Type: Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 571
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Referring to the Bible, the Jewish and Christian views result in numerous resemblances between their approaches to the Scripture. This particular paper is meant to analyze Genesis 22: 6—8 Abraham and Isaac’s Journey to Moriah as well as Jewish and Christian interpretations of these verses.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.

And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”.

Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son”. So they went both of them together.

For the Christians Isaac was too young. However, the rabbis asserted that “when he was suggested upon altar Isaac was thirty-seven years old”. None of the Jewish definitions, in contrast to interpretations of Christians, hinted Isaac might have still been a youngster. For the rabbis, he was a mature adult.

Christian and Jewish exponents also suggest their own interpretations concerning the meaning of Isaac carrying wood. Predictably, the church fathers considered this act as a reproduction of Jesus carrying a cross. This is demonstrated by the bishop Melito of Sardis, who inhabited one of the major communities of Jews of Asia Minor. The bishop points to numerous parallels between Jesus and Isaac: Isaac carrying wood to slaughter was viewed as a reference to Christ carrying the cross. Maintaining silent, they both demonstrated their acceptance of the will of God.

Like the Christians, the Jews also discussed Isaac carrying wood, and the following definition in Genesis Rabba is extraordinarily striking: “And Abraham put wood”¦ offering on Isaac his son”. This is like a person who carries a cross on a shoulder. This interpretation is a clear indication of Christianity. Both the Jews and Christians portray Isaac as ready to sacrifice his own living to God’s command. They symbolize Isaac as offering himself to his father.

Isaac’s readiness to sacrifice his life seems to be a Jewish reply to the Christian stance that Christ was prepared to sacrifice his living for Israel. This is strengthened by the Jewish implication that he was informed beforehand of this sacrifice and, even so, continued the trip with Abraham. Unlike the Christians, who underlined the fact that Abraham did not tell his son of a sacrifice, the Jews claimed that Isaac’s awareness of what was to take place served to stress his full contribution to this act.

Though the Christians and the rabbis stressed the self-offering, it was their explanation of its meaning accounts for dissimilarities in their definitions. For the Christians, the youngster Isaac was a sketch of mature Christ. And, thus, the self-offering of Isaac simply foreshadowed the destiny of Christ. In Jewish interpretation, the self-offering of mature Isaac was enough to provide benefit to Isaac’s children, the Jewish populace.

In their opinion, so ready was Isaac to sacrifice his own life that they depicted the Akedah as “blood of binding of Isaac”. It is astonishing as the biblical variant clearly declares that the angel prevented Abraham from killing his child. Thus, it means that according to this variant of account, Isaac did pass away and experienced the resurrection. Therefore, similar to the Jewish reference to carrying a cross, the fact of Isaac’s resurrection is obviously influenced by Christian explanation.

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