Book of Jasher 23

Book of Jasher 23

Chapter 23


At that time the word of the Lord
came to Abraham, and he said unto him, Abraham, and he said, Here I am.

And he said to him, Take now thy son,
thine only son whom thou lovest,
even Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer
him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which shall be shown
to thee, for there wilt thou see a cloud and the glory of the Lord.

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?

And Abraham came into the tent, and
he sat before Sarah his wife, and he spoke these words to her,

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 prayeth continually
before the Lord, he will answer him, therefore there he will know the way of serving
the Lord his God.

And Sarah said, Thou hast spoken
well, go my lord and do unto him as thou hast 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.

And Abraham said unto Sarah, My
daughter, let us pray to the Lord our God that he may do good with us.

And Sarah took her son Isaac and he
abode all that night with her, and she kissed and embraced him, and gave him
instructions till morning.

And she said to him, O my son, how
can my soul separate itself from thee? And she still kissed him and embraced
him, and she gave Abraham instructions concerning him.

And Sarah said to Abraham, O my lord,
I pray thee take heed of thy son, and place thine
eyes over him, for I have no other son nor daughter but him.

O forsake him not. If he be hungry
give him bread, and if he be thirsty give him water to drink; do not let him go
on foot, neither let him sit in the sun.

Neither let him go by himself in the
road, neither force him from whatever he may desire, but do unto him as he may
say to thee.

And Sarah wept bitterly the whole
night on account of Isaac, and she gave him instructions till morning.

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.

And she dressed Isaac her son
therewith, and she put a turban upon 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.

And Sarah went out with them, and she
accompanied them upon the road to see them off, and they said to her, Return to
the tent.

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.

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 knoweth if after this
day I shall ever see thee again?

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.

And Abraham went with Isaac his son
to bring him up as an offering before the Lord, as He had commanded him.

And Abraham took two of his young men
with him, Ishmael the son of Hagar and Eliezer his
servant, and they went together with them, and whilst they were walking in the
road the young men spoke these words to themselves,

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.

Now when he returneth
he will give unto me all that he possesses, to inherit after him, for I am his
first born.

And Eliezer
answered Ishmael and said, Surely Abraham did cast thee away with thy mother,
and swear that thou shouldst not inherit any thing of
all he possesses, and to whom will he give all that he has, with all his
treasures, but unto 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.

And whilst 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, Art thou silly or brutish, that thou goest to do this thing this day to thine
only son?

For God gave thee a son in thy latter
days, in thy old age, and wilt thou go and slaughter him this day because he
committed no violence, and wilt thou cause the soul of thine
only son to perish from the earth?

Dost thou not know and understand
that this thing cannot be from the Lord? for the Lord cannot do unto man such
evil upon earth to say to him, Go slaughter thy child.

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.

And Satan returned and came to Isaac;
and he appeared unto Isaac in the figure of a young man comely and well

And he approached Isaac and said unto
him, Dost thou not know and understand that thy old silly father bringeth thee to the slaughter this day for naught?

Now therefore, my son, do not listen
nor attend to him, for he is a silly old man, and let not thy precious soul and
beautiful figure be lost from the earth.

And Isaac heard this, and said unto
Abraham, Hast thou heard, my father, that which this man has spoken? even thus
has he spoken.

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.

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.

And they entered the brook and passed
through it, and the waters at first reached their legs.

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 whilst they were going over the brook Abraham recognized that
place, and he knew that there was no water there before.

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

And Abraham rebuked him and said unto
him, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, begone from us
for we go by the commands of God.

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.

And Abraham went with Isaac toward
the place that God had told him.

And on the third day Abraham lifted
up his eyes and saw the place at a distance which God had told him of.

And a pillar of fire appeared to him
that reached from the earth to heaven, and a cloud of glory upon the mountain,
and the glory of the Lord was seen in the cloud.

And Abraham said to Isaac, My son,
dost thou see in that mountain, which we perceive at a distance, that which I
see upon it?

And Isaac answered and said unto his
father, I see and lo a pillar of fire and a cloud, and the glory of the Lord is
seen upon the cloud.

And Abraham knew that his son Isaac
was accepted before the Lord for a burnt offering.

And Abraham said unto Eliezer and unto Ishmael his son, Do you also see that
which we see upon the mountain which is at a distance?

And they answered and said, We see
nothing more than like the 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 ye here with the ass whilst I and Isaac my son will go to yonder
mount and worship there before the Lord and then return to you.

And Eliezer
and Ishmael remained in that place, as Abraham had commanded.

