Jesse Tree – Day 7: Isaac

Remember how I said last time how today was going to be about Isaac?

Well! Get ready, because here we go!

Here is the ornament that I made for today:

Its a ram! The crochet pattern for this ornament, by the way, is right here, just in case you want to make one for yourself.

So, what is this ram? Good question! It’s the ram that God provides so that Abraham doesn’t have to kill his son, Isaac, and can instead sacrifice the ram.

But I am getting ahead of myself! Let’s look at scripture, shall we?

NABRE

Genesis 22

1Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test and said to him: Abraham! “Here I am!” he replied. 2Then God said: Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you. 3Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac, and after cutting the wood for the burnt offering, set out for the place of which God had told him.4On the third day Abraham caught sight of the place from a distance. 5Abraham said to his servants: “Stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over there. We will worship and then come back to you.”

Abraham and Isaac Walk to the Sacrifice, by Pedro Orrente, c. 17th century. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
Abraham and Isaac Walk to the Sacrifice, by Pedro Orrente, c. 17th century. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

NABRE

Genesis 22

6So Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together,

Abraham and Isaac, by Gainsborough Dupont, c. 1787. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, United States.
Abraham and Isaac, by Gainsborough Dupont, c. 1787. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 22

7Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. “Father!” he said. “Here I am,” he replied. Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8“My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering.” Then the two walked on together.9When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he bound his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar.

Abraham Preparing to Sacrifice Isaac, by Charles-Antoine Coypel, c. 1736. Private collection.
Abraham Preparing to Sacrifice Isaac, by Charles-Antoine Coypel, c. 1736. Private collection.

NABRE

Genesis 22

10Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Here I am,” he answered.

Sacrifice of Isaac, by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, c. 1635. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sacrifice of Isaac, by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, c. 1635. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

NABRE

Genesis 22

12“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the angel. “Do not do the least thing to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you did not withhold from me your son, your only one.” 13Abraham looked up and saw a single ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.

Sacrifice of Isaac, by Caravaggio, c. 1603. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
Sacrifice of Isaac, by Caravaggio, c. 1603. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

NABRE

Genesis 22

14Abraham named that place Yahweh-yireh; hence people today say, “On the mountain the LORD will provide.”

Abraham and Isaac, by Jan Lievens, c. 1638. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, Germany.
Abraham and Isaac, by Jan Lievens, c. 1638. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, Germany.

NABRE

Genesis 22

15 A second time the angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven 16 and said: “I swear by my very self—oracle of the LORD—that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your son, your only one, 17I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, 18and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command.”

Agnus Dei, by Francisco de Zurbaran, c. 1635-40. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
Agnus Dei, by Francisco de Zurbaran, c. 1635-40. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

My, what a dramatic story! Especially with the art… if you’ve read this reading a bunch of times before, it’s easy to just think of it as normal, but when you see Abraham lift up his arm with his knife in hand, then it gets a little more real.

Which, by the way, is why I love running this website! I love sharing scripture in a new and exciting way, and what better way to do this than by sharing with you stunning images? 🙂

I would say that the next one will be slightly less dramatic, but… uh… these stories are basically all going to be very dramatic. What can I say? There’s a reason why we still read and react to these stories!

However! I will hint this: tomorrow will definitely be… more surreal and dreamy, definitely.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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