"Some time later God tested Abraham."
I'll say. First god told Abraham to send one of his sons out into the desert. Now this.
God called on Abraham, and Abraham said, Here I am.
Oh, there you are. Yes. Take your "only" son Isaac (only one left with you, at any rate) to a place called Moriah. When you get there I want you to sacrifice him. As a burnt offering. To me.
Two things: god is like one of those tigers that gets a taste for human flesh or something--you know, lambs aren't good enough anymore. Also, it seems like he just phones in every now and then to say the most insane shit imaginable. Like he's a prank caller.
Well, Abraham got everyone up the next morning. They cut wood for the offering fire. They loaded down a donkey with it. He and some servants, and of course the 'offering' set out for Moriah.
They traveled for three days before they saw the place in the distance. Abraham told the servants to stay with the donkey while he and Isaac went to go worship. Back in a jiff. This won't take long.
Abraham then made Isaac CARRY THE WOOD for his own offering, while Abraham carried "the fire" and his knife. They set off.
Isaac started thinking. Wood: check. Fire: check. Knife: check. Animal for slaughter. . . .
He asked his father where the lamb was. What lamb? The one we're going to sacrifice. Oh, that lamb. Well, Isaac, god. . . told me. . . that. . .he'd take care of everything. God told me he'd provide it. Yes, that sounds like something he'd say.
They continued on.
When they reached the place for the altar, Abraham built one, and piled the wood and got it all ready, then bound Isaac and laid him on the altar.
Isaac was probably thinking, I had a feeling this god you worshipped had a screw loose.
Well, Abraham was about to slit his son's throat when god called him off. I imagine him pointing and saying, "gotcha!!"
Wow, Abraham. I didn't think you'd do it. Geeze. You're hardcore. But you don't have to. I just wanted to see if you would. Thanks for playing.
So there was a ram caught in some bushes nearby and Abraham sacrificed it instead.
After this an angel called down and said, god says that because you were really going to do what he said he is going to make your descendants numerous, like the stars in the sky! And your offspring will be blessed!
And Abraham said, Yeah, you said that BEFORE this stupid joke you just played. You said you were going to do that BEFORE you made me think I had to kill my kid. So what the hell is different now?!?! Are you psychotic?!?!
He and his servants, and Isaac (who was probably a bit shellshocked) went to Beersheba. And they stayed there.
After this beautiful story, in the same chapter, the author wants us to know that Abraham found out that his brother Nahor had some sons. Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. Okay, great.
One of them, Bethuel, was the father of Rebekah. In total Nahor had twelve sons: eight from his wife Milcah and four by his 'concubine' Reumah.
One more thing: I first heard this story when I was a kid, in Sunday School. Look how pious Abraham is! Wow, he must've really loved the lord! THAT's why he was made the father of nations.
I remember thinking, 'god's kind of an asshole? Right?' And now I know that god had been promising to make Abraham the father of nations BEFORE this. That it seems to me that god just got bored one day and decided to toy with Abraham. Like a cat and mouse thing. I'm pretty appalled that this is one of the stories in this 'holy' book. I'm more appalled that it's frequently taught to children.
"Remember, kids, there's a god that loves you very much. But if he asks your father to kill you and burn your body, your father had better do it! Have a good week!"