(א) וַיְהִ֗י אַחַר֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְהָ֣אֱלֹקִ֔ים נִסָּ֖ה אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי׃ (ב) וַיֹּ֡אמֶר קַח־נָ֠א אֶת־בִּנְךָ֨ אֶת־יְחִֽידְךָ֤ אֲשֶׁר־אָהַ֙בְתָּ֙ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְלֶךְ־לְךָ֔ אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּ֑ה וְהַעֲלֵ֤הוּ שָׁם֙ לְעֹלָ֔ה עַ֚ל אַחַ֣ד הֶֽהָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֹמַ֥ר אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ (ג) וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם אַבְרָהָ֜ם בַּבֹּ֗קֶר וַֽיַּחֲבֹשׁ֙ אֶת־חֲמֹר֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶת־שְׁנֵ֤י נְעָרָיו֙ אִתּ֔וֹ וְאֵ֖ת יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֑וֹ וַיְבַקַּע֙ עֲצֵ֣י עֹלָ֔ה וַיָּ֣קָם וַיֵּ֔לֶךְ אֶל־הַמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־אָֽמַר־ל֥וֹ הָאֱלֹקִֽים׃ (ד) בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֗י וַיִּשָּׂ֨א אַבְרָהָ֧ם אֶת־עֵינָ֛יו וַיַּ֥רְא אֶת־הַמָּק֖וֹם מֵרָחֹֽק׃ (ה) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶל־נְעָרָ֗יו שְׁבוּ־לָכֶ֥ם פֹּה֙ עִֽם־הַחֲמ֔וֹר וַאֲנִ֣י וְהַנַּ֔עַר נֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־כֹּ֑ה וְנִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֖ה וְנָשׁ֥וּבָה אֲלֵיכֶֽם׃ (ו) וַיִּקַּ֨ח אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶת־עֲצֵ֣י הָעֹלָ֗ה וַיָּ֙שֶׂם֙ עַל־יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֣ח בְּיָד֔וֹ אֶת־הָאֵ֖שׁ וְאֶת־הַֽמַּאֲכֶ֑לֶת וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֖ם יַחְדָּֽו׃ (ז) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יִצְחָ֜ק אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֤ם אָבִיו֙ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אָבִ֔י וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֶּ֣נִּֽי בְנִ֑י וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִנֵּ֤ה הָאֵשׁ֙ וְהָ֣עֵצִ֔ים וְאַיֵּ֥ה הַשֶּׂ֖ה לְעֹלָֽה׃ (ח) וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֱלֹקִ֞ים יִרְאֶה־לּ֥וֹ הַשֶּׂ֛ה לְעֹלָ֖ה בְּנִ֑י וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֖ם יַחְדָּֽו׃ (ט) וַיָּבֹ֗אוּ אֶֽל־הַמָּקוֹם֮ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָֽמַר־ל֣וֹ הָאֱלֹקִים֒ וַיִּ֨בֶן שָׁ֤ם אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ וַֽיַּעֲרֹ֖ךְ אֶת־הָעֵצִ֑ים וַֽיַּעֲקֹד֙ אֶת־יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֔וֹ וַיָּ֤שֶׂם אֹתוֹ֙ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ מִמַּ֖עַל לָעֵצִֽים׃ (י) וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶת־יָד֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֖ח אֶת־הַֽמַּאֲכֶ֑לֶת לִשְׁחֹ֖ט אֶת־בְּנֽוֹ׃ (יא) וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֵלָ֜יו מַלְאַ֤ךְ ה' מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אַבְרָהָ֣ם ׀ אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי׃ (יב) וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אַל־תִּשְׁלַ֤ח יָֽדְךָ֙ אֶל־הַנַּ֔עַר וְאַל־תַּ֥עַשׂ ל֖וֹ מְא֑וּמָּה כִּ֣י ׀ עַתָּ֣ה יָדַ֗עְתִּי כִּֽי־יְרֵ֤א אֱלֹקִים֙ אַ֔תָּה וְלֹ֥א חָשַׂ֛כְתָּ אֶת־בִּנְךָ֥ אֶת־יְחִידְךָ֖ מִמֶּֽנִּי׃ (יג) וַיִּשָּׂ֨א אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶת־עֵינָ֗יו וַיַּרְא֙ וְהִנֵּה־אַ֔יִל אַחַ֕ר נֶאֱחַ֥ז בַּסְּבַ֖ךְ בְּקַרְנָ֑יו וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ אַבְרָהָם֙ וַיִּקַּ֣ח אֶת־הָאַ֔יִל וַיַּעֲלֵ֥הוּ לְעֹלָ֖ה תַּ֥חַת בְּנֽוֹ׃ (יד) וַיִּקְרָ֧א אַבְרָהָ֛ם שֵֽׁם־הַמָּק֥וֹם הַה֖וּא ה' ׀ יִרְאֶ֑ה אֲשֶׁר֙ יֵאָמֵ֣ר הַיּ֔וֹם בְּהַ֥ר ה' יֵרָאֶֽה׃ (טו) וַיִּקְרָ֛א מַלְאַ֥ךְ ה' אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֑ם שֵׁנִ֖ית מִן־הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ (טז) וַיֹּ֕אמֶר בִּ֥י נִשְׁבַּ֖עְתִּי נְאֻם־ה' כִּ֗י יַ֚עַן אֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה וְלֹ֥א חָשַׂ֖כְתָּ אֶת־בִּנְךָ֥ אֶת־יְחִידֶֽךָ׃ (יז) כִּֽי־בָרֵ֣ךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ֗ וְהַרְבָּ֨ה אַרְבֶּ֤ה אֶֽת־זַרְעֲךָ֙ כְּכוֹכְבֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְכַח֕וֹל אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־שְׂפַ֣ת הַיָּ֑ם וְיִרַ֣שׁ זַרְעֲךָ֔ אֵ֖ת שַׁ֥עַר אֹיְבָֽיו׃ (יח) וְהִתְבָּרֲכ֣וּ בְזַרְעֲךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל גּוֹיֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ עֵ֕קֶב אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁמַ֖עְתָּ בְּקֹלִֽי׃ (יט) וַיָּ֤שָׁב אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶל־נְעָרָ֔יו וַיָּקֻ֛מוּ וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ יַחְדָּ֖ו אֶל־בְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב אַבְרָהָ֖ם בִּבְאֵ֥ר שָֽׁבַע׃ (פ) (כ) וַיְהִ֗י אַחֲרֵי֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וַיֻּגַּ֥ד לְאַבְרָהָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר הִ֠נֵּה יָלְדָ֨ה מִלְכָּ֥ה גַם־הִ֛וא בָּנִ֖ים לְנָח֥וֹר אָחִֽיךָ׃ (כא) אֶת־ע֥וּץ בְּכֹר֖וֹ וְאֶת־בּ֣וּז אָחִ֑יו וְאֶת־קְמוּאֵ֖ל אֲבִ֥י אֲרָֽם׃ (כב) וְאֶת־כֶּ֣שֶׂד וְאֶת־חֲז֔וֹ וְאֶת־פִּלְדָּ֖שׁ וְאֶת־יִדְלָ֑ף וְאֵ֖ת בְּתוּאֵֽל׃ (כג) וּבְתוּאֵ֖ל יָלַ֣ד אֶת־רִבְקָ֑ה שְׁמֹנָ֥ה אֵ֙לֶּה֙ יָלְדָ֣ה מִלְכָּ֔ה לְנָח֖וֹר אֲחִ֥י אַבְרָהָֽם׃ (כד) וּפִֽילַגְשׁ֖וֹ וּשְׁמָ֣הּ רְאוּמָ֑ה וַתֵּ֤לֶד גַּם־הִוא֙ אֶת־טֶ֣בַח וְאֶת־גַּ֔חַם וְאֶת־תַּ֖חַשׁ וְאֶֽת־מַעֲכָֽה׃ (ס)
(1) After these things/words, God put Abraham to the test. He said to him, “Abraham,” and he answered, “Here I am.” (2) And He said, “Please take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will point out to you.” (3) So early next morning, Abraham saddled his donkey and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and he set out for the place of which God had told him. (4) On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place from afar. (5) Then Abraham said to his young [servants], “You stay here with the donkey. The youngster and I will go up there; we will worship and we will return to you.” (6) Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. He himself took the firestone and the knife; and the two walked off together. (7) Then Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he answered, “Yes, my son.” And he said, “Here are the firestone and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” (8) And Abraham said, “God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them walked on together. (9) They arrived at the place of which God had told him. Abraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood; he bound his son Isaac; he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. (10) And Abraham picked up the knife to slay his son. (11) Then an angel of Ad-nai called to him from heaven: “Abraham! Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” (12) And he said, “Do not raise your hand against the boy, or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.” (13) When Abraham looked up, his eye fell upon another ram, caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. (14) And Abraham named that site Adonai-yireh, whence the present saying, “On the mount of Ad-nai there is vision.” (15) The angel of Ad-nai called to Abraham a second time from heaven, (16) and said, “By Myself I swear, Ad-nai declares: Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your favored one, (17) I will bestow My blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes. (18) All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed My command.” (19) Abraham then returned to his servants, and they departed together for Beer-sheba; and Abraham stayed in Beer-sheba. (20) Some time later, Abraham was told, “Milcah too has borne children to your brother Nahor: (21) Uz the first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; (22) and Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel”— (23) Bethuel being the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. (24) And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore children: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
First, figure out your own questions about this text as a whole.
