At the very last minute, God intervenes and spares Isaac's life by providing another animal a ram for sacrifice.
The test is complete and God once more reiterates his promises to Abraham of land, descendents and a personal relationship. According to the Bible, Abraham is humanity's last chance to establish a relationship with God. At the beginning of the Bible in the creation narratives, Adam and Eve set in train a pattern of disobedience to God's commands which takes root.
Even after the Great Flood, in which only Noah was saved, humanity once again comes perilously close to alienating themselves from their creator God. They build the tower of Babel Genesis 11 , a tower that seems like it will almost break through to the heavens and God again intervenes and scatters the people across the earth. Many scholars believe these stories were written to explain to people why the world is like it is and why humans are like they are.
What is our place in the world? Why do we die? They address questions of life and death, rather than being simply explanations about how the world was created.
Abraham - Wikipedia
At the end of Genesis 11, we are provided with a genealogy and Abraham becomes the new hope through which God will try and create a people to live by a certain set of values. The important thing to learn here is the uniqueness of the Covenant relationship between God and Abraham. For the first time, we see the beginning of a two-way relationship: God doing something for Abraham, and Abraham doing something for God.
The blessings of God are passed on from one generation to another. The story of Abraham is about obedience to the will of God - not blind obedience, because the Bible stories tell us that Abraham frequently challenged God and asked questions. But in the end, he trusted this God who had made such extraordinary promises and in so doing formed a very special and personal relationship with God which, believers will argue, has continued through to the present day.
Abraham is an extraordinary figure in that almost alone of the Biblical characters he unites, or has the potential to unite, the three great monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
He's there in all of them - he's important in all of them. In the Christian mass Abraham is mentioned specifically; when Muslims pray five times a day, they mention Abraham in that connection; and when Jews look back in the Torah, particularly to the covenant they made with Yahweh that made them Yahweh's chosen people, that was done through Abraham. He's the father of all faiths. There's a great movement going on, and particularly in the wake of September the 11th in the States, where Christians, Jews and Muslims get together in 'Abraham Salons' to talk about Abraham.
The idea is that in this world where we're terribly divided in faith, we will find a way forward through Abraham. There's hope that he will bring these warring religious factions together. It's a lovely idea, and I think there's a lot of mileage in it. Abraham does have that uniting role. But I think the flip side of it, and unfortunately with religion there usually is a flip side, is that there are things about Abraham which emphasise the division of the different faiths. For instance, Judaism and Islam can't even agree which of Abraham's sons it was that he offered in sacrifice.
And most significantly, if Abraham is put in a political context, the Torah says that it was Abraham who received the covenant from Yahweh on behalf of the Jewish people, it made them the Chosen People, that Jews will say 'Because of Abraham, Jerusalem and the Holy Land is ours - God has given it to us. But of course in Islam, it's Abraham who is the first person who surrenders to Allah - and the very word 'Islam' means 'surrender' - so he's an incredibly significant figure in Islam as well.
From Islam's point of view, that surrender by Abraham, which again took place in that narrow disputed bit of land, means that Jerusalem and the Holy Land is for Islam. So despite Abraham being someone who can unite religions there are also elements that emphasise the divisions. The lovely thing for me about Abraham is that he's an old man and he is one of several old people who indicate that God is not simply interested in young folk but that God has a peculiar calling to old people. It's interesting that later in the Bible, in Joel " Right at the beginning, the story of Abraham says that God does not give up on old people and God does not give up in situations that look barren.
Both Abraham and Sarah have got to their final years and for them to be the progenitors is a colossal thing. The relationship that Abraham has with Sarah is very interesting, she's a bit of an odd puss, she can be quite nippy, particularly in her relationship with Abraham's concubine Hagar.
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She also does a great thing in giving God a name that has not been mentioned before - God's been seen as a creator and she gives God the name Laughter Maker because when her child is born she calls him Isaac which means 'he laughs'. She says 'I'll call him Isaac because God has made laughter for me. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience.
Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son whom Sarah bore him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Now Sarah said, "God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me. The child grew and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac. But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you.
As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac
When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of my child. And God heard the voice of the boy; the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.
She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
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Abraham and Sarah - Bible Story
Main Content Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham. Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham. Part of Wisdom from the Hebrew Scriptures. Section Menu.