Old Testament Story List

Abraham & Isaac

After leaving Lot, Abraham had been moving from one place to another, for the land of Canaan was then inhabited by the Hittites, and Abraham possessed no land of his own.

One evening, he had fallen into a deep sleep, in which the Lord appeared.

"Know surely," said the

Lord, "that I have given this land to your descendants. First they shall be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and for four hundred years they shall serve the people in that land. But the day will come when they shall be freed, and they shall possess the land of Canaan, from the river of Egypt up to the great river Euphrates."

Abraham did not understand how the land could belong to his descendants, for Sarah had had no children. But, soon after the Lord had spoken to Abraham, Sarah did give birth to a baby boy, whom they named Isaac. They loved him very dearly, for he was the child of their old age.

When Isaac was a young lad, God made a test of Abraham to see if he would really obey all of His commands. He appeared before Abraham and said, "Take your son, Isaac, whom you love so well, and offer him as a burnt offering to Me on a mountain which I will show you."

Abraham made ready to obey, and in the morning he rose early, spit wood to make the fire, loaded it on his ass, and with Isaac and two of his young men set off for the mount. They traveled for three days, and then Abraham saw the place which God had indicated. He turned to his young men and said, "Stay here with the ass while Isaac and I go up on the mountain to worship."

They went up the mountain. There Abraham built an altar and started to arrange the wood for the fire. Then Isaac asked, "Father, where is the lamb for the burnt offering? You have here only the fire and the wood."

Abraham answered sadly, "My son, God Himself will provide the lamb." Then he bound Isaac and laid him on the wood. Stretching out his hand for his knife, Abraham was just about to kill his son when God sent an angel to stop him.

"Abraham! Abraham!" the angel called. "God sees that you were willing to sacrifice your only son. He knows that you fear Him and love Him well. Do not lay your hand on the boy"

Abraham looked round when he heard the voice, and there, to his great joy, he saw a ram in a thicket. He took the ram and offered him as a burnt sacrifice instead of his son.

Then God sent his angel down a second time to say to Abraham, "Because you did not withhold your only son whom you love so well, because you obeyed my command, I will bless you. Your children shall have many children and your descendants shall spread throughout the earth and be blessed."

Joyfully Abraham and Isaac went down to the young men and returned home.


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