~ What theological ideas do you think this text challenges?
~ What personal difficulties do you find with this text?
Second, be the midrash detective.
~ The highlighted text contains difficulties. Choose five and find difficulties with them. Propose one CREATIVE solution to one of the problems.
Composed in Talmudic Israel/Babylon (500 CE).
(יא) ותרא שרה את בן הגר המצרית אמר רבי שמעון בן יוחאי רבי עקיבא היה אומר בו דבר לגנאי ואני אומר בו דבר לשבח דרש רבי עקיבא (בראשית כא) ותרא שרה וגו' אין מצחק אלא גלוי עריות היך מד"א (שם לט) בא אלי העבד העברי אשר הבאת לנו לצחק בי מלמד שהיתה אמנו שרה רואה אותו לישמעאל מכביש גנות וצד נשי אנשים ומענה אותן תני רבי ישמעאל אומר אין הלשון הזה של צחוק אלא עבודת כוכבים שנאמר (שמות לב) וישב העם לאכול ושתו ויקומו לצחק מלמד שהיתה אמנו שרה רואה את ישמעאל בונה בימוסיות וצד חגבים ומקריב עליהם רבי אלעזר בנו של רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר אין הלשון הזה צחוק אלא לשון שפיכות דמים היך מה דאת אמר (שמואל ב ב) יקומו נא הנערים וישחקו לפנינו רבי עזריה משום רבי לוי אמר אמר ליה ישמעאל ליצחק נלך ונראה חלקינו בשדה והיה ישמעאל נוטל קשת וחצים ומורה כלפי יצחק ועושה עצמו כאילו מצחק הדא הוא דכתיב (משלי כב) כמתלהלה היורה זקים וגו' כן איש רמה את רעהו ואומר הלא מצחק אני ואומר אני בו דבר לשבח אין לשון הזה של צחוק אלא לשון ירושה שבשעה שנולד אבינו יצחק היו הכל שמחים אמר להם ישמעאל שוטים אתם אני בכור ואני נוטל פי שנים שמתשובת אמנו שרה לאברהם כי לא יירש בן האמה הזאת עם בני אתה למד כי לא יירש עם בני אפי' שאינו יצחק ועם יצחק אף על פי שאינו בני קל וחומר עם בני עם יצחק:
AND SARAH SAW THE SON OF HAGAR THE EGYPTIAN etc - Rabbi Shimeon bar Yohai said: Rabbi Akiva used to interpret this to his [Ishmael’s] shame, Rabbi Akiba lectured: AND SARAH SAW [THE SON OF HAGAR THE EGYPTIAN, WHOM SHE HAD BORNE TO AVRAHAM, MAKING SPORT.] Now 'making sport' refers to nothing else but sexual immorality, as in the verse, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to make sport of me. (Gen. 39:17). This teaches that Sarah saw Ishmael ravish maidens, seduced married women and dishonored them. R. Ishmael taught: This term 'making sport' refers to idolatry, as in the verse, "And the people sat to eat and drink and got up to make sport' (Exodus 32:6). This teaches that Sarah saw Ishmael build altars, catch locusts, and sacrifice them. R. Eleazar said: The term 'making sport' refers to bloodshed, as in the verse, "Let the young men, please, arise and make sport before us" (II Sam. 2:14) Rabbi Azariah said in Rabbi Levi’s name: Ishmael said to Isaac: 'Let us go and see our pieces in the field' and he would pick up the bow and shoot arrows, aiming in Itzchak's direction, while pretending to be playing (making sport), as it is written: "as a madman who casts fire-brands, arrows, and death; so is the man that deceives his neighbor, and said: 'I am just joking (making sport)'. And I [Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai] say that this is to be interpreted to the praise [of Ishmael]. This expression of making sport is only used as 'inheritance'. In the moment that Itzchak our father was born all were happy. Ishmael said to them: are you dumb? I am the first-born, I am going to receive double portion [of the inheritance], that from the answer of Sarah our mother to Avraham 'because the son of this maidservant will not inherit with my son, with Itzchak' you learn that he would not inherit 'with my son' - even if he wasn't Itzchal - and 'with Itzchak' - even if he wasn't my son. All the more so [this is true] 'with my son, with Itzchak'.
And it came to pass after these things, that God tested [nisah] Avraham (Gen. 21:1). It is written, “You have given a nes (flag, banner) to those who fear You, that it may be displayed [lehithnoses] because of truth [koshet], selah” (Ps. 60:6): this means, trial after trial, greatness after greatness, in order to test them in the world and exalt them in the world like a ship’s flag. And why all this? ‘Because of truth, selah’: so that the attribute of justice [din] may be verified [titkashet] in the world. Thus, if one says: ‘Whom God wishes to enrich, God enriches; to impoverish, God impoverishes; whom God desires God makes into a king; when God wished, God made Avraham wealthy, and when God wished God made him a king!’ Then you can answer that person and say, ‘Can you do what Avraham did?’ And the person would ask: 'What did he do?' and you say: "Avraham was a hundred years old, when his son Itzchak was born to him" (Gen. 21:5); yet after all this pain it was said to him: "Take, please, your son, your only son" (22:2), yet he did not refuse. This is ‘You have given a flag to those who fear You, that it may be displayed’.
Ad-nai tries the righteous; and His soul hates the evil ones and those who love violence (Ps. 11: 5). Rabbi Yonatan said: When a flax worker knows that his flax is of good quality, the more he beats it the more it improves and the more it glistens; but if it is of inferior quality, he cannot give it one knock without it splitting. Similarly, Ad-nai does not test the wicked - why? Because they cannot withstand it, as it is written "And the evil ones He expels like the sea" (Isaiah 57:20) and who does God test? The righteous, as it says "Ad-nai tries the righteous." "And it was, after these things, his master’s wife cast [tisah] [her eyes upon Yosef and said, “Lie with me."(Gen. 39:7)" "And it was, after these things" - Rabbi Yonatan said: A potter does not test defective vessels, because he cannot give them a single blow without breaking them. What then does he test? Only strong vessels, for he will not break them even with many blows. Similarly, the Holy One of Blessing does not test the wicked but the righteous, as it says, ‘Ad-nai tries the righteous.’ Rabbi Eleazar said: When a man possesses two cows, one strong and the other weak, on which one he puts the yoke? Surely on the strong one Similarly, God tests only the righteous, as it says, ‘Ad-nai tries the righteous.’
Another opinion: “The Lord tests the righteous.” – This is Abraham – “Sometime after these things, God tested Abraham.” R. Avin expounded: (Ecclesiastes 8:4) “Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him: ‘What are you doing?’” – R. Avin said: [This may be compared] to a teacher who commands his student, saying to him: (Deuteronomy 16:19) “You shall not judge unfairly,” but [the teacher himself] judges unfairly; (Deuteronomy 16:19) “Do not take a bribe,” but [the teacher himself] takes a bribe; Do not lend on interest, but [the teacher himself] lends on interest. His student said to him: Rabbi, you said to me: Do not lend on interest, but you lend on interest? [Is it] permitted to you but forbidden to me? [The teacher] said to him: I said to you: Do not lend on interest to a Jew, but you may lend on interest to an idol worshipper, as it is written: (Deuteronomy 23:21) “You may lend on interest to a foreigner, but you may not lend on interest to your brother [Israelite].” Thus Israel said before The Holy One Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, you wrote in your Torah: (Leviticus 19:18) “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge,” but you take vengeance and bear a grudge, as it is said: (Nahum 1:2) “The Lord is vengeful and fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on His enemies.” The Holy One Blessed be He said to them: I wrote in the Torah: (Leviticus 19:18) “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen,” but I take vengeance against idol worshippers – (Numbers 31:2) “Avenge the Israelite people on the Midianites.” It is written: (Deuteronomy 6:16) “Do not test the Lord” – [but] “God tested Abraham.”
