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The Angel preventing Isaac's sacrifice.
Abraham's Faith in God and the Sacrifice of Isaac.
A great man grew up in the lands that were once covered by the waters of the great Flood. He was called Abram at birth but God told him to change his name to Abraham which means a father of many nations. Abraham soon left the land he was born in and went to live in Cannan, now known as the Holy Land. He settled his tents in the plain of Mamre, near Hebron.
On a beautiful warm night some years later, when Abraham lay asleep in his tent, he heard the voice of God calling him to awake. Abraham woke instantly and listened to God saying, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and get thee unto the land of Moriah. And offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Abraham could not disobey God and his faith in God was such that he felt God would be able to resurrect the slain Isaac.
In the morning, Abraham woke his son Isaac who was only too pleased to help his father as he knew there was going to be a sacrifice to God. Together with two servants they went out to gather some wood. Abraham, Isaac and the two servants then set off for the distant hills of Moriah. After travelling for three days Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the steep slopes of Mount Moriah. At this point, Abraham said to his two servants, "Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." Isaac carried the wood and with his father Abraham they both went down into the stony plain towards the mountain. As they walked along the rocky path Isaac seemed to know that something dreadful was going to happen. He said to his father, "Behold the fire and the wood! But where is the lamb for the burnt-offering? Abraham replied, "My son, God will, Himself, provide a lamb for the burnt-offering!"
When they reached the top of the hill Abraham built a small square altar from the stones that were scattered about. He placed the wood on top of it. Abraham then bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood. Isaac did not speak or move. Abraham then raised his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
Then, just as Abraham took the knife, a loud voice was heard coming over the mountain, as if it came from the sky, "Abraham! Abraham!" said the voice. Abraham replied, "Here I am!" Then the angel of the Lord said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him! For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son."
Abraham was so happy and glad that Isaac was saved he unbound the child and they gave thanks together. Then Abraham lifted up his eyes and behind him was a ram, caught in the bushes by its horns. Abraham took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. Then the angel from Heaven spoke again to him saying how pleased God was with him for his faithful obedience and repeated the promise that God had made to him before Isaac was born, that his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren should be as many as the stars in the skies or as the sand upon the seashore.
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