The Book of Jasher

Chapter 23

23:1 “At that time the word of the Lord came to Abraham, and he said to him, Abraham, and he said here I am.”
23:2 “And he said to him, take now your son, your only son whom you love, even Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which shall be shown to you, for there will you see a cloud and the glory of the Lord.”
23:3 “And Abraham said within himself, how shall I separate my son Isaac from Sarah his mother, in order to bring him up for a burnt offering before the Lord?”
23:4 “And Abraham came into the tent, and he sat before Sarah his wife, and he spoke these words to her.”
23:5 “My son Isaac is grown up and he has not for some time studied the service of his God, now tomorrow I will go and bring him to Shem, and Eber his son, and there he will learn the ways of the Lord, for they will teach him to know the Lord as well as to know that when he prays continually before the Lord, he will answer him, therefore there he will know the way of serving the Lord his God.”
23:6 “And Sarah said, you have spoken well, go my lord and do to him as you have said, but remove him not at a great distance from me, neither let him remain there too long, for my soul is bound within his soul.”
23:7 “And Abraham said to Sarah, my daughter, let us pray to the Lord our God that he may do good with us.”
23:8 “And Sarah took her son Isaac and he abided all that night with her, and she kissed and embraced him, and gave him instructions till morning.”
23:9 “And she said to him, O my son how can my soul separate itself from you? And she still kissed him and embraced him, and she gave Abraham instructions concerning him.”
23:10 “And Sarah said to Abraham, O my lord, I pray you take heed of your son, and place your eyes over him, for I have no other son nor daughter but him.”
23:11 “O forsake him not. If he be hungry give him bread, and it he be thirsty give him water to drink; do not let him go on foot, neither let him sit in the sun.”
23:12 “Neither let him go by himself in the road, neither force him from whatever he may desire, but do to him as he may say to you.”
23:13 “And Sarah wept bitterly the whole night on account of Isaac, and she gave him instructions till morning.”
23:14 “And in the morning Sarah selected a very fine and beautiful garment from those garments which she had in the house, that Abimelech had given to her.”
23:15 “And she dressed Isaac her son therewith, and she put a turban on his head, and she enclosed a precious stone in the top of the turban, and she gave them provision for the road,
and they went forth, and Isaac went with his father Abraham, and some of their servants accompanied them to see them off the road.”
23:16 “And Sarah went out with them, and she accompanied them on the road to see them off, and they said to her, return to the tent.”
23:17 “And when Sarah heard the words of her son Isaac she wept bitterly, and Abraham her husband wept with her, and their son wept with them a great weeping; also those who went with them wept greatly.”
23:18 “And Sarah caught hold of her son Isaac, and she held him in her arms, and she embraced him and continued to weep with him, and Sarah said, who knows if after this day I shall ever see you again?”
23:19 “And they still wept together, Abraham, Sarah and Isaac and all those that accompanied them on the road wept with them, and Sarah afterward turned away from her son, weeping bitterly, and all her men servants and maid servants returned with her to the tent.”
23:20 “And Abraham went with Isaac his son to bring him up as an offering before the Lord, as he had commanded him.”
23:21 “And Abraham took two of his young men with him, lshmael the son of Hagar and Eliezer his servant, and they went together with them, and while they were walking in the road the young men spoke these words to themselves.”
23:22 “And Ishmael said to Eliezer, now my father Abraham is going with Isaac to bring him up for a burnt offering to the Lord, as he commanded him.”
23:23 “Now when he returns he will give to me all that he possesses, to inherit after him, for I am his first born.”
23:24 “And Eliezer answered Ishmael and said, surely Abraham did cast you away with your mother, and swear that you should not inherit any thing of all he possesses, and to whom will he give all that he has, with all his treasures, but to me his servant, who has been faithful in his house, who has served him night and day, and has done all that he desired me? to me will he bequeath at his death all that he possesses.”
23:25 “And while Abraham was proceeding with his son Isaac along the road, Satan came and appeared to Abraham in the figure of a very aged man, humble and of contrite spirit. and he approached Abraham and said to him, are you silly or brutish, that you go to do this thing this day to your only son?”
23:26 “For God gave you a son in your latter days, in your old age, and will you go and slaughter him this day because he committed no violence, and will you cause the soul of your only son to perish from the earth?”
23:27 “Do you not know and understand that this thing cannot be from the Lord? for the Lord cannot do to man such evil on earth to say to him, go slaughter your child.”
23:28 “And Abraham heard this and knew that it was the word of Satan who endeavored to draw him aside from the way of the Lord, but Abraham would not hearken to the voice of Satan and Abraham rebuked him so that he went away.”
23:29 “And Satan returned and came to Isaac; and he appeared to Isaac in the figure of a young man, comely and well favored.”
23:30 “And he approached Isaac and said to him, do you not know and understand that your old silly father brings you to the slaughter this day for nought?”
23:31 “Now therefore, my son, do not listen nor attend to him, for he is a silly old man, and let not your precious soul and beautiful figure be lost from the earth.”
