Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Genesis, Day 3 Readings

The Birth of Isaac, the Expulsion of Ishmael, and the Binding of Isaac

Today's first reading tells of the birth of Abraham's second son, Isaac; however, because she is born of Abraham's wife Sarah, he is the favored heir.  In fact, after his birth, Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar, and her son, Ishmael, are sent away.  Tradition holds that Ishmael's descendants became Muslims (and indeed the Quran teaches that Ishmael, not Isaac, is the favored son).

Read Genesis 21:1-21  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second selection offers one of the most challenging stories in Jewish history.  Abraham is tested by God, instructed to lead his son, Isaac, to a mountaintop and sacrifice him.  Abraham obeys, to the point where he binds his son and lays him on the altar.  As he raises his hand to kill the boy, an angel stops him, and a voice praises Abraham for his faith.

Read Genesis 22:1-19   (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Genesis 22-30 today.