[נֻסַּח אַחֵר: אָמַר לוֹ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, אֲנִי חָבִיב מִמְךָ שֶׁנִּמַּלְתִּי לִשְׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה, אֲבָל אַתָּה נִמַּלְתָּ בְּקָטְנְךָ וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִמְחוֹת. אָמַר לוֹ יִצְחָק כָּל מַה שֶּׁהִלְוֵיתָ לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שְׁלשָׁה טִפִּים דַּם הֵם, אֶלָּא הֲרֵינִי עַכְשָׁו בֶּן שְׁלשִׁים וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנָה אִלּוּ מְבַקֵּשׁ לִי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהִשָּׁחֵט אֵינִי מְעַכֵּב, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הֲרֵי הַשָּׁעָה, מִיָּד וְהָאֱלֹקִים נִסָּה אֶת אַבְרָהָם.]
After these things — misgivings were experienced on that occasion. Who then had misgivings? Avraham, saying to himself: ‘I have rejoiced and made all others rejoice, yet I did not set aside a single bullock or ram for the Holy One of Blessing.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing to him: ‘I know that even if you were commanded to offer your only son to Me, you would not refuse.’ - this is according to Rabbi Eleazar who said that the employment of va-e-lohim where E-lohim would suffice, implies both God and God’s Court. It was the ministering angels who spoke thus: ‘This Avraham rejoiced and made all others rejoice, yet did not set aside for the Holy One of Blessing a single bullock or ram.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing to them: ‘Even if we tell him to offer his own son, he will not refuse.’ Itzchak and Ishmael were engaged in a dispute: the latter argued, ‘I am more beloved than you, because I was circumcised at the age of thirteen’; while the other retorted, ‘I am more beloved than you, because I was circumcised at eight days.’ Said Ishmael to him: ‘I am more beloved, because I could have protested, yet I did not.’ At that moment Itzchak exclaimed: ‘O that God would appear to me and bid me cut off one of my limbs! then I would not refuse.’ Said God: ‘Even if I bid you sacrifice yourself, you will not refuse.’ [Another version: Said Ishmael to him: ‘I am more beloved than you, since I as circumcised at the age of thirteen, but you were circumcised as a baby and could not refuse.’ Itzchak retorted: ‘All that you did lend to the Holy One of Blessing was three drops of blood. But look, I am now thirty-seven years old, yet if God desired of me that I be slaughtered, I would not refuse.’ Said the Holy One of Blessing ‘This is the moment!’ Straightway, “God tested Avraham”.]
וַיֹּאמֶר קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ וגו' (בראשית כב, ב), אָמַר לוֹ בְבַקָּשָׁה מִמְּךָ קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ, אָמַר לֵיהּ תְּרֵין בְּנִין אִית לִי אֵי זֶה בֵּן, אָמַר לוֹ: אֶת יְחִידְךָ. אָמַר לוֹ זֶה יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ וְזֶה יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ. אָמַר לוֹ: אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ. אָמַר לוֹ אִית תְּחוּמִין בִּמְעַיָא. אָמַר לוֹ: אֶת יִצְחָק. וְלָמָּה לֹא גִּלָּה לוֹ מִיָּד, כְּדֵי לְחַבְּבוֹ בְּעֵינָיו וְלִתֵּן לוֹ שָׂכָר עַל כָּל דִּבּוּר וְדִבּוּר, הִיא דַעְתֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן (בראשית יב, א): לֶךְ לְךָ, זוֹ אִפַּרְכִיָה שֶׁלָּךְ (בראשית יב, א): וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ, זוֹ שְׁכוּנָתְךָ, (בראשית יב, א): מִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, זוֹ בֵּית אָבִיךָ, (בראשית יב, א): אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. וְלָמָּה לֹא גִלָּה לוֹ מִיָּד, כְּדֵי לְחַבְּבָהּ בְּעֵינָיו וְלִתֵּן לוֹ שָׂכָר עַל כָּל דִּבּוּר וְדִבּוּר וְעַל כָּל פְּסִיעָה וּפְסִיעָה. אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי בַּר חָיְתָא, שְׁנֵי פְּעָמִים כְּתִיב לֶךְ לְךָ, וְאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִים אֵי זֶה חֲבִיבָה אִם הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אִם הַשְּׁנִיָּה, מִן מַה דִּכְתִיב וְלֶךְ לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָה, הֱוֵי שְׁנִיָּה חֲבִיבָה מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. וְלֶךְ לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה, רַבִּי חִיָּא רַבָּה וְרַבִּי יַנַּאי, חַד אָמַר לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהוֹרָאָה יָצְאָה לָעוֹלָם, וְאוֹחָרָנָא אָמַר לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיִּרְאָה יָצְאָה לָעוֹלָם. דִּכְוָתָהּ דְּבִיר, רַבִּי חִיָּא וְרַבִּי יַנַּאי, חַד אָמַר מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁהַדִּבְּרוֹת יוֹצְאוֹת לָעוֹלָם, וְחַד אָמַר מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁהַדִּבּוּר יוֹצֵא לָעוֹלָם. דִּכְוָתָה אָרוֹן, רַבִּי חִיָּא וְרַבִּי יַנַּאי, חַד אָמַר לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהָאוֹרָה יוֹצְאָה לָעוֹלָם, וְחַד אָמַר מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּרְאָה יוֹצֵא לָעוֹלָם. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי שֶׁמִּשָּׁם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מוֹרֶה לְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם וּמוֹרִידָם לְגֵיהִנֹּם. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחָאי אָמַר לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לְמַעְלָה. רַבִּי יוּדָן אָמַר לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיְהֵא מָרְאֶה לָךְ. רַבִּי פִּינְחָס אָמַר לַאֲתַר מַרְוָתָא דְּעַָלְמָא. רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהַקְּטֹרֶת קְרֵבִין, הֵיאךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (שיר השירים ד, ו): אֵלֶךְ לִי אֶל הַר הַמּוֹר וְאֶל גִּבְעַת הַלְּבוֹנָה. (בראשית כב, ב): וְהַעֲלֵהוּ שָׁם לְעֹלָה, רַבִּי יוּדָן בַּר סִימוֹן אָמַר, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים יֵשׁ קָרְבָּן. בְּלֹא כֹהֵן, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כְּבָר מִנִּיתִיךָ שֶׁתְּהֵא כֹהֵן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (תהלים קי, ד): אַתָּה כֹהֵן לְעוֹלָם. (בראשית כב, ב): עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ, ַר רַבִּי הוּנָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בְּנוֹ שֶׁל רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַתְהֶא וּמַתְלֶה בְּעֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוּא מְגַלֶּה לָהֶם טַעֲמוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר (בראשית יב, א): אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים וגו'. דִּכְוָתָהּ (יונה ג, ב): וּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ אֶת הַקְּרִיאָה אֲשֶׁר וגו', דִּכְוָתָהּ (יחזקאל ג, כב): קוּם צֵא אֶל הַבִּקְעָה וְשָׁם אֲדַבֵּר אוֹתָךְ.