23:32 “And Isaac heard this, and said to Abraham, have you heard, my father, that which this man has spoken? even thus has he spoken.”
23:33 “And Abraham answered his son Isaac and said to him, take heed of him and do not listen to his words, nor attend to him, for he is Satan endeavoring to draw us aside this day from the commands of God.”
23:34 “And Abraham still rebuked Satan, and Satan went from them, and seeing he could not prevail over them he hid himself from them, and he went and passed before them in the road; and he transformed himself to a large brook of water in the road, and Abraham and Isaac and his two young men reached that place, and they saw a brook large and powerful as the mighty waters.”
23:35 “And they entered the brook and passed through it, and the waters at first reached their legs. “
23:36 “And they went deeper in the brook and the waters reached up to their necks, and they were all terrified on account of the water; and while they were going over the brook Abraham recognized that place, and he knew that there was no water there before.”
23:37 “And Abraham said to his son Isaac, I know this place in which there was no brook nor water, now therefore it is this Satan who does all this to us, to draw us aside this day from the commands of God.”
23:38 “And Abraham rebuked him and said to him, the Lord rebuke you, O Satan, begone from us for we go by the commands of God.”
23:39 “And Satan was terrified at the voice of Abraham, and he went away from them, and the place again became dry land as it was at first.”
23:40 “And Abraham went with Isaac toward the place that God had told him.”
23:41 “And on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place at a distance which God had told him of.”
23:42 “And a pillar of fire appeared to him that reached from the earth to heaven, and a cloud of glory on the mountain, and the glory of the Lord was seen in the cloud.”
23:43 “And Abraham said to Isaac, my son, do you see in that mountain, which we perceive at a distance, that which I see on it?”
23:44 “And Isaac answered and said to his father, I see and lo a pillar of fire and a cloud, and the glory of the Lord is seen on the cloud.”
23:45 “And Abraham knew that his son Isaac was accepted before the Lord for a burnt offering.”
23:46 “And Abraham said to Eliezer and to Ishmael his son, do you also see that which we see on the mountain which is at a distance?”
23:47 “And they answered and said, we see nothing more than like that other mountains of the earth. And Abraham knew that they were not accepted before the Lord to go with them, and Abraham said to them, abide you here with the ass while I and Isaac my son will go to yonder mount and worship there before the Lord and then return to you.”
23:48 “And Eliezer and Ishmael remained in that place, as Abraham had commanded.”
23:49 “And Abraham took wood for a burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he took the fire and the knife, and they both went to that place.”
23:50 “And when they were going along Isaac said to his father, behold, I see here the fire and wood, and where then is the lamb that is to be the burnt offering before the Lord?”
23:51 “And Abraham answered his son Isaac, saying, the Lord has made choice of you my son, to be a perfect burnt offering instead of the lamb.”
23:52 “And Isaac said to his father, I will do all that the Lord spoke to you with joy and cheerfulness of heart.”
23:53 “And Abraham again said to Isaac his son, is there in your heart any thought or counsel concerning this which is not proper? tell me my son, I pray you, O my son conceal it not from me.”
23:54 “And Isaac answered his father Abraham and said to him, O my father; as the Lord lives and as your soul lives there is nothing in my heart to cause me to deviate either to the right or to the left from the word that he has spoken to you.”
23:55 “Neither limb nor muscle has moved or stirred at this, nor is there in my heart any thought or evil counsel concerning this.”
23:56 “But I am of joyful and cheerful heart in this matter, and I say, blessed is the Lord who has this day chosen me to be a burnt offering before him.”
23:57 “And Abraham greatly rejoiced at the words of Isaac, and they went on and came together to that place that the Lord had spoken of.”
23:58 “And Abraham approached to build the altar in that place, and Abraham was weeping, and Isaac took stones and mortar until they had finished building the altar.”
23:59 “And Abraham took the wood and placed it in order on the altar which he had built.”
23:60 “And he took his son Isaac and bound him in order to place him on the wood which was on the altar, to slay him for a burnt offering before the Lord.”
23:61 “And Isaac said to his father, bind me securely and then place me on the altar lest I should turn and move, and break loose from the force of the knife on my flesh and thereby profane the burnt offering; and Abraham did so.”
23:62 “And Isaac still said to his father, O my father, when you shall have slain me and burnt me for an offering, take with you that which shall remain of my ashes to bring to Sarah, my mother, and say to her, this is the sweet smelling savor of Isaac; but do not tell her this if she should sit near a well or on any high place, lest she should cast her soul after me and die.”
23:63 “And Abraham heard the words of Isaac, and he lifted up his voice and wept when Isaac spoke these words; and Abraham’s tears gushed down on Isaac his son, and Isaac wept bitterly, and he said to his father, hasten thou, O my father, and do with me the will of the Lord our God as he has commanded you.”
23:64 “And the hearts of Abraham and Isaac rejoiced at this thing which the Lord had commanded them; but the eye wept bitterly while the heart rejoiced.”
