The Bible story called the “Akedah,” in Hebrew, tells of the ending of ritual child sacrifice. It is frequently translated as the “Sacrifice of Isaac,” but the correct translation is the “Binding of Isaac.” Although the word “Akedah,” in Hebrew, denotes the bound limbs of an animal prepared for ritual sacrifice, Isaac is not sacrificed.
The events of the Akedah are well known. God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Isaac and Abraham climbed Mount Moriah together and approached the killing place. Abraham carried the knife, really a cleaver used for butchering animals, and the sacrificial fire. Isaac carried the wood to be used later to burn his body in an offering to God. Although Isaac asked Abraham where the sacrificial animal was, he knew that he was doomed; he did not resist when his father bound his hands with ropes, placed him on the funeral pyre, and reached out to slit his throat. Isaac’s feet were not bound – he could have run away.
Isaac submitted to his father’s...
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