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The Jews call the story of the Binding of Isaac the Akedah. Everyone knows the essence of it. God says to Abraham, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

Which Abraham promptly begans to do, without uttering a word in defense of his innocent son. This is allegedly the same Abraham who negotiated with God to spare the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if as few as ten righteous men were found within them.

Along the way Isaac asks his father where the lamb is for the offering, and Abraham lies to deflect this question, saying that God himself will provide the lamb. Christians like to see this episode as a foreshadowing of God offering his only Son as a sacrifice, but there's the issue of informed consent. No one imagines that the Father tricked the Son into his death.

Abraham and Isaac go to what would later be called Mt Zion, where the first and second temples were built, and where Dome of the Rock mosque is today, and Abraham in obedience prepared to make a human sacrifice of Isaac. At the last moment, God says, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

What was the point of all this? If God is omniscient, he already knew Abraham feared God and would not withhold Isaac, so the whole affair amounted to a divine twiddling of the thumbs, except that it terrified the teenaged boy Isaac, and traumatized him for life. He became a momma's boy, going almost immediately from under the wing of his mother Sarah to his wife Rebecca.

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