23:65 “And Abraham bound his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar on the wood, and Isaac stretched forth his neck on the altar before his father, and Abraham stretched forth his hand to take the knife to slay his son as a burnt offering before the Lord.”
23:66 “At that time the angels of mercy came before the Lord and spoke to him concerning Isaac saying,”
23:67 “O Lord, you are a merciful and compassionate king over all that you have created in heaven and in earth, and you support them all; give therefore ransom and redemption instead of your servant Isaac, and pity and have compassion on Abraham and on Isaac his son, who are this day performing your commands.”
23:68 “Have you seen, O Lord, how Isaac the son of Abraham your servant is bound down to the slaughter like an animal? now therefore let your pity be roused for them, O Lord.”
23:69 “At that time the Lord appeared to Abraham, and called to him from heaven, and said to him, lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing to him, for now I know that you fear God in performing this act, and in not withholding your son, your only son, from me.”
23:70 “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, a ram was caught in a thicket by his horns; that was the ram which the Lord God had created in the earth in the day that he made earth and heaven.”
23:71 “For the Lord had prepared this ram from that day, to be a burnt offering instead of Isaac.”
23:72 “And this ram was advancing to Abraham when Satan caught hold of him and entangled his horns in the thicket, that he might not advance to Abraham, in order that Abraham might slay his son.”
23:73 “And Abraham, seeing the ram advancing to him and Satan withholding him, fetched him and brought him before the altar, and he loosened his son Isaac from his binding, and he put the ram in his stead, and Abraham lifted the ram on the altar, and brought it up as an offering in the place of his son Isaac.”
23:74 “And Abraham sprinkled some of the blood of the ram on the altar, and he exclaimed and said, this is in the place of my son, and may this be considered this day as the blood of my son before the Lord.”
23:75 “And all that Abraham did on this occasion by the altar, he would exclaim and say, this is in the room of my son, and may it this day be considered before the Lord in the place of my son; and Abraham finished the whole of the service by the altar, and the service was accepted before the Lord, and was accounted as if it had been Isaac; and the Lord blessed Abraham and his seed on that day.”
23:76 “And Satan went to Sarah, and he appeared to her in the figure of an old man very humble and meek, and Abraham was yet engaged in the burnt offering before the Lord.”
23:77 “And he said to her, do you not know all the work that Abraham has made with your only son this day? for he took Isaac and built an altar and killed him, and brought him up as a sacrifice on the altar, and Isaac cried and wept before his father, but he looked not at him, neither did he have compassion over him.”
23:78 “And Satan repeated these words, and he went away from her, and Sarah heard all the words of Satan, and she imagined him to be an old man from among the sons of men who had been with her son, and had come and told her these things.”
23:79 “And Sarah lifted up her voice and wept and cried out bitterly on account of her son; and she threw herself on the ground and she cast dust on her head, and she said, O my son, Isaac my son, O that I had this day died instead of you. And she continued to weep and said, it grieves me for you, O my son, my son Isaac, O that I had died this day in your stead.”
23:80 “And she still continued to weep, and said, it grieves me for you after that I have reared you and have brought you up; now my joy is turned into mourning over you, I that had a longing for you, and cried and prayed to God till I bare you at ninety years old; and now have you served this day for the knife and the fire, to be made an offering.”
23:81 “But I console myself with you my son, in its being the word of the Lord, for you did perform the command of your God: for who can transgress the word of our God, in whose hands is the soul of every living creature?”
23:82 “You are just O Lord our God, for all your works are good and righteous; for I also am rejoiced with your word which you did command, and while mine eye weeps bitterly, my heart rejoices.”
23:83 “And Sarah laid her head on the bosom of one of her handmaids, and she became as still as a stone.”
23:84 “She afterward rose up and went about making inquiries till she came to Hebron, and she inquired of all those whom she met walking in the road, and no one could tell her what had happened to her son.”
23:85 “And she came with her maid servants and men servants to Kireath Arba, which is Hebron, and she asked concerning her son, and she remained there while she sent some of her servants to seek where Abraham had gone with Isaac; they went to seek him in the house of Shem and Eber, and they could not find him, and they sought throughout the land and he was not there.”
23:86 “And behold, Satan came to Sarah in the shape of an old man, and he came and stood before her, and he said to her, I spoke falsely to you, for Abraham did not kill his son and he is not dead and when she heard the word her joy was so exceedingly violent on account of her son, that her soul went out through joy; she died and was gathered to her people.”
23:87 “And when Abraham had finished his service he returned with his son Isaac to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba, and they came home.”
23:88 “And Abraham sought for Sarah, and could not find her, and he made inquiries concerning her, and they said to him, she went as far as Hebron to seek you both where you had gone, for thus was she informed.”
23:89 “And Abraham and Isaac went to her to Hebron, and when they found that she was dead they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly over her; and Isaac fell on his mother’s face and wept over her, and he said, O my mother, my mother, how have you left me, and where have you gone? O how, how have you left me!”
23:90 “And Abraham and Isaac wept greatly and all their servants wept with them on account of Sarah, and they mourned over her a great and heavy mourning.”

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