The Wall

Isaac at The Wall

"Sacrifice of Isaac" (1635) by Rembrandt.

“Sacrifice of Isaac” (1635) by Rembrandt.

The story is briefly told in the King James Bible (Genesis 22: 1-18):  God “did tempt” Abraham by commanding him to take his only son to the Land of Moriah to be sacrificed as a burnt offering. On the third day of travel, Abraham “lifted up his eyes” and saw the mountain. He laid the wood for the pyre on Isaac’s back, and with fire in one hand and a knife in the other, he climbed up the mountain with his son. The text records only a single utterance by Isaac to his father:  “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” To which Abraham replied: “God will provide himself a lamb.”

Abraham built an altar, prepared the wood, and bound Isaac on the altar. When he reached for the sacrificial knife for the slaughter, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven:  “Lay not thy hand upon the lad.” Once again Abraham “lifted up his eyes,” and saw a ram ensnared in a thicket. He caught the ram and offered it “in the stead of his son.” God blessed Abraham: (more…)