And He said: Take, please, your son, etc. (22:2). Said God to him: ‘Take, I beg you" — please —Your son.’ ‘Which son? I have two sons’ he said. ‘Your only son,’ replied He. ‘This one is the only one of his mother, and this one is the only one of his mother.’ "The one you love"—‘Is there a limit to the affections?’ "Itzchak" said He. And why did God not reveal it to him without delay? In order to make him [Itzchak] even more beloved in his eyes and reward him for each and every word spoken. This agrees with the opinion of Rabbi Yohanan, who said: "Get out of your country" (Gen. 12:1) means from your province; “And from your kindred” (Gen. 12:1)—from your neighborhood; “And from your father’s house"(Gen. 12:1)—literally your father’s house. “To the land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). Why did He not reveal it to him there and then? In order to make it more beloved in his eyes and to reward him for each and every word said, and for each and every step taken. Rabbi Levi b. Hayata said: ‘Get you’ is written twice, and we do not know which was more precious [in the eyes of God] the first or the second. But when it is written, “And get you to the land of Moriah” (22:2) it follows that the second occasion was more precious than the first. "And go yourself to the land of Moriah" Rabbi Chiya Raba and Rabbi Yanai [disagree]: one says to the place from which instruction (hora’ah) goes out to the world, and the other says to the place from which awe (yirah) goes out to the world. Similarly regarding the Holy of Holies (devir), Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yanai [disagree]: one says from the place from which the commandments (dibra’ot) go out to the world, and one says from the place from which speech (dibur) goes out to the world. Similarly regarding the ark (aron), Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yanai [disagree]: one says to the place from which the light (ha’orah) goes out to the world, and one says to the place where awe (yirah) goes out to the world. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that from there the Holy One instructs [mor'eh] the nations of the world and brings them down [moridam] to Gehinnom. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said, to the place which is aligned [ra'ui] with the Holy Temple above. Rabbi Yudan said, to the place where there will be an appearance [mar'eh] to you. Rabbi Pinchas said, to the place of the Master [marvatah] of the World. The Rabbis said, to the place where the incense is offered – this is what it says “…I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.” (Shir HaShirim 4:6) "And offer Him there as a burnt-offering (Gen. 22:2). Rabbi Yudan bar Simon said: He [Avraham] said to Him: ‘Master of the Universe! Can there be a sacrifice without a priest?’ The Holy One of Blessing replied ‘I have already appointed you to be a priest’ as it is written, ‘You are a priest for ever’ (Ps. 110:4). "On one of the mountains which I will tell you of (Gen. 22:2). Rabbi Huna said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili: The Holy One of Blessing first places the righteous in doubt and suspense, and then reveals to them the real meaning of the matter, as it is written "to the land that I will show you (Gen. 12:1); "On one of the mountains which I will tell you"; "And make to it the proclamation that I bid you (Jonah 3:2); similarly, "Arise, go out into the plain and I will there speak with you (Ezek. 3:22).
וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּחֲבשׁ אֶת חֲמֹרוֹ (בראשית כב, ג), אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחָאי אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה וְשִׂנְאָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה. אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה דִּכְתִיב: וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר וגו', וְלֹא הָיָה לוֹ כַּמָּה עֲבָדִים, אֶלָּא אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה. וְשִׂנְאָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כב, כא): וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּחֲבשׁ אֶת אֲתֹנוֹ, וְלֹא הָיוּ לוֹ כַּמָּה עֲבָדִים, אֶלָּא שִׂנְאָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה. אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית מו, כט): וַיֶּאֱסֹר יוֹסֵף מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ וַיַּעַל לִקְרַאת יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבִיו, וְכִי לֹא הָיָה לְיוֹסֵף כַּמָּה עֲבָדִים, אֶלָּא אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה. שִׂנְאָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת אֶת הַשּׁוּרָה, דִּכְתִיב (שמות יד, ו): וַיֶּאֱסֹר אֶת רִכְבּוֹ, וְלֹא הָיָה לוֹ כַּמָּה עֲבָדִים, אֶלָּא שִׂנְאָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת הַשּׁוּרָה. אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחָאי תָּבוֹא חֲבָשָׁה וְתַעֲמֹד עַל חֲבָשָׁה, תָּבוֹא חֲבָשָׁה שֶׁחָבַשׁ אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ לֵילֵךְ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם שֶׁל מִי שֶׁאָמַר וְהָיָה הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית כב, י): וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ וגו', וְתַעֲמֹד עַל חֲבָשָׁה שֶׁחָבַשׁ בִּלְעָם לֵילֵךְ וּלְקַלֵּל אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל. תָּבוֹא אֲסָרָה שֶׁאָסַר יוֹסֵף לִקְרַאת אָבִיו, וְתַעֲמֹד עַל אֲסָרָה שֶׁל פַּרְעֹה שֶׁהָיָה הוֹלֵךְ לִרְדֹף אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, תָּנֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל תָּבוֹא חֶרֶב יַד שֶׁעָשָׂה אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ וַיִּקַח אֶת הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת לִשְׁחֹט אֶת בְּנוֹ, וְתַעֲמֹד עַל חֶרֶב יַד שֶׁאָמַר פַּרְעֹה (שמות טו, ט): אָרִיק חַרְבִּי. (בראשית כב, ג): וַיִּקַּח אֶת שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו אִתּוֹ, אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּהוּ שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם נָהֲגוּ בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ, אַבְרָהָם וְשָׁאוּל, אַבְרָהָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּקַּח אֶת שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו. שָׁאוּל, (שמואל א כח, ח): וַיֵּלֶךְ הוּא וּשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים עִמּוֹ. (בראשית כב, ג): וַיְבַקַּע עֲצֵי עֹלָה, רַבִּי חִיָּא בַּר יוֹסֵי בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי מְיָאַשָׁא וְתָנֵי לָהּ בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי בְּנָיָה, בִּשְׂכַר שְׁתֵּי בְּקִיעוֹת שֶׁבָּקַע אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ עֲצֵי עוֹלָה זָכָה לְהִבָּקַע הַיָּם לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְבַקַּע עֲצֵי עֹלָה, וְנֶאֱמַר לְהַלָּן (שמות יד, כא): וַיִבָּקְעוּ הַמָּיִם. אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי דַּיֶּיךָּ עַד כֹּה, אֶלָּא אַבְרָהָם לְפִי כֹחוֹ וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְפִי כֹחוֹ, (בראשית כב, ג): וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶת הַמָּקוֹם, נִתַּן לוֹ שְׂכַר קִימָה וּשְׂכַר הֲלִיכָה.
And Avraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey (Genesis 22:3). Rabbi Simeon b. Yohai said: Love upsets the natural order, and hate upsets the natural order. Love upsets the natural order: "And Avraham rose early in the morning, etc".: surely he had plenty of slaves? But the reason was that love upset the natural order. Hate upsets the natural order: "And Bilam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey" (Num. 22:21): surely he had plenty of slaves? Hate, however, upsets the natural order. Love upsets the natural order: "And Yosef made ready his chariot, etc." (Gen. 46:29): yet surely Yosef had plenty of slaves? But love upsets the natural order. Hate upsets the natural order: "And he made ready his chariot" (Ex. 14:6); yet surely he had plenty of slaves? Thus hate upsets the natural order. Rabbi Simeon b. Yohai said: Let saddling counteract saddling. Let the saddling done by our father Avraham in order to go and fulfill the will of the One at whose word the world came into existence counteract the saddling done by Bilam in order to go and curse Israel. Let preparing counteract preparing. Let Yosef’s preparing [of his chariot] to meet his father counteract Pharaoh’s preparing to go and pursue Israel. Rabbi Ishmael taught: Let the sword of the hand counteract the sword of the hand. Let the sword taken in the hand of our father Avraham, as it says, "And Avraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son" (Gen. 22:10), come and counteract the sword grasped by Pharaoh’s hand when he said, "I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them" (Ex. 15:9). "And took two of his young men with him, and Itzchak his son." (Gen. 22:3) Rabbi Abbahu said: Two people behaved with derech eretz (decency), Avraham and Saul: Avraham, as it says, "And took two of his young men with him"; Saul, as it says, "And Saul … went, he and two men with him" (I Sam. 28:8). "And he cleaved the wood for the burnt-offering," (Gen. 22:3) Rabbi Hiyya b. Rabbi Yosei said in the name of Rabbi Meyasha, and it was also repeated in the name of Rabbi Benaiah: As a reward for the two cleavings with which our father Avraham cleaved the wood of the burnt-offering, he earned that God should cleave [divide] the Sea before his descendants, as it says, And the waters were divided (Ex. 14:21). Said Rabbi Levi: Enough of this! In truth Avraham acted according to his powers an the Holy One of Blessing according to His powers. "And he rose up, and went to the place." (Gen. 22:3) Avraham was rewarded for rising up and for going.
