Akedah never happened

The Binding of Isaac, also known as the Akedah is a story found in Genesis 22. In the story, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Moriah, Abraham begins to comply, when a messenger from God interrupts him. Abraham then sees a ram and sacrifices it instead.

abraham-sacrifices-isaac

 

#1. Abraham does not know the name YHWH

Exod 6:3 “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD (YHWH) I was not known to them.

Hence, it is impossible for Abraham to know the name of God as Yahweh (YHWH).

Gen 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Gen 22:2 And he said, Take thy son, the beloved one, whom thou hast loved – Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there for a whole-burnt-offering on one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

God did not say those exact words. This is because, the name Moriah means,  ‘seen of Yah’ and Abraham does not know the name of the Lord as ‘YHWH’. However, LXX does not have Moriah but simply ‘high land’.

Gen 22:14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

The LORD will provide or (Yhvah Yir’eh or Yahweh will see) is something Abraham could not have named since he does not even know the name YHWH.

#2. Human sacrifice never came into God’s mind

Jer 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt offerings to Baal; which I didn’t command, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer 7:30-31 For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight, says Yahweh: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn’t command, nor did it come into my mind.

When the people of Judah were sacrificing their children as a burnt offering to Baal, God declares such a thing ‘never came into His mind’. Since offering a child as a burnt offering never came into God’s mind, it is impossible for God to have commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

#3. Not the same Abraham

Gen 18:23-26 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

Abraham is not new to question God’s decision and requesting to turn away from it. In the above passages, we see Abraham questioned and requested God not to destroy Sodom for the sake of 50 righteous men, and successfully reduced that number to just 10. But, what happened to that same Abraham who is not questioning God’s decision and requesting to stop the spilling on an innocent blood who happens to be his own son? This shows it is not the same Abraham but a later addition by corrupt scribes as in Jer 8:8.

#4. Text says Isaac was sacrificed

Gen 22:3 Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey; and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son.

Gen 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

The text clearly mentions Isaac going along with Abraham and his two young men but Isaac did not return back. To fix this brutal human sacrifice, the redactor had to add the following text using to undo the human sacrifice.

Gen 22:11-16a Yahweh’s angel called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He said, “Here I am.” He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham called the name of that place “Yahweh Will Provide”. As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.” Yahweh’s angel called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, and said, “‘I have sworn by myself,’

Without the above addition of the redactor between the Elohist text, it reads as though Abraham had killed his son.

#5. God tests not with abominations

Deut 12:31 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

Ezek 16:20-21 “Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?

The law and the prophets repeatedly stressed the fact that God hates human child sacrifice and it is an abomination. It is the very nature of God Himself and such an abomination never even came into His mind as we read above in the book of Jeremiah. Will God test Abraham by commanding him to do such an evil abomination that He Himself hates? If you got a revelation to kill all your family members who you love to show that you truly love God, how many of us will accept that the revelation is from the God of the Bible?

Deut 12:30-31 Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

When God does not want the children of Israel to even know how the nations around them serve their gods, and yet for Abraham, is God testing him to do such abomination which He hates?

Conclusion

Jer 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.

The false pen on scribe works falsehood.

Ezek 16:20-21 “Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?

Akedah is a story that encourages human child sacrifice and abominations, possibility an addition by corrupt scribes.

  • Abraham does not know the name YHWH.
  • Human sacrifice never came into God’s mind.
  • Abraham who successfully questioned God’s decision and reduced from 50 to 10 for the sake of righteous men in Sodom didn’t do it for the sake of not spilling an innocent blood who happens to be his own son.
  • The text itself says Isaac did not return with Abraham suggesting he did sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering.
  • God tests not with abominations.

It seems that the scribes from Northern tribes corrupted the text (Elohist texts) to justify human child sacrifice using Abraham. Elohist texts never mention Isaac again, as though he was sacrificed.

2Kgs 22:8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

Meanwhile in southern kingdom, everything was lost, even the law was lost and finally just one copy of the law was found. The redactor after the exile, when using corrupted texts of Northern kingdom, had to add additional information of possible explanation to stitch the texts and make sense of it. Hence, Akedah never happened.