The Bible's Incoherence Regarding the Sacrificial son


By Sami Zaatari




One common difference between the Muslim and the Christian is regarding who was the sacrificial son, Ishmael or Isaac? Jews and Christians believe that it was Isaac off course citing the Biblical passages saying Isaac, however so when we read the story we are left confused and bemused and left scratching our heads. Here is the story from the Bible: 


1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, 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.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, 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. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. (Genesis 22: 1-19)


As the verses show, Abraham was told to sacrifice his ONLY son to God, and Ishmael did not die before Abraham, Ishmael was alive until after Abraham, so therefore the only son that these passages are referring to are Ishmael and NOT Isaac. Everyone knows that Ishmael was born before Isaac, so therefore Ishmael would have been called the only son and not Isaac because when Isaac was alive so was Ishmael so therefore Isaac could not have been the only son. Only Ishmael could have been called the only son since he was Abraham's first child.


As you see there is a problem, the text wrongly puts the name Isaac which does leave a person confused, it seems the author who wrote this story could not keep track of Abraham's children and forgot about Ishmael! Or what is most likely is that the Jewish scribe corrupted the text and inserted the name Isaac because it is a known fact that the Jewish nation does look down up Ishmael and his descendents, so therefore they simply put the name Isaac to make it seem that all blessings were for them and very little for Ishmael.


There is no way around this issue but to accept that the text should actually say Ishmael and not Isaac, some have tried to excuse this problem by saying Isaac was called Abraham's only son because Ishmael was casted away.


What strange logic is that? Just because you send your son away means he no longer counts as your son? So if your son went to another country for work, and 13 years later you give birth to another son does the first son get discounted and counted as a bastard child? Off course not! Indeed this response the Christians give is not only ridicules but it is insulting! They are labelling Ishmael as a bastard!


The second response Christians give is that God said he would make his covenant with Isaac and not Ishmael, and? How does that make Isaac his only son and discounts Ishmael as a son? Once again this is a slur and making Ishmael out to be some bastard child!


But the author who did write these lies did get confused with himself, because the author also discussed the funeral of Abraham, and what a surprise in the funeral of Abraham the author calls Ishmael a son! :


9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. (Genesis 25:9-10)


So the author here calls Ishmael a son, and as we know Ishmael was the first son, therefore only he could have been called Abraham's ONLY son, the Christian response holds no weight because if their response was true then why would Ishmael be called a son here? So Christians should stop using that weak response that Isaac was called Abraham's only son because Ishmael was cast away, and that Isaac was called Abraham's only son because God made his covenant with Isaac and not Ishmael. Why is Ishmael considered a son at the funeral, he was casted away wasn't he? So why is he still called a son?


Obviously the Christian and the Jew are confused especially the Christian since the Christian has fell for the Jewish lie since at the end of the day it was a Jew who corrupted the text inserting the name Isaac instead of Ishmael.


And Allah knows Best