Classics 430: Greek and Roman Mythology

Reading on Avraham, Isaac, and the Replacement Sacrifice

Bereshit (Genesis) 22.13

Some time afterward, God put Avraham to the test.  He said to him, "Avraham," and [Avraham] answered, "here I am." And He said, "Take you son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you."  So early the next morning, Avraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.  He split the wood for the burnt offering, and he set out for the place of which God had told him.  On the third day Avraham looked up and saw the place from afar.  Then Avraham said to his servants, "You stay here with the ass.  The boy and I will go up there; we will worship and we will return to you."

Avraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac.  He himself took the firestone and the knife; and the two walked off together.  Then Issace said to his father Avraham, "Father!" and he answered, "Yes, my son."  And he said, "Here are the firestone and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"  And Avraham said, "God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my son."  And the two of them walked on together.

They arrived at the place of which God had told him.  Avraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood,; he bound his son Isaac; he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  And Avraham picked up the knife to slay his son.  Then an angel of the Lord called to him from heaven:  "Avraham!  Avraham!"  And he answered, "Here I am."  And he [the angel] said, "Do not raise you hand against the boy, or do anything to him.  For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me."  When Avraham looked up, his eye fell upon a ram, caught in the thicket by its horns.  So Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in the place of his son.