“On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes…” (Genesis 22:4) It is written “He will revive us from the two days, on the third day He will set us up, and we will live before Him.” (Hoshea 6:2) On the third day of the tribes it is written “On the third day, Joseph said to them…” (Genesis 42:18) On the third day of the spies, as it says “…and hide yourselves there three days…” (Joshua 2:16) On the third day of the giving of the Torah, as it says “It came to pass on the third day…” (Exodus 19:16) On the third day of Jonah, as it is written “…and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” (Jonah 2:1) On the third day of those who came up from exile, as it is written “…and stayed there three days.” (Ezra 8:32) On the third day of the resurrection of the dead, as it is written “He will revive us from the two days, on the third day He will set us up, and we will live before Him.” (Hoshea 6:2) On Esther’s third day “Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther clothed herself regally…” (Esther 5:1) The royalty of her father’s house. In what merit? This is an argument of the Rabbis and Rabbi Levi. The Rabbis say: in the merit of the third day of the giving of the Torah, as it says “It came to pass on the third day when it was morning…” (Exodus 19:16) Rabbi Levi said: in the merit of the third day of our father Avraham, as it says "On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.” (Genesis 22:4) What did he see? He saw a cloud attached to the mountain. He said: it appears that this is the place where the Holy One told me to offer up my son.
He then said to him [Itzchak]: ‘Itzchak, my son do you what I see?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied. He said to his two servants: ‘Do you see what I see?’ ‘No,’ they answered. ‘Since you do not see it, “stay here with the donkey,” (Gen. 22:5), he bade them, because you are like the donkey, it follows that slaves are like cattle. The Rabbis proved [it from this verse spoken at] the Revelation: Six days you shall labor, and do all your work … you, nor your daughter, nor your man-servant, nor your maid-servant, nor your cattle (Ex. 20:10). R. Itzchak said: This place shall one day be alienated from its Owner. For ever? [No], for it is stated, “This is My resting-place forever; here will I dwell for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:14) — when he comes of whom it is written, “Lowly, and riding upon a donkey” (Zech. 1:9). “And I and the lad will go just there” — Ad Koh. Said R. Joshua b. Levi: We will go and see what is to be the eventual outcome of Koh. “And we will worship, and we will come back to you.” He informed him [through these words] that he [Itzchak] would return safely from Mount Moriah. R. Itzchak said: Everything happened as a reward for worshipping. Abraham returned in peace from Mount Moriah only as a reward for worshipping. “And we will worship, and we will come back to you.” Israel were redeemed only as a reward for worshipping: “And the people believed … then they bowed their heads and worshipped” (Ex. 4:31). The Torah was given only as a reward for worshipping: “And worship y’all afar off” (Ex. 24:1). Hannah was remembered only as a reward for worshipping: “And they worshipped before the Lord” (I Sam. 1:19). The exiles will be reassembled only as a reward for worshipping: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great horn shall be blown; and they shall come that were lost … and that were dispersed … and they shall worship Ad-nai in the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isa. 27:13). The Temple was built only as a reward for worshipping: “Exalt y’all Ad-nai our God, and worship at His holy mountain” (Ps. 99:9). The dead will come to life again only as a reward for worshipping: “O come, let us worship and bend the knee; let us kneel before Ad-nai our Maker (Ps 95:6).
וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָהָם אֶת עֲצֵי הָעֹלָה (בראשית כב, ו), כָּזֶה שֶׁהוּא טוֹעֵן צְלוּבוֹ בִּכְתֵפוֹ. (בראשית כב, ו): וַיִּקַּח בְּיָדוֹ אֶת הָאֵשׁ וְאֶת הַמַאֲכֶלֶת, אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא לָמָּה נִקְרֵאת סַכִּין מַאֲכֶלֶת, לְפִי שֶׁמְּכַשֵּׁר אוֹכְלִים. וְרַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי כָּל אֲכִילוֹת שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל אוֹכְלִים בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה אֵינָם אוֹכְלִים אֶלָּא בִּזְכוּת אוֹתָהּ הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת. (בראשית כב, ו): וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם יַחְדָּו, זֶה לַעֲקֹד וְזֶה לֵעָקֵד, זֶה לִשְׁחֹט וְזֶה לִשָּׁחֵט.
And Avraham took the wood of the burnt-offering (Gen. 22:6) — like one who carries his own stake [to be impaled] on his shoulder. "And he took in his hand the fire and the knife (Ma’akheleth)" (Gen. 22:6). R. Hanina said: Why is a knife called ma’akheleth? Because it makes food (okhlim) fit to be eaten. While the Rabbis said: All eating (akhiloth) which Israel enjoy in this world, they enjoy only in the merit of that ma’akheleth (knife).
"And they went both of them together (Gen. 22:6): one to bind and the other to be bound, one to slaughter and the other to be slaughtered.
“And Itzchak spoke to Avraham his father, and said: My father” (Gen. 22:7). Samael went to the our father Avraham and said: “Old man, old man! Have you lost your mind [lit. have you lost your heart]? You are going to slay a son given to you at the age of a hundred!’ ‘Even this I do,’ replied he. [Samael said:] ‘And if He sets you an even greater test, can you stand it?!’ [as it is written] “If a thing be put to you as a trial, will you be wearied” (Job 4:2)? ‘Even more than this,’ he replied. [Samael said:] ‘Tomorrow He will say to you, “You are guilty of murder, you murdered your son!” He replied: ‘Still I go’. Seeing that he could achieve nothing with him, he approached Itzchak and said: ‘Son of an unhappy mother! He is going to slay you!’ He replied: ‘Still I go’. Samael said: ‘If so, all those fine tunics which your mother made be a legacy for Ishmael, the hated of her house, and you don't care [lit. don't let it enter your heart]?’ If a word is not completely effective, it may yet be effective in part, that’s why it is written, “And Itzchak spoke to Avraham his father, and said: My father”: why [his] father, [my] father twice? So that he should be filled with compassion for him. "And he said: Behold, the fire and the wood. Avraham said to him: ‘May that man who has thus seduced him be drowned! Any way, “God will provide himself the lamb, my son”; and if not you are “the lamb for the burnt-offering my son.” So "they went both of them together" (Gen. 22:8) — one to slaughter and the other to be slaughtered.
From Man Martin: https://manmartin.blogspot.com/
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹקִים וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ (בראשית כב, ט), וְיִצְחָק הֵיכָן הָיָה, אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי נְטָלוֹ וְהִצְנִיעוֹ, אָמַר דְּלָא יִזְרוּק הַהוּא דְּיִגְעַר בֵּיהּ אֶבֶן, וְיִפְסְלֶנּוּ מִן הַקָּרְבָּן. וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וגו' וַיַּעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ, רַבִּי חָפְנִי בַּר יִצְחָק אָמַר כָּל מַה שֶּׁהָיָה אָבִינוּ אַבְרָהָם עוֹקֵד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ מִלְּמַטָּן הָיָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כּוֹבֵשׁ שָׂרֵיהֶם שֶׁל עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים מִלְּמַעְלָן, וְלֹא עָשָׂה, אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִפְלִיגוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַצְמָן בִּימֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ, אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מָה אַתֶּם סְבוּרִים דְּאִלֵּין כָּפְתַיָּא קַיָּמִין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (נחום א, י): כִּי עַד סִירִים סְבֻכִים וּכְסָבְאָם סְבוּאִים, כִּי עַד שָׂרִים סְבוּכִים, אֶלָּא כְּסָבְאָם סְבוּאִים, אִשְׁתְּרוֹן יָתְהוֹן כָּפְתַיָּא, דִּכְתִיב (נחום א, י): אֻכְּלוּ כְּקַשׁ יָבֵשׁ מָלֵא, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁשָּׁלַח אָבִינוּ אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ לִקַּח אֶת הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת לִשְׁחֹט אֶת בְּנוֹ, בָּכוּ מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה לג, ז): הֵן אֶרְאֶלָּם צָעֲקוּ חֻצָה, מַהוּ חֻצָה, רַבִּי עֲזַרְיָה אָמַר חֻצָה חִיצָה הוּא בָּרְיָה לְמִכַּס יַת בְּרֵיהּ וּמָה הָיוּ אוֹמְרִים (ישעיה לג, ח): נָשַׁמּוּ מְסִלּוֹת, אֵין אַבְרָהָם מְקַבֵּל אֶת הָעוֹבְרִים וְאֶת הַשָּׁבִים. (ישעיה לג, ח): שָׁבַת עֹבֵר אֹרַח, הֵיךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (בראשית יח, יא): חָדַל לִהְיוֹת לְשָׂרָה. (ישעיה לג, ז): הֵפֵר בְּרִית, (בראשית יז, כא): וְאֶת בְּרִיתִי אָקִים אֶת יִצְחָק. (ישעיה לג, ז): מָאַס עָרִים, (בראשית כ, א): וַיֵּשֶׁב בֵּין קָדֵשׁ. (ישעיה , ז): לֹא חָשַׁב אֱנוֹשׁ, לֹא עָמְדָה זְכוּת לְאַבְרָהָם, אֶתְמְהָא. וּמִי יֹאמַר לְךָ שֶׁאֵין הַפָּסוּק מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, נֶאֱמַר כָּאן מִמַּעַל, וְנֶאֱמַר לְהַלָּן מִמַּעַל (ישעיה ו, ב): שְׂרָפִים עֹמְדִים מִמַּעַל לוֹ.
