YASHAR 23 (Jasher 23)

1 At that time the word of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 came to Aḇraham, and He said to him, “Aḇraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”

2 And He said to him, “Take now your son, your only son whom your love, even Yitsḥaq, and go to the land of Moriyah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which shall be shown to you. For there will your see a cloud and the esteem of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.”

3 And Aḇraham said within himself, “How shall I separate my son Yitsḥaq from Sarah his mother, in order to offer him as a burnt offering before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄?”

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

5 “My son Yitsḥaq is grown and for some time he has not studied the service of his Elohim. Now tomorrow I will go and bring him to Shĕm, and Ĕḇer his son, and there he will learn the Ways of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 for they will teach him to know 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 as well as to know that when he prays continually before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, He will answer him. Therefore, there he will know the Way of serving 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 his Elohim.

6 And Sarah said, “You have spoken well. Go my master and do to him as you have said, but do not remove him a great distance from me, neither let him remain there too long, for my being is bound within his being.”

7 And Aḇraham said to Sarah, “My daughter, let us pray to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 our Elohim that He may do good with us.”

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

9 And she said to him, “O my son, how can my being separate itself from you?” And she still kissed him and embraced him, and she gave Aḇraham instructions concerning him.

10 And Sarah said to Aḇraham, “O my master, please take heed of your son, and keep your eyes on him, for I have no other son nor daughter but him.

11 “O forsake him not. If he is hungry give him bread, and if he is thirsty give him water to drink. Do not let him go on foot, neither let him sit in the sun.

12 “Neither let him go by himself on the way, neither force him from whatever he may desire, but do to him as he may say to you.”

13 And Sarah wept bitterly the whole night for the sake of Yitsḥaq, and she gave him instructions till morning.

14 And in the morning Sarah selected a very fine and good-looking garment from those garments which she had in the house, that Aḇimeleḵ had given to her.

15 And she dressed Yitsḥaq her son with it, 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 journey, and they went forth. And Yitsḥaq went with his father Aḇraham, and some of their servants accompanied them to see them on the way.

16 And Sarah went out with them, and she accompanied them on the way to see them off, and they said to her, “Return to the tent.”

17 And when Sarah heard the words of her son Yitsḥaq she wept bitterly, and Aḇraham her husband wept with her, and their son wept with them a great weeping. Those who went with them also wept greatly.

18 And Sarah caught hold of her son Yitsḥaq, 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?”

19 And they still wept together, Aḇraham, Sarah and Yitsḥaq, and all those that accompanied them on the way wept with them. And Sarah afterward turned away from her son, weeping bitterly, and all her male servants and female servants returned with her to the tent.

20 And Aḇraham went with Yitsḥaq his son to offer him as a burnt offering before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, as He had commanded him.

21 And Aḇraham took two of his young men with him, Yishma’ĕl son of Haḡar and El’azar his servant, and they went together with them. And while they were walking on the way the young men spoke these words to themselves.

22 And Yishma’ĕl said to El’azar, “Now my father Aḇraham is going with Yitsḥaq to offer him for a burnt offering to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, as He commanded him.

23 “Now when he returns he will give to me all that he possesses, to inherit after him, for I am his first-born.”

24 And El’azar answered Yishma’ĕl and said, “Indeed, Aḇraham drove you away with your mother, and swore that you should not inherit any matter 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 trustworthy in his house, who has served him night and day, and has done all that he desired me? He will bequeath all that he possesses to me at his death.”

25 And while Aḇraham was proceeding with his son Yitsḥaq along the way, Satan came and appeared to Aḇraham in the form of a very aged man, humble and of lowly spirit. And he approached Aḇraham and said to him, “Are you stupid or senseless, that you go to do this matter today to your only son?

26 “For Elohim gave you a son in your latter days, in your old age, and will you go and slaughter him this day? For he committed no violence, and will you cause the being of your only son to perish from the earth?

27 “Do you not know and understand that this matter cannot be from 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄? For 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 cannot do to man such evil upon earth to say to him, ‘Go slaughter your child.’ ”

28 And Aḇraham heard this and knew that it was the word of Satan who attempted to draw him aside from the Way of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, but Aḇraham would not listen to the voice of Satan, and Aḇraham rebuked him so that he went away.

29 And Satan returned and came to Yitsḥaq. And he appeared to Yitsḥaq in the form of a young man, handsome and well favoured.

30 And he approached Yitsḥaq and said to him, “Do you not know and understand that your foolish old father brings you to the slaughter this day for naught?

31 “Now therefore, my son, do not listen nor attend to him, for he is a foolish old man, and do not let your precious being and good-looking figure be lost from the earth.”

