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.
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
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
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
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
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!" 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"
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."
and Isaac went down to the young men and returned home.