"And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Avraham built the altar there" (Gen. 22:9). And where was Itzchak? Said Rabbi Levi: he had taken and hidden him, saying, 'Lest he who sought to seduce him throw a stone at him and disqualify him from being a sacrifice.' "And Avraham built the altar there etc and bound Itzchak his son". Rabbi Hanina bar Itzchak said: As our father Avraham was binding his son Itzchak below, so the Holy One of Blessing was binding the [angel] princes of the heathens above. Yet they did not remain [bound]. For when Israel separated themselves in the days of Jeremiah the Holy One of Blessing said to them: ‘What do you think: that those fetters still exist?’ as it says, "For shall they be like tangled thorns (sirim)" (Nahum 1:10), which means: For are the Princes (sarim) to be tangled [i.e. bound] forever? No; for when they [the Israelites] are “drunken according to their drink” (Nahum 1:10), their fetters are broken, for it is written, "They shall be devoured as stubble fully dry" (Nahum 1:10). When our father Avraham stretched forth his hand to take the knife to slay his son, the angels wept, as it says, “Behold, their valiant ones [the angels] cry without — hutzah” (Isa. 33:7). What does ‘hutzah’ mean? R. ‘Azariah said: It is unnatural. It is unnatural that he should slay his son with his own hand. And what did they say? The highways lie wasted? (Isa. 33:8) — does not Avraham show hospitality to travelers? The wayfaring man ceased — shavat (Isa. 33:8) — as in the verse, It had ceased (hadal) for Sarah (Gen. 18:2). "He has broken the covenant" (Isa. 33:8), [similar to] “But My covenant will I establish with Itzchak” (Gen. 17:21). “He has despised the cities (Isa. 33:8), “And [Avraham] dwelt between Kadesh and Shur” (Gen. 20:1). He regards not man (Isa. 33:8) — has Avraham no merit in his favor? This is surprising! And who says that this verse does not refer to the angels? — Here it says, “Upon (MI-MA’AL) the wood”, while in another passage it says, “above (mi-ma’al) Him stood the seraphim” (Isa. 6:2).
וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת (בראשית כב, י), רַב בְּעָא קוֹמֵי רַבִּי חִיָּא רַבָּה מִנַּיִן לִשְׁחִיטָה שֶׁהִיא בְּדָבָר הַמִּטַּלְטֵל, מִן הָכָא, וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְרָהָם אֶת יָדוֹ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אִין מִן הַהַגָּדָה אֲמַר לָךְ, חָזַר הוּא בֵּיהּ, וְאִין מִן אוּלְפָּן אֲמַר לָךְ, לֵית הוּא חָזַר בֵּיהּ, דְּתָנֵי לֵוִי הָיוּ נְעוּצִים מִתְּחִלָּתָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִים, תְּלוּשִׁין וּנְעָצָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּשֵׁרִים, דִּתְנַן הַשּׁוֹחֵט בְּמַגַּל יָד בְּמַגַּל קָצִיר וּבְצֹר וּבְקָנֶה, שְׁחִיטָתוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי חֲמִשָּׁה דְבָרִים נֶאֶמְרוּ בִּקְרוּמִיּוֹת שֶׁל קָנֶה, אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין בָּהּ, וְאֵין מוֹהֲלִין בָּהּ, וְאֵין חוֹתְכִין בָּהּ בָּשָׂר, וְאֵין מְקַנְחִין בָּהּ אֶת הַיָּדַיִם, וְלֹא מְחַצִּין בָּהּ אֶת הַשִּׁנַּיִם, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרוּחַ רָעָה שׁוֹכֶנֶת עָלָיו.
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife (Gen. 22:10). Rav asked R. Hiyya the Elder: How do we know that ritual slaughtering must be with a movable object? From here: "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife" — he said: if he told you this from a Haggadah, he might retract; and if he stated it as a tradition, he cannot not retract from it, since Levi taught: If they [sharp flints] were attached [to the ground or rocks] from the very beginning, they are unfit; but if they had been originally detached but subsequently fixed in the ground, they are fit, since we learned: "If one slaughters with a hand-sickle, a harvest sickle, a flint, or a reed, the slaughtering is fit." Said Rabbi Yosei: Five things were said of a reed stalk: You may not slaughter, circumcise, cut meat, wipe your hands, nor pick your teeth with it, because an evil spirit rests upon it.
וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו מַלְאַךְ ה' מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם (בראשית כב, יא), תָּנֵי רַבִּי חִיָּא לְשׁוֹן חִבָּה לְשׁוֹן זֵרוּז. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אָמַר לוֹ וְלַדּוֹרוֹת, אֵין דּוֹר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּאַבְרָהָם, וְאֵין דּוֹר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּיַעֲקֹב, וְאֵין דּוֹר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּמשֶׁה, וְאֵין דּוֹר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כִּשְׁמוּאֵל. (בראשית כב, יב): וַיֹּאמֶר אַל תִּשְׁלַח יָדְךָ, וְסַכִּין הֵיכָן הָיָה, נָשְׁרוּ שָׁלשׁ דְּמָעוֹת מִמַּלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת וְשִׁחֵת הַסַּכִּין. אָמַר לוֹ אֲחַנְקֶנּוּ, אָמַר לוֹ אַל תִּשְׁלַח יָדְךָ אֶל הַנַּעַר. אָמַר לוֹ אוֹצִיא מִמֶּנּוּ טִפַּת דָּם. אָמַר לוֹ אַל תַּעַשׂ לוֹ מְאוּמָה, אַל תַּעֲשׂ לוֹ מוּמָה. כִּי עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי, הוֹדַעְתִּי לַכֹּל שֶׁאַתְּ אוֹהֲבֵנִי וְלֹא חָשַׂכְתָּ וגו', שֶׁלֹא תֹאמַר כָּל הֶחֳלָאִים שֶׁחוּץ לַגּוּף אֵינָן חֳלָאִים, אֶלָּא מַעֲלֶה אֲנִי עָלֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ הַקְרֵב עַצְמְךָ לִי וְלֹא עִכַּבְתָּ.
"And the angel of Ad-nai called to him out of heaven, and said: Abraham, Abraham" (Gen. 22:11). Rabbi Hiya taught: This is an expression of love, this is an expression of urging. Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov said: He spoke to him and to future generations, there is no generation which does not contain people like Avraham, and there is no generation which does not contain people like Yaakov, Moshe, and Shmuel. And he said: "Do not lay your hand etc." (Gen. 22:12) Where was the knife? Three tears had fallen from the angels of service and the knife dissolved. Avraham said: ‘I will strangle him,’ He said: ‘Do not lay your hand upon the lad.’ [Avraham] said ‘I will take a drop of blood from him’ - He said to him: ‘Neither do anything [me'uma] to him’ [meaning] inflict no blemish [muma] upon him. "Because now I know" [meaning] I have made it known to all that you love Me, "and you have not withheld, etc". And do not say that all ills that do not affect one’s own body are not ills, rather I ascribe merit to you as though I had told to you to sacrifice yourself and you did not refuse.