32 And Yitsḥaq heard this, and said to Aḇraham, “Have you heard, my father, that which this man has spoken? Even thus has he spoken.”

33 And Aḇraham answered his son Yitsḥaq and said to him, “Take heed of him but do not listen to his words, nor attend to him, for he is ha’Satan, endeavouring to draw us aside this day from the Commands of Elohim.”

34 And Aḇraham again 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 on the way. And he transformed himself into a large stream of water on the way, and Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq and his two young men reached that place, and they saw a stream large and powerful as the mighty waters.

35 And they entered the stream and passed into it, and the waters at first reached their legs.

36 And they went deeper into the stream and the waters reached up to their necks, and they were all afraid because of the water. And while they were going over the stream Aḇraham recognized that place, and he knew that there was no water there before.

37 And Aḇraham said to his son Yitsḥaq, “I know this place in which there was no stream nor water. Now therefore, it is ha’Satan who does all this to us, to draw us aside this day from the Commands of Elohim.”

38 And Aḇraham rebuked him and said to him, “𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 rebuke you, O Satan, begone from us for we go by the Commands of Elohim!”

39 And Satan was afraid at the voice of Aḇraham, and he went away from them, and the place again became dry land as it was at first.

40 And Aḇraham went with Yitsḥaq toward the place that Elohim had told him.

41 And on the third day, Aḇraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place at a distance which Elohim had told him of.

42 And a column of fire appeared to him that reached from the earth to the shamayim, and a cloud of esteem upon the mountain. And the esteem of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 was seen in the cloud.

43 And Aḇraham said to Yitsḥaq, “My son, do you see in that mountain, which we see at a distance, that which I see upon it?”

44 And Yitsḥaq answered and said to his father, “I see! And look, a column of fire and a cloud, and the esteem of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 is seen upon the cloud.”

45 And Aḇraham knew that his son Yitsḥaq was accepted before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 for a burnt offering.

46 And Aḇraham said to El’azar and to Yishma’ĕl his son, “Do you also see that which we see upon the mountain which is at a distance?”

47 And they answered and said, “We see nothing more than like the other mountains of the earth.” And Aḇraham knew that they were not accepted before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 to go with them, and Aḇraham said to them, “Stay here with the donkey while Yitsḥaq my son and I go over to the mountain and worship there before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 and then return to you.”

48 And El’azar and Yishma’ĕl remained in that place, as Aḇraham had commanded.

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

50 And when they were going along Yitsḥaq said to his father, “Look, I see here the fire and wood, but where then is the lamb that is to be the burnt offering before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄?”

51 And Aḇraham answered his son Yitsḥaq, saying, “𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 has made choice of you my son, to be a perfect burnt offering instead of the lamb.”

52 And Yitsḥaq said to his father, “I will do all that 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 spoke to you with joy and cheerfulness of heart.”

53 And Aḇraham said further to Yitsḥaq his son, “Is there in your heart any thought or counsel concerning this, which is not proper? Please, tell me my son. O my son do not conceal it from me.”

54 And Yitsḥaq answered his father Aḇraham and said to him, “O my father, as 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 lives and as your being 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.

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

56 “But I am of joyful and cheerful heart in this matter, and I say, ‘Baruḵ is 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 who has this day chosen me to be a burnt offering before Him.’ ”

57 And Aḇraham greatly rejoiced at the words of Yitsḥaq, and they went on together and came to that place 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 had spoken of.

58 And Aḇraham approached to build the altar in that place, and Aḇraham was weeping. And Yitsḥaq took stones and mortar until they had finished building the altar.

59 And Aḇraham took the wood and placed it in order on the altar which he had built.

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

61 And Yitsḥaq said to his father, “Bind me safely 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 Aḇraham did so.

62 And Yitsḥaq said further to his father, “O my father, when you have slain me and burnt me for an offering, take with you that which remains of my ashes to bring to Sarah my mother, and say to her, ‘This is the sweet smelling fragrance of Yitsḥaq.’ But do not tell her this if she should sit near a well or upon any high place, lest she should cast her being after me and die.”

63 And Aḇraham heard the words of Yitsḥaq, and he lifted up his voice and wept when Yitsḥaq spoke these words. And Aḇraham’s tears gushed down upon Yitsḥaq his son, and Yitsḥaq wept bitterly, and he said to his father, “Hasten, O my father, and do with me the will of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 our Elohim as He has commanded you.”

64 And the hearts of Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq rejoiced at this which 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 had commanded them, but the eye wept bitterly while the heart rejoiced.

65 And Aḇraham bound his son Yitsḥaq, and placed him on the altar upon the wood, and Yitsḥaq stretched out his neck upon the altar before his father, and Aḇraham stretched out his hand to take the knife to slay his son as a burnt offering before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.

