"Yahveh said to Abraham: Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac.
Go to the land of Moriah, and bring him up as an offering on one of the mountains which I will specify for you."
Why did Yahveh choose this way to test Abraham? Why didn't Abraham question Yahveh in this case
though he questioned His judgment on Sodom: "Will you punish the righteous with the wicked?
Shall the Judge of the earth not do justice?" Genesis 18:24-5
In answering these questions, there are several fundamental principles, which, when put together, form
an approach towards a deeper understanding of the issues involved behind this story.
First, the experience of Isaac's binding was not Abraham's first trial. He did not merely hear
voices and act on them. Rather, he conversed with Yahveh on many occasions and knew the sound of His Voice.
Second, Abraham was given this trial because of his kindness and concern for others,
even when they followed selfish, immoral and corrupt lifestyles.
Isaac's 'binding' contained all the elements of the most extreme cruelty and the absolute negation of Abraham's life
~ murder in cold blood, like the current idol worship practices of sacrificing one's nearest and dearest. (Deuteronomy
12:31) Abraham knew that he was first and foremost Yahveh's servant, and by the time he reached
this stage of his life (unlike before the destruction of Sodom) he understood that his own knowledge of Yahveh was severely
In this context, we may contrast Abraham to Job. Job lived an exemplary life, yet in the face of what appeared
to be injustice, he complained to the Almighty about his suffering. Yahveh did not condemn Job for protesting but His answer
to Job was:
"Who is this who darkens My counsel without knowledge? Where were you when I founded the earth? Have you walked to the springs of the sea, or walked in
the recesses of the deep? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up (Yahveh's) dominion over the earth?" Job 38
Yahveh had to explain to Job that his way of looking at his own suffering was distorted. Job had no grasp of
the Eternal, who designed and conducted the universe, and of where he himself fitted in with the Divine Plan.
Unlike Job, Abraham had already reached advanced age, and was spiritually much more advanced
than Job. He understood that "As the heavens are above the earth, so My ways are above your ways and My
thoughts are above your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
Abraham accepted the infinite nature of the Almighty. He understood that he could never grasp where he fitted within
Yahveh's overall plan. He knew that the command to offer his son as a sacrifice came from Yahveh and no other source,
and that Yahveh's Hand was upon him at all times. Thus he was able to fully submit his personal agenda to his Creator.
As a consequence of Abraham's obedience, Yahveh told him: "I shall surely bless you and
greatly increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens and the sand on the sea shore. Your offspring shall inherit
the gates of its enemy, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your descendents, because you obeyed My voice."