Abraham gathers up his men and his ass and heads back to Beer-Sheba where he lives for awhile.
Abraham hears that his brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah, beshat eight children by the names of Huz and Buz and Kemuel and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.
Kemuel beshat Aram.
Bethuel beshat Rebekah.
Nahor's concubine, whose name was Reumah, beshat Tebah and Gaham and Thahash and Maachah.
How come every time God tells Abraham something before this Chapter, Abraham's full of questions and the need for reassurance? But when God tells him to go kill his only son, it's "I'll get right on it, Lord! No problem! See me up early and chopping wood? Here we go!"
Why does the Chapter start out saying God 'tempted' Abraham? Does that mean Abraham really wants to kill Isaac? Isn't temptation usually being confronted with something you really want? I guess he was tempting Abraham to deny the request and Abraham isn't tempted in the least. So I guess he does want to kill Isaac!
Isn't that a pretty mean trick by God? Up until now, God's main promise was to give Abraham tons of seeds that will make a great nation. And finally, at an impossible age, Abraham and Sarah have one child and God tells him to kill it! No wonder so many people do so many horrible things when they hear voices in their heads. It's right there in The Bible! God asks you to do horrible stuff and this Chapter teaches you to resist the temptation of avoiding doing what God asks!
Did "Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass" sound dirty to you too?
How did Abraham keep from snickering when Isaac asked where was the kid for the sacrifice? Because he didn't really giggle like I said in THE FACTS section. I just think he probably should have because it was a clever pun.
Isaac doesn't have much to say while his father binds him and tosses him on the altar. Wouldn't you at least ask your father why he was trying to kill you?
Isaac doesn't have much to say after his father replaces him with a ram. How long before Isaac tells Abraham he hates him and starts wearing all black and runs away from home or shoots up his school?
Who is the angel of the Lord? Sometimes The Bible seems to say God is speaking to someone only to replace God with an angel of the Lord and then we go back to God. In the beginning of this Chapter, it is God speaking to Abraham. But then the angel of the Lord commands Abraham to halt his slaying of his son. And then it says the angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham a second time only to have the quote come directly from God. This is the first time I'm mentioning this but, really, it's been a problem all along. Is God actually visiting people or is it an agent of God visiting them every time? Or is it both at the same time only different for some reason?
Wouldn't you be upset about this whole trick if you were Abraham? God has promised Abraham multitudes of seeds before without asking anything of Abraham. And then God springs the whole circumcision thing on him as a covenant that Abraham must keep in order to get all of his seeds. And now, God allows Abraham to have his multitude of seeds only because he was willing to kill Isaac for God. Is God an Indian giver?
Is the term 'Indian giver' racist to Indians or white people? Does it mean to give something only to take it back like the white man did to the Native Americans with their reservations and land contracts, thus being a racist term against whites? Or doest it have to do with the fact that Native Americans didn't really think of ownership in the same way greedy white people did and so they sold and resold the same thing to different people? Or did it derive for some other reason?
Did you notice God used the 'your seeds shall be as numerous as grains of sand on a sea shore' line? Remember when I said that was another metaphor he could use? I'm pretty smart!
Did you think Abraham was really going to kill Isaac? What would have happened if he had? Abraham and Sarah are way too old to have another kid! Or are they? How old is Isaac in this Chapter anyway? He's old enough to ask his dad where the sacrifice was? I would guess he's at least 15.
How did Abraham get word of his brother Nahor and his brother's wife Milcah (Nahor and Abraham's niece)? Was there a mail delivery system set up between Ur and Canaan? Or Beer-Sheba? Or Philistakota? Or wherever Abraham was currently living when he got the news. Unless Canaan and Beer-Sheba and Philistopia are all actually the same place.
What is Rebekah to Isaac? Rebekah's father is Bethuel, Isaac's first cousin. So does that make Rebekah Isaac's second cousin? Or his first cousin once removed? Or does it just make Rebekah his future wife?
How come all the nations of the earth are blessed because Abraham listened to God? Shouldn't that mean some kind of world peace has been created? What about the nations formed by Canaan's descendants? Aren't they still cursed?
What does it mean that Abraham's seeds will possess the gates of their enemies? That doesn't make any sense to me even if I haven't really tried to think it through too much. It probably isn't really very important. Do you think it's a passage used by Christians to oppress gatekeepers?
FAITH vs SCIENCE
Isaac is supposed to be burned in the Land of Moriah while Gandalf is killed in the Mines of Moria. Spoiler alert: Gandalf doesn't actually die!
Abraham's use of air quotes in this Chapter is the first use of air quotes ever. And since that time, air quotes have been used correctly 5,003,442,003 times while being used incorrectly 7,304,210,532,983 times.
The two men who remained behind with Abraham's ass were named Terence and Phillipe.
The Rogue-like game, Moria, was pretty fun except I always got killed by stupid Farmer Maggot. Some times you could find a level early on with lots and lots of those self-replicating worms and earn a lot of experience points killing them. Then you could head back in to town and kill that jerk Farmer Maggot and his stupid dog too.
If you're ever told by God to kill your kids, you shouldn't do it right away. It's best to procrastinate and wait awhile to see if God changes his mind. Because God might just be testing you and he might be used to you refusing to do what he says right off the bat and you could surprise him by killing them right when he asks before he gets a chance to yell, "NO, NO! I didn't mean it!"
There is a Monopoly game based on the Bible called Bibleopoly. How clever! But I could make a better Bible Monopoly than the current one. You can't even own Sodom and Gomorrah! And instead of going to jail or being stoned to death, you have to go meditate! And I bet none of the Community Chest cards tell you to lose $50 because God made you burn your son to death.
Create a few entries in Isaac's diary after he was almost murdered by
Draw a picture of Gandalf fighting a Balrog!
WHAT DID CHRISTIAN LITERALISTS LEARN?
matter how crazy the voices in your head, do what they say because it could
be God testing you.
KNOW THY ENEMY
Is this Chapter supposed to show the reader that he is his own worst enemy? Most people would never do something that goes against their desires even if God Himself asked them. But this Chapter teaches people that even if what God wants you to do is extremely crazy and insane, you need to do it anyway. Look at how Abraham acted. All he's ever wanted was his generations of multitudinous seeds. But he's willing to give that all up when God asks him to. So if you're not willing to do the most horrific things imaginable even if that means you won't get what you want, then you are your own worst enemy! So apparently God and The Bible want you to commit atrocities if the thought pops up in your head.
You know, that conclusion makes me nervous living amongst Christians!