66 At that time the messengers of favour came before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 and spoke to Him concerning Yitsḥaq, saying,

67 “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, You are a compassionate Sovereign showing favour over all that You have created in the shamayim and in earth, and You support them all. Therefore give ransom and redemption instead of Your servant Yitsḥaq, and pity and have compassion on Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq his son, who are this day performing Your Commands.

68 “Have You seen, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, how Yitsḥaq son of Aḇraham Your servant is bound down to the slaughter like a beast? Now therefore let Your compassion be roused for them, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.

69 At that time 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 appeared to Aḇraham, and called to him, from the shamayim, and said to him, “Do not lay your hand upon the boy, neither do any matter to him, for now I know that you revere Elohim in performing this act, and in not withholding your son, your only son, from Me.”

70 And Aḇraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and see, a ram was caught in a thicket by its horns. That was the ram which 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 Elohim had created in the earth in the day that he made the earth and the shamayim.

71 For 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 had prepared this ram from that day, to be a burnt offering instead of Yitsḥaq.

72 And this ram was advancing to Aḇraham when Satan caught hold of it and entangled its horns in the thicket, that he might not advance to Aḇraham, in order that Aḇraham might slay his son.

73 And Aḇraham, seeing the ram advanced toward it but Satan withheld it; took it and brought it before the altar. And he loosened his son Yitsḥaq from his binding, and he put the ram in his place, and Aḇraham killed the ram upon the altar, and offered it as a burnt offering in the place of his son Yitsḥaq.

74 And Aḇraham sprinkled some of the blood of the ram on the altar, and he lifted his voice and said, “This is in the place of my son, and may this be considered this day as the blood of my son before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.”

75 And all that Aḇraham did on this occasion by the altar, he would lift his voice and say, “This is in the place of my son, and may it be considered this day before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 in the place of my son.” And Aḇraham finished the whole of the service by the altar, and the service was accepted before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and was accounted as if it had been Yitsḥaq. And 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 baraḵ Aḇraham and his seed on that day.

76 And Satan went to Sarah, and he appeared to her in the form of an old man, very humble and meek. And Aḇraham was still occupied with the burnt offering before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.

77 And he said to her, “Do you not know all the work that Aḇraham has done with your only son this day? For he took Yitsḥaq and built an altar, and killed him, and offered him as a burnt offering on the altar. And Yitsḥaq cried and wept before his father, but he did not look to him, neither did he have compassion on him.”

78 And Satan repeated these words, and he went away from her. And Sarah heard all the words of Satan, and she thought 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 matters.

79 And Sarah lifted up her voice and wept and cried out bitterly because of her son, and she threw herself upon the ground and she cast dust upon her head, and she said, “O my son, Yitsḥaq my son. O that I had died this day instead of you!” And she continued to weep and said, “It grieves me for you, O my son, my son Yitsḥaq. O that I had died this day in your place!”

80 And she still continued to weep, and said, “It grieves me for you after 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 Elohim till I bore you at ninety years old. And now you have served this day for the knife and the fire, to be made an offering.

81 “But I console myself with you, my son, in it being the word of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, for you performed the Command of your Elohim. For who can transgress the Word of our Elohim, in whose hands is the being of every living creature?

82 “You are just, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 our Elohim, for all Your works are good and righteous. For I also rejoice in Your Word which you commanded, and while my eye weeps bitterly, my heart rejoices!”

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

84 She afterward rose up and went about making inquiries till she came to Ḥeḇron. And she inquired of all those whom she met walking on the way, but no one could tell her what had befell her son.

85 And she came with her female servants and male servants to Qiryath Arba, which is Ḥeḇron, and she asked concerning her son, and she remained there while she sent some of her servants to seek where Aḇraham had gone with Yitsḥaq. They went to seek him in the house of Shĕm and Ĕḇer, but they could not find him, and they sought throughout the land but he was not there.

86 And see, Satan came to Sarah in the form of an old man, and he came and stood before her, and said to her, “I spoke falsely to you, for Aḇraham did not kill his son and he is not dead.” And when she heard the word, her joy was so exceedingly violent for the sake of her son, that her being went out through joy. She died and was gathered to her people.

87 And when Aḇraham had finished his service he returned with his son Yitsḥaq to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Be’ĕrsheḇa, and they came home.

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

89 And Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq went to her to Ḥeḇron, and when they found that she was dead they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly over her. And Yitsḥaq fell upon his mother’s face and wept over her, and he said, “O my mother, my mother, how have you left me, and where have your gone? O how, how have you left me?”

90 And Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq wept greatly, and all their servants wept with them because of Sarah, and they mourned over her a great and grievous mourning.