And Abraham took wood for a burnt
offering and placed it upon his son Isaac, and he took the fire and the knife,
and they both went to that place.

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?

And Abraham answered his son Isaac,
saying, The Lord has made choice of thee my son, to be a perfect burnt offering
instead of the lamb.

And Isaac said unto his father, I
will do all that the Lord spoke to thee with joy and cheerfulness of heart.

And Abraham again said unto Isaac his
son, Is there in thy heart any thought or counsel concerning this, which is not
proper? tell me my son, I pray thee, O my son conceal it not from me.

And Isaac answered his father Abraham
and said unto him, O my father, as the Lord liveth
and as thy soul liveth, 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 thee.

Neither limb nor muscle has moved or
stirred at this, nor is there in my heart any thought or evil counsel
concerning this.

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.

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.

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.

And Abraham took the wood and placed
it in order upon the altar which he had built.

And he took his son Isaac and bound
him in order to place him upon the wood which was upon the altar, to slay him
for a burnt offering before the Lord.

And Isaac said to his father, Bind me
securely and then place me upon the altar lest I should turn and move, and
break loose from the force of the knife upon my flesh and thereof profane the
burnt offering; and Abraham did so.

And Isaac still said to his father, O
my father, when thou shalt have slain me and burnt me
for an offering, take with thee 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 upon any high place, lest
she should cast her soul after me and die.

And Abraham heard the words of Isaac,
and he lifted up his voice and wept when Isaac spake
these words; and Abraham’s tears gushed down upon 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 thee.

And the hearts of Abraham and Isaac
rejoiced at this thing which the Lord had commanded them; but the eye wept
bitterly whilst the heart rejoiced.

And Abraham bound his son Isaac, and
placed him on the altar upon the wood, and Isaac stretched forth his neck upon
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.

At that time the angels of mercy came
before the Lord and spake to him concerning Isaac,

0 Lord, thou art a merciful and
compassionate King over all that thou hast created in heaven and in earth, and
thou supportest them all; give therefore ransom and
redemption instead of thy servant Isaac, and pity and have compassion upon
Abraham and Isaac his son, who are this day performing thy commands.

Hast thou seen, O Lord, how Isaac the
son of Abraham thy servant is bound down to the slaughter like an animal? now
therefore let thy pity be roused for them, O Lord.

At that time the Lord appeared unto
Abraham, and called to him, from heaven, and said unto him, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto
him, for now I know that thou fearest God in
performing this act, and in not withholding thy son, thine
only son, from me.

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.

For the Lord had prepared this ram
from that day, to be a burnt offering instead of Isaac.

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.

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 killed the ram upon the altar, and brought it up as an
offering in the place of his son Isaac.

And Abraham sprinkled some of the
blood of the ram upon 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.

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.

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.

And he said unto her, Dost thou not
know all the work that Abraham has made with thine
only son this day? for he took Isaac and built an altar, and killed him, and
brought him up as a sacrifice upon the altar, and Isaac cried and wept before
his father, but he looked not at him, neither did he have compassion over him.

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 amongst the sons of men who had been with her son,
and had come and told her these things.

And Sarah lifted up her voice and
wept and cried out bitterly on account of her son; and she threw herself upon
the ground and she cast dust upon her head, and she said, O my son, Isaac my
son, O that I had this day died instead of thee. And she continued to weep and
said, It grieves me for thee, O my son, my son Isaac, O that I had died this
day in thy stead.

And she still continued to weep, and
said, It grieves me for thee after that I have reared thee and have brought
thee up; now my joy is turned into mourning over thee, I that had a longing for
thee, and cried and prayed to God till I bare thee at ninety years old; and now
hast thou served this day for the knife and the fire, to be made an offering.

But I console myself with thee, my
son, in its being the word of the Lord, for thou didst perform the command of
thy God; for who can transgress the word of our God, in whose hands is the soul
of every living creature?

Thou art just, O Lord our God, for
all thy works are good and righteous; for I also am rejoiced with thy word
which thou didst command, and whilst mine eye weepeth
bitterly my heart rejoiceth.

And Sarah laid her head upon the
bosom of one of her handmaids, and she became as still as a stone.

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

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.

And behold, Satan came to Sarah in
the shape of an old man, and he came and stood before her, and he said unto
her, I spoke falsely unto thee, 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.

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.

And Abraham sought for Sarah, and
could not find her, and he made inquiries concerning her, and they said unto
him, She went as far as
Hebron to seek you
both where you had gone, for thus was she informed.

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 upon his mother’s face and wept over
her, and he said, O my mother, my mother, how hast thou left me, and where hast
thou gone? O how, how hast thou left me!

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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