A postcard from the edge (Gen 22) – part two

This week, we’re looking at the (in)famous story of Abraham and the command to sacrifice his son, Isaac. If you’re just joining us today, you really need to begin from the start of the story on Monday. And we began by asking: why would God ask Abraham to do such a thing?

But you see, this wasn’t an unusual command in the Ancient Near East. According to the religions of the surrounding nations, their pagan gods would often require the sacrifice of children in order to please them.  In fact, a few hundred yrs later God forbids this practice categorically in Leviticus, showing how widespread it was:

Lev 18:21 ‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech’ (a Canaanite god).
Lev 20:2 ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.’

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