[נסח אחר: משלו משל למלך שאמר לאוהבו העלה את בנך על שלחני, הביאו אותו אוהבו וסכינו בידו, אמר המלך וכי העלהו לאכלו אמרתי לך, העלהו אמרתי לך מפני חבתו. הדא הוא דכתיב (ירמיה יט, ה): ולא עלתה על לבי, זה יצחק. ]
Another explanation: Rabbi Itzchak said, "At the time that Avraham sought to bind Itzchak, his son, [the latter] said to him, 'Father, I am a young man and I am concerned lest my body shake from fear of the knife and I will trouble you, and lest the slaughtering will be invalid and it will not be considered a sacrifice for you. Rather, tie me very well.' Immediately, ‘and he bound Itzchak.' Could he really tie up a man of thirty-seven (a different version: of twenty six years)? Rather, it was with his agreement. Immediately. 'And Avraham sent his hand.' He sends his hand to take the knife and his eyes brings down tears and the tears fall onto the eyes of Itzchak from the mercy of his father. And nonetheless, the heart was happy to do the will of his Maker. And the angels gathered in many groups above them. What did they yell out? 'The ways have become desolate, the wayfarer has ceased; He has rescinded His covenant; He has become disgusted with the cities' (Isaiah 33:7) – He does not desire Jerusalem and the Temple that he had in mind to bequeath to the children of Itzchak. 'He did not consider a man' – merit did not stand Avraham well: 'No creation has importance in front of Me.'" Rabbi Acha said, "Avraham started to wonder, 'These words are only words of wonder. Yesterday, you told me (Genesis 21:12), "Because in Itzchak will your seed be called." And [then] you went back and said, "Please take your son." And now You say to me, "Do not send your hand to the youth." It is a wonder!' The Holy One, blessed be He, said, 'Avraham, "I will not profane My covenant and the utterances of My lips, I will not change" (Psalms 89:35) – When I said, "Please take your son," I did not say, "slaughter him," but rather, "and bring him up." For the sake of love did I say [it] to you: I said to you, "Bring him up," and you have fulfilled My words. And now, bring him down.’ [A different version: They said a parable about a king that said to his friend, 'Bring up your son to my table.' His friend brought him up and his knife was in his hand. The king said, 'And did I say to you, "Bring him up to eat him?" I said to you, "Bring him up"' – [and this was] because of [the king's] love.) This is [the meaning of] what is written (Jeremiah 19:5), 'it did not come up on My heart' – that is Itzchak."]
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold another (achar) ram (Gen. 22:13)". What does ahar mean? Said Rabbi Yudan: After (achar) all that happened, Israel still fall into the clutches of sin and be the victims of persecution; yet they will be ultimately redeemed by the ram’s horn, as it says, “[And Ad-nai will manifest Himself to them, and His arrows shall flash like lightning,] Ad-nai E-lohim shall sound the ram’s horn [and advance in a stormy tempest]” (Zech. 9:14). Rabbi Yehudah bar Rabbi Simon: After [achar] all generations Israel will fall into the clutches of sin and be the victims of persecution; but their end is to be redeemed by the ram’s horn, as it says, ‘And Ad-nai E-lohim will blow the horn,’ etc. Rabbi Hanina b. R. Isaac said: All days of the year Israel are in sin’s clutches and are victims of prosecutions, but on New Year they take the shofar and blow on it, and are remembered by the Holy One of Blessing and He forgives them, and their end is to be redeemed by the ram’s horn, and it says, "And Ad-nai E-lohim will blow the horn." Rabbi Levi said: Because Avraham our Father saw the ram extricate himself from one thicket and go and become entangled in another, the Holy Oneof Blessing said to him: ‘So is the future of your children to be entangled in reigns, from Babylon to Media, from Media to Greece, and from Greece to Edom; and their end will be to be redeemed by the ram’s horn,’ as it is written, “And Ad-nai E-lohim will blow the horn.” “And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son (Gen.22:13). Rabbi Banai said: he said in front of Him: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Look upon the blood of this ram as though it were the blood of my son Itzchak; its lambs as though they were my son’s lambs (descendants),’ even as we learned: When a man declares: This animal be instead of this one, in exchange for that, or a substitute for this, it is a valid exchange. Rabbi Pinchas said: he said in front of Him: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Regard it as tough I had sacrificed my son Itzchak first and achar (after) this ram in the stead of him, as in the verse, “And Iotam his son reigned in his stead” (II Kings 15:7). It is even as we learned; [When one declares I vow a sacrifice] like the lamb or like the animals of the Temple stalls” (Nedarim 10b, Mishnah Nedarim 1:3) - R. Yochanan said: he meant, like the lamb of the daily burnt-offering; Resh Lakish said: he meant, like Itzchak’s ram. There [in Babylon] they say: Like the off-spring of a sin-offering. Bar Kappara taught: He meant like the lamb which has never given suck.
וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא ה' יִרְאֶה (בראשית כב, יד), רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אָמַר, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַרְתָּ לִי (בראשית כב, ב): קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ אֶת יְחִידְךָ, הָיָה לִי מַה לְּהָשִׁיב, אֶתְמוֹל אָמַרְתָּ (בראשית כא, כב): כִּי בְיִצְחָק וגו', וְעַכְשָׁו קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ וגו' וְחַס וְשָׁלוֹם לֹא עָשִׂיתִי כֵן אֶלָּא כָּבַשְׁתִּי רַחֲמַי לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ, יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בָּנָיו שֶׁל יִצְחָק בָּאִים לִידֵי עֲבֵרוֹת וּמַעֲשִׂים רָעִים תְּהֵא נִזְכַּר לָהֶם אוֹתָהּ הָעֲקֵדָה וְתִתְמַלֵּא עֲלֵיהֶם רַחֲמִים. אַבְרָהָם קָרָא אוֹתוֹ יִרְאֶה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא ה' יִרְאֶה. שֵׁם קָרָא אוֹתוֹ שָׁלֵם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יד, יח): וּמַלְכִּי צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אִם קוֹרֵא אֲנִי אוֹתוֹ יִרְאֶה כְּשֵׁם שֶׁקָּרָא אוֹתוֹ אַבְרָהָם, שֵׁם אָדָם צַדִּיק מִתְרָעֵם, וְאִם קוֹרֵא אֲנִי אוֹתוֹ שָׁלֵם, אַבְרָהָם אָדָם צַדִּיק מִתְרָעֵם, אֶלָּא הֲרֵינִי קוֹרֵא אוֹתוֹ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁקָּרְאוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם, יִרְאֶה שָׁלֵם, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי חֶלְבּוֹ אָמַר עַד שֶׁהוּא שָׁלֵם עָשָׂה לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא סֻכָּה וְהָיָה מִתְפַּלֵּל בְּתוֹכָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים עו, ג): וַיְהִי בְשָׁלֵם סֻכּוֹ וּמְעוֹנָתוֹ בְּצִיּוֹן, וּמָה הָיָה אוֹמֵר יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁאֶרְאֶה בְּבִנְיַן בֵּיתִי. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהֶרְאָה לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ חָרֵב וּבָנוּי חָרֵב וּבָנוּי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא ה' יִרְאֶה, הֲרֵי בָּנוּי, הֵיךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (דברים טז, טז): שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה. אֲשֶׁר יֵאָמֵר הַיּוֹם בְּהַר ה', הֲרֵי חָרֵב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איכה ה, יח): עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם. ה' יֵרָאֶה, בָּנוּי וּמְשֻׁכְלָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קב, יז): כִּי בָנָה ה' צִיּוֹן נִרְאָה בִּכְבוֹדוֹ.
"And Avraham called the name of the place "Ad-nai Yireh" [Ad-nai will see] (Gen. 22:14). Rabbi Yochanan said "he said to Him: 'Master of Worlds, at the hour that you said to me "Take please your son, your only son" (Gen. 22:2), I had what to respond. Yesterday You said "For through Itzchak [will I make your line great]" (Gen. 21:22) but now "Take please your son"!? And God forbid that I don't do as you've asked me; instead, I conquered my mercy to do Your will. May it be your will, Ad-nai our God, that in the hour when the sons of Itzchak come to do transgressions and bad deeds, that this very Binding [Akeidah] be remembered for them, and may You be filled with Mercy on them!' Avraham called it "Yireh", as it says "and Avraham called the name of the place Ad-nai Yireh." Shem called it Shalem, as it says "And Malchitzedek, the king of Shalem..."(Genesis 14:18) The Holy One of Blessing said "If I call it Yireh, as Avraham called it, then Shem, who was a righteous man, will become angry; and if I call it Shalem, Abraham, who was a righteous man, will be angry. Instead, I call it Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], as they called it together: Yireh Shalem. Jerusalem. Rabbi Berechiah said in Rabbi Helbo’s name: While it was Shalem, the Holy One of Blessing made for Godself a sukkah [booth] and prayed in it, since it says "In Shalem is set His tabernacle, and His dwelling-place in Tzion" (Psalms 76:3). And what did He say? ‘May it happen that I see the building of My house." Another interpretation: It [this verse] teaches that the Holy One of Blessing showed him the Temple destroyed and built, destroyed and build [a second time], since it says: "the name of that place Ad-nai Yireh" (Ad-nai sees): this is it built, as you say [the verse] "Three times in a year shall all your males be seen [yira'eh] (Deut. 16:16). "As it is said to this day in the Mountain of Ad-nai [is seen, Heb. yira'eh]" (Gen.22:14) This is it destroyed, as in the verse "on the mountain of Tzion, which is desolate" (Lam. 5:18). "Ad-nai is seen" this is it built and perfected in the future to come as the topic [in the verse] that is said: "When Ad-nai built Tzion, He will be seen in His glory" (Psalms 102:17).
