The Different Interpretations Of The Binding Of Isaac Essay

The Different Interpretations Of The Binding Of Isaac Essay

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The Different Interpretations of The Binding of Isaac in Abraham by Bruce Feiler




The binding of Isaac, also known as Abraham’s sacrifice of his youngest son Isaac has been named as one of Abraham’s defining moments next to the call. The sacrifice of Isaac has been talked and written about for centuries. Also, it has been given various interpretations depending on the religion one follows. Through critical analysis, I will be going through the different interpretations of the binding of Isaac in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


In Judaism, the binding of Isaac was seen as a pivotal movement in Abraham’s life. It was a test of his true willingness to trust God. For example, Feiler said : “The binding of Abraham’s favored son is the most celebrated episode in the patriarch’s life. All three religions hail it as the ultimate expression of Abraham’s relationship with God” (p.84). The binding of Isaac takes place in the book of Genesis, which is the first book in the bible and one out of the five books in the Torah. In Genesis 22, God calls to Abraham and Feiler mentions that Abraham for the first time responds to him and says “ Here I am”, then in the conversation, God goes on to say “ Take your 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 which I will point out to you” (p.85). Many Jewish religious commentators argue God was testing Abraham to see if he would actually sacrifice his “favorite son” as a test of true loyalty. Would he be willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy his God?


However, Feiler also mentions that “ God never tells Abraham it’s a test. Even more, he never asks Abraham to kill his son. God only demands that Abraha...


... middle of paper ...


... bible and Christianity itself. In Christian thought, the sacrifice of Isaac was parallel to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Lastly, in Muslim tradition, the main focus is on the idea of submitting to God’s will and hopefully being rewarded like Abraham was with the lamb. For the all the differences these religions share they still all chose to put a father preparing to sacrifice his son and make it about self-understanding. Feiler went on to mention “... The binding is so central to Jews, Christian, and Muslims because it 's the part of Abraham’s life that cuts closest to our veins and poses the question we hope to never face “Would we kill for God? For many of Abraham 's descendants, of course, the answer throughout history has been yes” (p.110). The common thread all these traditions share is pure faith in God, and being at the bending completely to his will.



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