As we attempt to take God’s perspective in the Genesis narrative, we can see an effort to teach human beings how to live well. This begins as God walks in the cool of the day looking for adam who was hiding from said education due to shame. The first eleven chapters present us with many universal human issues but without much revealing how to solve those issues. That’s where Abraham comes in. God wants to work with specific people with the eventual goal of those lessons spreading. Unfortunately, some lessons take a long time to learn as we see in the progression from Abraham to Isaac.
While Abraham is still alive Isaac shows signs of not quite being able to do the things that Abraham can and may even have a disability of sorts. Regardless, this is who God told Abraham would carry on the promise. This is backward to Abraham because his idea of greatness is manifested in someone like Ishmael, not Isaac who has these undefined challenges. Isaac is not only made fun of by his brother, but he is also unable to resist an old man making him a sacrifice, and unable to get a wife by himself. This does not seem to be someone who could even match his father 's ability to make a name for himself. Much less make Abraham’s name great through his accomplishments.
Once abraham dies, Ishmael’s 12 (a nation-building number) descendants are listed while the introduction to Isaac simply describes him as the son of Abraham. This is not what you’d expect knowing that this family is supposed to be a great nation eventually. Not only does it highlight that Isaac is not a father of 12 children like his brother, but it also clues us in to his reputation. He seems to only be known for being the son of Abraham. Additionally, in th...
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...and Isaac are able to achieve peace. Isaac through passiveness and Abraham through ambition, oaths, and negotiations. Although, Isaac does not seem to be too discursive, and it may be due to a disability causing him to be an awkward communicator in which case would make him ineffective at negotiations or having his father’s cultural skills.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things to critique Isaac on particularly in his interactions with his children. We learn that Isaac is driven by his appetite. He relies most heavily on those senses that detect food, and his children can gain his favor based simply on the ability to satisfy Isaac’s desire for meat. When Isaac gives the blessing to Jacob, he shows his idea of what it means to be blessed. Abraham had to learn that the blessing was through his offspring, but Isaac’s idea of blessing has to do with wealth.
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