וַיִּקְרָא מַלְאַךְ ה' שֵׁנִית, וַיֹּאמֶר בִּי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי (בראשית כב, טו טז), מַה צֹּרֶךְ לִשְׁבוּעָה זוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה מְנַסֶּה אוֹתִי עוֹד מֵעַתָּה וְלֹא אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנִי, מָשָׁל לְאֶחָד שֶׁשָּׁמַר אֶת אֲגִינוֹ שִׁבֹּלֶת נָהָר וְהִקְפִּיץ גַּם בְּנוֹ עִמּוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מַה צֹּרֶךְ לִשְׁבוּעָה זוֹ, רַבִּי חָמָא בֶּן רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה מְנַסֶּה אוֹתִי עוֹד מֵעַתָּה, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה נָשׂוּי לְמַטְרוֹנָה, יָלְדָה מִמֶּנּוּ בֵּן רִאשׁוֹן וְגֵרְשָׁהּ, שֵׁנִי וְגֵרְשָׁהּ, שְׁלִישִׁי וְגֵרְשָׁהּ, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁיָּלְדָה מִמֶּנּוּ בֵּן עֲשִׂירִי נִתְכַּנְסוּ כֻּלָּם וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע לָנוּ שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה מְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִמֵּנוּ מֵעַתָּה. כָּךְ כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּתְנַסָּה אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ נִסָּיוֹן עֲשִׂירִי, אָמַר לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה מְנַסֶּה אוֹתִי עוֹד מֵעַתָּה. אָמַר רַבִּי חָנִין (בראשית כב, טז): כִּי יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, נִסָּיוֹן עֲשִׂירִי הוּא, וְאַתָּה אוֹמֵר כִּי יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, אֶלָּא זֶה נִסָּיוֹן הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁהוּא שָׁקוּל כְּנֶגֶד הַכֹּל, שֶׁאִלּוּלֵי לֹא קִבְּלוֹ עָלָיו אָבַד אֶת הַכֹּל [נסח אחר, כל מה שעשה]. כִּי כִּי בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ וגו' (בראשית כב, יז), בְּרָכָה לָאָב, בְּרָכָה לַבֵּן. (בראשית כב, יז): וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה, רַבּוֹת לָאָב, רַבּוֹת לַבֵּן. (בראשית כב, יז): וְיִרַשׁ זַרְעֲךָ אֵת שַׁעַר אֹיְבָיו, רַבִּי אוֹמֵר זוֹ תַּרְמוֹד, אַשְׁרָיו כָּל מִי שֶׁהוּא רוֹאֶה בְּמַפַּלְתָּהּ שֶׁל תַּרְמוֹד, שֶׁהָיְתָה שֻׁתֶּפֶת בִּשְׁנֵי חֻרְבָּנוֹת. רַבִּי יוּדָן וְרַבִּי חֲנִינָא, חַד מִנְּהוֹן אָמַר בְּחֻרְבַּן בַּיִת רִאשׁוֹן הֶעֱמִידָה שְׁמוֹנִים אֶלֶף קַשָּׁתִים [נסח אחר: קשטים], וּבְחֻרְבַּן בַּיִת שֵׁנִי הֶעֱמִידָה שְׁמוֹנַת אֲלָפִים קַשָּׁתִים. (בראשית כב, יט): וַיָּשָׁב אַבְרָהָם אֶל נְעָרָיו, וְיִצְחָק הֵיכָן הוּא, רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה בְּשֵׁם רַבָּנָן דְּתַמָּן, שְׁלָחוֹ אֵצֶל שֵׁם לִלְמֹד מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹרָה, מָשָׁל לְאִשָּׁה שֶׁנִּתְעַשְּׁרָה מִפִּלְכָּהּ, אָמְרָה הוֹאִיל וּמִן הַפֶּלֶךְ הַזֶּה הִתְעַשַּׁרְתִּי, עוֹד אֵינוֹ זָז מִתַּחַת יָדִי לְעוֹלָם. כָּךְ אָמַר אַבְרָהָם, כָּל שֶׁבָּא לְיָדִי אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁעָסַקְתִּי בַּתּוֹרָה וּבַמִּצְווֹת, לְפִיכָךְ אֵינִי רוֹצֶה שֶׁתָּזוּז מִזַּרְעִי לְעוֹלָם. רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר שְׁלָחוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה מִפְּנֵי הָעַיִן, שֶׁמִּשָּׁעָה שֶׁעָלוּ חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה מִכִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ עוֹד לֹא נִזְכְּרוּ שְׁמוֹתָן, וּלְהֵיכָן הָלְכוּ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר מֵתוּ בְּרֹק. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אָמַר מֵתוּ בְּעַיִן. רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי אָמַר שִׁנּוּ אֶת מְקוֹמָם וְהָלְכוּ לָהֶם אֵצֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן יְהוֹצָדָק לִלְמֹד מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹרָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (זכריה ג, ח): שְׁמַע נָא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל אַתָּה וְרֵעֶיךָ הַיּשְׁבִים לְפָנֶיךָ, רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר עַל מְנָת כֵּן יָרְדוּ חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה לְכִבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ, עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה בָּהֶן מוֹפֵת.
"And the angel of Ad-nai called to Avraham a second time from heaven, and said: 'By Myself I have sworn" (Gen. 22:15-16). Why was this oath needed? He [Avraham] said to Him: ‘Swear to me not to test me ever again, nor my son Itzchak.’ This is similar to one who was saving his basin from being swallowed by the river, and his son jumped into it with him. Another interpretation: why was this oath needed? Rabbi Chama ben Rabbi Chanina said: He said to Him ‘swear to me not to test me ever again’ This is similar to a king who was married to a noble lady, she gave birth to her first son and he divorced her; [he remarried her and then she gave birth to] a second son, and he divorced her; a third son, and he divorced her; and when she gave birth to the tenth son, they all assembled and demanded of him: ‘Swear to us not to divorce our mother ever again.’ So too when our father Avraham was tested the tenth time, he said to Him: ‘Swear to me that You will not to test me ever again.’ Rabbi Chanin said: "Because you have done [asita] this thing" (Gen. 22:17) — it was the tenth [asiri] trial, and you say "because you have done this thing!" Rather, this is the last test, which was as weighty as all the rest together, and if he had not accepted to [do] it, all would have been lost. [A different version: all that he did would have been lost.] "I will verily bless you, etc." (Gen. 22:17) a blessing for the father and a blessing for the son. "And I will verily multiply"(Gen. 22:17) : increase for the father and increase for the son. "And your seed shall inherit the gate of his enemies"(Gen. 22:17). Rabbi said: This is Tadmor, happy is anyone who sees the downfall of Tadmor which took part in both destructions. Rabbi Yudan and R. Chanina — one of them said 'at the destruction of the first Temple it supplied eighty thousand archers.[A different version: truth tellers (?)] and in the second destruction it supplied eight thousand archers. "And Avraham returned to his young men (Gen. 22:19) And where was Itzchak? Rabbi Berechiah said in the name of the Rabbis from there: he sent him to Shem to study Torah. This is similar to a woman who became wealthy through her spindle, she said: ‘Since I have become wealthy through this spindle, it will never leave my hand.’ So too Avraham said: ‘All that has happened to me is only because I engaged in Torah and mitzvot; so I do not want it to ever depart from my seed.’ Rabbi Chanina said: He sent him [home] at night, for fear of the [evil] eye, because from the moment that Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah came out unscathed from the fiery furnace they aren't mentioned anymore, and where did they go? Rabbi Eleazar said: They died through the spittle. Rabbi Yosei said: They died through an [evil] eye. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: They changed their place and went to Yehoshua ben Yehotzadak to study Torah, since it is written "Hear now, Yehoshua the high priest, you, and your companions that sit before you [for they are men that are a sign] (Zech. 3:8). Rabbi Chanina said: For this Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah went down to the fiery furnace, that a sign should be done through them.
Midrash Tanchuma ~ Composed in Talmudic Babylon/Italy/Israel (c.500 - c.800 CE)