1: Excerpt from the story of the Akedah, Genesis 22.
In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Abraham, unlike the readers, does not know that he is being tested. The biblical narrative uses many verbs to describe this story of religious obedience while it avoids revealing Abraham’s emotions. However, a close reading suggests a more ambivalent and emotional Abraham, whose inner struggle between his love for his son and his commitment to his God became a source of inspiration for many writers and artists.
Suggested activity: Read the excerpt with students and discuss the following questions: What do we know about Abraham’s feelings toward the divine command to kill his son? What does Isaac think? What does he know or feel? Where is Sara? What does she know? Why are there so many verbs describing each and every one Abraham’s actions?
Source: Barry Moser, designer and illustrator, The Holy Bible: King James Version, (New York: Viking Studio, 1999), 20.